You Don’t Always Recognise How Something Great That You’ve Done In the Past Can Help You with Something You Aspire to Do In the Future
Joe’s Story: I Won’t be Considered for Jobs Because I’m Too Old
When I first began delivering outplacement programmes, I delivered a programme which was sponsored by the government to help people back into work. It was a year-long programme focussed on training and developing people in the area of supply-change management. I was engaged to support people in the job-search element of the programme. The participants were quite diverse in terms of age, experience and backgrounds. I remember a conversation I had with one of the participants called Joe, because it’s one I have time and time again.
Joe was in his early 60s, and although he was going through the motions of the programme, he had the belief that because of his age at the end of it organisations wouldn’t be interested in employing him, and would choose younger candidates instead.
My thinking was different: Joe’s CV demonstrated his loyalty to the organisations he had previously worked with. He had actually worked for his most recent employer for over 30 years before his position had been made redundant. Although he’d been with the same organisation his career had been quite progressive and he’d advanced in terms of the roles and responsibilities he’d undertaken. Along with his CV demonstrating his loyalty and ability, it also demonstrated his ‘stay ability’.
To my way of thinking these factors made Joe an attractive candidate to employers. Yes, per- haps he only had four or five years before retirement, but this is actually quite substantial taking into account how much people move around in their worklives today.
Someone younger may perhaps see an opportunity of joining an organisation as a steppingstone to the next stage of their WorkLife, and will use this experience to facilitate this. Today’s job market is very different to that of when Joe began his WorkLife, when a job was for life. I actually think this is quite positive because it allows a flow which supports people at different WorkLife stages, and when people like Joe wants to join an organisation with a commitment to staying with them for four or five years, the organisation will recognise this as being a genuine commitment.
Joe told me our conversation helped him to overcome his self-doubt and rethink his situation. He approached his job search with a more positive approach. He now recognised and appreciated just how much he had to offer a potential employer and felt more confident in communicating this.
Develop a Practice of Insightful Self-Questioning Assignment
In the knowledge that you have so much of what you need within you, it’s good practice to regularly consider what you haven’t asked yourself that’s important for you to know and to be aware of. The following questions will help your understanding:
Do I have everything I need to be successful? If yes, what am I going to do next?
If no, how can I get it?
Words of Wisdom
Own who you are and remember you are more than enough.
Joe’s story is one of the stories featured in my book: How To Overcome Self-Doubt Through Self-Appreciation , from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.
The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories I share my own experiences, and with permission stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.