Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

A Twist on Aging & Interviewing

28 Nov

Recent Headlines:

“CALIFORNIA PLASTIC SURGEONS SEE A HIKE IN BUSINESSMEN INQUIRING ABOUT PLASTIC SURGERY PROCEDURES.”

“AGE DISCRIMINATION ON THE RISE, STARTING IN 40’s”

I know some of you are young, young, young.  So young that the last thing you’re concerned about is being, oh, 35, 40, 56, even 60 years old.  So young that you’re not even yet concerned with sagging body parts that used to be up HERE and are now down there.

Oh, but the day will surely come when age will be “all” you think about. Especially when it comes to working and aging. Being downsized. Age discrimination, being overlooked while companies hire the younger, perkier, cheaper candidate. Even though you have years of experience. While I’m right in the middle–not fresh out of college and nowhere near retirement–I can grasp both sides of the fence. So the following story is interesting.

This is Randy Adams.

He’s 60 years old.  

He has A LOT of experience working in the tech field.  He spent months if not years trying to secure a CEO level job in Silicon Valley.  He went on gobs of interviews encountering all kinds of strange looks, “don’t call me, I’ll call you” exhaustion with great frustration.

Then he got an idea.

He noticed that all of the techies were not only young but dressed a certain way, regardless of their level of professionalism/expertise. Not to mention in the Valley there are CEO’s who are not yet 30 years old.  So Randy Adams went hard: He shaved his head, got an eye lift and started wearing Converse sneakers instead of stuffy loafers and t-shirts instead of button-downs.

This is Randy Adams now:

A funny thing happened next.   He got hired. Not only hired but hired at a booming tech company,  SocialDial, as their CEO.  He especially credits his shaved head as the hem that got him in the door.  In what he calls a “youth obsessed tech hub” (agreed) he’s now got a list of rules for any “geezer” attempting to break the age line.

  • Please don’t have an AOL e-mail. It reeks geriatrics.   G-mail is OK but even better is an address which incorporates your name in the domain is ‘cool.’
  • Nix the briefcase. What do you think this is, 1985? Instead get a backpack.
  • Avoid Blackberries and Dell laptops – Android phones and Apple products scream ‘youth!’

So I guess this means I should hold on to my backpack since I may need it in another 20 years or so.

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