Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Silicon Valley, Ageism, and Hipster Jeans

A friend's husband was laid off, and he had trouble finding another job.  Was he unskilled?  Hardly--he has a Stanford MBA and an engineering Ph.D.  The real problem, they realized, is that he was the father of two boys in college, and dressed that way.

My friend gave her husband a makeover--new haircut, trendy jeans, hipster glasses.  Pretty soon, he found another job, with a hot company that was looking for a top-tier MBA with an engineering background.

We'd like to believe that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, but what does it mean that a Stanford MBA can spend a year looking for a job, and only find one after dressing like his sons?

He was fortunate that his wife is a stylish lady with great fashion sense, but do we really need to call in the fashionistas simply to help older people a job interview?

Unless you die young, you're all going to be old someday.  Better to do something about ageism while you're young, rather than wait until you're old enough to be the victim.


Mark Grodzinsky said...

i blame his unemployment on his wife. If she was such a "stylish lady with great fashion sense" how did she every let him turn into a middle aged schlub in the first place! :)

-- current middle aged schlub, without the makeover.

Chris said...

Good point, Mark! I think like many husbands, he resisted changing his wardrobe until desperate. Some men love their pleated khakis.