As an older adult in a professional field, you should be at the peak of your earning potential. Your connections within the industry and decades of experience make you the ideal candidate to manage teams, handle a complex project or close a big sale.
Unfortunately, management may have overlooked you when deciding who to promote or who will handle an upcoming project. In fact, you may see most of the opportunities at your job go to younger, less-experienced workers. Especially if your upward momentum has stalled out or your income depends on the sales you close, those lost opportunities can have a financial impact.
How can you determine if the denied opportunities at your workplace are ageism or just the natural lag that sometimes occurs in career progression?
Discrimination usually happens more than once
Getting passed over for one big project or promotion can be a big disappointment, but it may not necessarily be an indicator of discrimination or ageism. There may be other reasons why management handled the situation the way it did.
However, if you have lost out on multiple important and potentially lucrative opportunities since turning 40, there may be a pattern of discrimination to explore. If you noticed that other older workers seem to have the same experience, that may lend Credence to your suspicions of ageism impacting your employment opportunities. You can potentially address the issue internally by advising management of the pattern you have noticed, or you may need to go to court to compel the company to change its practices.