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Equal Employment Self-Insight

I was offered a job in a company that has around 300 employees, and I think I will be the oldest person or close to it. I am going to accept the offer, but I was wondering if you see the age differential presenting any particular problems, and, if so, are there some steps I should take?

There really should not be any problems with this age differential, but if you expect to find some, you will. By seeing yourself as the old-timer in the company, you are likely to act and react in ways that spotlight your age. The truth is that there are some young employees whose skills, energy, and drive are worn out, and conversely there are older employees whose expertise and energy remain at the cutting edge.

The best step for you to take will be to demonstrate the strengths that you emphasized when you were being screened for this position. Presumably you have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities, and your actions should be focused on ways to apply them to the job.

While there clearly is illegal age discrimination out there, many employers recognize the value that older and experienced employees bring to the workplace. There is a real difference between knowledge and wisdom, and older employees who have taken steps to keep themselves up-to-date are likely to demonstrate both.

The best recommendation is to simply be yourself. By doing so, your co-workers are going to learn from you, and you are going to learn from them.

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