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   Author  Topic: Age Descrimination  (Read 2831 times)
smgsmc
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Re: Age Descrimination
« Reply #5 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 7:24am »
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I don't quite get this discussion.  If we exclude some fields such as professional sports, in which a superstar rookie may outshine a seasoned player, years of experience will be critical in any line of work.  In science, engineering, teaching...you gain expertise by building technical knowledge on top of what you previously knew.  You learn a lot by making mistakes.  Who wants to be the guinea pig for a new surgeon?  This assumes that you continue to grow and not become deadwood.  If I were an inventor, I'd rather hire a 35 yr old with 5 yr experience than a 50+ yr old with 1 yr experience.  This has nothing to do with age discrimination.  This is the unfortunate situation with corporations these days.  Previously, in a stable career environment, experience would increase with age.  But if you're 50+ and reinvent yourself because your entire industry is in a state of exponential decay, you now have 0 yr experience to offer.   I know there are some skills which are transferrable...maturity in dealing with people, team work...but these will not override lack of experience.  There is one guy on this board who reinvented himself as a successful lawyer at 50+, but I think he's an exception (although I don't have any stats to back that up).  I'm wrestling with this situation myself.
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LF
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Posts: 112
Re: Age Descrimination
« Reply #6 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 7:54am »
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I agree with the posting about four up. In law, grey hair is seen as experience. In technology, grey hair is seen as obsolescence. That is just the way it is.  
 
If you do not believe it, and are under 40, print this, save my e-mail, and send me the "you told me so" e-mail in 10 years.
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Isaac
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Re: Age Descrimination
« Reply #7 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 8:40am »
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on Sep 29th, 2006, 7:24am, smgsmc wrote:
If I were an inventor, I'd rather hire a 35 yr old with 5 yr experience than a 50+ yr old with 1 yr experience.

 
In an employment situation, a 50 year old with zero years experience is competing for an entry level position against 25 year olds with zero years of experience.    Obviously, hiring a more experienced person cannot be considered discrimination, but refusal to consider the 50 year old because of his age would be.
 
Further, a 50 year old former engineer or scientist who becomes a patent practitioner is not completely reinventing himself.  They do bring domain knowledge and experience to the table.
 
 
 
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Isaac
Wiscagent
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Re: Age Descrimination
« Reply #8 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 9:50am »
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I donít know if I am typical of ďolderĒ individuals getting into the patent field, but Iíll share my experience for whatever itís worth.  I have a B.S. in chemistry.  I worked in various product development and research roles for more than twenty five years, accruing a number of patents (as an inventor).  
 
At that time I took a lateral move to a patent facilitator role (i.e. patent liaison, patent engineer).  I enjoyed the work and I also recognized that having stronger patent-related skills would be advantageous for my career.  I studied, took and passed the patent bar exam.  I continued in my role as a patent facilitator and also did limited preparation and prosecution of patent applications.
 
A few months ago I was informed that my services were no longer needed.  So at age 54 I started looking for a new job.  It was quickly apparent to me that I had a better chance of getting a job as a patent agent rather than going back into the lab.  To Isaacís point, I didnít reinvent myself Ė I leveraged my experience.  Iím glad to report that I will start my new job as a patent searcher / patent agent next week.
 
Iím sure that my age counted against me to some extent, also I have limited experience doing regular patent agent work; but that was balanced with having more than 31 years of experience as a scientist, having been granted 22 US patents, and having a practical understanding of business aspects of intellectual property.
 
Potential employers may consider new graduates (lawyer, PhD, BS, etc.) who are otherwise inexperienced as being interchangeable.  But a few decades after graduation, the more experienced job applicant needs to have some distinctive characteristics to make them stand out from the crowd.
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Richard Tanzer
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Isaac
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Re: Age Descrimination
« Reply #9 on: Sep 29th, 2006, 9:58am »
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on Sep 29th, 2006, 9:50am, Wiscagent wrote:
†Iím glad to report that I will start my new job as a patent searcher / patent agent next week.

 
Congratulations on the new job!  Are you still a Wiscagent in fact as well as in name?
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Isaac
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