Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a jobseeker on her resume and some interview tips. She’s about 60 years old – but she’s sharp as a tack. She’s up on her social media networks, loves to use paypal (so do I by the way) and understands technology very well. She has an IPhone, IPad and a Kindle Fire. It was a pleasure to work with her because she is a lot more current and savvy than many who are 20 years her junior.
It’s a shame really, how fast you can get outdated. Everyone talks about 40 being the new 30, and 30 being the new 20. Everyone wants to be young and live life screaming “YOLO” – You Only Live Once. I guess YOLO equals wild and careless behavior but you have to take care of business too.
Age discrimination is real and it’s just as ugly as any other form of discrimination. Just because someone has silver hair doesn’t mean that they can’t contribute. Working with that client got me to thinking, how many employers are missing out on good people because of age discrimination? The older generation could be a robust workforce for the right company. Many are simply trying to work and contribute without all the games and office politics. It’s a fact older workers are more loyal than younger workers.
I love James Bond movies – In 2012’s “Skyfall” there’s a great scene where Bond meets his new Quartermaster or “Q” who is younger. They have an exchange that conceptualizes Reverse Mentoring very well, Bond makes a quip about Q’s age, to which Q says, “Age is no guarantee of efficiency” and Bond retorts “And youth is no guarantee of innovation.” BRILLIANT. Both are right, and both agree to learn from one another.
Maybe recruiters and hiring authorities should stop discriminating based on age (and other non-essential qualities) and make sure the candidate meets all the qualifications needed to perform the essential job duties. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Nepotism and Favoritism is destroying the workforce. Passing out jobs based on friendships and relationships – without being genuinely qualified is far more costly than hiring someone a little older.
Age doesn’t matter – some of the youngest clients I have had are some of the most entitled – they feel that they are owed an opportunity. And some of the older clients just want a chance to show that they still got it. They want to come to work on time, they have had their children and raised their families, gone on big vacations, and sown their wild oats, now they just want to work quietly and take care of themselves – they don’t play games they understand YOLO and they just want to finish up with respect.
It’s also a great opportunity to explore reverse mentoring, where the younger folks can teach and educate the older folks on something and the older workers can show the younger generation a thing or two. It can work if there’s no judgment involved.
Uhm, so if you missed the point of this article – older workers are better than the younger workers that you covet.