I read an article in the Boston Globe yesterday that really bothered me.
It covered a topic I’ve spoken about at various companies when addressing the topic of a respectful workplace or diversity in the workplace.
I’m talking about the plight of older employees. I use the word ‘plight’ because it is exactly that!
The article was titled, “The economy’s hot, but gray hair’s not” – Wednesday, August 29th.
I knew exactly where they were going with the article…
In short, if you’re over age 50, and find yourself entering or reentering the workforce again, you’re in for an uphill battle to say the least.
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, companies are finding ways to NOT hire you and are blatantly favoring younger employees.
Here’s a short list of the reasons:
- You’ll want to get paid too much
- You’ll take too much time off
- You may not be able to keep up with the pace of a busy job
- You (supposedly) can’t pick up new technology as fast as younger people
- You don’t project the right “company image”
- You will be responsible for a disproportional amount of insurance utilization
That last one goes DIRECTLY to the company bottom line, and is the reason this article jumped out at me, and is also directly related to what we are trying to do at the Successful Aging Academy.
Older employees can simply cost more money! Prescriptions, diseases, illnesses…
As a result, many companies are extremely wary about hiring older employees.
In fact, one of the people interviewed for the story said that he had an interviewer hang up on him when he answered the question, “What year did your graduate high school?” and he answered 1972!
First of all, I’m certain you cannot even ask such a question, and secondly, that response is the definition of age-ism – which is illegal with regard to the hiring process.
I had an ‘aha’ moment while reading the article…
What if the Successful Aging Academy is not just about reclaiming your health and living longer…what if it’s also about money??
That is, if you project a youthful image and demonstrate robust health…doesn’t it follow that you’re more employable?
I have to think so.
I had been locked into the mindset that my “job” was solely focused upon making people happier and healthier and hopefully, living longer, more fulfilling lives.
Not a bad thing…don’t get me wrong.
And if our program was able to do that = goal achieved!
But I ignored the more practical concept that a healthier person makes for a better contributor and producer in society for a longer period – in the workplace.
If you have more energy, display a clearer, sharper mind, move better and feel better, you can then earn more money and assure yourself of a longer working career as well as a better, more independent lifestyle in retirement.
Even if you feel secure in your job right now, as we all know, things can change in a heartbeat.
None of us can afford to find ourselves on the outside looking in at the job market, and NOT be physically prepared to do something about it.
Conclusion: The ECONOMICS of good health past 50 are impossible to ignore.
Stay strong my friends!