16 Jul Why Age Should Never Be A Barrier to Career Success
I’m fortunate in my role that I get to work with a large team made up of people with extremely diverse backgrounds and of all ages.
It struck me recently when I met with some of our youngest team members just how unique our business is in that sense.
For me and many others I work with, this job has been a complete change in direction at what may be considered as late on in my career. I was headmaster of a school for 7 years and after becoming disillusioned and feeling like I was a cog in the machine I began to consider other options. I started a side project and eventually was able to use my skills along with a calculated risk to make this my full-time job. In contrast, I have many members on my team who are just starting out in their careers and are under the age of 25. They may not have the same experience as someone late on in their career but they bring a fresh perspective and can tap into a different market to build their own success.
What strikes me is that our business allows everyone to achieve regardless of age.
So many people at both ends of the working age brackets, whether they are in their twenties or early sixties, regularly face ageism at work and in the recruitment process. The younger generations are often thought to be lazy, inexperienced and self-entitled and older workers thought of as out of touch, reluctant to accept change and slower than their younger counterparts. These are all dangerous assumptions that can affect the confidence of the individual but also mean that these businesses are potentially missing out on hard-working, dedicated employees.
It’s predicted that by 2020 the global workforce would be dominated by millennials (35%) and generation X (35%), with baby boomers only making up 6%. What makes millennials different is their determination to succeed and desire to climb the career ladder. This is certainly true of the younger members of my team; they are ambitious, set and review personal goals and most importantly, they are climbing the ladder with some reaching Team Leader status in less than a year of being with the company.
Similarly, I work with so many people who are approaching their 60’s and over yet they are thriving in this industry and are in no way slower or less capable that those younger than them. Knowledge, talent and ambition don’t disappear because people reach a certain age and businesses need to capitalise on this.
Did you see the incredible Wimbledon result recently where 15 year old Coco Gauff beat her hero and five times champion Venus Williams? If ever there was evidence that age is just a number, that was it!
We’re fortunate to be part of a progressive company which doesn’t discriminate and instead creates opportunities that people of all ages, experiences and back grounds can achieve as long as they put the work in. My advice to people at any age is to seek out companies like ours, don’t settle in a job that doesn’t allow you to flourish and grow if that’s what you desire. Most of all, believe in yourself that age really is just a number and with the right mindset you can achieve anything.