Thinking about a taking a new direction in your career? Something you might want to consider in staying with a current employer or your next employer is; how much value is placed in retaining their experienced employees or does there appear to be a constant churn with no thought to training costs? Will your next employer be a stepping stone as you move forward to reach your goals? If so, then it may not be as big a consideration. Or are you planning to stay long-term? Then this is much more important. Just some considerations that may not be considered until it’s too late. Have a good weekend.
Thank you for visiting Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons. c2018
Ageism or discrimination against older people is similar to Jeunism, which is discrimination against older people in favor of younger ones, particularly in the political arena or workplace. Often age discrimination is hard to prove, though. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to see the number of age discrimination charges increase, though 2008 was one of the highest due to the U.S. Financial Crisis. The number of claims remain high. The Federal government defines older workers at being greater than 40 years-old. However; in spite of age discrimination laws, this type of discrimination is very hard to prove.
You think this happens to other people, but not to you, that you are not old enough. Think again! A recent report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) states that for workers between the ages of 45 – 74 years-old, two-thirds of workers say they have experienced or observed age discrimination in their workplace and that such behavior is common. This has resulted in 4 out of 5 Americans over 50 years-old saying they will have to work longer delaying their plan to retire. The report further states that most Americans age 50 years or older want Congress to pass stronger laws to prevent such discrimination.
Other studies show that only 3% of workers who have experienced age discrimination filed a formal report or complaint with a federal or state agency. But this number is difficult to quantify because of under-reporting. Even so, EEOC reports show that age discrimination claims tripled between 1992 and 2017, from 6% to 21%. Often age discrimination is tied to other types of discrimination or harassment. Older workers are also often at the top of the company salary budgets or seen as being a higher cost liability to company healthcare plans or retirement funds, especially if they are vested. To decrease visibility and potential discrimination suits, the elimination of employees with larger salaries are often done on a smaller scale, but can also be on a larger scale, leaving just enough older employees or occurring over a number of annual budget cycles. It is more recently being seen as a trend under “restructuring” of a company.
There are advocates for keeping older workers with costs of higher salaries and benefit costs being offset by organizational knowledge, loyalty, and years of expertise versus the cost of training new workers. However; this may not be valued by those who are mandated to meet their frequently changing bottom-lines this year or by executive leadership who plan to only stay with a company for a few years as they advance their careers.
There is much that has been written on what to do if you are being eliminated, threatened with being fired, forced to retire, or many other names that cover leaving a position earlier than you had planned. There is a plethora of articles on a problem in our society that does not look to be getting better anytime soon without stronger legislation. Below are some related articles along with behaviors associated with age discrimination.
Baker, Shelley. (2017). How Managers Make Unwanted Employees Go Away. ToughNickel. Baker, Shelley @ flourishanyway. Dec 16, 2017.
Jacobs, Deborah L. (2013). 11 Sneaky Ways Companies Get Rid of Older Workers, Forbes. Nov 2, 2013.
James, Susan Donaldson. (2009). Unemployment: Companies Cut Pricey Older Workers. ABC News, Mar 10, 2009.
Palmer, Kimberly. (2017). 10 Things You Should Know About Age Discrimination. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Work & Jobs: Work Life Balance.
Riklan, Michelle (2015). Suspicious Tactics Companies Use to Get Rid of Older Employees. Riklan Resources, Dec 22, 2015.
Swartz, Swidler (2017). Creative Ways Companies Try to Avoid Age Discrimination Claims. Swartz Swidler Law Firms. Jan 13, 2017. swartz-legal.com
c. 2018 Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons
Have you had a big project that you needed help in learning new skills in order to complete a project (target goal) such as for a presentation? You have been assigned a “mentor” to help you, but you know that once the project is over, you will most likely not continue the working relationship? Skills learned, target reached, mission accomplished, and hopefully well! While you have learned much and most likely know each other better and will possibly work on future joint efforts; you and your “coach” have accomplished the task at hand and most likely will return to prior status. Bravo with much appreciation!
Another scenario; you have been in your current position for 2 years, but you are now ready to kick it up a notch and show that you are capable and ready for more responsibility and developing new skills including those in leadership. You have a good professional colleague in your organization who has offered to help you further as you pursue your career goals. Your mutual relationship has been developing very well and you know that this person wants to not only see you do well, but has offered her expertise to help you grow in the direction you are wanting to pursue. You see this relationship has been mutual and has steadily grown over time. You know that your “mentor” has sometimes even seen the potential in you before you have even thought of something as a possibility! You look forward to seeing her and sharing professional information between you. You have become more involved in professional activities and have learned much through shared work. Your mentor has shared valuable information while teaching you the ropes. You in return are sharing what you have learned with your mentor and given valuable feedback. Both of you have grown your professional network and contributed more to your organizations.
While coaches can teach you much valuable information to become more skilled, they tend to be more short-term. Mentors evolve from relationships mutually satisfying and help in personal and professional growth over time. Who is assigned? Mentors or coaches? Which one do you choose? It’s good to know the difference, but to also be appreciative of both.
Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons c. 2018