Too old, or too expensive?
This next topic has taken a fair amount of time to work through because the research available has been a bit overwhelming and
finding the best way to be inclusive of it all has proven time consuming. The best approach will be to break it down into smaller
parts and introduce topics and studies as they are applicable.
After announcing this blog and the goal of helping others understand how to work through being unemployed, and the
application processes for unemployment as well as healthcare, but that it should also cover some of the more personal side of
One of the areas that was mentioned was ageism. This is not always an easy topic to discuss but it is prevalent in many industries
and in two ways: employees being viewed as too old and therefore too expensive, or not enough experience to be paid at the
employees’ expected level.
I personally cannot speak to being let go due to age, but have met with many that have found themselves in that position and
discussed what some of the impacts on their lives.
We often hear of those that have been working for 20-30 years and then are suddenly laid off or offered incentives to retire early.
It has become more common knowledge that this is so companies can make room for younger employees. Why? Many have the
theory that it is because companies feel they can get the same work output for less money and achieve the same results.
This mentality pans out poorly for both the older and younger employees because it comes across that companies no longer want
to pay for experience.
According to an interview with Patricia G. Barnes, J.D, posted on the Society for Human Resource Management website,
“[Technology] is making it [easier] for employers to discriminate against older workers by using computer algorithms to screen
out their job applications.” It raises the question of how does one get past this when applicants are potentially removed from the
process before anyone even reads their resume?
It may be best to start identifying misconceptions and then creating plans for how to move forward in positive lights.
Have you been witness to this trend? What are some ways you’ve seen others try to overcome ageism?