Tell it to SunStar: Does age really matter?

Tell it to SunStar: Does age really matter?
SunStar Tell it

By George Evan B. Cuadrillero

In today’s job market, it often seems that age plays an outsized role in hiring decisions, sometimes overshadowing even the strongest credentials. I recall applying for a position at a prominent company when I was 22, only to be told by the head of HR, “You have impressive qualifications, sir, but we’re looking for someone older.” This rejection, rooted in my age, highlighted a common bias: the assumption that younger candidates lack experience or maturity.

Negative treatment and distrust due to one’s youth are pervasive issues. Often, younger individuals are dismissed as inexperienced or labeled with the derogatory term “baby age,” regardless of their actual qualifications or accomplishments.

The phrase “Experience is the best teacher,” imparted to me by my late high school English teacher, Ms. Blase, holds true. Experiences, both positive and negative, are valuable learning opportunities. However, many people mistakenly equate age with experience, overlooking the fact that significant experience can be gained in a relatively short time.

This bias isn’t limited to professional domains; it extends into personal relationships as well. I once courted a beautiful nurse who told me, “You are smart and cool, but you are way younger than me.” Her words, echoing the sentiment of many, revealed a societal tendency to prioritize age over individual traits and experiences.

So, does age really matter? In reality, it shouldn’t. Employers and individuals often use age as a proxy for experience, but this is a flawed approach. Even when a young person possesses relevant experience, their age can trigger insecurities in others. The emphasis on age, whether in employment or personal relationships, is misplaced.

What truly matters is the ability to demonstrate humility and kindness in our interactions. These qualities transcend age and are far more indicative of a person’s character and capabilities. As we navigate various facets of life, let’s remember that while age may be a number, experience and personal virtues are what truly define us.

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SunStar Publishing Inc.
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