Russell: Age discrimination in the workplace continues to be a challenge for older workers. This issue gets complicated as we see the workplace becoming more multigenerational with younger workers who will have to manage older workers and older workers who will have to manage younger workers. Focus groups that AARP has conducted with younger managers find that they have the following perceptions about older workers:
- "It would be like managing my mother/father"
- Older workers are inflexible
- Older workers don’t want to answer to younger bosses
- Older workers aren’t up to speed with respect to technology
These are issues that can be addressed in the interview and even before the interview, with your résumé. Make sure the employer knows that you have an e-mail address, that you have a LinkedIn account, that you frequent the Internet. That takes care of the technology issue. With respect to the rest, give the interviewer examples of how you were successful in your last job and how you made the company successful. A company is more interested in knowing if you’re the right "fit," not just about your credentials.
Comment from Thomas: Deborah, about those assessment programs. Can you recommend any? I wouldn't know where to start. Thank you.
Russell: Thomas, try the Department of Labor’s website at DOL.gov and go to their job board area.
Comment from Rachel: Tripp, how did you know you’d be successful at acupuncture and that you’d be able to support yourself on it?
Hanson: Rachel, I know! How in the world did I find the confidence to dive in like I did? It's not that simple. Truth is, this was an exercise in faith. I'd spent a long time, truly, considering different ideas. But this was the particular career that spoke to me in many different ways: I had a longstanding interest in alternative medicine; I was intrigued by the results that I'd seen in my experiences with acupuncture; and I'd heard acupuncture was a burgeoning field and as a branch of alternative medicine was an "up and comer." Everything after that was just jumping, and trusting that I'd landed on my feet. Maybe the years of seeking Broadway shows, which was such an uphill climb.
Comment from Elizabeth Craig: Tripp, that makes me think of the quote by Helen Keller: "Life is a daring adventure or nothing!"
Comment from Dr. Debra Weiss: Yes, Tripp, I teach health education to college students at CUNY and I tell them that taking good care of your body through healthy eating and exercise is like putting money in the bank. You'll reap the benefits later. I've been giving a talk called "Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions: Eat Smart, Get Fit in 2011," which uses the Stages of Change Health Model to help people change their mindset. Health begins in the mind.