Jobs4.0 (

Jobs4.0 (

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Upside of Jobs4.0

Take a look at 'The Upside of Aging', in today's Wall Street Journal (page one of weekend journal section). A great article for all job seekers over 40!!

Bottom line is that the best current research on aging proves what we've known for a long time - age discrimination in the hiring process is illogical. Of most relevance is the WSJ's conclusion that:
"An emerging body of research shows that a surprising array of mental functions hold us well into old age, while others actually get better....Older brains are packed with more so-called expert knowledge -information relevant to your occupation or hobby." The 'longevity of expert knowledge and cognitive templates lies behind the finding that air-traffic controllers in their 60s are at least as skilled as those in their 30s...It was as if their experience had equipped them with the most efficient algorithm for keeping planes safely spaced."

As I read this, I couldn't help but think of the HR manager at a leading, national retail chain that recently declined to post jobs on Jobs4.0 because she had no interest in hiring older workers. And all the other employers that probably harbor the same biases. This research is more evidence that they are actually hurting their company's efforts to recruit the best talent.

Another amazing aspect to this is that while the research now demonstrates how workers in their 60s can be BETTER workers than people in their 30s, discrimination continues to frustrate the efforts of job seekers even in their early 40s and 50s.

We ask people over 40 all the time 'are you a better worker now than you have ever been?' The answer is always a resounding yes. Turns out we're in good company - the article quotes a 71 year old Nobel Prize Winner for medicine who says he is doing science better now than when he was younger. Does anyone see the irony here? If he applied for a job as a researcher when he was 65 or 58 or 49 he probably never would have gotten an interview! A 70 year old person can be talented and productive enough to earn a Nobel studying toxicity levels in cancer patients, but to an HR manager it is the scientist's resume that is radioactive. The HR manager wouldn't want to even touch it.

But things are moving in our direction, we've got to keep plugging.....

Take a look at the article, and paste it to your resume!!


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