I ain’t dead yet!
I ain’t dead yet!

I was reading a post on Linkedin this morning. It was written by a 20 or 30 something who had just hired a guy 20 years his senior. I guess he thought it was pretty remarkable because he had written a long article about how people in their forties and fifties still have something left to contribute. I know it was meant to be complimentary but it didn’t really feel that way. It felt like more of a sad reflection on how so many have bought into the idea that anyone over 40 or 50 is out of touch and no longer has value.

Responses from people over 40 and 50 flooded the feed.

Responses from people over 40 and 50 flooded the feed. Many had been out of work for a year or more and felt they were being boxed out in favor of younger workers. Carefully worded rejections were sent in an attempt to quietly sideline older applicants and avoid legal ramifications. Thousands had responded and although the message they had received was not overtly implied the sentiment was clear, over 40 need not apply. To their credit, many 20 and 30 something’s chimed acknowledging there was a fatal flaw in the system.

I’m 53 and according to the post, I guess that makes me “old”.

It’s a funny thing, I don’t feel “old” in fact I feel the same now as I did at 43, 33 and even 23. I have a few more miles on me but when I look back to my younger years and what I considered my best work at the time, it makes me cringe a little. I don’t think I actually hit my stride until I was at least in my mid-30s or early 40s. My work continues to improve to this day and I feel like my best still lies ahead. I think it’s safe to say most people who are considered “older” probably feel the same way. Regardless of what we are led to believe getting older is not a curse nor am I about to roll over because of someone else’s perception on aging. They’ve got it all wrong and I don’t plan to fade away quietly. In my 50 odd years on this planet I’ve come to realize one thing, age has nothing to do with it, we all have something valuable to contribute. I may be over 50… but I ain’t dead yet!