I saw this article the other day, about ageism. Is this really the last prejudice?
Or is it something we oldsters bring upon ourselves? I am not saying ageism doesn’t exist. But if you take a different approach, it does not have to be your enemy.
Stop playing the experience card. It is old and worn out. Work on bringing a new set of eyes to the table. Be trainable. Ask questions. Ask for advice and help. In the workplace no one but you care about the good old days. Save that for happy hours and lunch time.
Be a little less crusty and more approachable. I am middle age. 63 is middle age, if I plan to live to 120. I was crusty for years, recently I let the crustiness drop in favor of being approachable. Approaching my work and colleagues with the same enthusiasm I had at my first programming job.
In the technical field for the past few decades, I work in a few companies. Softwares engineers, at least the good ones, were not very sociable or approachable. Wake-up and change that attitude. You may not have anything in common with the people in your open space. But everyone has a face and name. Take a minute to learn about the people you work with.
Be willing to be a little vulnerable. If you don’t know something, ask? If someone asks you a technical question, it is ok to say ‘I do not know’ or ‘I do not recall’. Stay curious, not crusty.
Ageism probably exists. It does not have to apply to you. Be the one who changes the prevalent thoughts about those of us with gray hair and no hair. Maybe we can break the ageist stereotype.
Be courteous and curious, not salty and crusty.
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