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Signs of the Times

What they’re really saying is: You’re Too Old

➔ What are the signs of ageism? They’re all around us. Most we’re familiar with, but there are some new clever phrases working their ways into the lexicon.

Reading between the lines

Let’s start with the tried and true. “We’re going in another direction.” Yeah, and your date has a great personality. This is a pretty-much standard rejection. It could be used on anyone, but for the 50+ job seeker, it usually means that they want to hire someone younger.

“We think you’re overqualified for this position.” Let’s be honest here. This rejection could cut in more than one direction. “Overqualified” could a keyword for “too expensive.” Or, it could mean that they’re concerned that you won’t hang around too long. Either way, the result is the same.

“We’ve found the perfect candidate.” And, it’s not you. Translation: We found someone we can work to death and pay them peanuts. We’re betting that this perfect candidate is a lot younger as well.

While these rejections have been around for a while and are pretty common, we’ve overheard some new twists on this old tale.

How about, “You don't have much runway left.” Whoa! Who do they think you are? Methuselah? With one foot in the grave? Obviously they see you as a plane wreck just about to happen who won’t be around long. The good news is, do you really want to work somewhere like that in the first place?

This last one may actually have some root in fact – depending on the person. This is just a new way of saying that you haven’t kept up with the times. “Your skill set is somewhat legacy.” Must be time to trade in that Commodore 64.

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