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Tips to help older workers stay professionally relevant

by | Apr 30, 2020 | Firm News

Some people in California might find themselves facing age discrimination in the workplace if they are 40 or older. While employers are not supposed to engage in age discrimination, there may be subtle, unconscious bias that can affect an older person’s success in the workplace. Older workers may be able to take some steps to reduce the likelihood of this bias.

Stereotypes about older workers are that they are not adaptable or cannot keep up with new technology. Older employees should make sure they stay current on new technology and industry information. They should show willingness to learn from their younger coworkers while also making an effort to continue producing innovative ideas.

Careful grooming, having a contemporary haircut and dressing stylishly can help make a good first impression while building strong interpersonal relationships can help with the longer term. Older employees should attend conferences and talk to current leaders in the field.

Some older workers might also want to consider moving into a new field. While staying in a current position to avoid job hunting might be a good idea for some employees, others may decide this is a time to transition to a new career and use their skills in a fresh environment.

People who are facing workplace discrimination may want to talk to an attorney about their rights and how they should proceed. The attorney might advise them to document any incidents and save any voicemail, email or other examples of discrimination. An employer often tries to claim that firing, demoting or refusing to promote an employee is because of performance issues, so the person may also want to keep track of any positive evaluations. The first step may be to pursue the discrimination claim in the workplace and then turn to legal remedies if the employer is unresponsive.