Moaning Mondays: Ageism

Ageism really sucks.

Whether it’s against young or old, it really isn’t cool, but today I want to talk about young people being discriminated, something that I find to be ignored.

Fair enough, employers aren’t supposed to ask about your age any more, but we all know it still happens, just not as obvious as it used to. For example, they can work out from the education on your CV how old you are, or in an interview employers may ask questions subtly hinting around age, and having a feeling that you got declined from a job because the you aren’t within the usual demographics for applicants, and you are seen as immature.

It reminds me of children, really – ‘You can’t play with us because you’re too little, only big boys/girls can play with us’.

On the other hand, I don’t agree with positive discrimination to do with age. Feeling like you only got a job with a business because you’re younger than they would normally expect applicants to be, and they either a) want to look like they don’t discriminate
b) want to look better than other businesses by hiring ‘fresh, young talent’.

Getting, or not getting, a job should be to do with your talent or potential alone. Nothing else. It’s very simple.

My generation is what is known as the ‘Unemployed Generation’, three quarters of a million of young people in Britain feel like they have ‘nothing to live for’ as according to the Prince’s Trust. If so many young people are unemployed, perhaps this has something to do with ageism?

We aren’t all bad, employers!

I’m only 17, and I’m already worried that I’m going to be one of those three quarters of a million. It’s incredibly scary. What about if I don’t get employed because of ageism? I’d feel incredible cheated by society.

When the next election comes around in 2015, my generation all need to think extremely hard about what they want from the Government, and research into the potential prime ministers. For example, Mr Cameron doesn’t really have a good reputation when it comes to ageism (http://metro.co.uk/2012/04/30/david-cameron-accused-of-ageism-against-dennis-skinner-in-commons-408892/).

Rant over.

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If you have experienced ageism in the workplace, or elsewhere, tweet me about your experiences @LLeaCunningham.

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