If you’re over 50, or even over 45, you’ve experienced it. Resumés overlooked, obvious disappointment in the interviewer’s demeanor if you do get an interview, and then the final kicker, not getting hired when you’re thoroughly qualified and ready to work. It’s the most common form of job discrimination, it’s ageism.
There’s a distressing reality in the work world for anyone 45 and over, especially for women. It’s common to hear women in their late 40’s and beyond talk about feeling invisible and disposable. Despite decades of education, training, work experience, and being highly skilled, these women are finding it nearly impossible to secure an income as an employee.
There are some stereotypes that contribute to women over 45 being overlooked as job candidates. Older applicants are seen as at risk for health and safety issues, resistant to change, and potentially uncomfortable answering to a younger boss. There’s a perception that they will be slower than their younger counterparts. They are also seen as being less digitally agile.
As Millenials have stepped into management positions and have become responsible for hiring, older adults have been left out in the cold.
A New Hope
Surprisingly, there’s actually great news for women over 45 who decide to become their own boss. By the time they’ve reached this stage of life, they’ve got quite a repertoire of skills, talents, and experiences. Additionally, women’s confidence increases with age because they’ve dealt with decades of balancing the demands of bosses, spouses, family, community, in some cases raising children, and often all while working. They’ve developed strategies and skills that make them adept at managing relationships, tracking logistics and deadlines, and solving problems.
Another encouraging fact is that women who start businesses at this time in life are far more likely to succeed than their 20-something counterparts, either male or female. Whether it’s because they’ve developed a strong network, have more time-freedom, or have become savvy about how life works, this is a time of life when the ingredients for entrepreneurial success can come together.
In fact, in the Forbes article, Natalie MacNeil writes that Entrepreneurship Is The New Women’s Movement.
“With the cost of starting a business at an all-time low, women are saying “no thank you” to spending years climbing and clawing their way up the corporate ladder, dealing with corporate politics, and working long days without feeling the overall fulfillment they crave.”
It’s easy to get started on your entrepreneurial journey by checking in with the Small Business Administration and SCORE (Service Corp Of Retired Executives) for free resources, sample business plans, training and support.
Read about other women who began their businesses after 45 and learn what did and didn’t work for them. Test your market to see who your customer is and what they most want. Get additional certification, training, or education in the field in which you’d like to work. And, most importantly, clear away any barriers to having 100% confidence that you deserve it.