What Are Some Solutions For Ageism?
One of the first questions asked after someone learns about ageism, and how prevalent it is, is “what’s the solution?” There isn’t one specific solution for ageism, instead an array of ways to combat ageism together becomes the solution.
The first step in stopping ageism, for yourself and others, is learning. It’s important to keep track of how ageism is impacting society – in the workplace, in social circles, in the medical arena, and everywhere else. The more you know about ageism, and the more stories you read about ageist experiences others have had, the more knowledge you will take with you throughout your life and be able to pivot and change the way you address the ageist situations you encounter.
Below is a list of ways to fight ageism, and by enacting an array of them when you encounter ageism in your world you will have a stronger chance of beating ageism throughout your life, and working towards stopping it for good.
Stay A Friendly Force At Work
Getting ahead at work is important, but not if you can’t stay friendly along the way. As you age, you may encounter ageism at work – you may be let go before you’re ready, you might find yourself unable to climb the ladder any further, and more. If you have a solid group of co-workers, mentors, and work friends you will have an inventory of contacts. Your co-workers may know someone looking for freelance help while you’re applying for full time roles, your mentors can get you calls with managers looking for someone with your skill set, and your work friends will be more likely to bring you onboard to new projects they start on. Staying friendly at work can bring you longevity and help ward away the road blocks that ageism can create in your career by creating a healthy system of contacts.
Learn, Learn, Learn
Every single person you come in contact with has something they are passionate about. The more you learn in your own life, the more you will be able to have a knowledgeable conversation with anyone about anything. If you have a few free hours on the weekend, take up a book about the physics of surfing, top tips for social media influencers, or how to become more creative. Being open to learning new things across a broad spectrum will give you an aura of being ready to take life head on, and will give you a leg up in any interview or social situation because you will have something exciting to talk about.
Limit Your Stress
If you become stressed out about ageist situations you encounter, that will shine through. It’s important to keep your cool when possible, and to tackle the situation with a sense of understanding, but not acceptance. Studies show that ageism happens everywhere, and that most people have no idea that they are involved in situations that perpetuate ageism. If you are experiencing ageism, start by asking if those creating the ageist situation understand what they are doing. There’s a possibility that by sharing knowledge about what ageism is, and how it impacts the population, you can single-handedly change the situation you’re experiencing. By revealing to others the negative impact they could unknowingly be creating, you can change the actions they are taking.
If you take this step and find out that the ageism you are experiencing is intentional rather than subconscious, don’t keep your stress to yourself. Find a support group to talk to, a mentor to discuss the situation with, or another solution that works better for you. Don’t bottle ageism stress inside When there are so many others experiencing the same or similar events in their own lives. The more we share our own experiences with ageism the more we will be able to work together to end ageism for good.
Become The Voice
Become an advocate for ending ageism. Speak up whenever you can, and be a voice within the movement to end ageism worldwide. While you may be arming yourself with knowledge about what ageism is, who it impacts, where it can appear, and how it can be solved, not everyone is doing that. By being a voice fighting to end ageism you will help teach others that ageism is all around us, but that we shouldn’t accept that. You will call attention to ageist situations that others aren’t acknowledging as such. And you will be arming the population with information about how to end ageism.
Find arenas to share your knowledge and your passion about ending ageism. Start a discussion at work, hold a knowledge-sharing session, or create a virtual discussion with others around the world. Just by sending out an invite about an Ageism Information Session will prompts recipients to look up what ageism is, where it happens, and how it can be stopped – and that’s a great first step. Those that are as passionate as you are about learning more, and stopping ageism, will attend your discussions. Invite them to become a voice alongside you, and hold their own events within their circle of contacts. One voice speaking out becomes many voices over just a short amount of time, and puts you in the drivers seat of ending ageism.
Share Your Story
Sometimes we can feel shy about sharing our ageism stories, but we shouldn’t. Most of us have experienced some form of ageism in our lives or careers, and the more we talk about those experiences the more we can keep them from happening to others. Find the platform for sharing that you are most comfortable with. Maybe that’s writing a post on social media, speaking at an event, or sharing your story with your personal contacts. Sharing your story not only helps those around you, but it also helps you. It gives you power over that experience, it gives you strength to know that you understand what happened and that you are fighting ageism so it doesn’t happen again. If you have an ageism story to share you can also Contact Us.