Stereotypes of Mature Aged Workers
Society today seems to be dominated by youth and beauty, and labels and stereotypes about mature aged workers can be a hidden trap. Maybe it was always like this, but when we were young we thought it was perfectly normal. Now it seems ageist to us! The media go wild about ‘beautiful young things’. Television programs seem to cater for and star young people. However, look a little harder, and you will see that there are many mature workers involved in every industry.
Age Is A Common Stereotype
When you stereotype something you box it in. Age is a common stereotype. The image of an older worker who is slow to learn, set in their ways and dull to have around is full of prejudice and stereotype. It is also blatantly not accurate for most people. However ageism, sadly, is alive and well.
Nevertheless, let’s face facts here; some older people are indeed slow, finicky and dull and so fit the description and stereotype of Mature Aged Workers. But so are some younger people! What you have to avoid is falling into the trap of perpetuating that image.
Don’t Personify The Stereotype Of An Older Worker
Workplaces are contemporary and you need to be contemporary also in order to be considered a suitable employee.
- Don’t dress like a 25 year old and conversely, don’t go to work looking like your grandmother.
- You don’t need to be the computer whizz kid in the workplace but you must have the appropriate level of skills for your job.
- You can wear your glasses to read, but don’t make a big deal about the fact that you can’t read without them “because of my age”.
Get the idea? Be your best self in the workplace, not some caricature of your age.
Challenge The Stereotypes
Even if ageism and stereotypes are common today there are ways to overcome these challenges. While many employers seem to favour young workers there are also many employers who welcome older staff members. They appreciate experience and reliability. You have those qualities in spades. So you have to break free of the stereotypical mould. You can prove that the people who believe the stereotypes are just plain wrong.
Your challenge as a mature aged worker is to communicate that you are capable, talented, reliable, enthusiastic and definitely a person worth hiring.
If you are feeling uncertain about your next step contact us or read some of our blog posts on BoomersNextStep.