Just like older folks have stereotypes of younger people, the reverse is also true. Most of the prejudices will not be stated verbally, but you sense some of them when you apply for jobs. These are some of the common myths:
- “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks”—you are used to doing things a certain way and will have difficulty with new ideas and new ways of relating and working.
- You won’t be able to handle reporting to a younger manager.
- You won’t have the energy to keep up with the pace of the company.
- You won’t keep up with new technology and social media.
- You will be bored because you are “over-qualified”.
- Your age will increase the insurance premiums for the company.
- You will get ill or injured on the job.
- You will coast until retirement and not really be invested in growing the company.
- You won’t accept a pay cut re to your last salary.
- You won’t be open to direction and criticism.
- You won’t be a good “cultural fit”.
Keeping these in mind, you can address them indirectly in a number of ways. How you write your resume and cover letter will give them heads up. Your physical appearance, your presence – showing energy, health, creativity and flexibility, talking about technology and how you have upgraded your skills will make a difference. In addition, sharing how you respond to feedback, and talking about your inter-generational activities can all communicate your vibrant energy, enthusiasm, and positive cultural fit.