A recent story (actually, it was a bit of a puff piece to be honest) talks about about Ivy Lim - a 63 year old who just scored her first job in the cybersecurity business. It's a nice story about someone making the leap to a new job in an industry they'd never worked in and a company who saw past the number on her birth certificate. But there are questions worth thinking about. Is the investment worthwhile given the time Lim might spend in the job? And was it a bold move or a desperate one looking for a new job at an age when most are thinking about retirement? Are employers missing out when they bypass more mature candidates?
The story, published at The Straits Times, talks about Lim's journey from seeing her previous job in Singapore moved to India through being tried, sent the US for training and rising to become LogRhythm's top telesales person in the region. It's the stuff of a feel-good made-for-TV movie.
In Singapore, the minimum retirement age is 62 although there are rules about "re-employment", subject to eligibility criteria, so you can keep working.
Given the mobility of today's workforce, employing someone who might offer three years or so of service is probably a good outcome. Also, given Lim's age, she might be less of a flight risk than a younger employee.
Lim also brings a lifetime of experience. There's a great scene in the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" when Judi Dench's character, Evelyn, visits a call centre and passes on her life experience to the operators. Lim's experience could actually be of greater benefit than her sales numbers to her new employer.
So, while younger employees might be seen to be more "with it", older personnel can pass on their experience.
As for Lim, she has had a long work history of sales roles so moving to cybersecurity after working in other branches of tech. So the leap she has made may not be as big as it looks. But it's good to know there are companies out there who will employ more mature candidates and see the benefits.