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How older workers can overcome employment myths

As we noted in a prior post, the job market is expected to improve as the economy improves. Indeed, this remains to be seen, and January’s job report will be presented soon. But assuming that the job market improves, it is likely that more people over the age of 40 will be entering the market.

While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects older workers from biased decisions in the hiring process, there are still a number of employers who shy away from giving experienced workers a chance because of the many myths that are perpetuated about them.

Despite this ignorance, there are a number of things you can do as an older worker, to overcome ignorance and rise above discrimination.

Don’t understate your usefulness – Your years of work experience should count for something, even if you are entering a new field. Think about how transferrable skills such as communication skills, resourcefulness, and likeability make you a good fit for the company.

Show that you have long term interests – Some employers may be scared off because they may think an older worker will not be around for the long haul. Given the marketplace, the long haul is a decade. So convincing an employer that you will be working for at least 10 more years (with the company) should be attractive.

 Adaptability is your strong suit – Additionally, employers may be concerned that you, as an older worker, may be set in your ways. While this may be true to a certain extent, explaining how adaptability is your strong suit can help an employer overcome this assumption. 

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