From my research, experience, and other comments, I know that there are plenty of us 55+ people out there looking for work. Either they/we got laid off or let go, had to return to work during the recession, or myriad other reasons. It takes a hardy soul to encounter situation after situation, website after website, interview after interview where few look like us ... and most are half our age. Discrimination is often very covert (but sometimes blatant.) Age discrimination against older workers is so insipid and normalized, that it scarcely gets discussed. It’s such a waste of human capitol to look over viable candidates who have innumerable tangible and intangible skills and are smart, capable, adaptable, and wise. We’re not all grandparents planning our next cruise. People of color, folks challenged by health conditions, and immigrants have been facing these challenges forever but we’re beginning to honor the laws in place to keep those illegal hiring practices at bay (but they’re still rampant). However, when it comes to older workers, the dialogue usually gets silenced. It’s an apple cart no one really cares to overturn. (Very young people may feel something similar, but there is some truth to the whole “paying your dues” thing.)
It’s just really disheartening. The U.S. in its infancy (in the grand scheme of things) is the worst. Discrimination of all kinds has historically plagued this country, far greater than our European, Asian, or African counterparts, where life experience is honored and cherished.
If you are a hiring manager, I implore you to keep an open mind and push against your own stereotypical thinking. Lastly, the next time I hear someone use the phrase ‘OK boomer’, I will not be silenced or bullied. It’s NOT ok and it’s horrifically condescending.