Have you ever been the victim of ageism? If so, what was it like?
I’m just 60 years old, but I’ve been fighting ageism for a long time. After a very successful career in information technology, I’ve always loved recruiting folks I believed were better than me – in the spirit of doing what’s best for the business, not for me. I’ve employed oldsters more times than I want to remember, mainly because they were skilled, experienced, and the best option. What I observe today is far from that; far too many organizations avoid hiring older workers for many reasons, including insurance costs, concerns about hiring someone better than them, or disdain of older people. Ageism is a terrible reality that nearly everyone will face at some time in their lives.
When I was 55, I was “downsized” from a top management position in IT with a big corporation in Jacksonville. Before they got sold to a large financial services company, I complained that it felt like they were getting rid of me (and others who were older). After that, my severance increased dramatically. They bribed me to remain quiet about age discrimination. However, my résumé is solid, but unfortunately, I hide my age-related info on it. Almost every time I had a phone interview or two, I asked to meet with the recruiting manager in person.