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Dealing with ageism as you rise to senior tech leadership

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Those who have been in the tech industry for a decade or more often have a choice to make: should they follow a path into senior management or become more of a “master specialist”? Whichever they choose, they will need to understand how to manage large teams, deal with a wide range of stakeholders, and deliver outsized results.

The dice are new Optimize your tech career ebook offers some advice for anyone who is at a point in their career where they have to make this kind of decision. But older tech workers also have another battle to fight: ageism. As your career matures, you may need to push back the false perception that you are not as hungry or interested in growth as your younger colleagues, and/or that you are not as willing to learn new technologies.

Here’s how to combat this when looking for new positions:

Show your achievements

In your CV and application materials, as well as during job interviews, position yourself as the voice of experience: you are the subject matter expert who is engaged, accountable and resilient to change. While acknowledging youth doesn’t imply inexperience (you’re not here to show anyone), show how your experience can positively contribute to everything the team does.

Show off your soft skills

As technologists progress in their careers, they develop nuanced and powerful soft skills. Through descriptions in your CV and stories told in interviews, show how you have used these skills to guide teams of different sizes through considerable challenges. Your mastery of communication and empathy is a good counterbalance to ageism.

Show your curiosity

Destroy the misconception that you are unwilling to learn and grow with endless curiosity, starting with asking insightful questions during the interview process. Emphasize to managers and recruiters that you are constantly learning new skills and platforms and keeping up to date with the latest in the industry. Hopefully, this will help to blunt any perceptions based on ageism that you have blocked.

Show your reliability

If you have a long track record of success, you assure new businesses that you are a reliable recruit. You need to project that you are happy to work with younger people, that you are genuinely interested in working at the table (and not using it as a quick stepping stone to something higher), and that you can bring your considerable expertise. whatever your future manager wants.

To learn more about developing your career and taking advantage of management opportunities, consult the Optimize your tech career Ebook !