WorkWise BlogTip: Turn mature jobseekers' challenge into asset

08/21/2011 8:25 PM

08/21/2011 8:31 PM

Mature job seekers bring self-knowledge to the table. They know where they’re weak and where they’re strong. They also bring life experience. With a little imagination, they can convert their greatest challenge, age, to an asset.

Barry Cohen ( coaches clients of all ages. One man, at 76, was updating his interviewing skills for a job at a bank. Age would be an issue with the interviewer if no one else.

“To minimize the age factor,” Cohen says, “I prepared him by dressing him in a sports jacket with leather patches on the elbows and a sweater vest.”

Still, even a “young” 76 can’t fool himself into believing that he appears to be in his forties or even fifties. This man had to acknowledge and disempower his Achilles' heel. It became clear that the interviewer was thinking about it, too. Ignoring the age factor wouldn’t dismiss it.

Cohen reports, “The HR manager asked him, ‘How would you feel working for and taking orders from a much younger woman?’ (His wife was 60).”

The man replied, “I like younger women so much that I married one and take orders from her!"

He joined the bank.

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