According to this Forbes thought piece, non-linear careers are the future, people are living longer and the average career could increase by 50% to 60 years long. So how does ageism, already an undeniable issue in hiring, job advancement and re-careering, figure into that equation?

Switching careers or industries typically becomes more difficult as we age, primarily due to cultural and hiring biases. How will older workers eke out additional career years if employers are not on board?

Entrepreneurship is one answer. New skill development is another. Skills-based hiring seems like it should be objective (a candidate either possesses the required level of skill or not) but is age really eliminated as a factor if the applicant meets all of the stated requirements? (The short answer is no.)

ADEA made age discrimination illegal for the 40+ crowd way back in 1967, yet ageism is a (fast) growing issue. Why? One in 6 people will be 60 or older by 2030, per World Health Organization. That number is expected to double by 2050. Many will need or want to continue working for another decade or more.

The question of what to do with an ageing workforce needs to be addressed as an opportunity and not a problem. There is a lot of potential for economic development and impact here and that’s what we need to tap into starting today.

Lori Martinek