Does Age Affect My Ability to Become a Contractor?

Remember when you were younger and people often asked, what do you want to be when you grow up? What was your response? Astronaut? Movie Star? Pro-Athlete? The kid from the chocolate advertisements? In hindsight, we all know that these lofty aspirations rarely materialize as reality – but it doesn’t mean we should stop dreaming about progression towards our ideal role.

Many people have pre-conceived perceptions of how their age bracket is viewed from an employer’s vantage point. People in their early twenties often feel they’ll be seen as immature or inexperienced. On the flip-side, many people entering the autumn of their professional years feel they cannot compete with the knowledge and autonomy of the youth. These perceptions can lead to a lack of confidence when approaching a new career path. But, as the years pass by retirement age is steadily advancing and people are working later in life. It’s now that we need to realize the startling truth of the old cliché “age is just a number”.

One of the reasons behind the introduction of the Equality Act 2010 was the protection of employees of all ages within the workplace and through the application process. Essentially employers cannot reference age as a reason for you attaining or being rejected from any given role – all ages are to be seen as equal. Reputable employers will adhere to this, meaning you should have no concerns about applying for the role you’re seeking. So, with those concerns waived, what is holding you back? Well, research has shown that it is likely your attitude towards your age that is holding you back from career progression – rather than any prejudicial views of an employer.

Your self-belief, thoughts and perceptions can often provide your greatest hurdles in professional life. If you have confidence in your experience and abilities, you are more likely to succeed – positive thoughts yield positive results. If you firmly believe that your career aspirations are pipedreams, never set to become reality, then you’ll miss exciting, achievable opportunities simply because of your “I am not worthy” mind-set.

Let’s change perspective, instead of seeing age as a hindrance why not focus on the positives. With age comes experience; real-life, hands-on experience which is impossible to ascertain through training and conditioning. This gives you a distinct competitive advantage over your younger counterparts. Seasoned employees can offer a wider range of skills, a vantage point that spans both distance and alternate direction, and reasoned communication styles that have been refined to address multiple audiences throughout the years.

Regardless of age, making change is not an easy process. But if you take the time to sit back, review your transferable skills, reflect on your experience and consider your previous achievements, the benefits that you can offer any employer will soon become apparent. Confidence is key, don’t sell yourself short, focus on the present and make your age an asset rather than an inadequacy.

Never let your age be a barrier to your aspirations, use it as your ally – apply for the role, and secure that position!

Beat the age barrier succeed and progress with these useful tips.

• Your CV should highlight your qualities, your abundance of experience and your significant abilities applicable to the role you’re approaching. Emphasise to that you are capable of undertaking the position confidently. Date your experience as far back as you like but focus on achievements from the past 10-15 years for the most part.

• Consider how you’ve approached professional development, is your knowledge up to date? Highlight any online courses and training you have completed or are working through. Focus on any achievements and accomplishments you have attained.
• Keep up to date with technology, it is essential for most job roles that you are competent in the Microsoft Office platform.

• Create a presence on LinkedIn. The recruitment process is changing and 93% recruiters use LinkedIn during the screening process.

• Be positive, confident and show future employers that you have future aspirations. This will highlight to potential businesses that you are willing to grow and you have the vital drive to succeed.

If you have concerns over your eligibility to become a contractor for any reason please be in touch. We’ll happily discuss your options with you and we have links to hundreds of reputable recruitment agencies who are looking to fill roles regularly.

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