5 Methods to Combat Ageism at Work
January 26, 2021
Your age should be nothing more than a number. Unfortunately, some of us may experience a form of discrimination at work that is referred to as ageism. For those who may not have heard this phrase before, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines ageism as “the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.”

According to this article published by AARP, ageism affects approximately every 3 out of 5 older workers. Furthermore, 76% of older workers see age as an obstacle that must be overcome when searching for jobs. So for those of us who have been in the workforce for a while, ageism may be a problem you are currently facing or are concerned about facing in the near future. To help you combat ageism at work, we’ve outlined our top 5 methods for nipping this problem in the bud.

1.  Speak up

The first method for combating ageism at work is to speak out against it. This means not only holding your coworkers and supervisors accountable for their comments and actions, but it also means holding hiring managers and recruiters accountable during interviews as well.

In fact, questions that revolve around age during an interview could actually be illegal. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these types of questions or requests, so you are prepared to address them appropriately.

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2.  Keep learning

Regardless of age, it’s always important for those in the workforce to remain at the top of their field. More and more, entry-level job seekers are arming themselves with certifications and technical skills prior to entering the workforce. While real-life experience is worth a lot, certifications certainly help keep you up to speed.

To stay at the top of your game, continue to familiarize yourself with the most up-to-date technologies and keep learning. You may even want to consider obtaining some certifications online as well.

3.  Prioritize your health

It isn’t enough to only have your professional self performing at your peak. Your physical and mental well-being also play a large role in your productivity. Age doesn’t necessarily determine health, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect it either.

If you can, try to make time every day to exercise, even if it just means going for a walk. When we prioritize our physical and mental health, we see improvement in our professional lives.

4.  Show enthusiasm to work

One of the reasons hiring managers may be hesitant to bring on an older member to their team is because they may be unsure of how much longer that employee will want to stay on their team before retirement. Now, this is not an excuse, but it does mean that you should voice your enthusiasm and intentions towards working to avoid this hesitation.

Communication and openness can truly benefit you in this area. Being enthusiastic also feeds into the work environment. When we’re excited about what we do, we’re more likely to actually do it and to do it well.

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5. Optimize your resume

Years and years of experience are great, but if you’re applying for jobs, you need to know how to voice that experience properly. Not only that but what is considered to be resume standard practice is constantly changing. If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, it may no longer be in the most effective format.

If you’re struggling with updating your resume, you should schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our professional resume writers. They will be able to address your needs and optimize your resume to ensure all of your experiences are highlighted in the most effective way.

If you feel as though you are facing ageism at work and it’s too late to implement the above methods, this article outlines how you can further combat discrimination at work. If you’d like to learn more about ageism and what you can do to help, check out this campaign from WHO. Remember to check in every week for more great advice from BrandResumes.


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By Emily Provost

Emily is BrandResumes' Content Specialist and is an Associate Resume Writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Publishing Studies with double minors in Marketing and Journalism from Hofstra University. She has had editorial experience working as an editor for various publications from Hofstra and worked as a writing tutor for undergraduate students.

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