The Story Behind the Fresh Blood Podcast
The Story Behind the Fresh Blood Podcast
I have been a Recruiter for over 20 years. I love talking to people about their stories. I love hearing about their triumphs, their tribulations, what makes them tick, it all fascinates me. I started my own company in my 20’s, I was lucky enough to do that when I was young and bold. I’ve grown in my career, in my skills throughout the years and I can say, without a doubt, that I am infinitely better at my job now than I was in my 20’s. I’m more confident, knowledgeable and my experience gives me depth and level of understanding incredibly difficult to have at a young age. Let’s just say, there was a lot of faking it until you make it in those younger years – I’m sure many of you can relate…
So why, I ask myself, would the reality of my personal resume, with 20+ years of experience, become an actual inhibitor to me getting an interview or foot in the door with many reputable companies? Over the years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend toward ageism. It’s not with every industry mind you, and it’s subtle, but it’s happening. It was rare that a VP role or even a Manager/Director who would be heading up a division for a company would consider someone with more than 20 years of experience. Even people comfortable in the lower level roles within the required salary range who could kill it in the position, would not be considered simply because of the years on their resume. They wanted fresh blood, and that meant young blood. This leaves only the most senior level roles available to those experienced individuals in certain industries.
You naturally have significantly less roles at the SVP, EVP and C-level range than you do at the lower level, it’s how the typical corporate structure is composed, like a triangle, and the higher you move up the ranks, the less openings are available. This leaves a large talent pool that is left trying to find their place in the corporate hierarchy. I’ve increasingly had people with 20+ years of experience talk to me about their struggles with ageism.
Having 21 years of experience myself, I find that I’m in this category. I also find that I’m at an age where my kids are growing up and the older they get, the more creative my brain is becoming, as if all those checklists to keep them alive when they were younger took up so much space that now that they’re no longer needed, my brain is firing on all kinds of new cylinders. I am so much more confident and self-assured than I ever was. Trust me, I am much more competent now than I was 10 years ago. I can only imagine the additional time and energy I’ll have to devote to my craft over the years, what I’ll be able to accomplish.
One thing I know for absolute certain, I am only getting better with age. And I know I’m in very good company on this, I see it all around me in my own generation and the accomplishments I watched happen in the later years of the generation before. To have any kind of age based culture of any sort is insane – we all need each other and should be celebrated for what we bring to the table at each stage of life.
I feel that over the years we’ve slid into a youth dominated culture that has resulted in somewhat of a dampening of the collective older spirit. It’s time for this to be rectified. It’s time to be reminded that age is not a barrier, age is a ladder rung to continuously becoming a better person. If you’re doing it right, you’re learning and growing every year of your life.
The striving to be better, that’s what being alive is all about. When you stop that, when you stop trying to grow, that is when life can begin to whither. Our culture should reflect this, we should celebrate the continued growth throughout life and the successes that continue to come later in life.
We have excessive 20 under 20, 30 under 30 and 40 under 40 stories and that’s fantastic, but we don’t have nearly enough attention given towards people who are continuing to strive during the second half of life.
Let’s talk about these people and highlight their stories.
Did you know that the safety pin and Sony Walkman were invented by people in their 50’s?
Lord of the Rings, the American Dictionary and Little House on the Prairie were created by people in their 60’s, the thesaurus from a man in his 70’s and Grandma Moses didn’t even start painting until her 70’s.
The Christian Science Monitor was started by a woman in her 80’s and the oldest person to do an iron man is an 82 years old woman who started running them in her 50’s – I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t do an ironman…
The solar cooker was invented by a man in his 90’s and Harry Bernstein didn’t even start writing until his 90’s – he’s published 3 books. Dancer Eileen Kramer put on her own dance show at the age of 100.
These are just quick examples of later in life success we don’t hear nearly enough about.
There is so much to learn from this time of life, which is why I started a podcast, to have a place where the people in the second half of their lives can share their successes and what they’ve learned. Hopefully this will provide inspiration for those who might be feeling frustration with some of the blockades ageism may have created. My goal is to bring people together to focus on solutions, share their personal stories and triumphs and give hope while highlighting what we are truly capable of.
The Podcast is called Fresh Blood, Killing It After 40, Proving new blood doesn’t necessarily equal young blood.
If you are over the age of 40 and interested in sharing your story with me, I would love to speak with you. Please feel free to pass the word to anyone you think might be interested.
You can check out the available episodes on the Fresh Blood page.
All views are my own and are not reflective of any organization I am a part of