I'm concerned about my age......
I have had this conversation twice in the last week. And both times the “age” word cropped up really early in the conversation and both times, I was talking to male candidates. That might be a coincidence, but I found it interesting. And my response to both of the candidate was simply “In all honesty, I don’t care how old you are, all I care about is can you do the job and are you the right fit.” And it got me thinking, not about the Age Discrimination Act because I’m not that kind of person, but about at what age do you start worrying about your age?
I wrote a blog a while ago about Generation X (the fact I had to google it affirmed that yes, I was generation X!) and having recruited a couple of Grads recently (oh now there’s my next blog idea) I wanted to focus on the plethora of candidates who either worry about their age, or quite simply don’t give a stuff about their age. Now let’s get the obvious out of the way from the start, there are awesome and not so awesome candidates at every age, every geography and every level. I want to focus on the awesome ones for a couple of reasons. 1) There is too much negativity in this world, and I want to focus on positive, nice stuff from behind my rose tinted glasses. 2) Law of Attraction. For those that know about this and I have really got into this in the last 12 months, you attract what you talk about. AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES AWESOME CANDIDATES! 3) And I saw an interview with Rami Malek about Bohemian Rhapsody, and he was asked about why they’d focused on the positive side of Freddie Mercury and not gone into depth about the darker side of things and his response was Why can’t we just celebrate the good?
So, let’s celebrate the good and make some amazing candidates who have concerns about their age feel amazing about themselves. Here are some reasons why employing a more mature candidates can be an advantage:
They bring a huge amount of experience and draw on many many examples of projects previously completed, with a rounded viewpoint. They are level-headed, focused, dedicated and don’t come with a world of drama. They don’t go out partying on nights that they shouldn’t and come to work with a hangover or call in sick, we’ve all done it, well I have! They are hardworking, dedicated, highly productive, they know what their career is, wont’ chop and change, and are focused on it. They can mentor more junior people in the business and quite simply, there’s going to be more people in the market looking for jobs that worry about their age then there ever was. Now I’m not saying I’m going to do a Prince Philip, but my pension isn’t as great as it should be and my parents (and stepparents) are having some pretty awesome holidays so I’ll be working for a lot longer than I’d like to. But I work for myself and I hope I always will. But I worry about my age. I still think I’m 28 years old but my spare tyre and inability to recover from a night out, coupled with the fact that I remember THE ROYAL WEDDING (Charles & Lady Di) means I’m not 28. My memory isn’t as great as when I was that age, I had more energy then, I could sit at my desk for longer without getting twinges in my back but my god, when I’m faced with difficult situations, personally and professionally, or supporting family, friends, clients, candidates and colleagues, I know that I step up in a way I never could have done when I was 28 years old.
So don’t look for the date on a CV of when someone went to school. Look at what they’ve achieved. Look at what they can still achieve and look at what value they can add to your business as well as your team. And as for the 2 candidates who inspired this blog, one is in his second month of his new job, placed through me, the other is at final interview tomorrow.
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