e-Scooters weren’t the only thing that I got all worked up about this week: I got rejected for a freelance gig, which is totally fine if it wasn’t for this reason:
It was not because I lack the necessary skills but because the client thought I’d lack experience. They looked at my CV, my age, and decided I wasn’t the right fit.
This rant isn’t about my hurt ego. It’s about agesplaining and the fact that so many people in our industry still don’t care about diversity. (Yes, diverse can also be applied to age. Yes, I’m a white male and thereby privileged as hell, I know. But still).
Because really, how much does a CV on XING tell you about a person? How much does his age?
When I was 25, I got the chance to present a digital marketing campaign for a major German premium car brand not only to the Head of International Marketing but to its Chief Marketing Officer. That’s Chief with a capital C.
At age 26, I designed the self-service platform for one of Germany’s biggest telecommunications providers that is used by over 1 million users.
At 27, I was responsible for winning new accounts worth over half a million Euro at an agency of only 15 people. I also helped grow the design team to triple the size, making Design as important as Development at an agency that was dev-only since its beginning.
So when I turned 28 and decided to freelance, I felt I had some experience in the field of UX.
But of course, a quick look at my CV on XING doesn’t tell this story. And it would be the worst kind of bragging if this would be the first thing I tell you when we meet.
Again, this isn’t about bragging or me in specific. This is old people thinking you need at least X years of experience to qualify for a job.
On July 1st, Vincent Hartig started working at thjnk as Head of Digital. Vincent is 25 years young and I wish him all the best. I genuinely believe he has more potential to change this agency to the better than someone who’s 35. He will be even more successful compared to someone who is 45. And I don’t even want to think about a Head of Digital aged 55 (by the way: is this agesplaining, but the other way around?).
So let’s stop using someone’s age as an indicator if he/she is qualified for a job or not.