Age is Just a Number: Unleash Your Potential Regardless!”

Joan believes she’s being sidelined because of her age. She’s convinced, “No one wants someone my age at work!” But Joan couldn’t be more off the mark. If she dreams of becoming the lead in a teen rom-com or gracing the runway during fashion week, she might have a point. But as a store manager or real estate agent, especially in roles she’s overqualified for? Age is merely a number!

The real hurdle? Joan’s retro mindset. Clinging to job-hunting methods from decades ago and then blaming age bias is a self-made trap. Let’s debunk these job-search myths that might be chaining you down:

  1. Time-travel Talk. Chatting about “the young girls at work” or recalling “back when we used [old tech]” only underscores the generation gap. Just as you’ve swapped neon leg warmers for modern attire, refresh your communication style too.
  2. Old-School Job Hunt. Combing through traditional job ads is outdated and inefficient. You might feel like a tiny fish in a vast ocean. While classifieds have a role, modern networking, especially via social media, is the game-changer. Dismissing platforms like LinkedIn is like turning your back on job opportunities.
  3. Resume Rule Myths. If you’re still sticking to the ‘resume-must-be-this-long’ rule from yesteryears, it’s time for a reality check. Instead of trimming your rich experience to fit an outdated standard, showcase all your achievements. While we’re not saying draft a novel, don’t be afraid to go beyond the conventional two pages if it paints your full picture.
  4. Stay Authentic, Not Archaic. Embracing youthful energy doesn’t mean donning teen outfits or forcing slang into conversations. It’s cringe-worthy and transparent. Yet, sticking doggedly to dated beliefs might raise eyebrows among potential employers. Will you be the “stuck in the past” employee in a dynamic workspace?

In a nutshell, it’s not the candles on your birthday cake but your adaptability quotient that matters. So, embrace the times, keep your rich experience, and dive into today’s vibrant job market with confidence!

I’m thrilled to be part of the Career Collective, a group of professionals who meet monthly to blog about a certain topic. Please return in the next couple of days to read some other articles on this theme and look for #careercollective on Twitter.

32 Comments

  1. Gayle Howard

    Updated my blog! It’s not your age, it’s old thinking: “It’s my age, that’s what it is”, Joan lamented. “I need … http://bit.ly/gnyVYz

    Reply
  2. Rorybaust

    good advice your only as old as you allow others to perceive you to be

    Reply
  3. Hannah Morgan

    Gayle:
    I blogged about “old fart” job seekers recently. You’ve touched upon the really critical things, such as the words and phrases we use when we communicate and letting go of past beliefs.
    There are plenty of 50+ job seekers landing GOOD jobs because they are contemporary in their thinking and what they do!
    Thanks for addressing this!

    Reply
  4. Meg Montford

    Love this post, Gayle! One more thing I’ll add is technology skills. Even those over 50 can be tech savvy, and they need to be to stay current in today’s world or work.

    Reply
  5. Jhanlon

    Love the article, but the photo with the computer from 2001 made me laugh.

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Oh, so true, Gayle! Those of us with gray hair (visible or not) too easily assume it’s our age, rather than our approach and demeanor, that make people ignore us. “Age-ism” does exist, unfortunately, but not to the extent that we often assume. It’s just easier, often, to blame age than to look any deeper.

    Reply
  7. Megan Fitzgerald

    Great post Gayle! Drop the classifieds and embrace social media – a great message for all. And I absolutely agree that your resume should efficiently and effectively communicate your value – however many pages it takes.

    It’s great to be a part of this wise group of career professionals!

    Megan

    Reply
  8. Gayle Howard

    haha… that was kind of the idea! Mature people with outdated beliefs… I thought it fitted in with the theme somewhat!

    Reply
  9. Octopus Job Search

    Thank you for this post, teaches us not to look down on ourselves, if you have the right attitude and job search approach, you will be able to touch success

    Reply
  10. Dawn Bugni

    Gayle –

    Excellent info (as I always find when I visit).

    If age is roadblock in the job seeker’s mind, it becomes a roadblock in every career conversation going forward. I wish I had a dollar for every “older” job seeker who made it a point to tell me they look good “for their age.” I work virtually with my clients. I seldom meet them or even see a picture of them, yet early in the conversation, they’re “justifying” their youthful appearance. It makes me wonder if they don’t “drop and give a hiring authority 20” at the beginning of an interview to “prove” they’re really not that old.

    If job seekers make age a focal point, guess what? It becomes a focal point. That’s not to say age discrimination does not exist; it surely does. But a job seeker can’t help propel ageism with their own beliefs and actions.

    Good stuff!!

    Reply
  11. WalterAkana

    Dont self-select for irrelevance: It’s not your age, it’s old thinking by @GayleHoward http://bit.ly/etCcJG #careercollective

    Reply
  12. WalterAkana

    Hey Galye!

    This is a terrific post!

    I think that as we continue to see the ongoing revolutionary impact of social media on career management, the outdated thinking you point to is going to stand out even more among people who want to cling to old notions.

    Coincidentally, in a recent discussion, I shared my observation that many people self-select for irrelevance! It’s true, unfortunately. I’ve seen it countless times! I do agree with Susan that “Age-ism” does exist; and also that it’s our approach and demeanor can often lead to people ignore us.

    Frankly, it’s up to us to take charge of our thinking and behaviors to change our situation, and you wonderfully reinforce that idea here!

    Reply
  13. John Groth

    The after 50 job hunter can get the biggest bang for the buck by getting
    a complete physical. Start an exercise and diet program. The worst showing
    of age is a candidate who shows up for an interview in a suit that
    does not fit, and they are huffing and puffing after walking up
    one flight to the conference room for the inteview. As a recruiter
    I don’t expect everyone over age 50 can run a marathon, but being as
    fit as they are able tells me a lot about the individual.

    Reply

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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.

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