Your work opportunities and compensation should be a reflection of your education, experience and work performance. Unfortunately, some companies look instead at personal characteristics outside of the control of their workers when making big decisions.
Age discrimination is a form of structural discrimination that affects workers over the age of 40. Ageism can take numerous forms, and it can cause serious damage to your career in the years where your earning potential should be the highest.
How can you tell if you have been the victim of workplace ageism?
Your co-workers or supervisor care about your age
There are numerous stereotypes that younger people apply to middle-aged and older adults. For example, there is a common assumption that someone older won’t be as good at working with technology or as interested in learning new technology.
Other people will assume that there are health implications that come with age or that someone in their late 50s or 60s won’t invest as much at work because they are ready to retire. If your coworkers or management frequently reference your age at work, their attitudes about your age could very well affect your career opportunities.
You hit a wall with career advancement
Does your supervisor no longer consider you for big projects? Have you seen younger, less-experienced employees receiving preferential treatment? If you believe that ageism has affected your career, one of the first steps you need to take is to document what workplace behaviors or experiences caused those suspicions.
Showing a pattern of behavior that makes your age more significant than your work performance could help you show that you have experienced age discrimination at your job.