While I know there is certainly age discrimination, it is easy to fall into the excuse of discrimination (about anything) rather than looking at what else could be the concern. Being (well) over 40 myself, I can relate to those who feel discriminated against because of age. On the other hand, what I love about this article, is that it is pointing out a cultural issue – not an ethnic or national cultural difference, but rather an age-related cultural difference. And I can see the same issue in reverse, with young people who can’t understand why they aren’t being hired.
We can all learn by taking the time to evaluate how we are being perceived by a potential employer based on a wide range of cultural differences, whether they be linguistic, ethnic, age or ability related, etc.
Over 40? The Major Interview Mistake You Could Be Making
By J.T. O’Donnell
A recent study by CAREEREALISM Media shows 87% of seasoned professionals (over the age of 40), believe age discrimination is hurting their chances of getting a job. As I outline in this LinkedIn article, I don’t think it’s age discrimination as much as it is the lack of a more ‘sophisticated’ approach to job search.
What Happens When Your Approach Doesn’t Match Your Reality:
If you are over 40 years old and looking for work, chances are you might be sending the wrong message to employers in interviews. Have you been trying to impress them with your diverse experience and enthusiasm? That can backfire. Being the “jack-of-all-trades,” who can do anything isn’t a plus in the eyes of hiring managers, especially, younger ones. Given your years of experience and skill level, employers are expecting a very different message. One that conveys a balance of authority with humility. Failing to create this balance can result in employers smiling and nodding in the interview, acting like they love you… only to never hear from them again. Here’s why:
They Respect Your Age, But Not Your Overpowering Persona
While hiring managers and recruiters are politely going through the motions in the interview, what they are really thinking when you present yourself is you’re:
- Too aggressive.
- A know-it-all.
- Trying too hard.
- Acting desperate.
- Set in your ways.
- Too talkative.
- Exhausting to work alongside.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/32586689@N00/474422557″>New mindset on aging</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>