Is “old” a dirty word?

Shortly after writing the post, “Are your work habits making you look old?,” with Pamela Redmond Satran, author of the book, “How Not to Act Old,” I got an email from Barbara Raab, a friend who works in television.

“What’s wrong with acting “old” (a.k.a. one’s actual age) at work?” she wrote. “I don’t think you meant it to be ageist, but I really think this post IS ageist. You haven’t told me WHY I should not look over 40 at work; you seem to take it as a given that seeming one’s age, if that age is over 40, is something no one would actually want.”

She continued: “How about wearing tight jeans and a thong that shows? Or coming to work hung over? These are also things that young people do? Why did you buy into the whole notion of acting younger at work?”

Barbara makes some excellent points. Being perceived as “old” in the workplace shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. In fact, experienced (older, mature, choose your word) workers have tremendous value in the workplace and I didn’t mean to suggest otherwise in that post. She’s also correct  that younger people make huge missteps at work that can often be traced to their youth or inexperience.

I wrote that post with full knowledge that ageism exists and that it is insidious. And those are the same reasons that Pamela Redmond Satran says motivated her to write her book, “How Not to Act Old.” {Read the rest at Yahoo!}

Share

Why you should be collecting mentors

Whenever someone refers to “my mentor,” rather than “one of my mentors,” I’m a little baffled. These people talk with reverence about the one person they turn to for counsel, that sage veteran in their field who gives advice and imparts wisdom. I don’t get it because it’s different from my experience with mentors.  My career has been filled with mentors, and yes, in the early parts of it those mentors were older and wiser. But lately, I’m collecting a new kind of mentor who looks more like a peer, where there is mutual support and coaching going on. Often, my mentors are younger than I, since it’s the veterans who are looking to younger folks to demystify the new ways of work.

And rather than the idea of one exalted mentor, I have oodles of them. I have mentors in my writing life, mentors I turn to when I’m negotiating a new work situation, mentors who keep me up to speed on technology, and mentors I confer with when making big life decisions. There are also mentors for a time — like the bloggers who guided me when I was just starting out — who ultimately evolve into colleagues.

I’ve started to see mentors as an ecosystem, filled people I respect and trust in different areas of work and life. It’s not unlike that team of advisors I wrote about a little while ago, where we serve as a mutual support group. {Read the rest at Yahoo!}


Share

Taking the Social Networking Plunge

In light of the shaky job market, it is a good time to start hanging out on social networking sites, if you haven't done so already.

No Plans to Retire, Even at 100

Mildred Heath, a 100-year-old journalist and publisher from Nebraska, wins an "America's Oldest Worker" award and discusses her career in a YouTube video.

A Peek at the Future of Work

A conversation with the author and consultant, Patricia Martin, about a new set of values that is shaping the workplace.

Setting the Record Straight Online

When online name calling threatens your reputation, sometimes the best remedy is to get right back online and defend yourself.

How Twitter Can Help at Work

A guest post by Sarah Milstein on five ways to use Twitter, an increasingly popular online messaging service, at work.

Résumés for Presidential Hopefuls

To build the case for creating an online résumé, VisualCV.com created mock résumés for Barack Obama and John McCain.

A Creative Spin on the Fund-Raising E-Mail

An enterprising photographer uses a fund-raising e-mail message as an opportunity to build awareness and get clients for her photo sessions.

When the Assistant Is an Entrepreneur

Increasingly, administrative assistants are becoming as entrepreneurial as their bosses.

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline