The American Dream long represented a confident existence. You worked hard and for this you received money and security. Changing technology and society resulted in role changes. Soon young people would dominate tech related business. Then something unexpected happened. As the workers aged they found themselves pushed out of work by younger, cheaper workers. Even worst, these highly trained workers found themselves incapable of finding new jobs.
When industry leaders came to answer the chant was uniform. We need more workers. What they meant was they need more CHEAP employees. H1B visas became the norm. Their simply wasn’t enough people to hire. PR companies posing as “think tanks” presented extensive evidence proving the shortage. Bill Gates himself stood before an audience complaining of the difficulty finding qualified employees, while receiving 2000 applications per place, including 500 Microsoft recruiters would refer to as “highly qualified” per spot.
Age discrimination became the norm. Older engineers were simply too expensive and besides they didn’t know how to work with the new technology that they had designed. To prove their worth many looked to education but found the money required for a modern education would simply never be repayable. Retraining became so expensive that it was pointless. Where to go? Had American become a country of disposable people?
Begin the Combat
Among the best strategies for dealing with age discrimination involves a simple tweak to the résumé. Do not list when you graduated from school and only give dates for the last 10 years of experience. This will prevent the person reviewing resumes from determining your age. Also be certain to remove any organizations that have fallen out of the public light. Fortunately a long career should give plenty of other options to list.
Age discrimination does not necessarily break any laws depending on the state. Most companies do not want to sound prejudiced. Additionally, younger, highly trained workers often have the advantage of working for less money. In order to survive you must make yourself as appealing as a young newcomer. Be sure and emphasize the various accomplishments and any way in which your previous experience brings you into modern design.