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Hi all,

Is age a problem when looking for work in Australia?

What sort of age would be looked upon as too old to perform the requirements of a job role?

I had no problem getting a job in Australia before (2012) but I'm 50 now and wonder if it would be a problem?  I certainly hope not!

I'm  still in the same job role so have plenty of experience here in UK and jist hope my age won't go against me.

TIA XX

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That depends a lot on what you do

As well as the fact that a massive number of people have just been dumped on the dole so when this is over there will be massive unemployment

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Depends on the sector and where you are looking. Networking is key and getting a foot in the door to show what you can do.  Our neighbour (mid 50s) moved from Sydney to Adelaide. Never had a problem getting work as a consultant in Sydney, has just got his first gig here after 18 plus months.  That was due to my OH introducing him to someone he knew, who had actually just got one of the jobs our neighbour applied for (we didn’t know at the time).  Even then it took three months before anything came of it.  He now has a 12 month contract paying over 250k.  
Hubbie actually helped him network quite a bit but it was quite a specific market and in Adelaide not many openings.  Neighbour now a very happy chappie!

Hubbie is late 50s and said last week that the 30 somethings in meetings with clients definitely see him as an old fogey rather than someone with a wealth of international experience.  He is semi retired but still has so much to contribute. 


So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

Is age a problem when looking for work in Australia?

What sort of age would be looked upon as too old to perform the requirements of a job role?

I had no problem getting a job in Australia before (2012) but I'm 50 now and wonder if it would be a problem? 

It does depend a bit on the sector, but I'm afraid Australia has a problem with age discrimination.  I noticed a big difference in attitude when I was back in the UK a few years ago, it's much less prevalent there.

That said, the solution is easy - don't tell anyone how old you are.   It's illegal for an employer to ask about your age.  There's no obligation to show your date of birth on your resume.

When you list your qualifications, don't show the dates you did the courses.  Just list them.  

Delete your early jobs.   You're not obliged to list all your work experience, only the experience that's relevant to the job you're applying for.  Head that section "Relevant Work Experience" so no one can complain.  I  cut off my first ten years' work, so if someone tried to try to work out how old I was based on my working life, they'd have thought I was 40-ish.

Of course you have to look the part too, so it does depend whether you look your age.  

I was in an industry dominated by young men, and an agency once told me that once I hit 40, I'd be on the scrap heap!   I used the tricks mentioned above and didn't have any problems, but I started to really struggle to get contracts once I hit 50 and gave up trying when I reached 55.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Simple answer, yes, unless you have some fantastic out of the box skill set that nobody else has.  Australia has always been ageist and very much a place of who you know, not what you know.  50 was always considered the top end and a lot of people have managed to retire in their early 50s - partly because lots of golden handshake offers would have been made to that cohort and often because they had enough in super to keep them going although preservation ages have gone up since those days I believe.  Younger people in many occupations seem to be cheaper so therefore more attractive to employers.   I certainly noticed a different mind set in UK - I got offered 3 jobs without applying for any (couldnt take them anyway) and the Dh got a couple of offers and we were both in our 60s then.  I did pick up a job at 57 when I retired the first time around but, again, I didnt apply for it and it was an offer due to being known by the employer.  Coming into it cold and over 50 is going to be a challenge.  Not saying it cant be done just expect it to take longer than you thought and be prepared that others dont value your experience as much as you do - unless, as I said you have something unique and in demand in your tool box.

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I am in the Health profession, clinical position, with experience of working in both hospitals and GP surgeries.

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Posted (edited)

I am in a different industry (IT). However, not a specialty field, application support. Never wanted management, so a team member.

In my mid 50s, and living in Melbourne I struggled for work. Even had comments that 'I did not fit the demographic of the team' ie too old !

I was using @Marisawright techniques. No mention of age, older jobs, dates giving away my age. 6 months between jobs on occasion. Often on 6 months full time contract covering for maternity leave etc.

Anyway, wanted to move to QLD, had enough of cold and wet, so at end of last job took a flight to Brisbane. Called agencies / job advertisers direct for anything I was interested  in. Went in for agency interviews, called them back to follow up  etc. Got offered one job, second place for another.

Not looked back since. In full time work for the past few years and 'head hunted' for  jobs ie agencies called up for specific roles. 

As some of you may know, I quit just after Christmas to retire,  bored with 9-5 routine. Worst thing I did. Couldn't see the virus coming of course, but old team have been WFH for the past weeks. I am bored at home and really don't know what to do. Keeping an eye out for work, but obviously that is less likely to happen now. 

So a lot of talk goes on about Sydney / Melbourne having a bigger market, more jobs. I felt that in Brisbane agencies tried to form relationships. A smaller market, but they know their stuff and put me up for more appropriate roles. They get in touch before jobs are made fully public. The more personal it gets and people know who you are and what you can do, the more likely you get a job - and one that suits.

I don't necessarily agree with "That said, the solution is easy - don't tell anyone how old you are. ". You still turn up for an interview. This might be a complete waste of your time if they really don't want someone older. My profile photos are recent, not a younger me. Once there you may be able to convince people of your worth. But for some people, you failed as soon as you walked through the door.

Edited by davlap
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2 hours ago, davlap said:

I don't necessarily agree with "That said, the solution is easy - don't tell anyone how old you are. ". You still turn up for an interview. This might be a complete waste of your time if they really don't want someone older. My profile photos are recent, not a younger me. Once there you may be able to convince people of your worth. But for some people, you failed as soon as you walked through the door.

Yes, but I did say that you have to make an effort to look the part, too.   Lose weight, tone up, make sure your hair and outfit reflect the age you want to portray.   I was very lucky that I've looked younger than my age all my life (I used to curse it when I was 25 and getting turned away from pubs, lol), so that helped.   I'm sure the reason my luck ran out in my 50's was that my face started sagging and I developed a few wrinkles, so I began to look my age for the first time in my life.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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18 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Yes, but I did say that you have to make an effort to look the part, too.   Lose weight, tone up, make sure your hair and outfit reflect the age you want to portray.   I was very lucky that I've looked younger than my age all my life (I used to curse it when I was 25 and getting turned away from pubs, lol), so that helped.   I'm sure the reason my luck ran out in my 50's was that my face started sagging and I developed a few wrinkles, so I began to look my age for the first time in my life.

I know you said that. However, your message seems to be  - if you look your age and not 10 years younger - you don't have a chance.

I got the duff end of the stick at both ends. I didn't look old enough to go into a pub until I was 30, similar to yourself. At 50 my hair turned white (not grey) and I got deep wrinkles. I was nearly 59 when I got my last job and I certainly did not look 10 years younger

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31 minutes ago, davlap said:

I know you said that. However, your message seems to be  - if you look your age and not 10 years younger - you don't have a chance.

Well yes, that was my message.  But it's fair to say that I've got experience of the job market in Sydney and Melbourne, not elsewhere.  It's encouraging to read that the attitude isn't the same in Brisbane.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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14 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

I am in the Health profession, clinical position, with experience of working in both hospitals and GP surgeries.

Fwiw Health industry didn’t seem to have the ageism issues that other areas sound like they have. In my experience in Vic. Health tends to value clinical experience so its often younger applicants that struggle, ie new grads. Depending on your actual area of work you might just find work isn’t as prevalent and you are up against lots of applicants, but your age hopefully won’t be the deciding factor. 😊

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37 minutes ago, Amber Snowball said:

Fwiw Health industry didn’t seem to have the ageism issues that other areas sound like they have. In my experience in Vic. Health tends to value clinical experience so its often younger applicants that struggle, ie new grads. Depending on your actual area of work you might just find work isn’t as prevalent and you are up against lots of applicants, but your age hopefully won’t be the deciding factor. 😊

I am a Phlebotomist and Health Care Assistant.  I have contacted my previous employer in Australia who have asked to see my cv when we eventually arrive, so I'm hoping my profession is still in demand.  But I never give up and will keep trying!!

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I work for a Private Pathology company and there always seems to be jobs like this advertised In the multitude of collection centres dotted around. 

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41 minutes ago, Aussiebird said:

I am a Phlebotomist and Health Care Assistant.  I have contacted my previous employer in Australia who have asked to see my cv when we eventually arrive, so I'm hoping my profession is still in demand.  But I never give up and will keep trying!!

 

16 minutes ago, DT55 said:

I work for a Private Pathology company and there always seems to be jobs like this advertised In the multitude of collection centres dotted around. 

I would expect you to be fine. Experience is valued in those areas. 👍😁

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7 hours ago, DT55 said:

I work for a Private Pathology company and there always seems to be jobs like this advertised In the multitude of collection centres dotted around. 

That's good to hear!  Thank you. 

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7 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

That's good to hear!  Thank you. 

Yes, I don't think the health sphere suffers from the same problems as other professions. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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