How Old Are You? 4 Simple Steps to Fight Ageism
Yikes! Did I really ask that question? Yes, I did. Is it legal? Nope! But, that doesn’t stop recruiters, employers, and potential clients from either boldly asking your age or making assumptions about you. Age discrimination is real and disproportionately affects women more than men. 72% of women aged 45 to 74 said they think people face age discrimination at work, as opposed to 57% of men in the same age range.Just as proud parents boast about how their kid can show them technology, we should be proud of senior executives, vendors, and contractors who can share their years of wisdom. Click To Tweet.
We are not Allowed to Grow Old
Although I’ve seen endless strands of gorgeous silver hair since the pandemic, I know that it’s also telegraphing to the world that we’ve earned those gray and silver hairs. And, most of the time, it works against us.
Me? I can’t possibly go grey. Aging marketing/branding speakers and experts are not in high demand. And, what happens to my brand? Should I really become Grey Fire Branding?
Age Discrimination Cuts Both Ways: Being Young and Old are Punishable
My client was recently looking for a job with decidedly silver hair. He was repeatedly asked his age within the first few minutes. Every time he called them out on the illegal question, he was out of a job opportunity. We turned that question into this answer: Old enough to successfully deliver the job on time and on target.
I have another client who is brilliant, but young. Investors are constantly trying to use her age as an excuse not to invest.
Ways to Avoid the Ageism
1. Delete the Years
Feel free to delete the year you graduated from college, for example. We know potential employers and clients can figure it out, but let’s make it more difficult for them.
2. Avoid Highlighting Old Jobs
Highlighting jobs from 1979, for example, make it too easy to brand you as old.
3. Highlight Tech
Lest you be considered technologically unsophisticated, surprise everyone by becoming a master of one social media platform or app. Take that!
4. Stop with Old Examples
Talking about The Brady Bunch, Blondie, cassettes, or your answering machine will only reinforce “old” connotations. Try to delete these from your stories and examples.
Just as proud parents boast about how their kid can show them technology, we should be proud of senior executives, vendors, and contractors who can share their years of wisdom.
Can I get a hallelujah?
To your sizzling success! Liz
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