We’re always hearing stories about ageism – people in their 50s and 60s struggling to find work because they’re nearing retirement age and people not wanting to hire them. But what about the other way around?
I may not look it, but I am in fact 25 (I’d be in the ‘oldies’ section on X-Factor therefore I don’t class myself as that young any more!) Being youthful and energetic should be beneficial in the business world, right? Well, I’m not so sure. I have always looked young – in fact only a couple of years ago I got asked for ID buying party poppers – but I’ve got by, and I guess I thought that in the world of work it wouldn’t be an issue. But it’s one that has cropped up a few times.
In just the last week a prospective client has referred to me as “ten” and a prospective candidate asked me how old I was. And if I had a pound for every person who asked “well, will you be running my account?” or “what’s your background?” with an inquisitive look, I’d be stacking up the money ready to buy my beach house. And don’t get me started on all the ‘gen Y are lazy’ business. Now I usually take this with a pinch of salt, but it is sometimes wearing to think that people perhaps don’t take you quite as seriously because you look young. Is working hard and being good at your job not enough? Perhaps I’ll send someone double my age with half the experience next time? I’m not in any way implying that at 25 I’m the most qualified person out there, but I wouldn’t be let loose, so to speak, if I didn’t know what I was doing.
Of course it’s perfectly possible that I misread some of these situations and there are plenty of people this doesn’t apply to. It’s just some food for thought! And before you say it, yes I’m sure I will be grateful when I’m older – I’m aiming for that Kylie youthfulness (without the botox).