Does age affect your brand?
June 30, 2011
There has been an interesting discussion on LIS on LinkedIn regarding a job posting that specified an “energetic” librarian. Some people took this to mean that those of us over 40 need not apply, although many people just read it to mean “enthusiastic and up for new things”. I tended to be in the latter camp, feeling that the level of energy you have for your work is twofold: first, and most importantly, your own passion for the field, libraries, and information. Second, it is the atmosphere of your office environment that will prove whether you can remain energetic or enthusiastic, or if you get burned out and have to move on. In my experience, you often feel up against a wall when you have ideas or want to try new things, but are not supported by other co-workers, or if your office does not foster innovation.
As to the age/experience issue, I am somewhat wondering if this may be an issue in the current economic climate. I have applied for many positions for which I know I am well qualified, but have had very little response back. I am wondering if my resume and dates may cause my candidacy to be automatically rejected because of the experience and the fact that there is a large influx of newly minted librarians also job searching (who can maybe be hired cheaper or are perceived to be more savvy with the changes that have come about in the profession in the past 15 years.)
So, is my “brand” as perceived by my resume saying “old librarian?” I don’t think so, but it will be interesting to see how things go over the next few weeks. I would like my brand to say “diverse experience in many libraries, with several years in each one” and also “enthusiastic, energetic, and flexible”.