“Boomers were portrayed as technologically inept, inflexible, and set in their ways “.
So says Australian research from a 2011 commissioned survey that surveyed workers who saw babyboomers in a negative light.
But its critique also noted that there is good reason to be sceptical of such surveys as further research shows older workers are less likely to resign or call in sick and have fewer work injuries. This adds up to measurable savings, especially on recruitment and training. There is also evidence to show they are the fastest growing users of technology.
With the Australian retirement age to increase to 67, this greying of the workplace will mean more of us stay in the workforce.
So in recognising that age discrimination is real, we also need strategies to combat this ageism and prove these surveys wrong. This means considering where skills updating is needed - whether it be in IT, particularly in social or digital media or in the way we present a case for our reliability and experience by updating CVs, interview techniques and communicating your unique selling point.
Age will matter if you you ignore how some employers view it, buy into the survey myths, or worse, apologise or lie about your age.