If you are an older worker, you may begin to sense or feel subtle or more blatant attempts by management to retire. Because it’s much cheaper for companies to hire younger workers than to pay older workers with years of experience, the pressure is real across many industries.
According to AARP, almost 80% of workers who are older have been a victim of or witness to age discrimination in the workplace. Below are some ways you can counter that offensive and keep working until you decide to retire.
Embrace this phase of your life
If you resist succumbing to the negative stereotypes associated with aging, you can push back against managers’ assumptions. Let them know in an offhand way that you just ran a 10K charity race, spent the weekend engaged in a physical activity like surfing or tennis, or built your grandchild’s website from scratch.
Keep your skills cutting-edge
In this day and age, there is no reason to let a critical skill remain missing from your toolbox. YouTube has how-to videos on every topic under the sun, and people can learn new information and skills from free or inexpensive online sites like Coursera.
Meet the challenge head-on
If your manager or even co-workers address the topic of retirement with you, make it clear you have no intentions of retiring now. State that you intend to keep working and cite any upcoming projects in which your role is pivotal. Make sure that they understand you are still relevant in your industry.
Document all interactions
If your company really is pushing you out the door, you need to be proactive because your case could wind up in court. Gather eyewitnesses and ask them to corroborate your version of the conversation. Take detailed notes of what was said when and by whom. Keep your performance top-notch.
If all else fails, learn all you can about your legal rights and options to fight back against ageism in the workplace.