Be an outlier to overcome ageism
Woman run to new opportunities. 3d illustration

Be an outlier to overcome ageism

Face it, people of all ages haven’t gotten the memo that ageism is not only wrong but self-defeating. Even if they agree with that statement, many will inevitably or subconsciously practice it.

Therefore, if you’re older, take control. Be seen as an exception to the rule.

Be an outlier.

Sometimes older candidates don’t get the job because they’re out-of-date and lack self-awareness.

Their current skills aren’t up for the job and/or they won’t fit in. #Hiring managers aren’t just looking at professional attributes. They’re also looking at #workforce dynamics.

It’s up to you to make sure you’re up-to-date in all respects from skills to attitude to awareness. You must prove you’re willing to work exceptionally well with all generations by being flexible, adaptable, respectful and inclusive.

First, look in the mirror and self evaluate. See yourself through the eyes of that hiring manager and younger co-workers. Yes, be yourself, leverage your experience and talents but do it in a desired and “up-to-date” way.

Bottom-line: Determine what value you offer and what will it be like to work with you. Then take positive action to sell it.

Also, get involved in the emerging efforts to embrace age difference. You will benefit and you will bring benefits to the effort.

Recently I became involved in Marc Michaelson’s startup Ageless Rebels. Our intent is to create an online community (which we have soft-launched) to bring together all ages to leverage the benefits of experience, talent, perspective and skills for success. Already interest in pouring in from companies that are realizing they need to not only overcome ageism and its disconnect in their operations but also that perhaps they were too hasty to “throw out the Baby Boomer with the bathwater” and that age, experience, legacy knowledge and a host of other assets are necessary and a business imperative.

Other startups such as Charlotte Japp’s CIRKEL, or Big & Mini are springing up to rave reviews and success by bringing together people of different ages for mutual support and two-way mentoring.

This emerging sector and practical effort are focused on not moralizing about how wrong ageism is but rather to show the rightness to embrace and be inclusive of what we all have to offer. Age can be a huge success factor if we bring the best of ourselves and prove the assumptions, presumptions and stereotypes to be wrong.

Do away with #ageism by positive action and performance.

Be an outlier.

Also, see:

Ageism & Jobs: It’s up to Boomers to adapt and skill up: Interview with Marc Michaelson
Manifesto Against Ageism: Interview with Ashton Applewhite
GenZ and Boomers: Unite not Fight