Some people are so young at heart that it takes them by surprise when they look up one day and realize that they’re older than most of their co-workers.
Is that any reason, though, to worry?
Honestly, yes. In today’s job market, there are a lot of millennials who are waiting in the wings to take over the roles currently being held by those from the baby boom generation. Even a lot of the folks who are part of Generation X are starting to “age out” of career fields where technical savvy is critical and youth is equated with adaptability.
Experts suggest that there are some key signs you should watch for at work, regardless of your position, that indicate older workers are becoming less and less welcome every day:
1. Everyone older is leaving, and the replacements are younger.
Whether they’re fired or offered an incentive to take an early retirement, the fact that workers your age are being replaced by younger workers is a sign that the company’s culture may be shifting.
2. Your performance hasn’t changed, but your reviews certainly have.
If you were a 5-star employee for years, being dropped to even a 4-star rating should concern you when there’s no actual justification for the slip. If you’re dropped even further, that’s a clear sign that you aren’t being valued the same way you once were.
3. You’ve just been reassigned, and the job really reeks.
If, for example, you’ve worked with a specific set of clients for years — all the while developing a solid business relationship and foundation of trust — getting reassigned to a “problem” territory where the demand for your services is low could signal a plan to eliminate your position — especially if the expectations or quotas still remain the same.
Your boss may try to sell you on the transfer by saying that the company hopes you can work your magic and transform the territory into a more profitable one — but if the whole thing smells sour to you, it probably is.
You can learn what evidence to collect now to support your case later, how to avoid giving your employer just cause for a termination and how to respond when the inevitable happens by speaking to an employment law attorney.
Source: AARP, “5 Signs of Age Discrimination,” Bruce Horovitz, accessed Aug. 31, 2017