Am I Too Old to Get A Job?


I got an email the other day.  It came from a person I have never met but he knew me well.

He said he was an avid follower of my videos on YouTube.

If you want to be found today you have to be out there.  Invisibility is not a great career strategy. Sadly many chose to live that way.

He lamented about all the things we have heard since Lehman Brothers went down in the fall of 2008.  Maybe it is old news now but he and the world still feels its repercussions.

He works in the Ad game.  An industry that has been harshly downsized. Marketing and advertising is the first thing to go in the corporate world along with the people that work within it.

He had been downsized in 2010 after his company was acquired.  Another human casualty from corporate efficiency.  Most of his following opportunities were short-lived.

He asked me if I thought more people were leaving the advertising and media game after the recession.

I once read that the number of jobs in the ad industry is down 17%.  Maybe they didn’t leave the business.  Maybe they recreated themselves just like me.

He asked me if he should pound the pavement in NYC or explore new options in the New Normal.

Then he said he was 29.  That stopped me for a bit. He was 23 when the world melted and is immersed in its aftermath.

I checked out his profile online.  Where else would his future employer go?

His LinkedIn profile was a wreck.  His photo looked like a selfie.  His community was tiny.  He had no recommendations.  No engagement. If I was recruiting in his industry I would move on.

He had marginalized himself.

Wow so old before his time.

A lot of people make themselves old too soon.

They live in the cocoon of their current jobs. They put none or little effort into their personal brand when it is one of the most important assets they can easily build. That’s just for marketing folks they say.   And then their trusted world changes on them and they are like deer in the headlights.  They learn that their cocoon is as fragile as the bubbles they used to blow into the air when they were kids.

I have been in the transition game right from the start. I have spoken to numerous transition groups multiple times.  My ears are full of all the stories, the way the people looked at me, the hollowness in their eyes.   Is there an age bias our there?  Of course?  The eye of the needle in the hiring game is extremely thin.

Could I get some of the positions that I used to work for in the New Normal?  Absolutely not.  Most don’t exist.

I don’t chase fireflies any more.

But I do know this.  I will not go gently into the night.  I will rage rage against the machine.

Comprising your personal brand reduces its roar.

Not having one only makes you silent.

Not the best place to be in a noisy world.

Connect with Hank on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook:


Watch a video called How To Rise Above the Crowd.

You may also enjoy this article I Love My Job.  I Just Want to Keep It.

This is a blog that I wrote for MENG.  Marketing Executives Networking Group. They published it as Am I Too Old to Be in the Transition Game.  I am publishing it as Am I Too Old to Get a Job.  All is good.


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