60. The new 80, or the new 90?

If ‘thirty is the new twenty’, or forty the new thirty, or even fifty the new forty, then how the hell did sixty become the new ninety?

Perhaps I should post this to Quora or similar crowd-sourced oracle? FYI this is not a click-bait ‘IQ test”, nor is the answer 42!

I ask, as it would appear that I’ve been effectively ‘retired’ by the world’s recruiters. I typically apply for jobs which I am eminently qualified for – both by formal qualification/training and by actual experience – only to receive either no response or some canned response along the lines of “we’ve had a large number of highly qualified applicants…” so naff off! ( my summarised conclusion in italics). This has me somewhat bemused.

I have long accepted that technology change is accelerating – and that the technology that I studied at University has very much been supplanted by more recent stuff (albeit largely based on the fundamentals that I learned first-hand). I had the good fortune to enjoy an extended stay at technology’s leading edge (some may have called it the bleeding edge) by working exclusively for only the ‘best companies’ throughout my career. My science skills – my knowledge, logic and reason – remain relevant to today‚Äôs technology. However, one of my biggest and (I would argue) timeless learnings was that problems are rarely wholly technical – and that invariably it is the humans involved in technology that make it problematic. That I have acquired some skills in the art of dealing with people, their expectations and habits is, to some extent, due to my life experience, my failures (learnings!) and my (still growing) self-awareness. Technology only works when the people who must use it actually want to. I know how to get them to want to use it.

It seems recruiters are in the main ignorant of this , or that they are of the opinion that only ‘digital natives’ can understand modern technology. Whilst I may be in my 60’s I would consider myself a ‘digital native’ having written code in my teens and having had an email address since 1983. Having been an internet user since the 80’s I think I can justifiably claim to be digital native.

I care about what technology can do to deliver a utopian future for my kids and grand kids. Then again, if I were 90 I probably wouldn’t care. But I’m not – I’m 63 (younger than Bill Gates, Richard Branson and many similar folk who are still very much in demand). Maybe our 60’s are the new 50’s – wisdom with remaining vigour?