I’ve heard many people say how hard it is to get a job in IT once you’re over 40. It may be the same in other areas but this is one I have plenty of experience in. Now I’m over 50 it should be practically impossible yet, although I once thought it an ageist issue, I no longer believe that’s the case.
So what’s changed my mind?
I was speaking to someone I know who runs an agency recruiting medical staff and she told me that they ALWAYS study CVs, do a minimum of a telephone interview and ALWAYS quiz the candidates on related experience so they can put them forward to the best matches.
Do they do that in IT recruitment? Rarely, in my experience. More likely you’ll apply for a role and some muppet will tick boxes based on what’s on your CV. They usually have NO idea what’s relevant and what’s not or, indeed, whether experience of related technologies can make you a good candidate. They don’t even ask – it’s not on their ‘tick form’.
‘Do you have commercial experience of versions five and six?’, they’ll ask.
‘No, but I do have extensive experience of versions four & six, five is very similar’, I’ll answer.
‘Oh, they’ll say, we can’t put you forward then’
As I said, muppets. Maybe the other candidates are lying and winging it on the job? Maybe I should do that? However, I do have SOME pride left…
Another reason I thought ageism was at work was that so many younger candidates got through. Reality, I believe, is that they’ll take lower salaries; bosses will take a chance that the experience they lack will not be called into play and they’re easier to keep under control.
In other words older employees won’t take any crap and want a bit of time off now and again.
Effectively, I’m retired at 56 by the look, despite having loads of valuable knowledge, skills and experience that any number of organisations could make use of.
Now, I’m not so bothered about being retired because there’s loads of stuff I’m interested in and I can do it now without work interrupting. However, I have a few years still to go on my mortgage so I’ll have to earn a few quid here and there.
Guess I’ll just have to apply myself to other areas…
…maybe I’ll start an IT Recruitment agency, after all, I can’t be any worse than the shower I’ve dealt with!