The nation’s Covid-19 economic slump with more than 11 million workers continuing to seek new employment following layoffs and prolonged furloughs is highlighting a “pre-existing condition” that we do not like to talk about — age discrimination.
As the killer virus, age discrimination is no hoax. The AARP, which carefully tracks this issue, reports:
— Nearly one in four workers age 45 and older have been subjected to negative comments on their age from supervisors or coworkers.
— About three in five older workers have experienced age discrimination.
— Seventy-six percent of older workers see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding new employment.
— More than half of these older workers are prematurely pushed out of longtime jobs, and 90 percent of them never earn as much again.
— If you are 65 or older, you are all but unemployable, especially in this hyper-competitive job market. There are exceptions to the rule, but they require a Herculean effort.
“Several years ago, before I decided to transition my executive search practice to career coaching, I experienced age discrimination for the first time.”
Several years ago, before I decided to transition my executive search practice to career coaching, I experienced age discrimination for the first time. It happened at a community hospital. The board was interviewing recruiters to lead a CEO search. My presentation was going very well until a trustee asked me about my health and what would happen “when I could not complete the work.” Not “if,” but “when.”
Despite my exemplary record in successfully recruiting CEOs (arguably the best record of success among the competing search organizations), I did not win the contract. Someone in the room later told me that the board selected another firm whose less experienced representatives “were younger, more robust.”
Until that moment, my age and my ability to do the work were not on my radar.
As I drove home, I thought about what had happened and realized that this would not be the last time. That moment of truth rattled me. It became personal.
It was then that I knew I had to develop a Plan B.
If you need assistance in dealing with this issue, contact us at YourCareerSuccess@JohnGSelf.Com for a no-obligation consultation. We help managers and executives develop a Plan B. We are here to help.
© 2020 John Gregory Self