Thinking of Changing Careers? Here’s how to respond to ageism in the Workplace

Two out of three workers 45 and older have experienced age discrimination in the workplace. What does that mean if you’re looking for a new career?

Age may be just a number for some aspects of life, but in recruitment, it’s a number that looks more like a countdown clock to when you’ll be considered “too old” to work. I hear over and over from job seekers who attest that age discrimination is alive and well. In fact, it appears to be baked into the recruitment process to the point that even hinting at your age is enough to put your CV on the ‘no’ pile.

What then are those in a midlife career transition supposed to do?

Ageism at work — how widespread is it?

Ageism is so entrenched in the workplace that it’s now become normalised. A recent AARP study found nearly two-thirds of workers 45 and older have experienced age discrimination at work — and the bias only grew during the pandemic.

Research from the New School Retirement Equity Lab shows that older workers (age 55+) lost jobs faster and returned to work more slowly than their younger peers (age 35–54). “If older workers’ rate of job loss were as low as mid-career workers, roughly 1 million older workers would still have their jobs,” the report states.

Not much is different across the Asia Pacific Region.

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