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At 45 You’re Over The Hill, Right?

March 28, 2023

Ageism has been a massive problem in recent years. Despite employers saying that it doesn’t exist, it absolutely does. The good news is that because many of the younger generation coming through don’t have the same work ethic as the older generation and it’s making employers think. I’m going to give you a few pointers to combat age.

  1. Focus on your ability rather than your age
    Very few people put their date of birth on their CV but it’s easy to work it out. An employer can’t technically ask your age as this is discriminatory, but you can’t hide it.

  2. If you’re a service leaver is there anything you can do to update your skills? Take care when designing your resettlement. If you’re a veteran, do you have any ELCs left? If not, is there anything you can do skill wise to “upgrade” yourself?

  3. NEVER undersell yourself. This is what veterans are most guilty of in my experience. I would take a veteran over a civvy every day, but veterans are not good at selling how good they are because they’re just getting on with the job. Think about where you can add value and talk about it.

  4. If you have health challenges, be open about it. There’s little to be gained for anyone by keeping this to yourself – it’ll come out at some point anyway. You can choose how much you decide to share but if it’s something that will affect your ability to do the job, they are employing you to do or something you need time off for you should disclose it. A caring employer will want to make reasonable adjustments for you so it doesn’t necessarily mean you will be excluded. You could leave it until you’re asked to complete a workplace adjustment form, but this would usually be conducted after you start and would just lead to an awkward conversation.

  5. If you want/need hybrid working, ask for it. Decide if it’s a deal breaker for you or not. Employers have the right to refuse it, depending of course on whether it’s actually practical to offer in the first place. If you’re a Service Engineer, you will spend most of your time out on the road rather than behind a desk. ACAS have a good section on flexible working

  6. Finally, reinvent yourself. This is like a career MOT. How do you want to position yourself? What are your transferrable skills? How can your “military brain” be applied to the commercial world? Your resilience. Your can-do attitude, your leadership and management skills, your work ethic etc. veterans have this in spades; civvies don’t. Leverage this – HEAVILY. Give real world examples of these traits you’ve honed during your time in service. SHOW what difference you can make.

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