Why is so difficult to find a job when you are over 40?

After all, 40 is the new 30, right?

3 mins read

Job searching is hard at any age but for those over 40 can be even harder. Why?

Age bias.

Even though age discrimination is now illegal almost everywhere, it does happen.

When you are young, they tell you that you have no experience. When you are in your 30s, they assume that you will want to start a family, so they ask you if you are married, if you plan to have children or if you will have a second child (these questions are unfortunately common for women in a job interview). If you are over 40-45, they tell you that you are overqualified. But what do they really think?

Employers see older age as disadvantage. They may think you are too old, that it will be difficult for you to adjust/ be trained, that you will be less productive than someone younger or that your financial expectations will be too high.

All this is based on assumption and misconceptions.

We all have obligations and they never stop. When one decides to look for a job has already thought how to cope with his/her daily obligations, he/she will have a plan. In my opinion how good is someone at work has nothing to do with age, it is a matter of qualifications and character.

Professionals in their forties, fifties are committed, reliable and have great experience. They can be great mentors/leaders.  Because of their experience the training can be quicker. They are not afraid of change and want to be challenged. They will also think twice to leave a job so the turnover rates of the company will be lower. Regarding the high compensation that maybe entitled, employers must see these kinds of employees as investment and of course they can always negotiate the salary.

Make your offer and let him/her decide. You can’t know his/her financial situation or how much he/she wants the job. And for those job seekers over 40 like me: I once accepted a job offer with a pay cut and a year later, I asked for a raise. And guess what… I got the raise because I manage to bring results and increase the revenue of the company. So don’t get discouraged.

To sum up my position, employers shouldn’t indulge in false, negative stereotypes about older candidates. They should base their decision on the attitude of the candidate and if it is a good fit for the specific position. After all, 40 is the new 30, right?













Anna-Maria Papagiannaki has a bachelor degree in Psychology from the American College of Greece, Deree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in General Management from DeVry University. She has over 15 years of experience working in Retail Industry as General Manager.