November 29th, 2022
“Ageism” was just a phrase I heard, I understood it as something wrong but it was out there — it wasn’t my problem, yet. I knew that there will come a time when I might experience it firsthand and I guess this time is now. Over the last weeks, I have been applying for a new job. The same was done by several of my coworkers in my department. We scanned the ads on the internet and exchanged information about who, where, and how is looking for new employees. On most occasions, we send our CVs to the same potential employers. And over those weeks, I got two interviews and two rejections, while my colleagues get several interviews weekly and job offers which they usually reject themselves while waiting for something even better (and better paid).
Going by the CVs — mine is very strong, and I dare to say is better than those of my colleagues. They also ask for more money than I did when applying for those jobs. They change their place of work every year or so, while I put in four to six years in each job I had. So, why are they getting interviews and offers and I don’t? I am almost fifty, while they are in their early to mid-thirties. That is the only difference I can see. I could be wrong, of course — but there is nothing else I can point to as a difference-maker between us. We do the same job, and I can boast of a more stable work history and vastly more experience. My salary demands are not excessive and I just don’t see any red flags potential employers can see (and my CV was checked professionally as well). What gives?
Is my age such a problem? Is fifty already being too old? Is it something that automatically is a reason for rejection? Are there guidelines in hiring with a cut-off line to a particular age? I am not naïve and I know that there are employers who would do that — not officially of course. I am sure I can still do a very good job for many years coming, given a chance. And that chance is not forthcoming. That hurts — that lack of chance given and an automatic rejection based on an arbitrary rule to date on the birth certificate. Of course — I will not be giving up, I am going to continue applying and hoping for an opportunity. That is all I need — a chance to convince and that is getting harder to get, as I noticed on me over those last weeks.