Choosing a career or changing your current place of employment can be hard and nerve-wrecking, as there are so many things to consider. You are to deal with your resume, conduct a cover letter, create a catchy LinkedIn profile, think about a motivational letter, prepare for an interview and that`s not even the whole list. But what if I told you that you can face discrimination in the workplace or even during your job interview? Will you be surprised? Probably not as age discrimination which is considered to be one of the major problems at work.
What`s age discrimination in the workplace and how can one stop it?
Let`s start from scratch and define ageism or age discrimination. By this term is meant a practice of letting a person`s age become an unfair factor in the evaluation of a particular individual`s professional aptitude.
The thing is, that corporate discrimination is prohibited by law, which means that it should not even exist. Nevertheless, in real life, everything is more complex than on paper.
Various segregated aspects of employment covered by law aim to protect employees from race, skin, national origin, gender, disability, religion or age discrimination. By the way, legal working ages vary in every state of the USA, however, the general rule is: you can start work when you turn 14 (in this case the amount of working hours is limited) but a real-life job can be offered to you when you turn 18. One more thing to consider is that employment law define kinds of jobs, which are thought to be dangerous (for instance, agricultural work) and, consequently, influence the age of an applicant able to take the job. But relax, there are many companies that hire 17-year-olds (not to mention all the freelance and remote job offers).
If you`re still wondering about the ways to deal with this issue, we have your back. The answer is simple, - show that you`re the best fit for the position, highlight your A-list skills and interest in the job. When you understand your rights, you are able to prevent age discrimination, so keep reading to get the whole picture of the problem.
Understand the examples of age discrimination
It may happen so that you`ve been discriminated against, but didn`t know that it was a kind of age harassment. That is why it`s better to be aware of various types of discriminations in the workplace.
The issue of prejudices in the workplace is becoming commonplace, as there is a tendency to think that after certain age (late forties and more) people have poorer memory, so they are not able to complete their tasks as effective as they did it in their thirties. Of course, people age, get older and smarter, but memory and different cognitive patterns are individual for each person. Therefore, you can be fired if you are doing your job badly, but not because you had another birthday.
Another striking example of discrimination at work happens when your boss refuses to promote you because of your age. The thing is that in this case those, who are too old, deal with the same problem as those, who are considered to be way too young. Let`s clarify that. If you`re fifty, you`ll work slowly, so you`ll waste the time of the employer. If you`re too fresh, you don`t have enough experience and your lack of knowledge will ruin the whole project. Do you see now?
And the last but not the least unfair situation, when one can face the «hiring ages» problem. Such situations occur when an applicant is thought to be overqualified. You`ve worked for too long and now you`ll be a burden to the organization as they can`t offer you a salary you deserve for this much expertise. Of course, jobs for 50 year olds exist and it`s just a matter of your motivation and desire to develop and reveal new.
I hope that now you are able to analyze your work history and take a look at various workplace situations form a different perspective. You should not be neglected and that is your primary task to know what you really deserve and what they are giving you. Maybe you are discriminated at this very moment. But take a moment to understand the whole image of you as a worker. Be fair and do not lie to yourself. If you understand that your rights have been damaged by stereotypical thinking of your boss, the moment for justice to be done has come. Fight for yourself and prove that you are better, smarter and more effective than stereotypes are telling you to be.
Overall, if you see that this problem exists in your life, the best thing is to communicate this to your manager, HR specialist or boss directly. If they are non-prejudiced and law-abiding citizens, they will change the situation and do everything to prevent and stop age discrimination. If not, consider evaluating your need in continuing to work at this company. If discrimination is a feature of company`s culture, that`s not a good firm to be employed at. You are deserve something better than that. Do not accept inappropriate attitude.