“Age not a problem? I believe it is.”


Dear Helen,

I am 65 and have extensive experience in “media” for more than four decades….and although most companies say age, not a problem, I believe it is. Not many of us can afford to retire. Although I do still handle some publicity work and broadcast, it seems that the jobs market is a bit of a block end.

Any thoughts?

Alan Thompson

Helen Brown

Helen Brown

Hello Alan,

Age really shouldn’t be a barrier to employment and indeed legally with very few exceptions, it can’t be but whether a candidate has relevant knowledge for the role is a determining factor. Four decades in media means you will have a vast knowledge of the industry but depending on the role and employer; four decades in media isn’t necessarily an indicator of current capability or future performance.

Media is a challenging industry for us over 40s. For example can you demonstrate to a prospective employer both your own personal consumption of digital media as well as communicate an understanding of how brands can utilise content effectively across paid, owned, earned, shared and utilise data to target consumers effectively? If you can then this will help your chances of securing a role but the sad fact is Alan, it’s hard for any of us to stay up to date with the speed of change in this industry.

So what to do? Have you thought about searching for roles where you can utilise transferable skills such as financial or people management? Or even use additional life skills such as coaching or even hobbies such as gardening? By listing all the things you can do that are not sector specific, you will broaden your focus of what could be a job opportunity both in and outside of the media industry thereby increasing your chances of success. Other sectors that are known to be more age friendly include agriculture and forestry, education, hospitality, utilities, government and housing, retail, customer services, public and charity sectors.

Once you’ve broadened your CV to include all transferrable skills, start your search again on sites such as this one, plus specialist job sites listing jobs available with ‘age friendly’ employers. One quick search and I found 1,042 jobs under ‘senior appointments’ on a UK job search website.

Another option is to look at retraining via opportunities such as the recently formed government apprenticeship schemes. In the past year, 11,790 people aged over 50 have found work through apprenticeships in public services such as prisons, parks, and healthcare.

Alan good luck and please don’t think you have to stay in media just to stay employed.

Kind regards,



My name is Helen Brown and I’m your Careers Agony Aunt for Brand Republic.  I’m also the Chief Talent Officer for Mediacom.  Maybe you’re frustrated about losing that promotion or not sure whether to accept a tempting job offer?  You might be suffering from a lack of development or struggling with management. Whatever the problem, email here and I’ll do my best to help.

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