First of all, Ageism is just one of the many forms of discrimination that we have to deal with. Sex, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, are just a few areas that discrimination exists.
There are a few things you can do to deal with ageism, as well as many other types of discrimination.
- Believe in yourself despite the areas that you feel you could be discriminated against.
- Don’t put age alerting information on your resume or LinkedIn profile (i.e. – the year you graduate from school, first jobs (& the time periods), especially if they are not relevant to who you are today
- Stand up, think bold, proud and be positive during a phone screen, as well in a face to face interview.
- Walk into an interview believing in yourself, be proud, talk with authority and certainty. Speak clearly and focused to the discussions.
- Remember that the interviewer could be significantly younger than you and may do things differently than you expect or have experienced. Accept that generational differences exist and work hard to work within this environment. Furthermore, your way is not the only way.
- If you feel that a discriminatory issue exists, ask about it. Focus how you address a perceived discrimination issue with what you believe your value is in helping the company to be successful. It’s not about you, it’s about how you can fit into and help the company.
- You can never craft a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile to counter discrimination. All you can do is exclude discriminatory items from these documents.
- The only way to counter any discrimination is thru a conversation. If you can start the conversation off by building a connection, that opens up the opportunity for even the slightest relationship, maybe a little humor, you are off to a good start to counter discrimination.
- Present yourself as someone who wants to share your experiences, talents and skills for the benefit of the company and team.
- If you feel that an employer, hiring agent, recruiter, etc is discriminating against you and you don’t believe a quick conversation can overcome it, walk away from the opportunity. You do not need to take a job with a company that discriminates.
Again, discrimination exists and we can’t make it go away. All we can do is strive to address it with a good open conversation. Lastly, sometimes you can’t make discrimination go away. If you can’t address it, walk away from the opportunity. You are worth more than that.
Here is the video I promised to share with the group – http://www.careerealism.com/age-discrimination-interviews/
I hope this quick conversation is useful and helpful.