Age Factor in the Job Market—Another Look


As a retained search consultant heading an executive search firm, a CPA and someone who's over 50, I agree with the survey results ("Age Still a Factor in Job Market," JofA , Mar.99, page 16) showing a longer job search for older job seekers. However, I have also seen a number of job candidates who use such figures to excuse their own poor skills. Age becomes less of a factor when candidates appear energetic, nondefensive, and computer-savvy.

The figures are also a warning for younger workers to grow capabilities along with their years. For example, a 55-year old CPA should have more to offer than one who is 20 years younger. If not, there might be a temptation to blame age discrimination.

I met a man many years ago who was in his seventies and seeking work. I asked him who he thought would hire him. His response was, "I have something to offer that few others have—I can be the CFO for a company that has a number two person not quite ready for the top slot. I can train and nurture that individual. And because of my age, I will be far more effective than a younger person since no one will be threatened by me." He got that position.

Stanley Herz
Somers, New York

SPONSORED REPORT

CPEOs provide peace of mind around payroll services

The creation of these new IRS-certified service providers for small businesses clarifies some issues around traditional professional employer organizations.

QUIZ

8 sentences to help you master subject-verb agreement

When professionals prepare written material for readers inside their organization or outside, they should make sure that no errors distract from the message they need to convey. Take this short quiz for practice in subject-verb agreement.