There is a lot of material that has been published in print and posted online that scares older job seekers to death. Even candidates in their early-to-mid 40s are concerned about their age when conducting a job search. Certainly, those Baby Boomers out there are very worried about age discrimination.
Do Companies Really Discriminate Based on Age?
The answer, for the most part, is a resounding NO! Most companies do not discriminate against older workers. In fact, in today’s business climate, where organizations have serious concerns about the strength, work ethic, and dedication of the younger generations, workers with more experience are becoming more highly valued.
I can hear you asking me now, “OK, if most companies don’t discriminate based on age, why does everyone say so?”
The Real Issue
What many people tag as age discrimination against older candidates during the job search has more to do with the attitudes possessed by that worker. Remember, most older candidates simply have more work history than those job seekers right out of college. With that experience comes the baggage of having been laid off, downsized, rightsized, outsourced, or just simply having had a bad boss.
The Bitter Root
That baggage usually manifests itself as bitterness during an interview. Any trained interview professional will easily key in on underlying bitterness a candidate possesses, even if the job seeker is unaware of its existence. Think about it, whom would you rather hire, a candidate that is bitter about their previous work history, knowing that they will likely drag that with them into this new role, or someone fresh out of college that is enthused, excited, and energetic about the opportunity at hand?
That’s not age discrimination, that’s just simple common sense. An employer wants to hire people with good attitudes and a good outlook on work and life.