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Learning Center Experience
When you’re over 50, you bring a kind of experience to the
job that someone younger may not possess. That’s a valuable asset. However,
some employers may have reservations about your age. With a tendency to
generalize, they may assume it’s better to hire a younger worker.
It can be frustrating dealing with age misconceptions
about age gaps at work.Individual characteristics are difficult to determine at a glance, but
age is fairly obvious. It is hard to determine which of two workers is likely
to perform their responsibilities with greater diligence unless time is taken
to learn more about them.
A common perception of employees who are over 50 is that
they’re inflexible—even intransigent and stubborn. You can emphasize your
flexibility by being curious and talking about creative ways you have faced
challenges and solved problems. Identify what you have gained through your experience. Generalizations may carry a grain of truth but
they’re clearly not absolute, especially when it comes to technology use.
Highlight your technology skills. If you are lacking such skills, show a
willingness to learn. This will differentiate you from others regarding career
Generational differences can cause problems in the
workplace. Differing perspectives and approaches may create friction.
Thankfully, there are ways to overcome those differences and create a highly
productive work environment that benefits from having coworkers from different
For a worker or a job seeker who is over 50, the trick is
to overcome the stereotypes without forfeiting your strengths. Here are four approaches you might consider to dispel career age gap stereotypes.
1. Hone Communication
This doesn’t just mean talking,
which can turn into lecturing if you are not careful. It also means listening.
What you do with the information you gather while listening can make a world of
difference when dealing with age misconceptions and career age gaps.
2. Be Respectful
Respectis essential for a productive workplace environment. They’re
likely to shed preconceived notions that they have about and career age gaps
you when you show respect for others ideas. Respect has the potential to become
a two-way street. You may find your ideas being valued in return.
3. Stay Flexible
Cultivate an open mind. Experience is an asset, but if it
becomes a dogma, it can stifle growth and initiative. It’s the adage of
answering the question, “Why do you do it this way?” with “Because that’s the
way I’ve always done it.” An open mind will impress your boss and coworkers.
4. Keep Learning
This may include obtaining additional training. Technology
has dramatically changed the landscape in most workplaces as well as at
colleges. Have you stayed abreast of the latest developments in your industry?
A good idea is to make an assessment of your skills and your field. You may be
able to use your experience to gain college credits. With an inventory
of your skills
you can make the right decisions about where additional training will serve you
Looking for a New Career? Try Starting with a Self-Audit to Document Your Experience
Don’t Let Self-Doubt and Negative Thoughts Keep You From Achieving Your Goals
Did you find this article interesting? If so, share it!
And if you are considering pursuing higher education, we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University’s programs and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.
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