Is It Age Discrimination, Really -- Or Are You Just Whining?

Here’s a message from a handful of 60+ year-olds after reading the complaints of some others that age who “are getting passed over” in this hot job market “because of age discrimination”.

 

 

Dear fellow professionals in your 50s-60s:

 

Hey, older worker: get with it.

 

Literally.

 

And attitude-wise.

 

Get with it in terms of your skills: learn that new technology. Stop complaining and saying things like, “There are companies that are deliberatelymoving to zip codes that are harder to get to by those of us who are older and live in the suburbs! Can you believe it?!” That’s silly and the false belief only keeps you in victim mode.

 

But second: lower your expectations of pay until you get really good at the new thing. You know, like the 30 year oldyou used to be. You’ve done this before and now you have to do it again: stop whining and just do it. Don’t expect to get paid more than the 30 year olds just because you “have experience”. You still have to prove you’re worth it now. Yeah, you have to prove it again. And you’ll have to prove it again and again. That’s just the way it is now. Stop wasting time crying about it, and focus instead on increasing your value today.

 

Sure, you’ve honed a skill over many years. Now you apparently don’t want to adjust to the economic reality that your skill is dated. Or that only you can do it (not true). Too bad.

 

Maybe you entered [name your field] for the money, back when fewer people went into it. Maybe you had the desired skills then and had them for years. But now lots of people are in your field and you’re not so special any more. And you resent those younger competitors.

 

Maybe you’ve learned a new skill, which is great, but you’re crushed that everyone isn’t falling all over you. Could it be because you are asking for an outrageous salary from the get-go? Or you’re making demands about, say, working from home from day 1?

 

Younger competitors are willing to try anything, and work anywhere, so people like to hire them. Meanwhile, you get irritated when you’re asked to work that holiday eve, or to deliver the project in one week instead of two. Or if the company is downtown instead of in your lovely suburb.

 

So either stop complaining or step up to the bar and make changes. If you still want to complain, because it earns you membership in the Woe Is Me Club, don’t complain to us and others who are reinventing ourselves. We’re too busy getting restarted. And people are noticing.

 

Signed,

Your peers moving on to something great

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