It is no secret: companies who cultivate a greater balance in the diversity of their people and ideas evolve at a much more productive pace and benefit from the insight and capabilities on every level. Engagement thrives with inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.
Today, age discrimination continues to be a struggling topic many talented individuals find themselves feeling the burn, with anxiety kicking in for some as early as forty! What’s going on, right? In a recent talent talk, one executive in the luxury hospitality sector expressed frustration as the string of interview questions received from a recruiter swerved into the ‘so, how old are you’ pause. Not only is asking candidates their age completely unethical it is entirely outdated and irrelevant to the science and strategy of finding high performing talent today.
Nevertheless, the lack of ethical foundation persists; which is largely due to societal ignorance based on a general baseless brule. Age discrimination is alive and well in today’s workplace, and while there are many factors at play, ageism is undoubtedly one that’s taken a considerable toll on the career growth of many exceptional individuals.
So now that we are aware of the situation, what can we do about it? Below I’ve listed seven proven points to help navigate your journey, reboot your understanding of the work-scape and devise a mental and physical plan to reenact your career presence.
Before we head on into the matter of this, keep-in-mind you are accomplished and have gotten as far as you have because you have brought tremendous value to what you do. What we will be doing here is not intended to add ‘more stress’ or other ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) that may feel overwhelming in the job search process.
Instead, our journey is to streamline your strengths with the tools you already have to work with; and perhaps, learn a few new ones that complement your current career direction. Now, let’s get into things.
1. Know Your Resume Cut Off Point
Keep your resume experience relevant to your career growth point. This means, have a cut off point, particularly if you’re a senior level executive. At this stage, you need not include your very first job post. Keep it clear, concise and consistent with your career growth position, ambition and strengths. Sticking to your growth point also helps employers reading your resume to immediately recognise where you are in your life and where you are most likely to bring the most significant value. Cut off points tend to be around the last 10-15 years, but this varies depending on the job and industry. Consider speaking with your recruiter or contact me for a complimentary career consultation which happens every Wednesday.
2. Stop Sending Blind Resumes
When editing your resume think of not only the things you have done but also consider what you can do. Stop sending blind resumes without carefully reading and understanding what the company is hoping to achieve. Sending blind or bulk resumes will only frustrate you: particularly if after sending dozens of resumes, you’ve gotten little to no reply.
Instead, read job descriptions with your personality in mind. Think ahead of how you can tone and condition the language of your content to accurately and honestly reflect your relevance and vital desirable competencies and achievements that draw immediate attention towards your brand and potential as a candidate. If you are unable to produce a resume that speaks for who you are, what you’ve done and what you can do; consider working with a professional that can help with your resume. Find resume resources here.
3. Make Your Resume ATS Friendly
Automated Tracking Systems are here to stay, so the best way to beat the system is by understanding how to upgrade for the future. Click here to find useful resources for rebooting your resume.
4. Social Networking
No, I don’t mean start inboxing all 500+ of your LinkedIn connections. Rather strategise. Know your industry and identify the social platform that’s most rewarding for you to leverage your voice and experience. For many, this is LinkedIn. This can also vary considerably on your industry and what you do.
In Job Seeking there are two main ways to identify the scope of productive networking: (1) Direct Networking and (2) Vertical Social Networking.
A. Direct Networking – Building Integrity, Intelligence and Energy
Smart Networking is taking care of the direct communication links at your disposal. Don’t reach out to people the moment you only need favours. Reaching out only when you need something has become a practice that degraded many once dependable relationships. Remember, no one wants to participate in one-way-relationships. It’s also distasteful to reach out to people only when you need help, instead, seek advice. Showing your respect and value to the other’s input is a much more honest and appreciated ‘human’ approach that opens up the conversation of asking for job leads. Remember to be reciprocal and offer to help as you move forward.
If you are already in communication with key people, reach out and let them know you are open to future challenges. Think about a pitch, be prepared and above all, recognise where you are and what you’d like to be doing. Don’t send blind resumes to people hoping for the best. This leads to frustration. Make the best use of your time and respect of others.
Lastly, in building your network of potential alliances, don’t blindly connect. Consider yourself a brand, which you are and getting your brand out to the right people needs to be done in a responsible manner that builds trust and opens callback, don’t be the annoying telemarketer.
B. Vertical Social Networking
Once you’ve found your social voice or multichannel: identify your strengths, align your focus and leverage your knowledge and voice within your vertical.
By creating your online presence to mirror your lifestyle expectations, you will create value from your experience ( new worth) rather than steep into wasted potential. There’s also a big misconception that you need to be a generated influencer to add value: this is false. Everything starts with a plan and requires your commitment and consistency. A frequent comment I get from individuals facing ageism is “ I don’t have the patience for social media, it’s hard to keep up or what’s the point?
To understand and overcome these ideas is to realise the goal is not to engage aimlessly or in other words, without a plan. That’s staring down an empty barrel. Think about what you’re excited to share with the world; that you genuinely believe adds value. Ask yourself, is it needed? Not, what will they think.
Remember, if it’s something you feel strongly enough about, the odds are many people out there will appreciate hearing from you. Speak to them. Help them, and in the process, you’ll be building your presence and confidence by sharing, engaging and adding meaning.
5. Contribute/Get Involved
If you’re comfortable on a stage, in a crowd or sharing your insight with even a small group of people: open yourself to speaking at relatable seminars, industry conferences and platforms that allow you to solidify your place in your field and industry. The more you are able to offer your insight the more you build your presence in your field of work.
6. Challenge What You Know
A sure way for a career to decline or any business: is to become complacent in your habits or past success. Over time, the rules will change, and if you resist upgrading your mindset, there’s a high chance you will be left unnoticed. For this reason, it is necessary always to challenge what we know: is it right, is it still relevant, how can I make it even better? These are questions that are important to recognise and ask of ourselves. Read More on this piece that goes to the heart of the matter>>
7. Create A Strategic Self-Development Plan
Why? To reboot and realign your career ambitions with a clear vision of where you are, where you’d like to go, and the strategy needed to help get you there. I’m a believer in self-development to direct career aspirations and growth. It is for this reason I’ve created the people development program: Career InFocus. The program offers personalised 1:1 self-development and career mapping sessions and exercises to fit your specific learning needs and career growth requirements. Everyone is different, and Career InFocus takes this to heart.
Having a career development plan makes it much clearer to learn and identify necessary shifts required in mindset and lifestyle to activate the desired outcomes. Learn more about booking a Career InFocus Session with me by clicking this link.
Thank you for reading. I genuinely hope you find value in the information shared and welcome to connect and learn about your job situation.
Here are some of my top recent books for mindset rebooting.
Books: Presence by Dr Amy Cuddy. The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by visionary and co-founder of Mindvalley Vishen Lakhiani.