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If You Think You're Too Old, You Are
By: Brian Keller
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“Everyone thinks I’m too old. I can’t get a job.” "I’m competing with kids half my age who take less money.” “I have experience; no one cares.” Yes, people do care, because of the way things are today:

1. If you’re 40 expect to work to 80
2. If you’re 50 expect to work to 80
3. If you’re 60 expect to work to 80
4. If you’re 70 expect to work to 80
5. If you’re 80 have fun.

People are working longer. A whole generation is flying into their sixties and seventies. They are becoming a huge market unto themselves. Someone needs to speak with grace, humor, and insight to these emerging markets. There are products aimed at mature markets. There are agencies springing up and concentrating on selling to the aging and aged market. At this point, people in their sixties are in the very weird position of having to take care of parents who many be only 20 years their senior. The children and the parents are coming closer together. The kids have to continue to work. The number sixty is not weird unless you want it to be. The number seventy is not weird unless you want it to be. The face of Lanvin Fall 2012 is 62-year-old Tziporah Salamon.

It’s not weird; it’s totally cool. Check out 82-year-old Jacquie "Tajah" Murdock at Advanced Style. Take to your search engine and look up George Lois. Would you hire him? Take to your search engine and look up Lee Clow. Would you hire him? We wonder if Martin Scorsese has trouble getting work. He did a film on the Rolling Stones, once. We wonder what happened to them. We would bet that no one knows the age of Dave Lubars because it’s not necessary. He makes it that way.  Now, go get yourself hired. There are plenty of people out there who would want to hear from you.
 
“This digital, Interactive, et cetera, stuff is beyond pointless, and I’m not wasting my life in front of a computer."

STOP.

  
No one is old if they have ideas and are receptive to learning new ways of communicating. Some people just don’t get it, no matter the age, and it’s a big belief that these people are having an “aging problem.” It’s not the age that’s the problem; it’s a closed mind that’s the problem. For one generation (a sample) that has helped end wars, burned bras, taken homosexuality out of the closet, landed on the moon, lived together in the mud for three days of “Peace and Music,” and fought in the streets for civil rights, stop whining. You should now be taking that history and applying it to the new tools for employment that are provided for you.

Stop complaining about age. Start worrying about your attitude, which is what is making you “old.” Your minds weren’t closed then; why are they closing now? Stop living then. Live now. Aging is something everyone does. As someone once said: “Aging; it sure beats the alternative.” Advertising and jobs in advertising have always been for the young of spirit with relevant ideas who are prepared to dispense them on and through new venues. And guess what? They have never been real easy to get, even for the talented. Nothing’s changed. The only one reminding you about your age is you. The more you complain, the older you seem. As for money, it’s not your age, it’s this: No one is going to make what they made. Get used to it.
 
Do something. Embrace change.
 
Last year at around this time we heard about a very "ripe" first-year law student who limped into his Civil Procedure class. The Professor, a Dean at the school and the student’s contemporary, noticed him limping and, jokingly, asked him if his arthritis was acting up. The student, not thinking, just blurted out the truth. “Oh, no I’m fine. I just fell off my skateboard.” The class was held up as everyone from the 20-somethings to the 60-somethings fell of their chairs. Skateboarding and law school or skateboarding to law school may not be for you, but if you embrace new skills and new things and wear experience proudly, this whole prickly age complaint will disappear...the way it should.   
           
There's work, all right.
 
There is work for the mature selling to the mature. There is work for the mature guiding the young. There is work for the mature being guided by the young. There is a spot for the mature in advertising if you’re mature enough to handle being mature.


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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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