What can you do to make your colleagues value you?
In tech, it sometimes seems that you’re not remotely interesting unless you’re under 25 and “crushing it”. Even at the ripe old age of 34, I’ve been discriminated against, turned down from attending an AI tech retreat for “not meeting the age criteria”. I felt hurt: I had so much knowledge to give and it seemed the kids didn’t want to listen.
What can you do to make your colleagues value you? The tech industry thrives on innovation and pattern recognition. Have you thought about looking through your career history and framing your experience in a way that means the team can see your skills more clearly? How about offering to mentor one of them? Young people are experiencing a wave of anxiety and mental health problems and need as much support as possible.
The bigger question is, do you really want to retire? What are you planning to do? If you have envisioned another career in your autumn years, might it be better to start that new journey now? You could work for another 10 or 20 years if you wanted to.
Feeling devalued at work is the worst. But your self-worth shouldn’t depend on what a bunch of 20-year-olds think of you. If you are sure you are making a difference, then by all means work on gaining the respect of your colleagues, so that each day flows smoothly and you can excel in the final stages of your career.