I once was feeling sorry for myself…
I was on Facebook one day and saw all of these pictures of people at parties where I wasn’t invited.
So I was feeling a little sorry for myself, and I told friend of mine about how I was feeling…
And she said to me…
“So when was the last time you had a party and invited people over?”
Me: “Well, um….never.”
My Friend: “So you are telling me, you never had a party. You never extend invites to people to come to your house. Yet, you are feeling bad that you don’t get invites?”
Me: “Well… Now that you put it that way… But yes, I am feeling bad about it… Ugh…
<thinking my friend sucks right now for not sharing in my pity party>”
My Friend: “The way I see it, if you want friends, you have to be a friend. If you want invites, you have to give invites.”
Damn, my friend is smart…
<See I am not the only tough lover around here. She is TOUGH. Be glad you have me and not her 🙂 >
So I am here to tell you, if you feel like the 25-35 year old set doesn’t get you, don’t feel sorry for yourself.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you took the time to get to know one of them?
Ask one of them out for coffee or lunch… and just listen! Don’t mentor or lecture…
And make new friends…
When was the last time you networked with people outside your comfort zone, like people 15-25 years younger than you?
If you are a 55-year old Tech Executive, when was the last time you went out for coffee with someone hovering in the 30-35 year old range?
If you are a 45-year old Marketing Director, have you had lunch with a 20-something year old lately, as a peer to see what you can learn from them, in addition to them learning from you?
Can you have a 30-something year old mentor as a 52-year old HR person? Well, if they know how a 30-year old thinks and you don’t, they can teach you stuff, right? And that’s what a mentor does.
Networking with people younger than you is a way to combat ageism.
If most jobs are found through people you know, and you don’t know a lot of 25-35 year olds, and they are making the decisions, well, I say don’t wallow that you don’t know anyone – go make friends.
I mean, when you were in your 20’s and 30’s, you recommended people you knew, right?
Were many of those people you knew in their 50’s? Probably not….
Was that ageism then? Not really… Right?
So why is it ageism now?
See, it’s easy to blame something we cannot control for why we don’t get the promotion, the new job or the plumb assignment…
Because if it is something we can control, then it’s our fault.
70% of hires happen through social media connections, personal contacts and employee referrals.
When I explained this to a client, who was a 22-year Fortune 100 company employee, her response was, “Well, everyone in my network is either retired or looking for work after 25 years with our company. I don’t know any 25-year olds or 35-year olds at work.”
Well, whose fault is that? It’s not only important to keep your skills updated, but you need to keep your network updated.
She does not diversify her network, and then wonders why people younger than her are not calling her.
You can fix this…
Get the steps on how to easily and smoothly network with others at any age and diversify your network genuinely:
Lisa Rangel and the Chameleon Resumes team have helped over 6,000 executives and senior professionals land the 6-figure positions they deserve.
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