Many professionals believe they are the victims of age discrimination. They think that since they are older than some of the competition or their colleagues, they aren’t gaining access to the same opportunities due to their age.
However, it might not be your age that is holding you back at work. Instead, you could be dealing with experience discrimination.
Today, millennials make up the majority of the workforce. The oldest members of Gen Y are now in the late 30s, and they have strong skills and a substantial amount of professional experience. Plus, they might not expect the same salary amounts as older workers, mainly because they are solidly in the middle of their careers and still moving up. As a result, they no longer viewed as being new to their fields and are considered less expensive, increasing the amount of competition Gen X and baby boomers who are still in the workforce face.
Luckily, it is possible to overcome experience discrimination. Here are some tips that can help you do just that.
Build a Strong Professional Brand
Your professional brand is a reflection of your area of expertise. You need to showcase your specialty in a meaningful way, allowing you to differentiate yourself from others who may have a similar base skill set, but not in your niche.
Often, millennials (as digital natives) are more adept at professional branding due to their comfort with social media and familiarity with a variety of online tools. Older workers need to embrace these technologies to highlight their knowledge and show how they can provide an employer with value, allowing them to stand out from the crowd.
Have the Right Career Strategy
The career strategy of yesteryear doesn’t work in today’s market. Few people remain with a single employer for years and years on end. Instead, they need to be agile, seeking out new opportunities elsewhere that allow them to progress.
As an older worker, this may require a substantial change in mindset. The willingness to move on to a new job is essential, particularly if your current employer isn’t giving you access to opportunities that allow you to grow and advance.
Additionally, you need to clarify your career goals. By understanding what you want to achieve, you can focus on options that align with those objectives, ensuring you remain in control and take notice of opportunities that can lead to greater success.
Over time, some professionals begin to neglect skill development. Instead of acquiring new skills, they focus on perfecting those that they already have, assuming that that approach provides them with the most career value.
However, in today’s rapidly changing world, failing to keep pace with emerging technologies that are coming to your field can harm your career. Relying on your existing employer to ensure you remain up to speed is also a bad move, as the company may opt to hire externally instead of train internally.
As a result, you need to make sure you dedicate time and energy to skill development, including during your off-hours. This ensures your skills remain current with respect to new technologies, making you a more desirable candidate.
Ultimately, by following the tips above, you can overcome experience discrimination. If you’d like to know more, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.