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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Boomers a Hot Commodity
One of the most common comments we receive from clients who are over 55 and making a job change is “I’m facing age discrimination.” The fact is, that might be true according to an article on (,2933,243604,00.html ). The discrimination may not be negative, though. It may be on the positive side for older workers.

The article details the efforts of the federal government to target Baby Boomers who aren’t ready to retire or who want to start on a second career. These hiring efforts are focusing on the older workers specifically in the DC, Maryland, Virginia areas, something that again, confirms something that is true in most hiring – local candidates will often win out over equally qualified candidates that would require a relocation package.

As an older job seeker, what does this mean to you? First of all, it should be a huge encouragement. Your skills, and especially your experience, are recognized and are in demand by one of the nation’s largest employers. You should not be discouraged. As many of your generation start to retire, an experience/wisdom vacuum is being created in the workplace which creates a demand for your abilities. Thirty-something’s don’t have the well of experience, knowledge, and “been-there-done-that” wisdom. That experience is a hot commodity.

In addition, your generation has a work ethic that was instilled by your parents, the Greatest Generation, that younger pups don’t have. Younger workers are the microwave generation and don’t understand the value of patience, persistence, reflection, and application of lessons-learned. While the speed of business and life in general may have accelerated vastly over the past twenty years, that only makes these traits of maturity more valuable.

I always say the true negative effect of age discrimination mostly occurs in the mind of the job seeker. By assuming you are too old, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Success in anything is all about attitude and if you have the attitude that you are too old to be wanted in the workplace, well, then you probably are.

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