Grey-Haired Baby Boomers and the 21st Century Job Hunt
I seem to be quite impressed with Joshua Waldman as of late. He is the blogger of Career Enlightenment (I have a link to it in my blogroll). Lots of very cool, straightforward career information, especially of a social media related nature and much of it makes complete sense to me. One article I hit on made me sit up and take notice: Two Strategies for Combatting Ageism on Your LinkedIn Profile. It applies in particular to aging Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation, known as Gen X is moving towards its twilight years and although I am just past the tail end of the boom (I refuse to give you my birthday but I’m just a bit shy of being part of Gen X) I’m starting to understand the self-conscious shock that comes with realizing – egad – you aren’t a kid anymore. In other words, ageism.
Those of you who are finding it difficult to find work due to ageism have a little work to do. See my posting Yes, Looks Do Matter for a plethora of reasons why we need to present our best face forward in order to secure interviews and possibly jobs. Of course sprucing yourself up won’t land you a job but at least you’ll be putting your best face forward. Waldman refers to keeping your age as young as possible without being deceitful in your online profile. He mentions reframing yourself in terms of how you describe your age (rather than a number use words like “seasoned“, that kind of idea) and using a logo that can represent you as a kind of personal brand. I have no idea how successful these tactics are since I have never used them.
I do have a suggestion that makes a little more sense to me and smacks of the kind of superficiality you will read about in Yes Looks Do Matter: consider cosmetic surgery. Now don’t go all crazy on me about the surgery thing. I’m not sexist: I am referring to both men and women. And consider that doing these things will make you feel and look better anyway, regardless of whether or not you are job hunting. Your spouse will find you more attractive too. Read Penelope Trunk’s blog Plastic Surgery is the Next Must-Have Career-Tool: Maybe. Like many of Penelope’s blogs its a great read and it applies to men as much as it does to women.
There are a lot of men and women from the baby boom generation who are very self-conscious about their age, their job hunt and the future of their careers with Gen Y creeping up behind them. I say don’t be. You can’t sit about nail-biting about someone else’s positives. Perhaps you have mastered an aspect of your career and are very successful at it. Not too many 20-somethings can boast that claim. Maybe you have been an entrepreneur, had a home-based business and know a lot about running a company, even a small one. That’s great knowledge to bring to the table.
That whole social media and computer-user technology business is quite intimidating for Gen X-ers. But whether you like it or not you are going to have to get used to it and get good at it or you are not going to survive ageism. And you won’t retain a career for long. Period. Unless of course you are in a job that requires virtually no real computer skills, then hooray for you. The problem is many (but not all) of those jobs don’t pay well and tend not to be very secure, especially during recessions such as the one we find ourselves in the middle of right now. That appears to give the young and upcoming computer savvy Gen Y’s an edge and that is a big intimidation factor for middle-aged + people.
Check out this cool little video about social media and getting a job. It should perk you right up. http://careerenlightenment.net/social-media-tips/video-what-do-job-seekers-need-to-know-to-win Incidentally this is another career enlightenment link.
Gotta love that Joshua Waldman.
One of these days I swear I will start billing him for all my online endorsements.
Yeah, right. Check’s in the mail.
Lessons About Age Discrimination I Learned from My Mom
Say No to Ageism a short, moving commercial from youtube
Dilbert: Stupid Benefits and Too Old Videos
Too Old to Work/ Age Discrimination/ Channel 4
Too Old to Work / Certain Phrases/ Channel 4
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