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  • MN Job Partners

Deb's Success:Beating Ageism in Job Search

By Deb

When COVID-19 hit, Deb was laid off from a law firm, where she worked at the front desk as an administrative assistant, receptionist, and legal assistant. As an older worker, Deb was worried about finding her next job.


We know age discrimination happens in the hiring process.


If you’re over age 40 it can happen to you. Employers often worry that older workers will be less dependable due to age-related health issues. Some employers think older workers are unable to adapt to change and have a steep learning curve when it comes to technology. Others think older workers expect high salaries and are overqualified. At Minnesota Job Partners, we help mature workers beat ageism in their job search. We teach you to debunk negative stereotypes about older workers and focus on the attributes you bring to the job. In Deb’s case, she is loyal, reliable, and professional with proven experience and a strong work ethic. She works hard and gets the job done right. She shows up on time and doesn’t job jump. She generously shares her knowledge and experience with younger team members. Deb’s goal was to work in a similar front desk position with lots of people contact and an opportunity to make a difference and earn more money. She got the job she was searching for, thanks to her determination. Deb’s career counselor, Meg, became her champion and motivator. Together they decided that Deb should brush up on her computer skills. Deb enrolled with the Metro East Pathways program and earned a Microsoft Office Suite certificate. That accomplishment shows that Deb has mastered Word, Outlook, and Teams. Doing coursework virtually wasn’t easy, but it pushed Deb to use Zoom and learn how to participate in online webinars. Deb dedicated her time and energy to becoming more marketable. She attended Minnesota Job Partners’ Career Exploration and Hidden Job Market workshops. She also joined our Job Clubs and learned how to network. She polished her résumé and virtual interviewing skills with help from our experts. Our mock interview set Deb up for success. She was prepared to confidently answer all the questions during her first and second interviews with Cat Ziegler, where she accepted a position as a sales coordinator. On hindsight, Deb says “I really understand that an employer hires someone they like.” Deb loves her new job. She is working close to home and earning $4 more an hour. She sent this note to Meg after her first week as a sales coordinator: “I love my job! I love the culture! People say thank you, and even after such a short time, I really feel appreciated.” Deb put in her best efforts and it paid off. Her co-workers appreciate her, they value her knowledge and experience. As a mature worker, Deb is excited to stick with Cat Ziegler until she retires.

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