5 Ways to Help You Combat Ageism in the Workplace

White Haired Grandma sitting at desk

Even though phrases like 60 is the new 40 are common, you wouldn’t think that employers still discriminate against older workers.

Often on social media, there are no shortages of people in their eighties and beyond running marathons and dancing pirouettes. Unfortunately, this good news has not caught on with everyone.

The reality of today’s workforce is that most people even at the magical age of 65 cannot afford to retire and sometimes need to work right up into their 70s.

Baby boomers and even those years’ younger may be shocked to discover that they are considered “too old.”

Ageism can include stereotyping, derision, evasion, and prejudice. You can be made to feel invisible in favor of other younger co-workers in your place of work, these attitudes can be very hurtful.

There are those who think that “aged” is not very appealing unless you’re Helen Mirren or a good bottle of wine.

Losing your job and finding yourself back in the job market can be extremely difficult for someone in their 50’s or 60’s.

If you are an older employee and are worried about the possibility of this happening to you, these five simple suggestions might help you keep your place.

1. Stay Proactive

Present a professionally polished image.

Be open to learning new things and taking courses to remain in the loop.

Don’t be afraid of change and remain eager to do so when necessary.

2. Maintain positive relationships

Remaining on excellent terms with your colleagues can help you be on the receiving end of confidential information and ensure that they always feel comfortable and at ease in your presence.

Co-workers may also be more willing to come forward as witnesses or provide written confirmation if they have seen or heard anything that indicates age discrimination has taken place.

3. Promote yourself

It doesn’t hurt to let employers know that statistics show that older workers have strong work ethics, excellent problem-solving skills, higher productivity and tend to have fewer sick days.

4. Know your rights

Becoming familiar with the law regarding age discrimination can be helpful in your situation. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you have the right to file charges.

5. Don’t assume anything

Don’t assume that being a hard worker will provide protection.

Maintain an updated resume and revise it weekly.

When a tough economy forces employers to lay off workers, sometimes the choice lies between a younger worker just starting or an older worker who has been there much longer.

There is no guarantee that seniority will help you keep your place.

If the worst should happen and you do become unemployed consider applying at companies that have a reputation for hiring and keeping older workers. Alternatively, you can always check into self-employment opportunities.

Remember It is illegal to ask for an employee’s age but be cautious on your social media sites and refrain from including your birth date as some employers will peruse these sites to find information about you.

Has age discrimination happened to you? Leave a comment and tell us your story. Before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to receive new posts.

Thanks for reading, I hope to see you next time.