If you think your age – young or old – is holding you back from a job in travel, think again. Are you 25? 45? 65? And wondering if you can get a job in the travel industry? Honestly, the travel industry doesn’t care if you’re young or old. Here are some things that an older applicant and younger applicant bring to the job interview:
An older person who works brings experience to the table. Believe it or not, what you learned at the jobs that you held before provided you with much-needed experience. For example, were you a supervisor before you went to school to become a travel agent? Supervisors have leadership skills. Maybe you spent 20 years cleaning floors for a living before following your dream of working for an airline. Two decades of dedication to a job well done is a wonderful attribute to have when applying for a job and probably comes with stellar recommendations.
Have you traveled often while working for another company? Did you spend your annual two-week vacations jetting off to new and exotic locations? That worldly experience may give you a step up over younger applicants who might not have done much traveling yet.
Being older also brings perspective. Say, for example, that a company wants to try something new to gain more customers. You know from previous experience at another company that it doesn’t work for whatever reason. It’s OK to provide that information and knowledge. Of course, the company may still move forward with their idea, but your knowledge can play a vital role in a decision-making process.
A younger applicant who doesn’t have much job experience may think the travel industry wouldn’t want someone like them either. However, this is far from the truth. A younger applicant brings many skills and qualities to the table as well.
First, a younger applicant brings what is often called “new blood.” You’re young, hungry to work, thirsty to learn and eager to impress. Because you are younger, companies can train you in their ways and not have to worry about un-doing any training you had previously. Younger workers also typically have more experience and knowledge with technology, which is a boon in this technologically-driven world we live in.
Younger applicants may also bring ideas that may help to capture more of the millennial traveler market. Millennials are traveling more but spending less and it takes a different level of marketing to attract this group with trips that interest them. A younger employee just might have the right ideas.
When you are applying for a job, use your age to your benefit. Keep in mind, however, that what we are talking about here is different than age discrimination.
The travel industry may not care about your age, but a company or agency cannot discriminate against you because of your age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It is also against the law to harass a person because of his or her age, including saying offensive remarks that are frequent or severe or create a hostile work environment.