I was very shocked to read that in today’s modern PC lets not offend anyone, totally inclusive, non judgmental (stay away from Twitter), liberal society, women are considered to have reached the peak of their careers at 40 and men at 45. Thats nice isn’t it? A mere 18 years (for women) and 23 years for men (on average) into our working lives we are considered done, has beens. For most of us who have at least 20 – 25 years left to work past the age of 40, that’s an awful lot of years left to go on a downward work spiral. 18% of the UK population is aged 65 and over!
To listen to today’s media you would be forgiven to thinking that only the young in their 20’s and 30’s can invent and be innovative. So consider this, Henry Ford was 40 when he established Ford and 45 when he invented the Model T, Charles Darwin was 50, Samuel L Jackson was 46 when he hit the big time, Penicillin was discovered by a man aged 46 Alexander Fleming who was rewarded for it when he was 56 some 10 years later.
With age comes experience and a level of calmness, you’ve been there, seen that, made the mistakes and found the solution and that is very valuable indeed. More experienced employees are not past it, set in their ways, far from it, todays 45 – 60 year olds started work when email wasn’t even around never mind the internet, most of them didn’t have a mobile phone until their late 20’s early 30’s – so imagine the changes they have seen and dealt with that millennials couldn’t even conceive.
So before writing anyone over the age of 40 off, imagine how much you can learn and benefit from those years of experience and sheer depth of knowledge.