How Employers View You In Your Forties And Up
I have a few family members in their fifties who are, for the first time in a long time, looking for new work. Due to financial and marital changes, they’re out in the work field again, looking for a job. It’s been a little tough sometimes, touching base with them to find they still haven’t found many leads since the previous time we spoke months before. It may be a reality we don’t want to face or one that nobody likes to talk about, but employers can be a bit prejudice about applicants over the age of 40. I will say, however, that when these family members and friends have found work, their age was one of the most appealing things to the particular employers who hired them. Smart employers tend to understand the value of having employees a little older than that post-grad age. Sure, having youth in the office adds a nice energy to the place, but having slightly older employees comes with great perks, too. But, at the end of the day, from what I’ve learned through some loved ones, there’s no denying that potential employers just see and treat applicants over the age of 40 a little differently than they treat those in their twenties.
They understand you have more expenses
When applying for a job in your 40s or up, there is an understanding that you probably have more expenses than someone in her 20s or 30s. You may have children. You may have a mortgage. You may have other dependents. Employers know that when calculating the salary you would need.
But sometimes they’d rather go cheap
The assumption of more expenses could earn you a higher salary, or it could mean the company passes you up for someone younger. Some companies would rather go with someone inexperienced, who will take as little pay as possible, than someone with plenty of experience, who will require higher pay.
You probably won’t do assistant work
You probably won’t be down to make coffee runs for the company, pick up a birthday cake for an employee, or do other assistant type work. You’re an adult. You would like to be treated as such. There are interns for that type of work, and you are not one of them.
You either get respect, or are seen as difficult
Some employers will spare you menial tasks like coffee runs. Others will intentionally make you do things like that, to show you are a team player like everyone else, and don’t get special treatment just because of your age.
You have experience
Naturally you have more experience in the work field, because you are older. That is appealing to most employers. They like that you are ahead of the game, and know a lot about the different aspects of your industry, including those you don’t necessarily work directly in. You have an overview of the landscape.
Bad employers won’t like your experience
Calculating and bad employers won’t like how knowledgeable you are. They will prefer young, naïve employees who they can take advantage of and who won’t know any better.
Your stamina is in question
If you are older, then you may already be content in your position in this industry. You may have aspired to the level you hope to reach, and will be happy remaining there. That is a good thing in the eyes of some employers.
Others may want young go-getters
Some employers like to hire young individuals, who they believe are hungry and ambitious. If they are still growing their company, hope to shift things around, and are still establishing the leaders, they may like young individuals who hope to climb the ladder, and take on more responsibility over time.
You can give input
You’ve been around long enough to know the trends, and understand the flow of the market within your industry. When you discuss your job, it is with a large understanding of the industry in mind. You don’t just focus on your role and your task. You can see the bigger picture.
Some companies just want minions
Some employers may not like how intelligent you are and how much perspective you have and what they are doing. If they have large egos, they will want employees who just follow their lead, and who only do what they say. They don’t want someone who can point out their potential bad moves, even if they may be correct.
Do you have a family?
There’s a good chance at this point that you have a family. Some employers love that, because it means you are responsible. You probably won’t to stay up late, and come to work hung over. If they like to have an atmosphere that promotes work-life balance, they will respect that you have a family and encourage you to keep regular hours so you can see your family.
Some employers see family as a hindrance
Some employers want employees who live for the job, and have no life outside the job. If you have a family, they will immediately write you off. They want you to happily work overtime and travel for the job whenever necessary.
Some employers wonder about your age
If you are not applying for a high-level position, some employers wonder why someone of your age would want the job to which you are applying. They may ask if it reflects a lack of ambition, or if you had poor work quality in the past and were never promoted. This probably is not the case, but it is a stereotype that exists.
Others like diversity and age
Some employers like to have a wide righty of ages at each level of their company. They probably have mostly young people applying to certain positions, and welcome someone slightly older filling the position. They believe that makes their company a dynamic place.
It’s a blessing or a curse
Ultimately, intelligent, experienced, and knowledgeable employers understand that diversity in age makes for a better workplace. It balances out the atmosphere. It creates a built-in mentorship between older and younger employees. And it generally brings a good variety of backgrounds to the workplace that makes the whole company stronger. Less experienced employers may just like the glamour of young blood. There is not a lot you can do about that, but ultimately you probably would not be happy in that workplace anyways.