Lots of people these days have the opportunity to quit the job that they are in and search for something else that will pay them more, and possibly offer them better benefits than where they currently work. That can be exciting for those really searching for the job of their dreams, but I want to send out a caution. If you have a Four-year degree, years of experience, and talent, it may not help you if you are over 40. Heck, if you are a woman in your 30's, it's time to figure out what you really want to do in life. If you don't think that age discrimination is real, you may be in for a real wake-up call.

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The general consensus is that people over 40 are slow; they are not going to be able to keep up with technology, and a host of other myths that will keep them from being honestly considered for a job. If you are in your 50's, you can expect a pink slip because employers want to get rid of you before you become too costly with healthcare. A woman in your 30's? You are also already headed to the 'over-the-hill' zone.

FOR ECONOMY SAKE, ATTITUDES NEED TO CHANGE

Since people in their 50's spend about 7.6 trillion dollars annually on things like airlines, new cars and trucks, and 55% of consumer packaged goods, clothing, and entertainment, if our jobs are taken from us, we are going to be spending a whole lot less to just 'get by'...and that means it won't be good for businesses, according to AARP.

I've had a close friend recently head back into the job force and experience this first-hand. Young interviewers will let an older adult interview, but already have their mind made up that the individual is too old for their culture.

Our natural-born prejudice and young stinkin-thinkin' are that people who are older are of less value. I remember interviewing people when I was in my late 20's and having those exact same thoughts. I personally would not think that the older person with years of experience would be able to keep up with the job. Now that I'm in my 50's, I see how ridiculous it sounds, but younger people don't have that knowledge.

In recent studies, workers over 40 were 46 to 65% LESS LIKELY to get a job offer than younger workers, if the employer knows their age.  What was really interesting, is that they did a test, and in the second group, no ages were listed, and it made a HUGE difference. Under the new "NO AGE REQUIRED" listing,  those over 40 were considered MORE OFTEN, because of their experience; BUT...don't count on it. That was just a test. It doesn't mean that the younger staff actually wants to work with you, no offense.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THOSE OVER 40?

It means a few different things. You are going to have to apply for a lot more positions for one thing. Keeping your age off of the application may or may not help you, because younger applicants will most likely post their age, knowing that getting a job based on age discrimination is probably something they won't have to worry about.

It also means you shouldn't feel bad if you gave years of great work to your company. It's not that you did anything wrong. You have to find a way to remember your value, with or without the marriage to the job you've dedicated your life to. It can feel sort of like you've been cheated on. That's why it's so important for you to know, it isn't about your ability, your dedication, or your experience, so don't blame yourself for simply getting older and wiser...It's what we all do.

Be realistic, and start saving some money and thinking about your future plans. With people living longer than ever before, we might have a long time to figure out how to survive with no income.

 

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