career

'I have applied for over 250 jobs, and no one will hire me. All because of my age.'

Ageism is rife in the Australian workforce. Now this is not a whinge – I am no victim – it’s my experience and opinion on what is happening in the Australian job market.

I have been unemployed for the last seven months due to retrenchment because of global cost cutting; the company I worked for puts profit before people (especially the “older” person).

I am 51 years old and was a loyal employee at IBM for the last 20 years. I started in administration and worked my way up to Asia Pacific Software Operations Leader due to my intelligence, quick learning ability, integrity and perseverance. I was on a six figure salary.

I was a high achiever at IBM – always going beyond my job roles.

Clients like Telstra, Vic Gov, RACV (just to name a few) were always very happy with my service – a couple of them are now close friends.

I don’t have a degree (Diploma level only) however my experience and success is of no consequence in this current job market. The trendy qualification you need these days is a generic MBA – it doesn’t matter about personality or who you are as a person.

ageism-in-the-workplace
"The company I worked for puts profit before people." Image: Getty.
ADVERTISEMENT

LinkedIn has definitely made everyone follow like sheep and performing like seals. You are pigeon holed in little boxes due to their inane algorithms that everyone has accepted as norm - majority of connections and comments are plasticised and synthetic

I have followed advice from many career counsellors and networked to the best of my ability without looking like a desperado.

The majority of the networks I have contacted are not interested in advising or helping. Instead I'm ghosted. 

I have applied for over 250 positionshigh, low and temp positions and I am always knocked back either due to being over qualified, under qualified, have no industry experience or not the right fit.

It has now become quite obvious my age is the major playing factor in not finding a job.

Yes I am going back to school to increase my education theory skills and keep myself mentally active however I have no guarantee this will even help me with finding a job.

Ageism is rife in Australia and I have read and investigated enough articles and forums to know that anyone over 40 is considered old.

What a joke – I have energy, intelligence and a lot to give – I’m not a 'has-been'.

So the question I keep asking myself is why is the retirement age 70 when you are considered of no job worth by the time you are 50?

Do I go on the dole (Newstart) for the next 19 years and eventually lose everything I worked for?

This needs to change because it’s discrimination - ageism – maybe hard to prove however I am not the only one in this situation – I know four other “older” people in the same boat.

I will keep persevering in this job market and staying positive as failure is not an option.

I am good at what I do and no shrinking flower nor victim.

I love being current and I have nothing against “young” people – you can learn a lot from them however it needs to be a two way street.

Have you experienced or heard of people experience ageism in the workplace? Tell us in a comment below.

00:00 / ???