I saw a comment on Linkedin today that sent a shiver up my spine. It was in response to someone struggling to get a role in comms due to them being over experienced. The comment said: “…anyone over 40 in communications is unfortunately seen past their prime…”
I suppose I’m taking this personally as I’m nearing 40 than I am 30 and I certainly don’t feel like I’m past it. I feel like I’m in my prime now. I’m finally comfortable with who I am, I have clear(ish) goals, I’m confident in my abilities and I now have more direction in my life than ever before.
I genuinely feel a bit sad that someone felt they had to leave the industry because they felt their age was a barrier. But then I got thinking and thought was it their age that was a problem or did they not succeed further because they didn’t keep up with the latest trends within our industry? I’ve certainly met plenty of people who stare blankly at me when I talk about professional development and CPD. Things have changed significantly in the 14 years I’ve been working in comms and I’ve done everything in my power to ensure that I stay on top of my professional development – in fact I make it one of my priorities and treat my development like a mortgage payment – an investment but in me.
Unfortunately gone are the days where you could have a ‘job for life’ and keeping on top of innovations and new developments is just part and parcel of our career nowadays. If you choose not to seek further learning, then that choice is down to you, but I honestly think you need to do everything you possibly can to stay on top of your game. Gain some extra qualifications, learn how to create apps, understand everything you can about AI, apply for chartership, join a professional body…the list is endless.
Maybe I’m naive but I honestly don’t think it matters what age you are, you can be 24 or 54 but if you can’t demonstrate that you’ve kept up-to-date with what’s going on in your industry then you will unfortunately struggle.
So it may take me more than 48 hours to get over a hangover but I’m certainly not past it when it comes to my career and I’ll be making pretty damn sure that I never am!
Anyway, let me have your thoughts, I’m now off to buy some hair dye and anti-aging cream – every little helps right 😉