Age Is Just a Number, but Can You Prove That to Future Employers?
As a young go-getter, the chances are that you know well how age can hold your career back. Largely thanks to the way employers focus on experience, young interview applicants are often set aside. And, it isn’t just experience which may hold you back.
Even the employers who actively encourage young applicants often do so with the wrong intentions. Typically, younger workforces are considered gullible and easy to manage. Many managers will even attempt to hold back wages from younger employees. If that happened, you would have to focus on contacting the leading wage theft lawyer in the state rather than dedicating your efforts to the job at hand. It’s not ideal, and it can leave many young and career-driven individuals feeling helpless.
In some ways, you could argue that this age-based discrimination is partly why so many millennials and generation-Zers are going down freelance routes. But, what if that’s not something which appeals? Perhaps you like the structure of office life or don’t want the hassle of going it alone. It might even be that you have your eye on a particular workplace position. Either way, you’re determined to access the mainstream workforce.
The good news is that, while age can work against you, it’s also possible to turn it to your advantage. If you approach an interview right, you may even be able to show an employer that age is just a number after all. And, here are a few tips to help you do it.
Focus on How You Can Appeal to a Younger Audience
It’s no secret or surprise that older employees often fail to appeal to younger audiences. This is a pretty significant issue in modern workplaces; especially now young audiences lean towards social media and the like. Older team members may not understand what it takes to bring young generations on board with a product. That’s something unique that you can bring to the table, and it’s something which you should focus on throughout an interview. Every manager wants the largest audiences possible, after all.
During your interview, then, make sure to highlight this as something which you alone can bring to the table. It might even help to highlight examples of how you plan to bring a young audience to an established company. Before you know, your potential employer may well be seeing your age as a definite plus rather than the minus it could have been otherwise.
Develop Skills Older Employees Don’t Have
It’s also well worth developing the skills which you have that older people are unlikely to possess. If you’re from generation-Z, for example, you grew up using computer systems and technologies which may still be largely unknown to previous generations. By developing those basic skills and highlighting them on your resume, you can again give yourself an edge. In modern business especially, most managers will actively seek applicants with as much computer experience as possible.
Even if you don’t have experience in your chosen field, then, learning to highlight tech skills could get your foot in the door. Even if you entered a workplace in a tech-repair or social media position, it’s a way in to where you need to be. Play your cards right, and that could soon turn into the job you’ve always been dreaming of. It’ll undoubtedly get your name to the top of a pile which might not have even considered you otherwise.
Prove Your Maturity
More often than not, a reluctance to take on young team members comes from reservations about maturity. No boss wants to worry about whether their employees can be trusted to work or impress clients, after all. As such, the last step towards proving that age is just a number is to harness maturity. You may be young, but you’re more than capable of behaving yourself and presenting a professional front. You just need to prove as much to your employer.
You can start this in your interview with simple steps like a professional appearance, a firm handshake, and measured answers to those questions. Even during the first weeks at your new job, keep your head down and work hard to prove that you’re serious about maintaining a mature attitude. Keep that up, and you could find yourself on the brink of promotion in no time.