Are You Old? Like, Really Old? Like, 35?

by Evil HR Lady on September 22, 2016

Everyone knows that only young people are good at tech jobs. Okay, everyone knows that statement is foolish, but so many tech companies only want to hire young people. One man decided to start a job board for “old geeks.” He’s fighting the idea that you can’t innovate over 30. What else can you do to fight age discrimination in your job hunt?

To find out, read here: How to get a job when you’re really old (like 35).

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Camellia September 22, 2016 at 2:44 pm

I loved the 2015 movie “The Intern” with Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. Tag line is “Experience never gets old”.


Jeff September 22, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Graying forty-something geek here. Thanks for the info about Old Geek Jobs, Suzanne.

I think that the tech-agism is more of a Silicon Valley thang. I have had numerous jobs in the midwest USA over the years, and my age hasn’t really been an issue.


the gold digger September 22, 2016 at 7:16 pm

I, too, am in the midwest, and my company has hired several people in the past two years and has highlighted in the introductory emails that these people have more than 30 years of experience. In my industry, experience is a very, very good thing.


Cbahl September 22, 2016 at 3:29 pm

Agree this may be a problem at (other) companies, but salary plays into the selection process. Paying for more experience is not always an option when you have a budget to stick to.


Anonymous September 22, 2016 at 5:03 pm

If “Paying for more experience is not always an option…”, at what point does a company plan to compensate experience? Does it plan to not have experienced employees?


J.B. September 22, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Only managers who were great employees but their managerial skills…? The manager title justifies increasing salary though 🙂


Engineer Girl September 23, 2016 at 2:10 am

That’s a really short sighted viewpoint. If you hire right you get what you pay for.
Example: A junior engineer earned 80k less than me. He severely messed up a test because he excluded key stakeholders in the planning/review. Cost of the test failure: $300k. So he cost the company $390k (salary + failed test).
I was called in to fix the test. It went so well that we sold off the requirements in dress rehearsal. That meant we could eliminate a $300k test. So my cost to he company was $170k – $300k (-$130k). That’s my salary minus the eliminated test.
To break it down – if they had hired me in the first place their out the door cost would have been $470k. But because they went with the “cheaper” jr engineer first their final cost was $860k.
Yet HR had the gall to tell me I was “more expensive” than junior engineer.


Slippy September 26, 2016 at 6:49 am

If that is the case we need to see less job openings with: “Entry level job – 2 to 5 years experience required”. You either pay for experience or you don’t, but at least be honest about it.


mer September 22, 2016 at 6:10 pm

A problem with us “experienced” geeks is we see the same mistakes being made and when you try to point it out, you get told “We won’t make those mistakes because we’re much smarter than the people you used to work with” (Yes, I had that told to me and yes, they made the same mistakes).

Old Geeks have also been burned out more than once and realize family is worth something, so besides pay, there is a need to not be at work.

Pay, that’s a personal issue. Most old geeks have a “this is what I need to pay the bills” and a range for “this is what I’d like”. Company should make it’s best offer.


BTownGirl September 22, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Oy, sometimes it’s not just tech. I was working with a recruiter once who was going to submit me for a job at a large, very well-respected construction company in my area. She came back and said, “I’m so sorry, but they’re really adamant that they want someone young.” How old was I at the time? 27. I asked her if what she meant was that they want someone entry-level or the pay range was off for my experience level? No, they just really wanted someone “young”. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard in my life!


grannybunny September 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm

I’m in my 70’s, and last year landed my dream job, after both the hiring official for that job and my then-current manager both contacted me, encouraging me to apply. By the way, both of them are half my age. How did I overcome the age discrimination that exists almost everywhere? I keep my skills up-to-date. I emphasize my present abilities, not my years of experience and past accomplishments. I do the very best job I can. And, most importantly, IMHO, I try my hardest to have positive working relationships with everyone with whom I come into contact.


Anon for this September 22, 2016 at 10:52 pm

IMHO, the moral to the story is to be ready for anything and always have a backup plan. I see tons of companies big and small routinely “laying off” workers a few years shy of retiring and it being incredibly difficult to for them to find new jobs. Agism is rampant but it’s hard to prove and harder to truly have wrongs righted. Keep up your skills, be financially prepared for a worst case scenario, make sure you are presentable so people believe the value of your skill set.


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