Everybody’s life is not structured the same. We do not get to the same place at the same age. We do not come to the same realization of what we want to do with our lives at the same age. So, take it easy. Do not stress yourself out about “ageism”.
Like many, I have been told “you need to get all the money you can when you are young”. I started my career focused on making money and how to use my skills to maximize my income. Yes, supervisors/managers want to hire younger people for multiple reasons.
Reason One: They believe younger people will breed new and refreshing ideas that could help revamp the company.
Reason Two: They take advantage of young people’s inability to say, “No”. Yeah, people will take advantage of you when you are younger; it happened to me in my early twenties. Supervisors will cross-train you in technical skills and processes and lend you to other teams for projects. Most young people just help out where they can and do not take into consideration the skills they can leverage for better positions and better pay.
If you are going into an environment where your boss is younger than you, just stay focused on your personal and professional goals. And, if that particular company is not providing opportunities to meet your personal and professional goals or you feel like they are discriminating against you, do not quit! Instead, start creating your exit strategy.
Create a roadmap with two possible routes: route #1 applying for internal positions or route #2 applying for external positions. Figuring out what other positions you can apply for or cross-train in other offices. Networking is crucial when you are looking for jobs. However, I challenge us to network when we are not seeking a job because those relationships are key to your success. Your reputation should precede you. When people hear about you applying for jobs, they will remember your work ethics. Build relationships across offices, across teams, across divisions, across departments.
Ageism is oppressive, but you have to decide whether or not you want to internalize it. I suggest you do not internalize the effects of ageism. Simply see it as obstacle you will overcome. So just go ahead and overcome just like you would any other obstacle. Do not make the obstacle too big that you lose sight of your goals and what you want to achieve.
If you see something going on and someone discriminated against you,
- CREATE AN EXIT PLAN
- ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS
- WORK WHERE YOU ARE CELEBRATED NOT TOLERATED
- SEEK WISE MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR
If you need someone to talk to about the impact of ageism on you, seek out a professional counseling/therapist. You can get those services to help process your experience with ageism (i.e., rejection). Then move forward with a healthy, fresh mindset and continue on excelling. We do not want you to implode and derail your own future.
Let’s move forward. To benefit ourselves and others.
Have a great day and age-ism only exist if you believe it.