How I was discriminated against
At the age of 51, I've only recently been forced to use a cane for severe osteoarthritis. As soon as I walk in for an interview, I can see the dismissal in their eyes. When I call back to ask why I wasn't hired, I'm given a variety of answers, including someone was better qualified (at the rate they were paying?), I was overqualified, etc.
What it's like being an older or younger job seeker
No matter how much I emphasize my experience, flexibility, ability to learn new things and the fact that, as an older woman with grown children, I have less drama in my life, all employers seem to want is someone young.
They're afraid to ask about my disability and how it may affect my work, preferring, instead, to hire someone else. I find it works best to bring up my limitations myself and inform the potential employer if there are any government incentives to hiring someone who is disabled.
I've got a bachelor's degree in information technology, and I have extensive experience in writing/editing, marketing, graphic design, and bookkeeping, yet I can't compete with 18-year-old girls with no experience at all, because they're cute.
- Emphasize the lack of drama in your life compared to younger jobseekers
- Emphasize communication skills and empathy
- Bring up your disability in conversation and make them feel guilty if they hire someone else
- Volunteer your skills for a charity or civic organization
- Network, network, network