BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
IN DEFENSE OF THE OLDER EMPLOYEE
Years ago I ran a blind post office ad for a graphic artist. I worked for a small publishing company and we needed someone for freelance artwork and design. I received about eight responses to the ad. They were from artists/designers with varying degrees of experience.
One response was from a woman in her 50s. She frankly admitted that she had been out of the workforce while she was raising her son. She did have experience prior to that, and had just received an associate degree in graphic art as preparation to re-enter the workforce. Her letter was sincere and honest, and we hired her. She was just as I expected: mature, hardworking, uncomplaining, and grateful for the opportunity to work again. Her experience with my company lead her to a full time, more lucrative position with an established regional newspaper. It was gratifying to hear her say, “The fact that I had done something recent really helped.”
I didn’t post this article to discourage the hiring of younger employees. I was in that position once (hey, we all were), and everyone has to start somewhere. But the topic of older vs. younger workers recently came up between a few of us at the Beanery Writers, and I wanted to relay this experience.