Are you considering getting back into the workplace or finding a new job? Or maybe, you have a job already but are struggling with a ‘hidden’ problem… Today, our guest contributor, Marie Barnes, discusses 4 signs of ageism in the workplace and how to handle it. I hope this helps you.
Today, there are many stereotypes and prejudices concerning age. And depending on the sphere, city, and company, the age limit can vary significantly. “Looking for a candidate aged 25-35”. Is it ageism? What are the other major signs of age discrimination in the workplace, and how to combat them?
Vacancies Marked “Up to 35”
You are looking for a job and find a vacancy that fully matches your competencies and experience. However, you are 21 years old, and the candidates must be over 25. You get rejected. Another situation. You are 45, you have changed profession. Now you want to develop as a web designer and currently in the process of looking for a new job. However, they are looking for someone younger who “can learn faster”. In business negotiations, where you look the youngest, you are rarely given the floor, interrupted, and joked about your age. All these are manifestations of ageism at work.
Ageism is the restriction of human rights based on age. Indicating the desired age of candidates in the job description or rejecting a person is not just ageism, but also a violation of the law. The labor legislation states that age cannot be a ground for refusing employment. This particular request, “Looking for a candidate aged 25-35”, also indicates that the employer believes that competencies and age are related, although this is not the case.
The easiest way to find out whether a boss is a potential ageist is before getting started to work. How many times in the ads for new vacancies have you seen this “up to 35”? According to the survey, 19% of European companies are not ready to hire employees over the age of 45, with 40% of them referring to the company’s domestic policy.
Have you ever happened to hear horror stories about long-distance business trips, late meetings, and overnight stays in the office on a job interview? It is the reason to be wary. Perhaps, this is how your interviewer tests your “vigor”. It is generally accepted that people above 40 are looking for peace and stability, and they will gladly substitute the promotion races for a calm evening under the blanket.
Saying That You Are Overqualified
Another favorite trick of recruiters is to declare that you are “too experienced” for the position. In some cases, the word “overqualified” is a euphemism for ageism. They do not tell you outright that you are too old to work here, but rather a kind of compliment that hides a reluctance to hire someone over 40.
Work Activities Policy Change
It can be more challenging to notice ageism in your current job. Obviously, you will not be fired the next day after your 40th birthday. However, employers can create an environment in which older employees are deprived of certain privileges. For example, in your company, all educational programs, training, and business trips go to young employees because you have already got it. It is high time to stop this, as it is manifestations of ageism.
How to Handle Ageism in the Workplace
If you choose an employer or business partner and see that you are prejudiced because of age, it is better not to deal with such partners at all. However, if you cannot avoid it for any reason, you must learn to resist discrimination.
First things first, keep learning something new, whatever your age is. Today, there is a great demand for site development specialists. Create your blog and try out this new experience at adsy.com to write or order guest posts, backlinks, and other necessary features to enhance your portal.
Any industry today is developing rapidly, so you should be in a constant search for new skills. Develop an individual track of your achievements:
- Do advanced training;
- Watch online courses;
- Get another degree;
- Attend public lectures;
- Read the latest publications in your specialty;
- Keep up with the most current trends.
Finally, do not forget to share new knowledge with your colleagues. Create an image of the person who is at the forefront of progress in his/her industry. Follow the leaders in your niche. So, if you are a database programmer, then you will probably follow the Oracle news, if you are a retoucher, it can be a photo editing service like this.
Also, you should rely on your work experience. Your professionalism should be more important than your age, gender, skin color, hairstyle, or sexual orientation. Ask yourself why you consider yourself a specialist in a particular sphere. If you truly believe that age is not an obstacle and you are a genuine professional, employers will not manage to make you play the role of an inexperienced or incompetent person.
Do you remember when you were mistaken for someone’s little sister at school because of your tiny stature? Have you ever been not entrusted with serious tasks at your new job, despite a good resume, because you looked too young? Ageism prejudices occur in any age group.
Instead of conforming to generalized ideas about adolescence, maturity, and old age, it makes sense to doubt them and involve others in discussing the stereotypes that mislead us.
How to Respond
To continue, develop 5-7 variants to respond to discrimination. When you notice that colleagues or management show arrogance, you can meet them with a polite surprise and say that you thought the company policy suggests a rather different behavior. For sure, they will be embarrassed.
And what is most important, do not get hung up on your age. Do not bring up “the good old days” in conversations with colleagues. Do not use age as an excuse for making mistakes. The less you pay attention to the numbers, the less your colleagues and superiors will notice them.
To sum up, age is not a substantial reason for a job rejection. An employee should not evaluate you judging from your young or old appearance. Now, if you feel that your rights are being violated, you know how to defend yourself from biased and ignorant employees. No matter how old you are, you should not give in but resist the stereotypes that have been formed out of unrelated reasons.
Have you faced ageism in the workplace? Let us know how you handled it or if you have any comments.
Marie Barnes is a writer for gearyoda. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs.
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