Perception Is Not Always Reality: Older Workers Have a Lot to Offer

There is a widespread perception among job hunters that companies are only interested in hiring young people who they can pay less than more senior applicants.

In many of GetFive’s small-group strategy sessions, our more senior-level members point to three main reasons they think employers are passing them over for younger but less experienced professionals:

  • They are viewed as too senior level or overqualified for positions
  • Companies feel they cannot afford to hire them
  • They are viewed as not having the technical skills to compete with younger applicants

However, these perceptions do not reflect reality. Recent labor statistics show a rise in employment for workers aged 55 and older. In addition, if job hunters are targeting the right job at the right level, compensation should not be an issue. All people, no matter what their age, want to be paid at market rates, not necessarily the rates they were earning in previous positions.

As far as not having the technical skills, this is really a matter of retraining, learning the “tech” speak, and/or demonstrating the transferable skills potential employees would bring to the job.

Nonetheless, many older workers face challenges in obtaining new employment. If you are facing such obstacles, keep in mind:

  • Stay up to date with changes in technology
  • Learn how to navigate the misconceptions companies can have about people who lose their jobs
  • Make sure that you know your worth in the market, and not only what you were paid in your last job

GetFive members break through these and other barriers by strategizing with their small groups, following the methodology, and working with their coaches. It has worked for thousands of job seekers, and it can work for you, too.

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