Age is a fantastic asset
By John Day
Head of Membership Services
Its time to rethink how age impacts on our work journey.
If we are all transitioning to a 50+ year career cycle. Think about the moments in your career journey where your age may have been a barrier.
My own view is that one key insight not widely recognised is that workplace discrimination against older workers can begin as soon as age 40.
Why do I make such a bold assertion?
I do so not lightly but only after very careful consideration and on reflecting on my personal experiences career to date. And also based on substantial, trusted anecdotal evidence provided by friends, acquaintances, former work colleagues and my professional network all of whom have shared their particular experiences and which endorse and support the following viewpoint.
It is at about the age of 40 that the next generation is likely to graduate and enter the workforce, after either higher education or university. A younger new employee on entering the workplace is likely to perceive any 'next generation' colleague aged age 40 or above (and possibly of a similar age to their parents) as 'old' (the generational gap).
To my mind, this illustrates the true scale of the societal and macro-economic challenge we all face in changing hearts and minds. And a status quo which, if nothing changes, leaves us all vulnerable to encountering age barriers at some point in our career.
This is a sobering reality which informs and drives ProAge and the services we offer to promote age-inclusion and multigenerational workplaces so people of all ages can thrive and have more opportunities to stay economically active as they get older.
Put simply, a person's age and stage of life is a valuable asset.
Younger people have amazing ideas and as people move through their life journey they collect skills and life experiences, knowledge and expertise..
Our commitment to support Age Irrelevance and promote its vital work is clear and unwavering. The aims and objectives of both organisations are perfectly aligned in envisioning a truly inclusive and equitable world. One where a person's age ceases to be relevant and only their skills and experiences are taken into account with individuals, companies and society as a whole benefiting as a result.
If people, as early as age 40, begin to see their career falter before dropping off a cliff within a decade they cease to be economically active. And they are unable to contribute to society in the form of GDP and tax receipts. This can lead to profound physical and mental health issues both for the person as well as impacting their family (more strain on the NHS) and within their community.
Thus, for so many, we are what we do. And this is why the work of Age Irrelevance and ProAge remains so vital.