Stereotypes of Mature Aged Workers

Stereotypes of Mature Aged Workers

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.


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Jenni Proctor

Hi, I'm Jenni Proctor from Boomers Next Step. Remember when the formula for success in life was simply to strive for good marks at school, gain qualifications, get a great job, work hard and save for your retirement? Yes, I believed it too! For years my husband David and I wanted to develop a business that we could operate anywhere in the world, but both of us were educated to be employees.  We had entrepreneurial dreams and ideas, but still had employee mindsets. 14 years ago I took the giant leap!  I left my job in Education to start a business as a Career Counsellor and Coach, helping mature adults transition from one career path to another, and particularly from employment to entrepreneurship.  I had studied long and hard to gain new qualifications but sadly I hadn’t learnt how to market my new business. About 12 years ago we realized that we were not tracking well towards having the sort of retirement we wanted. We’d saved; we’d invested; and like so many other people we’d also lost some money along the way. It didn’t help that my business was not bringing in as much as I had been earning as an employee. Our dreams of extensive travel and helping our family were being replaced by a growing concern that we would outlive our savings. It seemed that a traditional retirement would not allow us to maintain the lifestyle we wanted. I love helping people plan the next phase of their lives, but we realized that was not going to be enough.  We needed a way to create an income stream that would pay for the travel and other lifestyle luxuries we wanted, that would provide mental stimulation, and would interest us both.

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