Libman Tax - August 2019




Age Discrimination Is Real: How Are You Preparing to Battle It?

School is just around the corner, and if it weren’t for my boys reminding me at least a few times every day, I probably wouldn’t believe it. It feels like summer just barely started, so the thought of shopping for new backpacks and binders seems crazy. Nevertheless, it’s true. It’s time to head into a new season: autumn. In the midst of preparing for my kids’ first day of school this year, I’ve also been interviewing people to fill a position at the office. Anyone with their own business knows that finding, interviewing, and making an offer to someone new is one of the most important and difficult parts of entrepreneurship. There are hundreds of great candidates out there battling for a job, so it can be tough to pick the right person. Having a team that can work together to keep operations running smoothly is the foundation for a successful company. Throughout this preparation for autumn interviewing and hiring, I’ve been reminded that age discrimination truly exists. Folks heading into the “fall” season of their lives can experience a whole new set of problems when it comes to finding work. After hearing from folks who are 50 or older, I’ve determined that most of them are stuck in two scenarios. Many of them have reached a ceiling or a cap on advancement at the company they’d been serving for 20 or more years, while others have been laid off for financial reasons. After spending decades becoming more and more specialized in a specific occupation, they’ve been forced to rejoin a job pool where they are skipped over because they are older than their competition.

I have a few questions to ask these folks: What steps can you take to help yourself? How do you expand beyond your reach when age discrimination is at play?

Here are some of my suggestions:

1. SKILLS The vast majority of people, regardless of age, don’t work to develop their skill sets. No matter what job you currently have, you should be

pushing to better yourself by attending seminars and conferences to keep your skills up to date and invest in your own continuing education. Work to keep pushing the boundaries of what you already know. 2. MEET-UPS Surround yourself with like-minded people in the same general industry and start networking. Ask what they’ve done to continue their own development and exchange data. Brainstorm ideas to see what ways you can continue improving. 3. VOLUNTEER Look at the high end of your current job market and identify what types of skill sets you need to qualify for those jobs. Then, find where you can volunteer to gain that knowledge for free. You’ll have to donate your time and energy, but you will attain the knowledge you need to continue advancing in your field. Heading into the fall season of life should feel rewarding and exciting rather than scary. By continuing your own education and personal development, you’ll be setting yourself up for much happier later years filled with immense peace of mind. Happy autumn!

-Adam Libman

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