Ignacio Durant
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Ignacio Durant posted photos
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May 10

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Never Too Old 
An older colleague of mine recently won a new position at a Federal Agency. That doesn’t sound remarkable except for the fact that she hadn’t been in an interview situation since 1993. There were three of us in our office that went for this job (there were 10 vacancies) and only two of us succeeded.

She had been thinking of changing career/job for over 12 months but wasn’t confident in her abilities to address job specifications, handle interviews and everything else relating to job hunting.

I advised her of the vacancy and what it entailed which piqued her interest. She took her time answering the job specification ensuring that everything was covered adequately. She researched the Agency and tried to tailor her responses so they were relevant to the position. I looked at her application after she had submitted it and surprisingly it was quite good. Why surprisingly? As she was telling me how she had no idea what she was doing and thought she had completely messed it up.

When she was advised that she had made it through to the next stage she was totally amazed. Personally, I thought her application was a lot better than the one I submitted and yet I was expecting to go through to the next stage.

The day of the group session she was cool, calm and collected, she actually had a gastro virus which I think helped her nerves as she was more worried about not being sick than what they were putting in front of her. She didn’t think she did well in some of the testings but still passed to the next stage – interviews. Interview day she was a bundle of nerves as she hadn’t sat an interview for so long and wasn’t sure of what to expect. She answered the questions to the best of her ability, truthfully and honestly.

Obviously, it was good enough as she was offered a position. What assisted her was the fact that she thoroughly researched the position, the agency and was extremely prepared. She wasn’t expecting to win a position and it was more for rescheduling job interview practice and building her confidence.

Sometimes, it is good just to apply for a job just to go through the process and reacquaint yourself with what to expect so you don’t go stale. I’m not saying you have to leave your current position just apply for a position at a higher level to gain experience and knowledge of what to expect if and when you do decide to leave.

Also, don’t think you can’t apply for a job or look at leaving your current job because of your age – just think of the wealth and knowledge that you have gained over the years and how that makes you an asset to a new position. It is also discriminatory to not employ someone because of their age.

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