Friday, May 26, 2006

The Age Thing

While certainly the issues surrounding age as an issue in employment is no joking matter, every once in a while you hear a story that makes you smile anyway. The most recent for me came when I was referred to it by Gerry Crispin's post on his blog (The CareerXRoads Annex) which if you don't have it on your reading list would be an excellent one to add.

The post Gerry was blogging about was about a piece he saw in John Sumser's Electronic Recruiting News. Specifically, a piece that ran on the 22nd of May called The Hunt. As Gerry pointed out it isn't just that it is a really wonderfully well written piece, but one that brings a smile as well.

After I had read it, it reminded me of another "smile" story that my friend and world-class executive coach Bob Cuddy once told when he was talking about the age issue at one of our networking meetings some years ago.

He told us that the oldest client he had ever worked with was 92. So as it turns out, the guy gets an interview for a CFO opening with a manufacturing company in New Jersey. Bob gets him all tuned up for the interview and sends him off. Next day, Bob calls him to see how things went, and the client says "Well, I spent several hours there. Talked to the CEO, the VP of Operations, VP of R&D, Logistics, and VP of Sales & Marketing. So Bob, says, "Wow, that's great, what's next?" The client says "Well, they made me an offer, but I don't think I'm going to take it."

Bob, of course, was thunder struck and after explaining that getting interviews much less offers at age 92 is not an everyday occurrence, asked him why he thought he would turn it down. The client shot back "Well Bob, to be honest, after spending all the time I did with these guys and listening to what was going on there, I really am not sure how long they'll be around!"

Bob swears it is a true story. Knowing Bob, I don't doubt it for a minute.

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