Careers Service

Age

Everyone has a unique set of career aspirations and concerns and it would be wrong to band students together, either by degree discipline or age. There are, however, certain issues which often concern mature students and certain strategies which they can adopt.

Age and employer attitudes

In October 2006, new laws were introduced to protect workers from age discrimination. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations make it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees, trainees or job seekers because of their age. The Regulations form part of the Equality Act 2010.

Accentuate the positive

Many employers know a good thing when they see it! Older graduates often demonstrate valuable characteristics such as:

  • Flexibility
  • Stability
  • Good at managing many things at once
  • Balanced
  • Determined
  • Able to cope with pressure
  • Possessing useful work experience

Thinking about yourself positively but objectively can greatly influence how others perceive you and can prove to be a very useful approach when it comes to filling in application forms and attending interviews.

Take the initiative

If you are concerned that your CV or application form will pale into insignificance beside all the other applicants, try a more proactive approach. Remember that many jobs are never advertised, so send out speculative applications.

Ask local contacts or your own network of friends, acquaintances and former work colleagues about possible openings or opportunities. Undertake work shadowing or voluntary work to increase your insights, increase your experience and get yourself known. It’s neither unorthodox or heretical - just a different strategy!

Useful resources/organisations

TARGETJobs - provides adivce on age discrimination.

TARGETJobs

The Student Room - offers help and information for mature students interested in working in a particular area. Also offers opportunities to share experiences and ideas.