By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Someone tagged me on this statement on LinkedIn
Many companies i.e., people are not very smart when hiring. Why? Because they are shopping by price instead of quality. Younger folks are usually cheaper. Yes, often they are more innovative and better adapted to today’s technology. However, what more seasoned people bring to the job is WISDOM. This is a commodity one cannot buy but earn with experience. They can “synthesize knowledge, compare current facts with past patterns, and teach others”. Use your age to your advantage, highlighting the unique value you can bring to your future employer, something that a younger person cannot.
Obviously, this person is championing and advocating for companies hiring older professionals and encouraging older workers to find their unique selling proposition.
I wrote in response:
We all operate with assumptions about the impact of age on qualification. As a matter of fact, the American Psychological Association is clear that ageism toward YOUNGER professionals is even greater than that toward older people.
I know too many older people with the wisdom of a brick and many younger with far greater wisdom than those older. The bias in the question posed works with general assumptions about people that we meet as being one way or another. We/I associate wisdom with self-reflection that too often is unappreciated in a US-centric business where investors demand results on their investments quarterly, rather than taking a longer-term outcome.
Do I think that is right? When I look at my retirement account, I do. When I look at humanity, I don’t.
When you write, “They can “synthesize knowledge, compare current facts with past patterns, and teach others,” yes, there are lessons to learn from the past but, sometimes, many times, too often, occasionally, the pattern matching alluded to reflects a bias that may or may not exist that works with the belief that the past is just like the present.
Should I Confirm an Interview?
On reflection, we all match patterns every day of our life. Usually the fear that surfaces about this or that reflects subconscious pattern matching related to past events. Yes, most never come to pass.
In job hunting, one of your unique values as an older professional is that you listen to those younger, mentor, learn from them and teach and you are not wed to the idea that your way is always right (for the readers: even though it usually is). That is the true wisdom that an older worker can demonstrate.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2022
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2300 episodes.
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