What is the meaning of the term “ageism”? How did the term come to pass – perception is older workers as non-productive, not motivated or team oriented, cannot commit to the job, less energy than younger workers, so need to move aside.

So if you are reading this, you are a Manager with curiosity and an open mind, valuable qualities, and like most Managers, you have this problem.  You would like more key initiatives completed, using little or no budget and in the shortest time possible.  You need access to talented and dependable people, “people in the pocket” that can be used on an as needed basis.  Enter the older, experienced worker, resources for a short term project or business cycle.

With the use of those valuable qualities just identified, let’s be frank and try to solve how to complete more and ways in which an older experienced worker can be used to benefit and align with a Manager’s goals and values: 

1) An older, experienced worker doesn’t need the money: Recognize, though, they do need to be a contributing member of a group (aka department, team, project, etc).  A younger worker needs the money and so will manage their career accordingly.

2) An older, experienced worker does not want your job: Recognize they are supportive, working with your goals and objectives and, although they may know more because of their years on the job,  they don't want your job.

3) An older, experienced worker wants to make you look good: Truly, deeply and completely, and for a long time. A younger worker naturally wants to move up the corporate ladder. 

4) An older, experienced worker can hit the ground running: yep accounting, marketing, office administration any position and management level that is transferable to other sectors, even more, including strategic, if same sector experience.

5) An older, experienced worker is technically savvy: Although starting in business pre technology but they had to adapt when business widely adopted technology in the 90s.  Their danger is they can show off because they can add and subtract with or without Excel!

6) An older, experienced worker (if employed) will stay longer on the job: Think back how long a younger worker has remained in the position hired for, 1 year, 2 years?. What is the perception of older worker’s time with the company,  1 year 2 years? Check the facts, I will bet that a younger worker stays less time after hire than an older, experienced worker. When hiring, a young worker’s staying in the job is not a consideration, but with an older worker it is a qualifier to not hire. Why is that, when facts don’t back that up? 

7) An experienced older worker will get sick:  There are hundreds of experienced older workers who are in great shape, their “office” is the gym.  Find them there and reach out


Now that the misconceptions have been sidelined, how can this powerful resource be used to move the Manager’s agenda forward and within budget:


ü  Hire for a limited time during key business cycles

ü  Hire for  short term disability positions or parental leaves

ü  Hire for limited term projects such as campaign launches or promotions

ü  NEW: Hire for social media – write your generic social media posts that gain traction


So my overall point to this blog is to vet your hiring for real reasons, not perceived.  Hiring this cohort for a specific purpose is a step forward not a step backward, because they have been in “in your shoes”.  Their only need is helping the team and you and you hold the control.  Share your ideas by emailing me at janice.maguire@gmail.com