“Over Forty” is a euphemism for “over the hill”, “beyond your prime”, “not quite as energetic”. Being referred to as “seasoned” or “mature” is regarded as an insult in the corporate world, sending you looking over your shoulder for the twenty-somewhat-year-old wanting your job. Never mind that it takes twenty years to learn the business or a discipline well. Never mind wisdom, experience, judgement, maturity. This is a tough world.
We need to work longer and save more for retirement, but the business would wants us to retire early. Incomes peak in the fifty to fifty-five age range, which explains why so many companies look into this group as a target for downsizing: they are expensive! :-)
In an economy where the rules seem to change every day, it’s the risk takers who are being awarded. A forty-six year old employee with two kids and a mortgage is less likely to take risks than a twenty year old with nothing to lose.
The solution is to find new challenges. Take on more responsibilities.A Iinnovate, improve on what you’re doing, and to learn new skills. Hey, quit your job if you have to, switch discipline, get on another path, and do so before your energy saps.
Yup, stay current with the trend, create new challenges for yourself, take courses, go to seminars, network with others, be political and keep good relations even with people you don’t like. Finally keep fit and look good. The older you get, the more important it is to eat well, be fit and look good. Whether we like it or not, regardless what the HR folks say, we are judged by our appearances, it’s our first foot in the door. Good-looking people regardless of their age, have an advantage. Sorry, I don’t mean movie-star good looks, but good grooming, attractive and appropriate clothing etc. These good looks give the word a sign of self-esteem. Trust me on this!