Age is No Hindrance for Your Success as a Top Manager

Even if you are not concerned much or seek to deny it: This year you will not be able to fight your destiny again. Sooner or later, your age will increase further by a year. Whether you are just at the peak of your career or in the search of a new senior position in the new year, the one thing that is a factor in most career decisions is: age. Many feel threatened, particularly women sometime tend to hear the infamous clock tick, even professionally.

Especially in the recent years, we have become a society where everything has to be faster, bigger and louder. It is not unusual that the team leader in a group is the youngest person in the team. Concepts such as reverse mentoring are already doing the rounds. Is age really not a barrier? Does your career still have a potential after 40? We asked a few Headhunters for their opinion too. Trust us, age is no hindrance for your success as a top manager. Read further tips…

Am I still interesting for headhunters after 40?

Roland Netter, GKM Recruitment:

Headhunters fill up high-quality technical and management positions. The requirements for this are, above all, experience and “proof of performance”. This usually means, more often than not, candidates who are 40 and older.

Erni Curk, Managing Director bei Profil Group:

Definitely interesting. Different clients have different needs, a candidate at 40 may not be interesting for a client who wishes to establish a young and dynamic team, while he/she might be a perfect match for large corporations for corporate managerial positions where sufficient experience within the branch is needed – and that means around 40 of age and even above.

Throughout previous years the trend of interesting candidates has somewhat fallen towards candidates in their 30’s but many clients have experienced that relative youth and consequentially energy, drive to prove oneself and enthusiasm to grow professionally do not compensate enough for wider experience, maturity and prudence. While we cannot deny that age is an important factor, it is not the only one and is in some cases strongly overshadowed by personal charisma, emotional stability / intelligence and efficiency.

Basically it all comes down to client’s age preferences (if they have some), required and actual competency overlap and not at least the chemistry between the client and the candidate that either clicks or does not click – regardless of the age of the candidate.

Georg J. Baar, GEJOBA Consulting:

It goes without saying. Especially in today’s time, the experience of the candidates is very much needed. We are seeing that companies develop fewer employees, or they do not prepare sufficiently for the succession of a retiring employee. Therefore the replacement of a vacancy needs the most experienced and qualified staff.

Rebecca Schween, Worldkonnekt: 

As your experience increases with age it is important that your career evolves to maintain the same hunger and enthusiasm. Rather than assessing a candidate’s age, it is important to assess what the individual strengths are, how the candidate can add value and what type of life the candidate wants to lead.  From my experience at 40, many candidates have a wide network which can be leveraged and they are confident and experienced enough to be very specific about what they want and don’t want. This is certainly a big advantage.

Mitch Beck, Crossroads Consulting:

Depending upon the job, yes or no. For entry-level jobs, I would say the answer is no…for management and senior level positions – absolutely not! I am over 50 and feel better now than I did when I was in my 30’s. However, despite how I am feeling, the truth is that for entry-level jobs, for serious consideration for something at that level is going to be hard. Why? Because someone at my age, or a 40 plus year old person – should be beyond that.

The ONLY exception to that rule is if you’re making a career change…but know this…if you are 40 or older and making a career change, that in and of itself is going to raise a red flag and could cause you to likely be ruled out.

Clive Green, KellerGreen Consulting:

This is an excellent age and this is where you can really start to see the results of laying the foundations of your career.  It is an age where you have often gained the skills necessary.  I recruit internationally and it is interesting to see the rate of career progression is quite different worldwide.  In some regions it is common to be a CFO in your 30’s in other regions it can happen much later in life, so whatever your age you will be interesting to a headhunter.

Jorg Stegemann, Kennedy Executive:

Sure, after 40 things are not over! At least if you have taken care to stay competitive. This includes proven success in each job as well as meaningful and quality developments and regular learnings on the way.

And, we were able to convince you? Be assertive and find your career path! We wish you much success.

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