During my time in the military I travelled to many countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. The only places I missed were Antarctica and Australia. During those travels I saw how many cultures operated and many different points of view.
One of the practices I found not only highly interesting, but logically practical was most prevalent in various Asian countries. The practice that is common in Asia but contradicts western practices was cherishing their senior citizens for their wealth of knowledge and experience.
Where western countries promote hiring inexperienced youth and treating senior citizens who want to work as pariahs, Asian businesses look to the more advanced in age as the ones to look to for leadership and knowledge while American companies would be turning those same people out to pasture believing their usefulness has past.
Since graduating from college (after retiring from the Air Force), I have applied for many positions that I was well qualified for. The most common response that I have heard from numerous employers after interviews has been “We are looking for someone who more closely matches our goals.”
Once I heard a variation of this in “We are looking for someone who more closely matches our long term goals.” In this case I applied for a position that I had more than 20 years experience. To me, this is clearly nothing more than age discrimination, which is illegal in America, but can be next to impossible to prove. Even if you could prove it, why would anyone sue for a job where they were clearly not wanted?
Every time I have taken the time to explain to those human resources personnel who have the task of notifying candidates that were not accepted the news of their fate that according to Forbes Magazine the average college graduate stays with their first employer a mere 4.4 years, whereas a more mature person is more likely to stay for the rest of their career.
If you need more to think about before accepting this, look at Asian car makers market share in the American markets. Study the Asian market share of electronics and appliances in the American markets. Look at the Asian share of American markets in all categories. If they are not on top, they are closing in on taking over, all because they use their knowledge and experience bases to gain the advantage over American practices.
I am writing this as just a little food for thought for American employers, now if I can only get them to digest what has been served.