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Older Workers Face Ageism

July 21, 2014, 10:10 PM by Angela Kennecke

Older Workers Face Ageism

People are living longer and retirement at age 65 or 70 means another 20 more years to do something else.  For many people that "something else" means working, at least part time.  But getting another job after a certain age isn't always easy.

It may be because they have to or they want to, but people are retiring later. 

"The idea of retirement has changed.  The baby boomers have really redefined retirement," Sarah Jennings of AARP said.

That's the case for Mary Zabdyr who worked for the phone company for 30 years and then went back to school, twice.  She's now a massage therapist who hasn't been able to find a job after the last place she worked closed.

"I get that feeling, when you go in, if you can even get an interview and you go in to talk to somebody and they look at you like, 'What? Why are you doing this?'  And I say, 'I just really want to work because I like working,'" Zabdyr said.

"Just this perception that older workers are less creative.  They can't adjust to change.  They don't have the new skills in this time of social media and online everything to really be able to contribute and the good news for older works is none of the studies show that is true," Jennings said.

Jennings says older workers do have to take extra steps to overcome ageism. 

"There's a lot of talk on how can you de-age your resume so that when someone looks at it, they focus on the experience and not on the age and all the years and that kind of thing," Jennings said.

Jennings says experience can be a good thing and actually helps older workers be more creative, not less.

It does take workers over the age of 55 about three months longer to find a job than their younger counterparts.  Older workers also need to be socially connected online, especially on professional sites like LinkedIn.

AARP Age Discrimination Quiz

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