I applied for a job a few weeks ago. I met all the essential and desirable criteria, had a lot of useful experience of the professional and life varieties, and didn’t even get an interview. People I have told are sympathetic, and suggest that I take my age off my CV, that they probably had someone in mind already, or that perhaps I was over qualified. None of this is helpful.
If I take my date of birth off my CV, anyone with kindergarten maths will be able to work out from when I qualified that I am in my 50’s. If they had someone in mind already, surely if a person better qualified/experienced comes along, they should at least interview them and try to keep an open mind, and is there even such a thing as over qualified. I would not have applied for the job if I didn’t want to do it, even if, or perhaps because, I have been doing it for a long time.
The experience, and the responses I got from well-meaning friends, have made me feel quite dispirited. I may be in my 50’s but I don’t feel old. I am not a frumpy fifty-something, or frail, or in any way incapable of working. Thank goodness. But if friends and recent stats are correct, I may be too old to get a job.
The silver lining (thin though it may be) is that although I am yet to live off my earnings, (and probably never will), I write, and this experience may make it into a scene in a book one day. And then the person who declined to offer me an interview may feel ashamed of themselves and not do the same to someone else.
In the meantime, I will continue to beaver away at the current manuscript, making it the best it can be before it is published later this year. The publisher has asked for any suggestions for the cover, and I am writing the back cover blurb, acknowledgements and dedication. All these are fraught with potentially distressing consequences; I may upset people by not dedicating the book to them. I might forget to acknowledge someone who helped in really significant ways, and the back cover blurb may fail to ignite interest in the potential reader (or, worse, turn them off the book completely).
I can feel a headache coming on.