I am a substitute teacher, and I have seen many substitute teachers barred from working at a school, and they don’t know why. Now it has happened to me. I had a minor incident and spoke to the administrator, who said it didn’t sound serious, but I am now unable to get booked there. I am nervous about contacting our director of human resources because I have seen that person not treat people well, too. Is this a matter of ethics or manners?
We love you, teachers. Thank you, thank you. It’s not easy walking into a class of 12-year-olds who are cheering the fact that their teacher is out, the test was canceled and they have a “free day”. But whether the school’s actions are bad manners, ethics or appropriate is impossible to know without knowing what happened. I wouldn’t let the experience of someone else deter you from contacting HR to see if there is any additional information that can be provided.
You caused a great debate recently at our AARP book club with your answer to a question about older workers looking for a job. Some thought you were too flippant — saying it’s all about updating your look and not acknowledging age discrimination. Some say it’s less about age and more about attitude. This is a sensitive topic, so I thought you may want to re-address it.
I love that there is a book group that discusses me as much as the book — thank you. When I write a book, you can kill two… um… books with one stone. OK folks, I did receive a lot of mail about this topic, and if you are a regular reader, you know where my heart is, right? And you know I tell it to you straight. Is it harder for older workers to find jobs? Of course it is. Does that mean employers are discriminating? Not necessarily (but unfortunately, it does exist sometimes). It’s important to pay attention to the things you can control — how you present yourself, act, speak, look and whether your skills are updated. I’ve met applicants in their 60s who present in a way where age is never even considered. I’ve met people in their 40s who act as if they are ready for an assisted-living community. Give yourself the best possible chance of success.
Gregory Giangrande is a chief human resources and communications officer in the media industry. Email your career questions to email@example.com. Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande. His “Go to Greg” podcast series is available on iTunes.
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