Tag Archives: age discrimination

How to get tire tracks up your back

“I want to find a place where I don’t have to work so hard anymore. I’m 6 years from retirement. With my experience, I should be able to get top dollar for my next job.”

Do you see the absolute logical disaster in that statement? He wants to work less, slow down preparing for retirement, and be paid as much as ever. I hear these words at least once a week. They are the prelude to disaster. This guy may get another job, but he will be fired if he “doesn’t work so hard anymore”.

No one wants to pay you to relax and take it easy. They want your best effort. They want miracles. If you decide it is time to slow down, then step down to do that. If not, someone who wants to work hard is going to leave tire tracks up your back. He will run right over you to climb his career ladder. Your boss will cheer him on and give him your chair. 

Bmw, Fast, Speed, Drift, Car, Tire, Burn, Smoke

A lot of people complain about age discrimination. There is a fair amount of it, but more often the problem is that the young guy is obviously determined to excel. He commits to hard work. His record shows 50, 60 and 70 hour weeks. The older person literally says in an interview, “I’ve learned how to work smart and not hard. I don’t need to put in more than 40 hours a week anymore.” The boss who is putting in 70 hours a week will not believe the old guy can do it. Even worse, often the older guy has a history of declining output. 

Who would you hire? The person whose output is increasing, or decreasing? 

Especially if you are over 40 (or 50, or 60) like me, you have to show in every second of your interview that you can outwork, outlast, and outperform any of those young guys. Your message is that they don’t know the meaning of accomplishment. If you prove you won’t relax and take it easy, you’ll get the job. It doesn’t matter who you are competing against. If you relax, you’ll get tire tracks up your back.

About the last two weeks

This series is about what makes or breaks a job hunt. Reality and the real world. My list of the reasons people get a new job or struggle includes:

  • Do you have a Helium II attitude?
  • Are you hurting?
  • Are you ruthlessly exploiting your advantages?
  • Are you measuring up to the competition?
  • Are you using outdated or overly niche skills?
  • Are you really worth 10x what you’re paid?
  • Do you carefully curate how people perceive you?
  • Are you continuing to polish your skills?
  • Will you work hard, or get run over?

Think about your job search. Just think. And then take notes about your conclusions.

Job hunt tips for older (no, for all) professionals

Your age can be a problem.  It can also be an asset when job hunting.  Whether you are in accounting, computers, or engineering, age discrimination exists.  You can also use your age to your advantage.

Do you remember Ronald Reagan saying that he wouldn’t use his opponents youth and inexperience as a political tool?  (here is the clip)

In this posting there are some things mentioned that can be big positives for older workers.

Please discriminate against me because I am old

“I have completed all objectives as an executive for 37 years and was just laid off due to an industry downturn.”

To some people that says you were just laid off because you are an old retirement aged clock watcher, and they wanted to bring in some young blood.  They wanted someone with energy who will work harder.  You have just said, “Please discriminate against me because of age.”

In my experience age discrimination is much more common than discrimination based on race, sex, religion or any other factor. That’s reality.  No one wants to hire someone who is marking time until retirement.  They want an energetic go-getter.  Whether you are old or young you need to prove on your resume that you are not just a place holder.  List in bullets what got done only because you were at your last job.  Show your energy and enthusiasm.

The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. (Lucille Ball)

Don’t lie about your age, disguise it

Your resume has one function, to get you an interview.  That’s all.  If you were 37 years in one job and don’t want it to show, break up that job into the positions you held. List each position or division you worked for as a separate job entry with its own dates of service.  That way you can get the older dates off the first page of your resume.

Age discrimination isn’t nice, but it is a factor to consider.  Make your resume an effective advertisement for what you can contribute.  Avoid showing how old you are unless you are sure it will help you get the interview.

Are there other things that you think are causing people to discriminate against you?  Then deal with them.  Is it race?  There is a lot of discrimination against Asian-Indians in the USA.  They overcome it most often by persistence and education.  Is your sex a problem?  A physical disability?  Your speech impediment? Your religion? Accept that fact and learn to deal with it.  Accept that you need to shine brighter, and work hard to be so good that you cannot be refused by the best companies.

Something To Do Today

Are you over 40?  Time to start considering age discrimination.  Over 60? Age discrimination is a fact.  Deal with it in your resume.


Next week:     How to get a friend a job

Sand in the gears