I’m sure most can agree that this last election cycle was absolutely exhausting. The regurgitation of political agendas by both sides and the news anchors who made sure we were all well aware of the opinions of their side of the aisle left us all nauseated. As someone who the job market directly effects more than most, I would typically pay extra attention whenever job creation, arguments for equal pay, laws regarding disclosure of salary information, and the economy were a hot topic. When it comes to the job market & treating potential candidates fairly, I think everyone is missing a key demographic.
Finding a new job can be one of the most satisfying & fulfilling moments of your life. Receiving an increase in pay will make life easier for both you and your family. Meeting new colleagues, accepting and thriving under new challenges are both exciting and rewarding. There are those of us who find it very easy navigating political waters and landing new positions. Congrats to all of you, you obviously know how to play the game. Then there are those who find looking for a new job frustrating, daunting and overwhelming – these job seekers that also have 30 or so years of experience have a real issue on their hands – and the sad part is, we will all be there someday. In my opinion, age has become the absolute largest hurdle for folks looking for new job. We live in a world where people are assessed in seconds, resumes are glanced right over and opinions are formed faster than we would all like to admit. The equal-pay for women argument and the new salary disclosure laws are polarizing topics, but they don’t even come close to age discrimination. There are plenty of well qualified candidates out there that are blatantly disregarded because they have “too much experience”. There are candidates with 30 or so years of experience that omit information on their resume for the simple fact they want to hide their age because they are unable to land an interview. Now that life expectancy is getting longer and people are taking better care of themselves physically, there should be more chatter about how we treat some of our seasoned co-workers. Age discrimination has always been rampant – especially for those folks who have never climbed the ranks to real leadership positions. This needs to change.
Most firms are constantly updating their systems and offer internal training and talent development. Systems have become more and more user friendly and easier to learn. I’m certain you can teach an old dog new tricks – we now just need everyone to believe it and stop worrying so much about who is getting paid what.