Age Bias: Has it affected your search?
05.12.09 | Job Search & Career | Amanda Musto, Marketing Manager at Treeline Incorporated
As an executive search firm we often hear from many individuals about different challenges they find in the job market. All candidates struggle through a job search. It is never easy and is always an emotional roller coaster ride. There are many highs and lows in the search. We ride that roller coaster with each of our candidates and offer as much support as possible. In today's market hiring companies are picker than ever. In some cases this has caused challenges based on experience.
I was recently asked if I would comment about the challenges of finding a senior sales position for those in their 50's and if age issues factor into the process.
This is a tough question to answer so first let me share what I know from www.GO60.com:
- There are over 16 million Americans over 55 who are either working or seeking work.
- Older workers are getting new jobs at an annual rate of 4.1 percent. This is more than double the .8 percent rate in the general population.
- Older Americans make up 10 percent of the workforce, but account for 22 percent of the nation's job growth.
- By 2015, the number of employees over 55 will reach a record 31.9 million, compared to 18.4 million in 2000.
- Extensive research has found no relationship between age and job performance.
I think these stats are very positive. I also think there is a lot of anxiety when conducting a job search and there are many worries. Worries that you have too much experience, too little experience, too many jobs, not enough jobs, made too much money, made too little money, etc. The list goes on and on. We have no control over what the hiring authority is thinking and it is impossible to try to predict the final candidate that they will hire. Internalizing these fears is a distraction so no matter what happens during an interview process; do not let it affect your positive attitude. Let's face it, hiring companies will always have concerns, even if you are the perfect person for the job. Not only are they trying to figure out why you are the right fit, they are also trying to figure out why you are not the right fit.
At this point in time, candidates are flooding the marketplace and hiring companies have the luxury of choosing their candidate from the pick of the litter. Interviewing and finding a job is not easy and never has been. You need to out-sell the competition and convince the hiring company that you are the perfect fit despite the numbers of other candidates they have seen. Try to focus on all the reasons why a company should hire you and not why you think they should not. Don't fall into a negative belief system; it will have no positive effect on your job search. If you fall down, pick yourself back up and get back out there. At the end of the day, the only aspect of your job search that you have absolute control over is your attitude - what kind of attitude would you hire?
If you read this blog I would recommend Taking Charge of your Career. http://blog.treeline-inc.com/blog/?Tag=Take+Charge