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The Writing on the Wall

Knowing when to walk away takes guts

➔ You really want that job. It sounds just perfect for you. But the tough part is that sometimes you have to suck it up and walk away. What? Are you crazy? You can’t do that!

Not only can you do it. There are times when you absolutely have to do it.

A really tough decision

For the 50+ job seeker, the most obvious case is when you know that this employer or interviewer is practicing ageism. Sure, we know it’s against the law. But the reality is that it happens. And it probably happens a lot more than anyone would care to admit.

Sometimes it’s blatant. Sometimes it’s more subtle. But it’s there and it’s not going away any time soon.

So, what’s a body to do? Yes, you can sue but that will take years – and the hassles of meetings with attorneys and depositions, And the worst part is that most lawyers will tell that those cases are very difficult to win. And even if you do win, then what?

It goes deeper than that

There are circumstances when the hurdles that they put in your path have nothing to do with age. There are many, many accounts of employers or interviewers just plan behaving badly.

In the Middle Ages, these were called trials by ordeal. The interview who intentionally forces you to wait maybe 30 or 45 minutes just to see what you will do; how you will handle it. If you take it in stride, you’ve past the test and are allowed to move on. But is that really the kind of company where you would want to work?

Recently we heard a story of a company president who asked a candidate to come in for an interview on a Sunday – just to see if he would do it. If that’s the way they treat job candidates, do you really think that they treat their employees any better?

A very wise colleague once told us that your success is determined as much by the people you don’t work for, as it is by the people you do work for. Sometimes your best move is to move on.


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