Not everyone is ready to retire at age 65. Whether it's for financial reasons, the desire to keep working, or just wanting to stay active and relevant, many people work well into their 60's and 70's.
Unfortunately, what I hear most often from people who apply for jobs in the corporate world is, "You have the experience, but we are building a culture here." Building a culture here is code for, you are too old to fit in.
I’ve been wanting to write about something that’s been bothering me, and apparently millions of other workers over 60 years old. And it’s this question: Are companies reluctant to hire people 60+, full time, because they don’t feel they will stay a long time, or because they might not fit into the company culture?
Now, there are arguments to be made by companies shying away from hiring the super-experienced, while ignoring some compelling evidence for hiring good people in their 60’s. These workers have:
- A ton of experience with many things – many senior workers have been around since punch card computer systems.
- Learned what Not to do and can keep teams from making the same mistakes.
- Typically shown to have better attendance records.
So, I think we have to assume if the 60+ worker is looking for employment in the field where they have been most of their career, and they have delivered multiple successful projects, received awards, etc., it cannot be for lack of successful experience.
Let’s take the question a bit further. If a company is open to hiring the 60+ crowd, is it more likely that they will be hired for part-time consulting-type work versus full time? If you’re in the camp of not wanting to upset the culture bringing in an older worker full time, is it less jarring to the culture to bring them in part time?
For myself, since turning 60 I have had several part-time sales training/coaching/process contracts, but none full time. (At the same time, I also run my IT training company MindIQ, plus this Late Boomers Rock website. All combined, it takes up more than 40 hours.) I like this work balance. It works for me. However, out of curiosity, a while back I applied for several full-time jobs. Not one taker. I have the same experience eight to 20 hours per week as I do at 40 hours per week. Kind of curious, wouldn’t you say? To be clear, I am not preaching about age discrimination in the legal sense. But, rather our attitudes toward older workers.
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Accomplishment Never Gets Old.