As the information technology industry has evolved at such a rapid pace, IT professionals who have grown up adjusting to these recent changes may be at an advantage.
The tech field now appears to be flooded with startup companies, which tend to be owned and operated by younger individuals chasing their entrepreneurial dreams. Because of this current youth-dominated landscape, it can be daunting for tech professionals who are in their later years to navigate the IT industry.
This may seem counterintuitive. Normally, if representatives have more years of experience under their belt, then they are at an advantage and are viewed as more of an asset in the eyes of employers. However, given the recent emphasis on striving for innovative excellence and developing the next biggest thing before anyone else, the IT industry could now be throwing previous employment priorities out the window.
Some tech experts maintain that this general shift in the field’s recruiting attitude is leading to so-called “ageism.” InformationWeek explained that this wave of preferential hiring is allegedly sweeping the IT industry almost just as quickly as technology is advancing.
Ageism may sweep tech field
From the smallest of startups to the most significant of corporations, the perception of IT professionals’ ages could be distorted. What exactly is driving the emergence of this new view? Companies run by younger executives think that staff members who are still in their youth are more likely to relate to their mission and execute it effectively.
“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” said Mark Zuckerburg back in 2007 at a Y Combinator Startup School presentation, according to InformationWeek. “Young people are just smarter.”
This perceived intelligence may actually just be a mutual understanding between young employers and their representatives. On the other hand, it could be that those in their earlier years are capable of tolerating the higher work demands and lower wages offered by today’s tech industry.
According to SAP.info, working for IT startups is not exactly a cake walk. With many of this initiatives started from scratch and run with limited resources, the staff members involved are going to have to put in a lot of hours and for not much money.
Having to endure regular all-nighters in the hopes of an eventual app payoff is not necessarily an opportunity that IT professionals over the age of 30 are too keen to jump at. More mature representatives often have more responsibilities to take care of, such as families and mortgages, which puts job security and salary stability at the top of their lists. For this reason, they are anything but eager to take some of the newer tech positions.
Survive IT past 30
Suppose that veteran professionals who have become ingrained in the information technology industry want to continue their careers in this field. How is it that they can overcome any bias that companies may now show for applicants who are past their 20s?
The good news is that it is not impossible for candidates who are more than two decades old to secure an IT position. With that said, they will have a bit of work to do to combat ageism as they interview. SAP.info advised that even though tech applicants may not be under 35, they should at least act as if they were.
While it may feel somewhat ridiculous, more mature job prospects should adjust their wardrobes so that they blend in with the rest of an office’s youthful population. The trick is to strike a balance in clothing so that they are still wearing age-appropriate items. They do not want to look like they’re trying too hard, but swapping things like briefcases for messenger bags will make them look more modern and up to date.
Be contemporary with technology
This same concept is especially important when it comes to their IT gadgets, the news source explained. Younger recruiters and business owners need to know that their potential employees are aware of only the latest tech trends. If candidates show up to an interview with a flip phone and a 20-pound laptop, chances are possible employers will not be impressed. Outdated devices will not only show an applicant’s age, but will also make it seem as if they were disinterested in the very field they’re trying to work in.
Lastly, IT professionals should be sure to show that they are able to reinvent themselves just as technology does. With tools and solutions continuously changing, employees have to show that they are capable of handling whatever the industry throws at them next.
Not only do tech representatives have to demonstrate that they are dynamic, but also that they have the potential to be game-changers. Employers are trying to pin down applicants who show promise when it comes to influencing their companies’ operations and the industry as a whole. Because of this, any candidate – no matter his or her age – will prove successful at landing an IT position.
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