The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was established in 1967 to protect anyone over 40 years of age from the effects of ageism in the workplace. The law is designed to protect people from being discriminated against in the workplace and protect people from experiencing ageism job search prejudices based on the age of the applicant.
What is ageism in the workplace?
Ageism occurs when a person is harassed, overlooked for a promotion or salary increase, denied benefits and other job perks, laid off, moved into a less desirable position, or fired based solely on their age.
How to deal with ageism in the workplace:
Here are some tips on how to combat ageism in the workplace:
- Maintain a positive attitude and exemplary work ethic.
- Keep up with the latest technology.
- Don’t let your age be an issue or let anyone else make it an issue. This is an important tip if you want to know how to beat ageism and get hired.
- Think before you speak. Use strategies that accentuate the positive things you bring to the job when asking for a raise or promotion.
- Avoid doing things that might reinforce the negative perceptions of the older worker. Try not to criticize younger workers, talk to much about the “good old days,” wear dated clothing, or resist changes suggested by your younger colleagues.
How to fight ageism in your job search:
- Update your resume. Today’s resumes are usually just one page, so don’t write a book! Your high school accomplishments and every job you’ve ever had are not relevant. Focus on the job you’re applying for.
- Create a new email account if you’re still using an antiquated one. Don’t use a landline telephone number. Create a LinkedIn profile. Highlight your skills but try not to include dates.
Ageism interview questions:
- Use your age as a positive. Focus on your skills and experience.
- Talk technology, recent skill development, and accomplishments.
- Be enthusiastic, personable, positive and eager to accept new challenges.
- If the interviewer asks inappropriate questions, try to shift the conversation and focus on your experience and what you can offer the company.
Subtle ageism exists even in the best of circumstances. Your age can be used to your benefit if you are savvy, ready to accept change, and willing to work in an environment that is new and exciting, even if it’s not quite in your comfort zone. You’ve got this!