If you are over 40 and unemployed, you are not alone! Thousands of people in the United States and other developed countries are going through the same situation.
In many cases, companies seem to prefer younger candidates. Discriminating a job-seeker simply because of their age is strictly against the law. However this is not easy to prove.
In addition, in the past, people tended to graduate from high school or college, find a job and spend decades in the same company. This is not so common anymore; companies tend to change their needs and structures, while people tend to change their interests and career goals, and look for a different job much more often than they used to in the past.
However, the American society is going through an aging process. A lot of people are reaching 40 or more, and even those who were considered too old to work are, in many cases, able and willing to have a regular job.
The good news is; there are many companies that are more than willing to hire people who are 40 and over. They know those candidates can be as energetic as anyone in their twenties, but there are also some additional elements that they value, including;
-Experience: Even without experience in that specific field, people who are 40 and over have already been through a lot of situations and know what to expect.
-Knowing what you want: A lot of 20-somethings are not too sure about their career paths, so they might want to experience other possibilities, including other jobs, volunteering in a foreign country, moving to a different city, etcetera. Most people over 40 don't want to do these things because they already did them when they were in their twenties.
-Stability: This is also related to knowing what you want. Most people in their forties have a family and responsibilities. For that reason, they are less likely to make extreme changes than people in their twenties.
-People with more experience can be excellent leaders and inspire and guide younger, less-experienced employees.