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Older Workers

Older Workers

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We live in a society that worships youth. People in their 50s and 60s (and sometimes even 40s) often find it hard to find employment, with hiring often biased towards younger workers. However, if you think about it logically, ageism as an economic policy for businesses does not make sense.

People who have spent a number of years in the workforce often show far more dedication and commitment than do their younger peers. They’ve been broken in already, and realize the importance of punctuality and consistency. They have a wealth of experience, and can usually call upon their training and contacts when needed. Rather than being a drag on productivity, their life skills and background help them contribute because of their years, rather than in spite of them.

We are all the sum of our experiences. Every place we’ve passed through, every person we’ve encountered and every problem surmounted, helps form our characters and shape our personalities. You are where you are today because of your past, and from your present lofty plateau you surveil all the stages that came before.

That’s why, when we count Sefirat HaOmer, we don’t number off the days, “Today is the first day,” “the second day,” etc. Rather, we enumerate them: “Today is three days,” “four days,” etc., all the way till “Today is 49 days, which is 7 weeks.”

It is very tempting to constantly look ahead and trade on potential, but it is also important to appreciate that which you have already achieved. Rather than considering your current position just a stage that that must be passed through on the way to somewhere else, remember that you are the formed by your accomplishments. It’s not just the thirteenth day of a process; rather, today commemorates thirteen full days of accomplishments to date, that made you who you are and will help you in the days ahead.

Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum is spiritual leader of Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation and co-director of L’Chaim Chabad in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia.
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Jim Wright West Texas May 5, 2017

I am an older worker that is fortunate to have a job at 74 years old and my education and professional experiences are the key. I am an Administrator of a "unique program" that I essentially created at a campus of large University System (Texas). I am now living the dream I have always had and that is to work on the construction of the first "privately funded" Nuclear Reactor in the US. My office is not funded by the University but by 12 years of my obtaining grants that I solicited and received from both federal and private sources. Of course the the most important key to my success at this age is my academic degree (which I obtained with the help of scholarships and fellowships) and my professional experiences and accomplishments both in business and academics). However, the most interesting note about my past is that I flunked out of College (yes 28 hours of "F") after graduating from HS and with my father working in Europe during this time. However, there is always time to recover! Reply

richlyblessed Nebraska May 23, 2014

agree If a business wishes to honor wisdom, then it must look at where wisdom resides regardless of the age of the clay vessel. It is what the vessel holds that can be priceless not what the vessel looks like. With the focus of advertising to sell youth and the possible attempt to regain youth, that brings value to the vessel instead of what is inside. Reply

Graham Wood Wells April 6, 2013

older workers This is a Torah teaching
The old ox to be yoked with the young ox
While the young are full of energy ideas enthusiasm
the old one 's with experience and knowledge
Help the young ones stay on track focused on the task in hand instead of rushing off in different directions ,also the learn how to pace them selves so the don't burn out by the end of the day or week
You get a nice straight line instead of zig-zag line that goes all over the place
Us old ones can teach the young ones If the young ones are willing to be taught
Shabbat Shalom Reply

Anonymous N.M.B. April 4, 2013

Ageism I agree with your article. I wish employers would take your words into account. I think I will make a copy of this article to attach to my resume Reply

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