Despite the average woman of today leading a long and fulfilling life, the opportunities she has in the work place are diminishing considerably as she advances in years.
Even though 50 is considered the new 30 and the average life expectancy of women today is greater than ever before, ageism is creeping in on those looking to boost their careers as they hit their Fifties.
Unfair yes – especially when you have so much still left to give – maturity, experience, patience and the wisdom that the years add on.
Yet, from Silicon Valley to corporate headquarters all over the world, older, more experienced people are increasingly feeling the pressure of not measuring up.
Ageism is alive and well – thanks to a corporate culture that seems to prize youth above all else.
So what can you do to combat ageism and how you can deal with it.
Get involved – be one of the team –
As you get older, you tend to develop your own unique set of standards and practices. While this can be done, always keep in mind to blend in with the others and contribute towards common goals.
In other words, be one of the team. Get involved; talk and listen. Stay connected with all – ensure that you are a member of the team despite your age or experience or whatever that might signal you are off bounds due to your age.
Become tech savvy – learn everything –
If you must feel valued or a part of the team, you must be able to update your tech knowledge and expertise. We have come a long way from Microsoft Encarta and Internet Explorer.
There are many resources on YouTube and Facebook that can help you master your tech knowledge; there was a grandmother in her eighties in Japan who learnt coding all by herself and created a web page for others like her to learn.
Learning about the internet or about all of the tech developments is no longer hard ; there are so many learning tools and web pages that can help and guide you to learn.
Unlearn what you have acquired throughout the years – embrace change –
Some of us are not prone to constant change – we like stability but unfortunately stability also calls for change sometimes. The hardest part is in unlearning what we have learnt until then.
But that too is required ; unless we unlearn, we cannot embrace change as it should be embraced.
Be ready for role reversals –
The movie “The Intern” shares some harsh but realistic insights into a retiree coming back to work in a modern office environment. Role reversal is happening frequently in the corporate world today ; you might find yourself working for a boss young enough to be your daughter.
Years or experience don’t mean much in today’s environment ; he or she might be younger than you are and you may sometimes feel inferior to work under such a person but be flexible.
Be open to role reversal ; you never know how things might work out. Your boss may also want to learn from your experience and exposure.
It is never too late to start your own venture –
If ageism is hitting you in ore ways than one and you find yourself longing for change, then remember that it is never too late for you to start your own venture. You can always be a woman entrepreneur and make use of your skills and talent.
As an older person, you have years of experience behind you and expertise – you can always find a business partner and build your own business.