The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Friday, September 05, 2014

40-Something Paradox

Posted by Seeking Solace |

I have often said that being in my 40's is fabulous. And it has been fabulous. I am in the best shape of my life. I am confident in many aspects of my life. I don't give a rat's ass of what people think.

But, there is one part of being 40 that is not so fabulous...being passed up or not being valued for your experience because of your age.

Husband is experiencing this at work. He is considered the "old man". He and two other guys are in their mid to late 40's. They have 20+ years of experience in the field. Yet, they are having to answer to younger guys who have little to no experience in the field.  In two cases, it's their first job. Needless to say, Husband and his buddies are frustrated because they see things that are wrong, yet management wants to go with what the young guys want to do. And, when Husband and the older guys try to show the younger guys the error of their ways, it is met with arrogance.

Needless to say, Husband is an unhappy camper. It could be that the HMFIC's at Husband's job are just being douchey. But, that does make the feelings less real.

 I've seen this too. I often wonder if part of the reason that I am being passed for jobs in my age. It doesn't take a math genius to see that on my CV, I am in my mid 40's. But, I often wonder if my experience is a detriment rather than an asset. Now, I am not saying that there is discrimination going on here. I can't prove it.

But, it does give me pause.

I remember when I began looking for attorney jobs. No experience meant no job. The rub was how does one get experience when you are not give to chance to get experience. Now, it seems the rub is how is one rewarded for their experience when those in power do not recognize the value in experience?

And, there lies the paradox.


Rev Dr Mom said...

I am 61 and worry about this even more than you -- I have 10 years before I can retire and I want to relocate soon. It has been heartening to me that in two of the positions where I've been a runner-up, they ended up hiring women slightly older than i am.

I finished grad school at 41 and age did not seem to be an issue at that point. Sometimes it's hard to parse out ageism from other issues. Nonetheless I believe it is real, pervasive and harmful. BUt don't given in to the notion; show them how fabulous you are and age perhaps won't matter so much to them.

Anonymous said...

The opposite is true at my job. Just went through a summer of hell because of trying to get the team I'm on to follow my advice about a project. Instead we just got disbanded as a team and my beautiful work is being handed off to someone else. All bc of these "experts" that are 10 years older than me. Today I learned these "experts" recommended the exact same solutions I had been pushing for 3 months. If I was in my 40s instead of the "kid" in her 39s I'd of been heard.

Tell husband chin up!
-rented life