I am a female in my late 30s with a wholesale sales profession in the
fashion industry in the middle of a job search.
I finally met with a company with a very strong fashion brand here in the
U.S. whose business is growing rapidly and overall seems to be a great
match. The only concern is that 98 percent of the employees are 5-10 years
younger than I am for sure.
Is this an issue I should I be concerned about?
The Career Doctor responds:
Yours is a great example of how age discrimination can be relative
and happen at any age. That said since you have already had two
interviews with this firm I think if your age was an issue you would
already know about it one way or another.
I know it’s kind of a cliche but I think it’s something older job-seekers
need to take to heart when seeking jobs that focus on youth or where
most of the co-workers will be much younger — and that’s you’re only
as old as you feel and act. So if you come into a job-hunting situation
and you act old — you act like you’ve been around the block so you
know all the answers and act like an old dog who refuses to learn any
new tricks — you will not get hired. And why should you? Every business
is dynamic and changing and if you can’t change with it why would
any employer want to hire you?
Instead you should showcase your vast knowledge but in a way that
also highlights your flexibility and openness to new ideas and change.
And you should not come off in an interview as a “know it all.”
And on the plus side once you get this job all these younger co-workers
will help you feel younger.
One final note. Employers cannot ask anything to get at your age so you
should make sure your resume does not give it away. Remove dates from
your college degrees and eliminate jobs that are more than 15 years
old from your resume.