Re: Ageism discussion

Subject: Re: Ageism discussion
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 16:52:19 -0700

At 03:20 PM 10/18/96 -0800, Tony G. Rocco wrote:
>I would like to see a discussion on the issue of ageism as it affects, or
>does not affect, technical communicators. I turn 41 next month, and I have
>been advised to modify my resume so that my age is not obvious in the
>expectation that my age is a count against me.

I'm surprised that you are just now getting around to removing dates
from your resume. I was given that advice in the early 80s and have
followed it ever since. Well, I've lived in areas where military
contractors were major players in the job market, so age, race,
religion, and the like are all no-nos in such a market. In general,
anything that could cause someone to discriminate against you should
be purged.

>I am not job hunting now,
>but since I am only getting older, I wonder if I am going to start having
>to take pains to appear younger than I actually am. Has anyone encountered
>age-related bias as a technical communicator? Is there a tendency to prefer
>youth because younger people are thought to be better learners, more open
>to new ideas, more creative, harder working, etc?

I've got more than a couple of years on you, Tony, and I honestly haven't
noticed any age discrimination yet -- although once, about 10 years ago,
an interviewer suggested I'd bring a "motherly" influence into the
organization. I laughed at him. I didn't get the job - prob'ly just as
well. ;-)

Seriously, I think attitude is everything. If you go into an interview
with a positive, upbeat, can-do attitude, grey hair doesn't matter. If
you're dragging, it doesn't matter if you're only 25. You'd be surprised
how many years a smile can erase and how many a frown can add.

Actually, I'm just now hittin' my stride. And I think that attitude
comes across very positively in a job interview.

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com
-- The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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