I have written about people over 50 and their troubles in the work place, a couple of times already. The search function will help you find these posts easily. Both men and women do not have an easy task staying in a job, let alone finding one. Wake up employers and look at the positives! Look at capabilities, not age! Read on and find out why people over 50, in this case a woman, are really worth their salary. I am sure that when you really look, you will find a pearl somewhere. Just go the extra mile, you might be tapping into a very interesting pool of people.
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This is the story of Alicia, a lady with a lot of work history and a mature age. She often thinks that employers would rather hire a thirty-something person than a fifty-something one. She is Chef Fashion at a monthly lifestyle magazine and herself 50-plus. Here is her piece of advice for employers of all kinds of companies: “Right now I know what I’m good at and what I like to do most.” So, hiring someone like this will obviously increase the chance of getting the right women in the right place.
See, what I mean?
First job experiences
Sometimes she can’t imagine belonging to the group of “older” employees. What happened? “I still feel nervous at the copier at the newspaper where I started. I didn’t think to myself, I was only concerned with what the manager expected of me. I looked up to the people above me. It took a long time to get over it, but as experience is increasing, self confidence is growing. Less and less I feel judged by managers and I am not afraid to throw in my 2 cents.”
This is called experience and this is what elder people bring with them.
I am in charge
“And now suddenly I am the one who is in charge, who knows exactly the ropes of the business, who handles things quickly and efficiently. But to say I’m over the hill when it comes to work, no. In fact, I am just starting to get started. Right now I can achieve success with all the experience I have gained. Right now I am interesting for clients. Right now I know what I’m good at and what I like to do most. I also see that with friends of my age, sowing has been going on for a long time and now it is possible to harvest.”
This is what life is all about in real life. If you are lucky enough you will have learned all the time and now feel that everything comes easier to you. Your confidence is at its highest.
Elderly people less represented
“I therefore do not understand why people over 50 are less represented in the workplace and why this group is less successful. The distribution of young and old should correspond much more to the age distribution of those entitled to employment in society. Nowadays, more than half of the adult population is older than fifty, which is not reflected in the workplace. It is the prejudices about people over 50 who still throw a spanner in the works. It is alleged that we would be less efficient, less productive or slower. But I think those thoughts are so obsolete. Yes, there are people over 50 who think about certain tasks: “I really don’t feel like it anymore, let someone else do it.” But they form a minority.
Elder people have other qualities
Yes, an older person is usually – I know from experience – less malleable, but they have so many qualities that younger employees do not yet have. Take it quickly, know exactly how something works, dare and decide on experience, know where your talents lie, be loyal and so on. In my last job, I’ve seen that hiring an experienced journalist or editor was sometimes so much more efficient than hiring an early thirties one. I’m not saying that older workers are better than younger ones. Younger employees have other benefits, like to take on new tasks, are eager to gain experience and are faster than older people in certain areas, especially when it comes to social media. So every age group has its qualities, if you mix them well you will get the best results.
Fortunately, the number of working 55- to 65-year-old’s and the over-65’s has risen sharply in recent years. According to the Social Cultural Planning Agency, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of employers think that their older employees do just as well in the workplace as their younger employees. Almost one in eight (12 percent) even think that older people function better than young employees.
So, there it is. The majority of older people still function well and why look at age anyway. I have personally seen 60-year old’s doing very well and comparable to 40-year old’s. I have also seen 40-year old’s who where already looking forward to retirement.
That is going in the right direction, now that another obstacle is removed: the costs. Is that a good reason not to hire older people or to fire them earlier? We hear it enough around us: “I am no longer hired because I am too expensive.” It is true that a person over 50 is soon at the top of the collective labor agreement salary scales, has more days off and receives extra compensation. However, now that society is aging, those extra allowances for older workers are increasingly being curtailed. Both good signs, I think.
But even if it is not, I still think: if someone is good at his job, you still get value for money. Over 50s bring a good dose of life and work experience, which can be of such great significance within the company. A person who performs well, whether he or she is 30, 50 or 70, is always worth the money. Why can employers not see that? They certainly should!
My word to employers
It is about time to wake up and have an eye for the elderly in this world. Nor everyone of us (I am from 1955) is like a zombie already. Look at capabilities and added values for your company. You might miss out on some very good candidates.
My last 25 applications have not been replied to, yes they did not even bother to acknowledge receipt! Turn around this very unprofessional attitude and open your eyes, take the lead and find new challenges. That is what we do at our age. Do not forget to read my next paragraph which will be directed to people like me.
To the people of over 50 years young
Although the tide is slowly turning, as the world population is aging, it could still be too late for you. But do not stop to fight. I have written an article how you can fight back, which you can access here.
As to myself, in 2014, I found a life changing opportunity to work from home and make money on the side. I became my own boss, imagine that. So, if all your efforts turn out to be in vain, this is your fall back position or you way out of trouble. Anybody can do this with the right support. Read my next paragraph and change your life forever!
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