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You’re old. Get over it.
EDN ^ | October 25, 2012 | Suzanne Deffree

Posted on 10/26/2012 8:50:06 PM PDT by null and void

We all know it’s out there. Lingering. Waiting to impede. Still, I wasn’t expecting it for at least another five years. I’ve 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 other’s careers, even though we haven’t worked together in more than 15 years.

She wondered if I knew of anyone for the job and said: “We’re 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 one’s age on a driver’s license but by mindset and dedication to one’s career.

My friend’s reply was short but not sweet: “You’re 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 decade’s worth of experience. You don’t 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, it’s presumed the candidate is either at too high a salary level or out of touch -- just plain old.

In the time since this blog’s headshot was taken, I’ve 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. I’m 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, it’s 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. 

We’ve 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: TI’s Gene Frantz, who you can read about here, and Avnet’s 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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
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To: beef

No doubt!


51 posted on 10/26/2012 11:03:28 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
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To: mylife

Yeah, well, that’s how it goes I guess.


52 posted on 10/26/2012 11:03:57 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Gnight FRiend.
I can hardly keep my old eyes open.

LOL


53 posted on 10/26/2012 11:04:52 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: JoeProBono

How did you get my picture? Are you the guy that stole my bridge? And my 8 oz bottle of Viagra?


54 posted on 10/26/2012 11:05:46 PM PDT by namvolunteer (Obama says the US is subservient to the UN and the Constitution does not apply. That is treason.)
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To: null and void

I knew I was old when Mrs. Howell started looking good.


55 posted on 10/26/2012 11:06:19 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Yardstick

Old coots
That revolutionized the world.. Jack Kilby

http://www.kera.org/tv/productions/the-chip-that-jack-built-2009/


56 posted on 10/26/2012 11:11:02 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: bannie

Gravitas is that when you are so old your ass has given into gravity?

Mel


57 posted on 10/26/2012 11:11:07 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
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To: null and void
What hit me a few years ago was a tree, in the shoulder, in a fluke logging accident. And it was also a fluke that it didn't kill me. Long story.

There were no broken bones; there was some damage to the sensory spinal nerves although no significant motor impairment. I took 12 hour slow release morphine twice a day for pain relief for two years. Lovely stuff, but I feel much older now.


58 posted on 10/26/2012 11:22:34 PM PDT by caveat emptor (FUBO)
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To: Yardstick

That is why we old folks invented Matlab, Mathmatica, Excel, Lotus 123.

I tell my young coworkers that their calculations are wrong, and give them the left most two digits for the correct answer.

They say “If you know the answer, why did you ask me?” Of course I assigned the problem to them to get the third through 6th digits.


59 posted on 10/26/2012 11:23:35 PM PDT by donmeaker (Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
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To: null and void

I’m still breathing... does that count ?


60 posted on 10/26/2012 11:24:46 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

How about Helen Thomas ?


61 posted on 10/26/2012 11:26:55 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
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To: null and void

Older folks make wonderful contractors, and that is sometimes a way back in the door (if they don’t want to keep on being contractors, which has some advantages of its own).


62 posted on 10/26/2012 11:28:17 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (cat dog, cat dog, alone in the world is a little cat dog)
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To: American Constitutionalist

Helen Thomas is how I know I’ve had enough to drink.


63 posted on 10/26/2012 11:28:46 PM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: American Constitutionalist
I’m still breathing... does that count ?

Yep. No matter how old I get, I always tell myself it beats the hell out of the alternative.

64 posted on 10/26/2012 11:40:23 PM PDT by DeFault User
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To: null and void
Any day above ground is a good day. Old age beats the alternative.
65 posted on 10/26/2012 11:40:44 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (How do you insult an Obama Voter? Call them an Obama Voter.)
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To: Kickass Conservative

21 seconds...


66 posted on 10/26/2012 11:43:16 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (How do you insult an Obama Voter? Call them an Obama Voter.)
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To: null and void
You’re old. Get over it.

And I'm ugly too and my mother dresses me funny.

67 posted on 10/26/2012 11:46:26 PM PDT by TigersEye (dishonorabledisclosure.com - OPSEC (give them support))
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To: mylife

Roger that. And we know full well that we stand on the shoulders of giants. We know that we can only do what we do because of what you and preceding generations have done. It’s just part of the flow of things. I thank God almighty for the way we’re able to build things up and keep moving forward.


68 posted on 10/26/2012 11:48:23 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yardstick

Man, things are moving at an exponential rate.


69 posted on 10/26/2012 11:54:08 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Yardstick

I was just reading about some of the Texas pioneers that I had the great fortune of working with at Electrospace Systems

I hope that you have that experience.

I am still in in contact with most of them but sure miss having breakfast at 5 AM with them all

http://www2.l-3com.com/is/waco/wacocorphistory.html


70 posted on 10/27/2012 12:00:29 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: null and void

I’m not growing up and you can’t make me....


71 posted on 10/27/2012 12:28:26 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: mylife

Like your attitude. I hired several just like you. They kicked my arse all the way into owning a very profitable company.


72 posted on 10/27/2012 1:16:40 AM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: Chickensoup
I had a friend the other day, she is 65, ask me whether there was a medical reason for her wrinkles. She thought she might be dehydrated...lol

I tell myself, "Nobody dies of wrinkles".

73 posted on 10/27/2012 1:20:53 AM PDT by Does so (....... Justice Scalia just turned 78 .........==8-O ............Dims don't think ... they PLOT!)
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To: null and void

If you’re a Christian, it just means that you’re getting closer to Glory. In the present, rejoice because Jesus is your Saviour and have a beer.


74 posted on 10/27/2012 1:24:36 AM PDT by AmericanSamurai
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To: null and void

Old people know stuff.


75 posted on 10/27/2012 1:30:05 AM PDT by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: null and void

well...I’m lucky to simply be here at 55

odds are really high I’ll not last past 70 or so

it’s just how it is

enjoy life...work hard and don’t let yer wife’s bounty go to waste

that’s me

and as for kids who whine all the time

screw ya’ll I have paid into this bullshit maximum rate and amount since late 70s

if they hadn’t let you sissies get trophies just for showing up you might not be sitting in the passenger’s seat in the Prius with wifey driving chin out over the dash and yer balls in her lockbox...boys

youth think they are the best ever and that humanity improves with time when in fact quite the opposite appears true

when I hear some shrill lib wench with too much parchment saying “but it’s the 21st century...don’t these people know we’ve moved on and progressed”

i know she has no clue...

some stiff with a plowshare tilling some little plot in Wessex 1200 years ago probably had more integrity, faith and commitment to others than stupid people today can even imagine

yet they think they are so above it all

their faith is in the messianc evolution of humanity into a new better man..or woman

God?

who’s that right?

/rant


76 posted on 10/27/2012 1:32:50 AM PDT by wardaddy (my wife prays in the tanning bed....guess what region i live in...ya'll?)
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To: Yardstick
"In any case we get more done by lunchtime than you could do in a week or more."

Ha ha, I love it! You remind me of myself when I was in my early 30's and I was always finding ways to get things done in hours that took other people weeks!

Unfortunately, I also ended up alienating a lot of people at the company - not because I was smarter than them, but because I was so arrogant! I ended up leaving because they "didn't appreciate my abilities"!!!

Twenty years later I still get more done before lunch than some people get done in a week, but I don't crow about it. I find more things to do, and I "promote laziness" (my term for helping other employees to do things faster and with less effort). Overall I enjoy my work much more and have more fun than when I was a legend in my own mind!

77 posted on 10/27/2012 1:35:12 AM PDT by Left2Right (Starve the Beast!)
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To: BipolarBob

Love your last sentence. I’ve got to work that into a conversation before I forget it. I just turned 66 and it’s beginning to happen a lot.


78 posted on 10/27/2012 1:55:41 AM PDT by beelzepug ("0bama is a feckless crapweasel")
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To: All

The old bull and the young bull were standing at the top of the hill overlooking a paddock of many gorgeous young heifers. The young bull said, “Let’s charge down the hill, knock over that fence and service one of those heifers each”. The old bull wisely replied, “Why don’t we saunter down the hill, open the gate, take a sip at the water trough and then service ALL of those heifers?”


79 posted on 10/27/2012 1:58:11 AM PDT by Einherjar ( Asking only workman's wages I come looking for a job But I get no offers...)
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To: eddie willers
I’ve gotten to the point where if I can’t find something, the first place I look is in the refrigerator.

I'm so old that they automatically give me the Senior Citizen's discount at Dunkin' Donuts.

When I drop something and bend over to pick it up, I always ask myself, " Is there anything else I need while I'm down here?"

80 posted on 10/27/2012 2:02:41 AM PDT by LurkingSince1943 (Former War Criminal)
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To: null and void
             35


81 posted on 10/27/2012 2:45:45 AM PDT by tomkat
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To: windcliff; onedoug

LOL!


82 posted on 10/27/2012 3:03:59 AM PDT by stylecouncilor (Bazinga!)
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

Yup. The older I get, the older “old” gets.


83 posted on 10/27/2012 3:17:26 AM PDT by Peter W. Kessler (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: mylife
I had a 4.0 college grad ask me what solder is.

And he probably pronounced it "soll-der" or "soul-der." I've heard things such as, "I need to weld these wires together. Do you have any soll-der?" Or, "Does that soll-der stuff work on plastic and wood?" Or, "I'm having trouble nailing this screw through this piece of wood."

84 posted on 10/27/2012 4:36:34 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: RitchieAprile

“60 is the new 40. Really.”
*******************************************************************

Dude, I hear that actually 70 is the new 40!


85 posted on 10/27/2012 5:40:42 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: eddie willers

The rule of 65 says dropped prepositions, typing errors, creative spelling, grammatical miscues and are all ok in casual web posts by a hurried writer over 65.


86 posted on 10/27/2012 5:47:54 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: FreedomNotSafety; mylife
Like your attitude. I hired several just like you. They kicked my arse all the way into owning a very profitable company.

LOL! That's what I do to. I've sold two and am working on the third just because I like to do it.

My "kids" are smart enough to appreciate the experience and guidance - and they can learn about ownership.

87 posted on 10/27/2012 6:06:42 AM PDT by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: MV=PY

The best bosses I ever had were old guys that owned the Company.


88 posted on 10/27/2012 7:35:02 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: stylecouncilor

Eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh....


89 posted on 10/27/2012 8:01:15 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: Neil E. Wright
I’m glad to hear that since I turned 60 last month .... :)

Early next year for me.

90 posted on 10/27/2012 8:26:16 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: eddie willers; Lurkina.n.Learnin
Lurkina.n.Learnin ~ Every few years I raise my definition old.

**************
Of old.

eddie willers ~ Worst sign of growing old is forgetting prepositions.

Nahhh, the worst is missing propositions...

91 posted on 10/27/2012 8:30:51 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: beef
What an arrogant idiot. She has got to be in Silicon Valley and probably a big Obama supporter.

Yeah. I live here. No shortage of that type in my fair valley.

I'd move in a heartbeat.

92 posted on 10/27/2012 8:33:23 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: Persevero
It seems to me there are just as much “older” as “younger” people out there. “Older” can hire “older” if they like. Start their own business if needs be.

Been there, done that, twice in the last 5 years.

Guess what?

Getting funding as an old phart isn't easy either.

Your 20 something bank manager and your 30 something vulture venture capitalist only want to fund "recent college graduates"...

93 posted on 10/27/2012 8:39:48 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: mylife; BuckeyeTexan
We are hiring experienced people.
I work in the electronics industry.

Hey!

That's me!!!

Were do I send my resume?

94 posted on 10/27/2012 8:41:30 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: null and void

History is filled with 20-something wunderkinds who invented the huge whiz-bang and completely failed at marketing it (*cough* Steve Jobs *cough*). At that age you are very good at throwing 100% focus at some particular thing and making something very creative and amazing, particularly when what you are doing is a complete game changer.

As you get older, you get more systemic. You think of the bigger picture, game things out more, backthink better, anticipate, connect the dots, and strategize. You do equally amazing things, but on a more system wide or process scale. It takes time to get that vision.

I see this at my own job. The young bucks don’t think they know what I’m doing because they are quicker and faster at the basic skills and can churn things out faster. They suck at the process though and the quality angle. No follow thru, they want to bounce around to the glory stuff and don’t get that the whole process determines the finished product, a product that demands a very tight tolerance on quality.

A mix of ages in a work situation is good. If you can get that kind of team to work together, you can do some amazing things.


95 posted on 10/27/2012 8:44:19 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Election 2012 - America stands or falls. No more excuses. Get involved.)
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To: Yardstick
We can have stuff done before your old fogey ass even has time to put your orthopedic shoes on. Matlab is just one of many tools at our disposal.

Really?

Do people drive Matlab cars or steel cars?

Do they fly in airplanes built by CAE or BAE?

The simulation isn't the reality...

96 posted on 10/27/2012 8:49:44 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: mylife

They know how to use matlab,

did a double take on that statement, then adjusted my bi focals

First laugh of the day


97 posted on 10/27/2012 8:52:13 AM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: melsec
Gravitas is that when you are so old your ass has given into gravity?

*ouch*

98 posted on 10/27/2012 8:55:37 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: caveat emptor
Lovely stuff, but I feel much older now.

Morphine is lovely stuff. I was on it for a few days after my pancreas exploded.

At least now I fully 'get' how someone could become an addict!

99 posted on 10/27/2012 8:58:27 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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To: American Constitutionalist
I’m still breathing... does that count ?

For now, Boxer, it counts for now.

Got glue?

100 posted on 10/27/2012 9:05:03 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
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