in Career

Ageism and Social Media

The following is from a discussion on LinkedIn. I provide some advice for the topic starter:

Topic Starter

How does one (me) reposition myself, as a presentation specialist and SEO analysis, while getting close to retirement, but with mature attitude/work ethic that gets results – quickly and under budget?

Without being told, but seeing “youngster” interviewers’ look, I’ve got to wonder – how can I get these folks to understand that I can do more, in less time, for less money, and will work ’till the job is done, and won’t be texting, twittering, or yacking on the phone with my buds? They see my “age” in my face, and they don’t listen – how to overcome?

Some other commenter

As I find myself similarly situated. I am interested in others’ responses. A young rep for a head hunter recently told me that work from 20 years ago is of no interest to her and could hardly be considered to be relevant to today’s employers. Hmmmm…. out of the mouths of babes.


As a “young” person, I deplore this type of obvious ageism that is, unfortunately, not unique to our times.

I am not sure how to dispel an interviewer’s ageism, other than by talking about some of the trends that you may not participate in. For example, you mention that you won’t be twittering or texting your friends. Although I am sure you meant that in a positive way, if you were to say that to a young interviewer, they may interpret that as technophobia. Or, they may believe you won’t mesh well with younger co-workers who may be doing these things.

The new generation entering the workforce have lives that are enmeshed with their technology, especially social media. They have a different view of work and life balance and different views on career and family. I don’t mean to lecture, but sometimes one must play their game to get hired, and that means understanding them–whoever it is “they” are.