5 Ways to Combat Ageism at Work

You wouldn’t think that employers still discriminate against older workers, even though phrases like 60 is the new 40 are commonplace.

Oftentimes 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 must continue 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” to be employed.

To some being aged is not appealing unless you’re Helen Mirren or a good bottle of wine, certain employers want youthful attractive employees to represent their companies.

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 5 simple suggestions might help.

1: Stay Proactive.

Present a professionally polished image.

Be open to learning new things and taking courses so as 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, good problem-solving skills, higher productivity and tend to have fewer sick days.

4: Know your rights.

Becoming familiar with the law regarding age discrimination in employment is always a help. You have the right to file charges if you feel you have been discriminated against.

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 is forcing employers to lay off workers and they must make a choice between which employee to lay off 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.

Finally, 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? Please reply in the comments and tell us your story.