Skip to comments.You’re old. Get over it.
Posted on 10/26/2012 8:50:06 PM PDT by null and void
We all know its out there. Lingering. Waiting to impede. Still, I wasnt expecting it for at least another five years. Ive heard it hits women earlier than men, but now, already? And on my birthday, too. Ouch.
When having coffee with a long-time friend, who also happened to be one of my first managers, an open position at her company came up in conversation. She and I have maintained a good relationship since I worked for her back in the 1990s. We make an effort to follow each others careers, even though we havent worked together in more than 15 years.
She wondered if I knew of anyone for the job and said: Were looking for someone just like you, who can do all you can do, except young.
Excuse me? I pointed out that at just having blown out the candles on my 35th birthday cake, I am young, or at least on the younger side. Certainly not old.
Now, I have to admit, I had watched some Matlock that morning, I knew there was a storm coming because of some knee pain, and, yeah, the photo run with this blog was taken many moons ago when I was, by most definitions, young. But old, no -- Not over the hill, not stuck in my ways, not without the spirit and attributes many assign to youth: ability to learn quickly, willingness to experiment with new ideas and to conform with new corporate cultures, freshly educated, and up on the latest processes.
Had I turned 35, 45, 65, or 85, was not the point. These attributes are not defined by ones age on a drivers license but by mindset and dedication to ones career.
My friends reply was short but not sweet: Youre old. Get over it.
My coffee had turned bitter and so had I. If she wanted someone who could do all I could do, she wanted someone with more than a decades worth of experience. You dont get that in a 20 year old.
Just a few years after I had worked with this woman and in between full time jobs, I worked with a career strategist and wrote resumes for some very experienced people. Mask their experience level, I remember being told because, although this was sugarcoated, age discrimination exists. If you list 20 years of experience on a resume, its presumed the candidate is either at too high a salary level or out of touch -- just plain old.
In the time since this blogs headshot was taken, Ive been honing my craft, solving problems, working with engineers and other editors on a daily basis to grow my experience, and become a more well-informed force than would have been possible when I started my career.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of Mark Zuckerbergs, where the flashiest new idea often comes from someone not old enough to remember the Reagan years, let alone be born before them. These shining stars are allotted tremendous power and influence over industries. Im scratching my head, gray hairs and all, and wondering why.
Why value the inexperience and ignorance that often accompanies youth? Why not hold higher the experience, knowledge, and sharpened creativity that only comes from decades in a field?
There are plenty of smart young guns out there who deserve respect. We at EDN often make efforts to bring the next generation of engineers along and encourage them to make the commitment to engineering that develops into 20, 30, or more years in a career. But for the current generation of engineers, its a disturbing fact that age discrimination undervalues know-how and insults the importance of careers and ingenuity.
Sickeningly, I suspect many reading this have been the victim of age discrimination in some form or another. Even in such a minor brush as experienced over this birthday coffee, age discrimination hinders the ability to share experience and knowledge. Ultimately, that dampens the strength of employees and weakens the field of engineering.
Weve had two high-level members of the electronics industry announce plans to retire in recent weeks after long, stellar careers that made massive contributions to electronics: TIs Gene Frantz, who you can read about here, and Avnets Roy Vallee, who we spoke with a few weeks ago.
Vallee pointed out in the interview with EDN that careers are marathons, not sprints. Honor and recognize those who run the marathon over decades, who have proved their strengths and dedication to engineering and design, not just those starting the race.
Indeed we do.
Only if you're going down, not up...
Check your FReepmail.
odds are really high Ill not last past 70 or so
Chin up, according to the actuary tables you've got another 25 years on the average.
(I'm assuming adding another 5 years of life to what you are expecting is a plus for you...)
Have you tried opening up a business lately?
I have. It is going and this year I might break even. Hire someone? I need to make a profit first.
Past forty in the business world you are old. They want a 20 year-old with a MBA and 30 years experience. < /slight sarcasm>
It's funny because it is true!
Btw, to mylife — my comments last night were pretty snotty. I was playing the role of uppity punk pretty exuberantly there. That was mostly internet braggadocio but my apologies if any of it crossed the line.
Oh! and BTW, what I see everyday is the young bucks roll in driving their BMW’s at 9 AM...9:30.. 10...
The old guys are there at 5:30 AM driving pickem up trucks that they used the night before to make a buck on the side.
You did a superb job!
That was mostly internet braggadocio but my apologies if any of it crossed the line.
Of course it was, of course you did.
Not to worry, it was exactly what the thread needed. No harm, no foul, and no offense taken.
(I don't suppose your company is hiring old pharts, are they?)
Agreed. Much worse.
Besides, we’ve been that guy...
Believe me! I was that guy! I am that guy in my heart.
I am a proud of independent ops, but sometimes you need a hand, or just a second set of eyes to see where you are stuck.
I loved to put the boss or the instructor on the hot seat.
I loved that, until I became the boss or instructor.
Then I started looking at the notion of team building.
But quite frankly, I don’t have the belly for team building.
I still pop off at people But temper my tongue more nowadays LOL
It is what it is
I’m just an old punk LOL
Oh yeah. Me too.
I’ve managed to force some moderation into my words and actions. Still no luck on moderating my thoughts...
I am an old submariner and make a conscious effort to soften my words so as not to offend delicate ears, but sometimes things just blurt out.
Just the other week one of my co workers said, “You just dropped the F bomb 7 times in 30 seconds”
I said, Did you get the gist of what I was trying to convey?
Okay, good! :)
So, you go ahead and give up. Despite my pain, I'm hanging in there. And heaven help the ignoramus who tells me I'm old and should welcome "glory". You go ahead and welcome it for me. I'll just be hanging around waiting until I don't "want" to be here any more.
(no proselytizing, please). Peace be with you.
I don’t mean to be overly optimistic. I just don’t like the ‘victim’ sort of tone, you know?
*shrug* I’ve managed to get 3 interviews...
...in five years.
No proselytizing? You’re on the wrong site. We’re biased and Pro Christian religion on this site here. This is Free Republic, not moveon.org
Just keep plumpin’ it up! :D
I tell myself, “Nobody dies of wrinkles”.
In one senst this is absolutely true.
But in a broader perspective, I am not so sure! LOL
Spotted in today’s job search:
Senior Process Engineer - New College Graduate
San Antonio TX
A new twist (of the knife) on the old “We want a 20 year old with 30 year’s experience” chestnut...
OMG! That’s insane!
“A new twist (of the knife) on the old We want a 20 year old with 30 years experience chestnut...”
I very much sympathize, my earlier comments were to encourage you not to think like a victim, even if you are one (somewhat), I’d like to see you be able to overcome a bad job market. Just wishing you well. I know “start your own business” is a big deal, but maybe even a small thing on the side would help with income, confidence, contacts, etc.
As for “new college graduate,” one thing I can understand is that they want to pay a starter salary, not an experienced salary.
How about thinned out wrinkled old veins and arteries ?
One privilege of getting old, you get to make a bucket list.
I’m 70 and today took on a new client
It’s actually quite amusing, in a few short years I’ve gone from being the young guy that didn’t have the experience they wanted, to being the guy that has the experience they want, but the miles they don’t!
My last two (unpaid) jobs were failed start-ups.
I’ve got the idea I need for another turn in the barrel, but can’t afford the barrel!
If someone out there wants pressure sensors that cost fractions of a cent, send ‘em my way.
I have fully functional prototypes...
It's not just that. They won't take experience at a starting salary.
Until the economy improves and some HR droids get drop kicked to the sidelines, it will remain the same.
The 'small thing on the side' does help, but you have to be careful going black market.
'Eff 'em. I've reduced the expenses so much that I can pan-handle enough to pay the bills.
I expect things to pick up after the election.
“Im 70 and today took on a new client”
As Clint Eastwood said in character, "A man has to know his limitations!"
Next time you see her tell her to thank God they aren’t painful...:O) but I can beat that. Did home health care for a gal 94, she wanted to know why she had arthritits...shocked, I told her....for God sake Grace your 94......she was still getting her husbands pension when he worked at Ford decades ago....one day she said, I’ll bet every time they right my check someone at Ford says...for cripes sake why doesn’t this old woman die......she also had a sense of humor. Lived to be 96
She had my interest until she said she was all of 35. After that it read like the shallow piece of fluff it is.
that’s just stoopit and I’ve never understood the mentality that goes into it.
I’ve seen good, Great and OMG they will suck whatever they do and didn’t seem to make a difference.
What did make a difference was hunger. Whoever wanted it bad enough made it. Some had easier than others.
I will say the difference is learned skills.
In my particular profession, sales, the only people eating every day are those who hunger for some acheivement, whethere it is an external goal such as your quota or you just gotta be at some level of performance or need a certain income.
In sales, as in owning a business, it’s strictly about performance. You can’t hide from it.
You are either meeting the company’s objectives for your job or exceeding them. Everyone else will be making new friends...bottom line.
You can learn the skills to become successful but if you don’t have the desire “You’re Fired” and I’ve been saying that for over 30 years.
Now, in the IT world it’s a bit different. There are skills that only old people have and I ain’t asking some Nintendo/Xbox specialist to do what I need.
See, for me it’s simple: Someone can do your job, heck even I can do your job(I don’t want to). What I am looking for is someone who is an excellent to extraordinary problem solver, period.
I hand you a job or something crops up under your purview you ought to solve it and I shouldn’t be my usual fixerupper type personality.
Kids ain’t there, especially this generation. They think they are special and deserve certain things.
Move back home and let your parents tell you that.
Here, I ask you to do a thing and walk away expecting it to be done, then you better do it and not make me put my thinking cap on and get dirty.
Older people have seen it all and been through the ringer.
They get the job description: Problem Solver.
I’d say this person is narrow minded and don’t know squat.
Older people are easier to work with anyway. They’ll tell you like it is or tell you off(which is fine if they do their job)
I turn 50 next year. I don’t feel like it’s old AT ALL but, I am aware of what people would think as they stared across from me.
Like “Why isn’t he a manager?”....Never wanted to be.
“Why hasn’t ever gone up the ladder” Couldn’t care less.
“This guy could take my job” I’ve heard it before and had to explain if I wanted their job I would have applied for it but, I have never had any thoughts of being a manager or climbing the ladder.
I always wanted to be my own boss and that’s all I ever want to be.
Hence, I have my own businesses, closed one down earlier this year due to a torn rotator cuff but, that’s life and I can do it again next year.
No one ever tells me what to do that is just completely stupid. My customers are my bosses and they have short demands and only care about the result.
Great! The result is all I care about and I get paid plenty to get my customers what they want.
Personally, if someone wanted to be on their own and didn’t to be part of the slave class, working for some friggin moron who could never find his azz with two hands, I think people ought to consider an Amway distributorship or something like that.
Hell, put in a couple of years on a business and you can pretty succesfull without the mind numbing stupidity of a manager who is constantly trying to find relevancy for his existence by robbing....NO, stealing from you, very valuable time and constantly interrupting your life with BS meetings that are always pointless and serve only to make him feel special.
Eff em. Make a life and never take shit from anyone again.
It doesn’t have to be some multimillion dollar a year business, it’s needs to pay the bills and give you joy tending it.