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Too Old For IT Jobs? 7 Fight-Back Tips
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RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 11:16:37 AM
The Key
I think No. 4 is key: talking about your experience in terms of accomplishments, not years. It also relates to No. 2: keeping current. You need to show that your rich experiences show that you're constantly updating your areas of expertise. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 12:14:52 PM
Gray Hair and IT Interviews
What age-related traps or surprises have you encountered during the interview process, IT pros?  Let's hear advice you would have for your fellow job applicants.

 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 12:26:02 PM
Re: Gray Hair and IT Interviews
I like the fact that the tips are really related to thinking about fitting into the job rather than superficial fixes like suggestions to dye or shave your hair to get rid of the gray. I've even heard that some men get Botox injections in order to look more youthful for job prospects. 
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 12:51:39 PM
Jump Before Pushed?
Just this week I heard of someone switching jobs in part because this person had doubts about a current role, is around 50, and felt opportunities to move would diminish after 50. Does that sound rash or reasonable? It's a variation on #6, to network while you're still employed.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 1:14:06 PM
Re: Jump Before Pushed?
No question it matters if change is big enough. I have relative who works for Microsoft out of Dallas area. Whenever we would visit, he would always hit me up to work there even though my entire career has been in ERP support and development on IBM mainframe and midrange computers.

His argument was that kind of knowledge is what Microsoft needed, to learn from professionals from different platforms, especially a heavy hitter like IBM. But now at age 55, it is way too late to make major shift like that. By time I would integrate with Microsoft so I could actually contribute, how many years of useful work could they expect? It would have made sense back when he first asked when in my 40's, now it would make no sense for Microsoft to make that investment in someone so close to end of career. And who would blame them for that?

Point is, at a certain age, I don't think jobs which are a major change in technology base make sense anymore, for you or for them.
JayOza
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JayOza,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 1:51:15 PM
Use your age as an advantage
You can't  hide your age so don't play defense, but go on offense.  This means you have to clearly show how your expereince helps companies make and/or save money.  If they care about that then you have just leveled the playing field and even taken an edge over your youthful competitors.

 
jurowski
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jurowski,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 2:03:33 PM
prove to them that you're a valuable asset
If you are worried about being viewed as "old school", then it's up to you to prove that you're not. Break the mold and learn a cutting edge web development framework, for example. Devote your nights and weekends to creating a Google App Engine python app, or a Ruby on Rails app... talk about your drive to continually expand your knowledge base, and use your newly developed app to prove that you know what you're talking about.

Ageism in hiring is a reality. You're going to have to prove wrong whomever is on the other side of the table, but it can and should be done.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/2/2013 | 2:18:57 PM
Re: Use your age as an advantage
You could hide your age doing something like dyeing your hair. But it seems a better idea to go on offense, as JMO mentions. In that regard, why don't IT people with skills and experience aim for management positions?
Zman7
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Zman7,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/2/2013 | 2:28:51 PM
Re: Use your age as an advantage
Mak63- here's a couple of reasons I can think of:

1) Not everyone is cut out for management.  It takes a certain personality and desire to want to manage people.

2) IT is easy compared to management, especially if it's project management.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 8:23:31 PM
Re: Use your age as an advantage
@JayOza -- that's a great point. Use what some may call a disadvantage to your advantage.
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