Ageism. This word is unknown to many people. It has appeared rather recently, despite the problem had existed in Russia for a long time. Ageism means age discrimination. Those who are in their forties have surely faced a situation where the employer turned down their job application because, according to him, they have a young team, and you will not fit in.
We have decided to discuss this issue with Elena Dushanova, an office manager. She landed this job when she was in her fifties.
What has made you look for a job?
It was not really my intention... It has just happened. I worked at Skolkovo at that time. Once upon a time, we were advised that most of our company stuff would be laid off. Despite this warning had been given several months in advance, I did not manage to find a decent job then.
What was next? To the best of my knowledge, employers in Russia are not really willing to hire applicants even in their forties.
Yes, I have faced it. When I was laid off, I was 55. And it was clear to me that I have to keep looking for a job. Wherever I applied, nobody hired. Nobody wanted to have a female employee in her fifties.
How long was your job search?
Nearly a year. Actually, it was between September and the next summer. I was persistent in my job search. I wrote somewhere and applied for job openings every single day. But it was in vain. My friends were also sure that no employer needs people of my age. Everybody needs employees who are not older than 35 and meanwhile have a 35-year work experience and several degrees.
But you got such credentials!
Yes, I did. I graduated from the Publishing Department, University of Printing Arts. In addition, I have an interpreter diploma of the Moscow State Linguistic University and a Master's degree in management from the Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University) (major: Strategic Management). I can touch-type in any foreign language. And, of course, I got wide work experience.
And have you had hard times with getting a job with such backgrounds?
Yes, I have. Unfortunately, such an aspect as age is nowadays a major obstacle for job seekers. But I was very active. I kept trying and was not going to give up.
And once upon a time, I got an email from an employment agency. They were looking for a candidate to fill an Office Manager position and prompted me to contact them if I was interested in that. I took my time for a couple days (because I had gotten too many refusals by then) and decided to give it a try! I called the employment agency. This is how I got into Cummins.
I did not expect that it would work so well for me. It turned out that I live nearby, and the employment terms are good. I have come for the job interview, and now I am here. I guess it was worth to look for a job for so long and to go through so many failures to find my dream job. I do not exaggerate. I do what I know and can do it well, and I do not spend a lot of time for commuting. I really enjoy my job. This is important, isn't it? In addition, I see how well I and my job are treated by others. By the way, it is Cummins where I have arrived at the conclusion that the age does not really matter. What matters are credentials, qualifications, and professional skills.
Have you had any doubts about that before?
Of course, I have. I had been unable to find a job for a year because I was over 30 years of age. Of course, I have had doubts! However, I understood that I have to keep trying and never give up, and things would work out. As to the age, there are many different people at Cummins; there are both young and older ones, including those older than I. All of them do a great job. It is a team of real professionals. It is a pleasure to work with them.
I do appreciate Cummins for its well-built and well-functioning team. Here people try to help each other. It is true for everyone at Cummins. This company values each employee for his/her work ethics and professionalism regardless of his/her age.