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If You’re Not Young You’re Too Old

If You’re Not Young You’re Too Old

That’s what workers over 50 are made to think. The workplace values Millennials over experienced workers.

Ageism is an unspoken yet real workplace issue.

Twenty percent of workers in the U.S. is 55 or older. Sixty-four percent claim they have experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Fifty-eight percent believe age discrimination begins in their 50s. (AARP)

They are slow to adopt new technology. They can’t multitask. They can’t hustle and get things done. These are discriminatory misperceptions.

There was a time when experience was valued. Younger workers were told they didn’t have enough experience. Now workers over 50 are too experienced. Recruiters recommend they shorten their work history and delete graduation dates on their resume.

Of course, older workers are not told overtly, “you are too old for this position.” It is subtle. And it is extremely difficult to prove. But it is happening.

Ageism works both ways. We shouldn’t discriminate against younger workers either. The deciding factor should be who is the most qualified and the right fit for the job.

This is also a universal issue. Ageism impacts all people groups, regardless of race or heritage. All of us are getting older.

Some organizations don’t even try to hide ageist employment practices. They boast their organization is youthful.

Visit organizational career websites. View photos on company marketing materials. Which people group is highlighted? Mostly young, good looking people.

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

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