I understand perfectly well why this is a valuable strategic response to living in an ageist society.
Having 20-plus years of experience doesn’t seem like the typical job deal-breaker—well, welcome to the 2009 recession. Someone who knows how experience can actually hurt you is Hollywood-based journalist Lisa Johnson Mandell. Even with an impressive résumé of more than two decades in entertainment reporting, Lisa found herself in a career rut after unsuccessfully trying to find full-time work.
“I [have] really solid journalism skills and experience, but oddly enough the experience was working against me,” Lisa says. “People who were much younger and much less experienced [than me]—didn’t know the terrain, didn’t have half the contacts I did—were getting all the jobs.”
Lisa’s husband’s theory for her job struggle was that she looked old on paper. He said that when employers pictured someone with 20-plus years of experience, they saw a bad gray perm, not someone young, vital and Internet-savvy. With no prospective job in sight, Lisa focused on carving out her own niche instead of trying to compete with the younger crop of workers.
And with that, Lisa’s résumé makeover began!
Here is a photo of the person who needed to “de-age”
No one is safe so we must all fight for the change.