An electrical engineer and former federal lobbyist, Marva Goldsmith, reinvented her career at age 42. After receiving her Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, she left a 20-year career in the utility industry and became a certified image professional and brand coach. The author of Branding Yourself After Age 50: Creating Brand Strategy For Your Life, Marva is a national speaker who spreads the word about the value of personal branding in career transitions and business building.
“Thanks for tuning back in to Part 3 of the last of this 3 part series. This time, let’s consider the claim that, “Your education is outdated!” (You can’t keep up with new technologies.)
Whose fault is that? While you are looking for a job, use the time to invest in workshops, webinars or books that will improve your ability to work with today’s technologies. As a mature job applicant, you gain credibility if you are willing and able to enhance your education.
According to a 2009 CareerBuilder survey, 45% of employers use social networking sites to research prospective job candidates. If you are not engaged in the use of social media to establish an online identity, the perception is that you are “old school”. If you are not ‘LinkedIn’, you are sending a message (or perhaps failing to send a message) as well.
In order to be in the game, you must be prepared to play! A plethora of information is available regarding the use of social media for brand building, business development and job searching. These days, it is expected that applicants have basic skills using Word processors at a minimum. If you do not have those basic skills, do yourself a favor—go get them!
Finally, age discrimination does occur. If you believe you have been discriminated against, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects certain applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age in hiring, promotion, discharge, compensation, or terms, conditions or privileges of employment. The law is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The most effective way to combat the perception of OLD AGE when you are in the job market is to focus on value. Similar to Starbucks, Apple and other brands, you are a unique brand. Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to further develop that differentiation to fit the needs of your target market and then articulate your value.