My story\nAfter my 30-year career ended, I began searching for a new job only to discover that my age and experience were not as valuable as I hoped. I joined the growing number of workers who plummeted from being high performing corporate citizens to inexperienced job seekers. And the market place was not overly welcoming. \u00a0\u00a0\nFor women over 50 getting a job became much harder after the 2008 crash. In 2013 half these job seekers were unemployed for over 27 weeks. Furthermore, once you get a new job, it is likely that your new salary will be 25% lower. Because today\u2019s job market pits older workers against new graduates, companies favor younger employees at lower salaries.\nAgeism is real\nWhen employers were given resumes which were identical except for the age, the call back rate for middle-age applicants was \u00bc lower than for younger applicants, and it declined by another \u00bc for applicants from middle-age to applicants age 65. Studies suggest that age discrimination starts as young as 35. Although age discrimination is illegal, it is difficult to prove in the hiring process as a qualified candidate is always selected. When dismissing an employee companies never identify age as the reason for dismissal, and most claims are settled out of court.\u00a0Companies use job postings to exclude older applicants by advertising entry-level positions requiring recent graduates, or less than 2 years of experience.\nNegative assumptions about older workers are unfounded. The common myths are that older employees are:\n\nNot current with technology and lack computer skills\nSet in their ways which makes them difficult to train\nWill leave when a better opportunity comes along\n\nFacts show that older employees are as tech-savvy as their younger counterparts and are less stressed when learning new technology. Both applicant pools have comparable performance, and invest in learning new skills and keeping fit.\nEmployee loyalty is equivalent with 58% of millennials expecting to leave their job in less than 3 years for better opportunities. There is no evidence that investing in younger employees is better.\nFlip the script!\nOffset these negatives by managing your image. Construct a \u201cyoung\u201d resume, think and act with youthful exuberance. Here are some suggestions:\n1. Dress and act young\nBe positive, spruce your image by purchasing a new interview outfit, get a haircut and put a spring in your step. Act the part!\n2. Build your web presence\nCreate a profile on LinkedIn. Goggle your name and see what comes up, this is what your future employer will find.\n3. Give your resume a facelift\nRemove dates and unrelated experience. Show only your past 10 years of experience, and omit graduation dates.\n4. Stay current\nGet certifications in your field, read articles, become familiar with new acronyms and emerging trends.\n5. Be technically literate\nKeep your skills current. This also applies to your personal electronics.\n6. Grow your network\nExperts report that 85% of jobs were a result of networking.\u00a0 In addition to vying for advertised positions, networking exposes you to approximately 80% of jobs, which are never published.\n7. Volunteer\nUse volunteer activities to expand your skills or hold a leadership position. Volunteerism shows you are active. It is an easy way to build your network connecting with people who share your passion.\n8. Choose your targets carefully\nLook for a company whose culture values experience and diversity\n9. Showcase your successes\nIn an interview explain how your experience can benefit your future employer! Probe for business problems that you have solved. This changes the dynamics of the conversation and shows your maturity and knowledge while positioning you as a trusted advisor.\n10. Consider alternatives career paths\u2026\n\u2026such as consulting or entrepreneurship. 60% of the women who started a business in 2016 were over 45 years old.\u00a0\u00a0\nTake stock of yourself\nUse this transition as an opportunity to rediscover and follow your passion. You can select a job that excites you, or create your own. I know how scary it is to face today\u2019s job market, the rejections can be devastating, but it can also be freeing. Take time to explore, test the water and try something different. If it does not work, pick yourself up and start all over again!