My Age, I am 50 is Stopping me from Landing a New Position

So today’s topic “My age, I am over 50, is stopping me from landing a new position” is very interesting.

So let’s talk about this issue. It’s a very pertinent issue, particularly as the career population across the world ages. Baby boomers are the latter part of their career, and they are actually going off in quite high numbers, which contributes to the talent shortage. But there are still many baby boomers actively involved in the career market, and I deal with a lot of them. That’s where my private practice is aimed at, the 50s, and 60s, 40s, 50s, and 60s-year-old people with vast experience and aspiring to be business leaders.

So yes, you can conquer ageism. Yes, you can conquer ageism. Age is a perception. Break it down, it’s a state of mind. Now there are lots of blogs and articles and comments and whatever saying, “Oh, once you’re 50, you’re over the hill, and that’s it, your career is kaiboshed,” and whatever. That is a load of baloney, especially today when we are in a massive, a massive, and I mean huge, skill shortage. So they want people, maturity, people Baby Boomers, and people who assume that they are too old. They want them actively involved in their corporations or NGOs or wherever they decide to go, not-for-profits or whatever.

But so age is a perception. Don’t let external comments stop you from reaching your career goals. You need to do, when you are the older you get, you definitely need to know yourself more. Know who you are, the assets, the attributes, the skill sets that you could bring your next employer. Also, know your value. Your value is huge. Think about it. If you’re, let’s say 60, you’ve been in the workforce maybe 35 years now. A 20-year-old, 25-year-old, even a 30-year-old cannot bring that experience to a company. Your value is huge.

Yes, sadly, we do discriminate because of various things. There are people I know who are hiring authorities that do hire, that do discriminate because of your age, but they are wrong because you can bring huge value to your next employer. Doesn’t matter whether you’re 50, 55, 60, or even 65. I have several clients in their mid-60s who get themselves into multiple offers, so that proves that ageism is a state of mind. It’s a perception. So you need to know yourself, you need to know your value. You have a huge value. You are a product, as I’ve mentioned many times in previous Tuesdays at two, and you’re sending that product to the market. It’s not an outdated old product. It’s a very valuable product. Think of yourself as gold or platinum. You are extra special. So change that mindset and forget about your ageism.

I remember giving a presentation a few years ago in Toronto, and several people said during my presentation that they changed their mindset because they thought that ageism, like me, was a perception, and they weren’t getting any interviews. But once they changed their mindset and they changed their job search strategies, things turned around for them. And then they got themselves into multiple interviews. Like, I don’t know how many jobs they got, but they’re assuming that they all got one at least job offer, and they were in their 50s and 60s. So they were… They told me that once they got rid of that block in their mental block in their mind, they were far more prepared and far more eloquent, far more confident in launching and executing a job search.

Please feel free to put any comments in the comments section below. More than happy to answer those comments. So what you have to do, you are a product. You’re sending that product to the market. So you need to develop a very compelling, a very striking brand. Maybe talking about leveraging your deep experience in a particular topic, in a particular skill, in a particular subject. So you can develop that brand and enhance that when you get to the interview stage or in a cover letter, because a cover letter is what takes you from today forwards, and a resume takes you from today backwards when you’re applying for a job.

So develop a very compelling, a very striking, very resonating brand. Your personal brand. What is so special about you? It can be your experience. When you get above 50, because that person in their 20s cannot bring that experience. So experience does count. It’s very, very important. Today, we are short of lots of knowledge. You are a knowledge person. You’re a walking knowledge, you’re a walking directory or bank. Thought leader, maybe. So if you are a thought leader, that really enhances your… And you consider yourself a thought leader, that enhances your employability even more.

So experience does count. Try and get rid, shake that out of your mind, that ageism. Yes, I agree. There are people who do discriminate because of age. But they might discriminate because of the hair of your cut, your color of your hair, or you wear glasses, or your ethnic background, or whatever. Sadly, yes, there are people. But those people, I hope, are few and far between. So that makes it even more important that when you are mature, let’s say mature, you really have to put on a dynamic business case, a business case to really ascertain and get you to the job that you want and stand out from maybe younger people, younger candidates applying for the same job.

So you need to have a stellar, a very robust, a very performance-driven resume, CV. Make sure it’s ATS-friendly, applicant tracking system-friendly. And you also need to have a very fully complete, fully complete from top to bottom LinkedIn profile. And the more you have on there, the more opportunities will come your way because Google and the LinkedIn algorithms pick up more text, more visits. So you need to think of it that way. So you need to really be aware of your resume, your CV, and your LinkedIn profile. And don’t just be passive on your LinkedIn. You need to be very, very active. So comment and share and create content.

Next thing is stay current with technology. It’s no use you being in the Dark Ages before computer technology and putting that on your resume, your CV. You need to stay current with current technology. So you can go on an online course or you can go and do a course at your community college. That is very, very important, and something that’s updates your candidacy and shows the reader at the other end, the human resources or the executive recruiter, that you really are serious about updating your skills. It’s not just technology. It’s your general education.

So today, after COVID, a lot of business schools and other academic institutions now have many, many online certificates, degrees, designations, diplomas, call it what you will, different… Different… I would encourage you to go for a mini-MBA, and they are… Could be five, four to six-week courses run by different business schools. And they are very, very action-packed. A lot of stuff is packed into that five, two, four, five, six-week course. But it’s something to put on your resume. And what does that tell the reader at the other end? This person is very serious about keeping up to date with skills and learning, not just new technology, but learning new business processes.

For the bulk of the jobs, you plot, you do your due diligence, you uncover an opportunity, or select a company you want to go and work for, and you never know whether they’re going to have a job available. But hidden jobs, and there are many videos on my YouTube channel about how to uncover and how to execute a hidden job search plan, which is a bit different from… I’ve watched you a lot, different from you applying online. So you need to probably go after the hidden jobs.

Where I am here, and job boards, where you can get up into the… The thousands of applicants. So you will be the only candidate, and if you put on a good business case, you could probably get an interview and hopefully subsequently be hired. So hidden jobs is probably going to be if you are above 50, slant your job search towards the hidden job market. Please feel free. Anybody got any comments? I’m more than happy to answer any comments to do with career management as we go through this presentation.

Years in the corporate world, they can tap into that knowledge and use you as a great human resource asset. So think of yourself as an advantage. You can bring ABC company X number of years, Y number of years. So also, leverage your network. Your network, your peers, probably at your age and maybe a little bit below, or even people who’ve been retired. Most of them keep up their network, and they might be able to generate jobs and for you. But how, when you go into a job search mode, the period, and you’re going to have to also conquer the fear of rejection, because you’re not going to win every job.

Yes, a rejection can hurt. Can hurt quite considerably. But you need to bounce back pretty fast and move on and sell your values, tell your age. It’s a great… It’s a great asset to have. So those people, when I was presenting many years ago, I remember vividly, they changed their… They changed their slant, and they changed their mental mind. They changed their perception that the value, not just from the 20 or 30-year-olds, but from the 40 or the early 50-year-olds.

So you can land a job. Get that mental block out of your mind. Eliminate all that negativity and think about your assets, your attributes, your experience that somebody else, a lot younger than you, cannot bring ABC company or XYZ company. And have an up-to-date ATS resume and CV. Make sure you talk about all your performance. Put in many metrics, whether they be currency value or percentage files. And have a dynamic LinkedIn profile and a Swift certificate, diploma, or other education.

So, I think we’ve got one question here from a LinkedIn user. “The most recent feedback that I have received from recruiters has been that my experience is not current to the job that I’ve applied to. How do I change that mindset?”

Okay, so that’s a great question. So your job search is obviously slanted in the wrong direction. You need to only focus on the jobs that meet your mindset and the executive… Move slightly out. But if you are out here and out here, then you’re applying for the wrong jobs. And there are plenty of jobs, I don’t know what your skill set is, your value, but there are plenty of jobs waiting for you. And then also look at… If you’re applying and using executive recruiters as well, you are… I would use hidden jobs, executive recruiters, and the application.

So, if you’re getting replies from executive recruiters, that’s a good sign, though, too, because executive recruiters generally… They are… They land you jobs. So conquer this perception of, “I’m too old. I’m over the hill. Nobody will hire me.” It’s a load of baloney. You can win, but you need to have that right mindset, followed by the marketing tools, and the designing and planning, and executing a very robust and an aggressive job search in today’s economy when hiring is so strong. You can land yourself, may not get into multiple offers like some of my clients in the over-the-hill age, the mature age.

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