- Over a 6 month period I applied for around 80 jobs.
- I got to interview stage around thirty times with no offers.
- After receiving quite ridiculous and inaccurate feedback for some interviews I couldn’t believe what was happening.
- I think the interview feedback was inaccurate as those providing it new they couldn’t give the true reason - ‘age’!
- I keep myself fit, present myself well and am very professional and look the part. I am often told that I don’t look my age, but even though it isn’t revealed in my CV and no one can ask, I began to dread handing over my passport to prove my identity, as all would be revealed, a woman over 55 (not in her 40’s as they may have thought)
- My former colleagues and network could not believe my experiences, they kept me going and reminded me that I was a strong HR Professional and that it was a loss to those rejecting me, as I had so much to offer.
- the reason I am convinced that the majority of my rejections were due to age bias is simple because at the age of 29 I applied for one job and secured it, at the age of 39 I applied for one job and secured it. Fifteen years on with so much more HR experience behind me it was a blatantly different situation.
Eventually I secured a fixed term contract from a company that was very diverse and I compliment them on being 100% non discriminatory. Although the role did not fully utilise my HR skills I worked for them for twelve months and it helped to get my confidence back which had been severely knocked. From this job I went straight into my current role, again fixed term which is fine. It is a true generalist role, I am really enjoying it and drawing on my HR experiences and skills and I am told that I am making a valued and strong contribution in a business with lots of challenges.
My advice to anyone experiencing what I coined as ‘Date of Birth Discrimination’ to keep going, get support from your network when rejection after rejection starts to get to you, because eventually you will find an organisation that is truly ‘inclusuve’ and only interested in what you bring to the role and not how many wrinkles you have!