If Steve Jobs answered an ad today for work on LinkedIn.com or Monster.com chances are he would never even get a response.
At the age of 56 he would be deemed a dinosaur who would be completely out of touch with modern technology and integrated marketing channels. That at 56, he would be lucky if he was using email. HR and executive recruiters in high tech, SEO, social media and digital marketing have instructions by most companies not to engage anyone over 45.
Steve Jobs, the man who founded Apple and turned it into the world's must successful high tech, computer company died of pancreatic cancer yesterday. Jobs, with an estimated net worth of $7 billion dollars, was responsible for creating the personal computer industry, teaching people how to use a mouse to click on objects and how to make hardware easy to use. Steve Jobs created the iPod portable music player, the iPhone (telephone, Internet communicator, music player) and the iPad tablet. Consumer products which changed how we use and consume content in the digital age.
In addition to technology, Jobs served as served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios and became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company.
But yet, if Steve Jobs had not been so lucky in creating some of the first computers out of a garage in Mountain View, California and was simply a hard working, marketing professional who worked for Microsoft or HP and was laid off due to a recession where would he have been in the last few years?
Regardless of how deep his knowledge of software, hardware and marketing may have been - he could have wound up selling shirts at Macy's or frozen food at Walmart. If Jobs had not acquired the personal contacts that he accumulated over the years and simply relied on a resume to secure a hi tech position in 2011, he could have been collecting unemployment.
Many assume that those over 40 or 45 are not in touch with modern technology yet Steve Jobs was one of those middle aged professionals leading modern technology. Many social media, digital PR and SEO employers assume that in order to secure fresh ideas one needs to tap into a market of 20 - 30 year-olds. That those who are over 50 are completely obsolete.
When has youth had a higher value over experience? That those high tech marketing professionals who have made the jump from conventional media to online sales and integrated marketing channels are to be ignored?
One highly respected tech professional recently interviewed for a chief operating officer position with a West Coast technology company. The headhunter was very positive and told him that he was "the leading candidate". The CEO congratulated this 50 years plus professional on his stellar technology background. Then he heard nothing for two weeks. He then called the headhunter, who then told him that the company was seeking "a person with more technical experience." This candidate writes for CNET!
Age discrimination is alive and well. In fact age discrimination is killing high tech.
There's a TV commercial being aired on ESPN right now that illustrates two hiring managers discussing the two job candidates sitting in the lobby. We only see the backs of these candidates' heads. One is dark brown and lustrous and the other brittle and gray. The HR recruiters debate should they go with the experienced candidate though "he won't have energy" or hire the fresh young guy? And then we see that the two candidates are the same person before and after a hair dye job.
More than two-thirds of tech professionals over 45 have said that ageism is a "significant problem" according to a study released a few years ago. That nearly one in three workers over 45 said they have either witnessed or experienced "age bias."
During the next ten years, mature workers will overwhelm the high tech industry by their sheer numbers. According to American Demographics, seven baby boomers will turn 50 every minute in the US from now until 2014.
Steve Jobs at 56 was still creating, producing and marketing new consumer products at the time of his death. Jobs was widely described as a visionary, as a pioneer and perhaps one of the key leaders ever in the field of business, innovation and product design. Many say that Jobs had "profoundly" changed the face of the modern world in having revolutionized at least six different industries and was the finest role model for all chief executives".
Jobs was working smarter, faster and more creative than those half his age. Steve Jobs does not just leave us with an iPhone or graphics that you want to lick, but with the life example that experience and hard work is still alive after 55.
Steve Jobs will be remembered for many things and many quotes but perhaps these words are the most fitting: “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
And excellence, like a fine wine, takes time to achieve.
Article from Israel News Agency