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October 27, 2016

technologyOr how about to a perspective employer?  Do you give the impression that you’re old?  Do you give the impression that you are unwilling to learn new ways of doing your job?

Normally my posts are from the perspective of a small employer.  But this time I’m doing something slightly different.  This post involves how the employee is sometimes seen by the employer.

Not long ago I read a brief article with quick tips from experts in a few different fields.  The fields ranged from investing in stocks to car care to downsizing for empty-nesters.  But there were two tips that interested me the most; one was from a recruiter and one was from a career coach.  They both agreed that since age discrimination is real, why advertise your age based on comments you make.

Ask yourself the following question:  Do I often complain about new technology?

As I’ve posted in the past, I’m the recruiter and office administrator for our family business and I can tell you that nothing screams “I’M TOO OLD TO KEEP UP” as much as constant complaints about new technology or complaints about having to learn new ways of doing a job.  It can advertise your age to an employer or a recruiter, indicating that you’re unable or unwilling to learn or that you are unwilling to take on new tasks.

Instead, try to embrace change and different ways of approaching your job.  It might make your job easier or it might give you a fresh perspective on doing the same old thing.  It can give you something more in common with your fellow employees. And, who knows, you might find that you enjoy technology.  After all, it can open up a whole new world to you.

And while you’re at it, ask yourself another question:  Do I often complain about the attitudes or work ethic of the younger generations?

Here’s another tip:  try to curb these types of comments.  Each generation thinks that the upcoming generation is lazy and not as smart.  I often hear people say how fearful they are of what will happen when the younger generation is actually “running the world”.  This sentiment is so common that  I remember hearing people say it about my generation when we were young adults.

The fact is younger workers aren’t any worse than you when you were starting out.  Sure there are things they can learn from us but they also have plenty to contribute to the workplace.  And while it’s true that things are different today than years ago, constant negative comments will be noticed by everyone, including your employer.

My final tip:  don’t give the boss (or potential boss) any reason to think you can’t keep up.   Be that old dog who can learn new tricks!


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