There’s no better teacher than experience and people are social creatures who learn by doing. As the job market approaches another grad season I encourage you to embrace the wisdom that has come with your age and remind you that a fresh perspective is not a trait reserved for young folks. Another form of diversity that is not talked about is age. Everywhere companies are looking to diversity via gender, race, ethnicity and other orientations when there is another one—generational diversity. The latest IPA Census reports the average age of an employee at a member agency is 33 years old.
In the creative industry that number is even lower. A post on LinkedIn by Creative Director Louis Loizou said, “I’m not 54, I’m 22 with 32 years of experience” (full article below). Loizou argues that ageism is very prevalent in the creative industry and we should value experience as much as we do expertise. Interestingly enough the fetishism or glorification of the young is a Western societal trait that began with the Greeks and Romans. Ironically, 80% of the wealth in the UK is held by people over fifty yet 80% of marketing budgets are spent on those eighteen to thirty-four years old. This is relevant because it’s about staying relatable—relating to a variety of people can only be done by diversifying. If you are heading a marketing or development campaign, try to bring a plethora of people along. And if you’re on the older side, market yourself as experienced! You age is indicative of your encounters and in the job market, it’s the more the merrier.
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