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Episode 401: Ageism at Work - 5 Tips on How to Combat It

What exactly is ageism?

According to AARP, over 61% of employees in America over 45 have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace.

While older employees are usually more knowledgeable and experienced than other staff members, they are typically discriminated against in favor of younger and less experienced employees. Like racism and sexism, ageism refers to discrimination against specific employees based on their age.

Have you felt ageism’s sting? If so, here are ways to combat it that are within your power. The first three of these are good commonsense items and there is huge power in the last one, a mindset truth for you to embrace, enhance, and use.

Brenda's 5 Tips to Combat Ageism in the Workplace

  1. Know your worth. Keep your resume updated, highlighting accomplishments you’ve had in the last 10 years. Have your large contributions firmly in your mind and don’t hesitate to share them at work or in an interview. It’s not bragging if it’s true.

  2. Keep your skill sets current. Update and upgrade. Take at least one class a year for a work skill you’d like to develop. When asked, most people haven’t done anything to upgrade their skills in the last year. They’ve not spent any money on their ongoing education. This is a mistake that becomes more obvious for mature individuals.

  3. Be very aware of avoiding the traps that are stereotypes of older workers like resisting change, being demotivated, or not being interested in career development. You are in charge of all of those erroneous concepts. Smash them.

  4. Mind your appearance. It does matter for men and women and women can particularly feel the bite of this one. Here’s what to do. 1. Take a good long look through your eyes first. 2. Ask at least two people who will be honest with you what they’d recommend you do, if anything. 3. Get the professional help of an image consultant and your hairdresser if it’s warranted. I have a great image consultant I can recommend if you are interested. Outside eyes matter.

  5. Develop your inner authority. Fully embrace your strength and your accomplishments. Honor your experience so completely that people will see you for the ageless authority that you are. Never underestimate the sheer value of experience and resilience. This is a doable self-confidence booster that every mature job seeker needs.

I have a toolkit full of help for you if you are a mature person in the workplace or a job seeker. Those tools run the gamut from self-confidence courses to job clarification exercises and a career search plan. Reach out to me at to schedule a free 30-minute consult.

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