Maturity is underrated.

I’ve commented on the fact that tech companies don’t want to hire older people before. And startups are typically comprised of younger people. This has become so prevalent it is newsworthy when older folks do startups:

“Lets face it. Technology is a young person’s industry,” said Alan Kearns, head of Canadian career coaching firm CareerJoy. “It’s never impossible for an older employee to get in, but you have to prepare for more challenge.”

However in the Waterloo tech cluster, a number of mature entrepreneurs have created successful new careers in tech, defying the industry’s ageist attitudes in the process.

Never mind that these guys are only 32 and 38. The article also quotes CEO Carol Leaman, who is 46.

I’m 52, so I’m swimming upstream right from the start. Apparently I’m ultra mature (though nobody has ever used the word “mature” to describe me in any capacity).

Yes I have gray hair. So what? I have more energy and talk faster than most people you’ll ever meet. And my words aren’t even close to keeping up with my thoughts. I’ve been ahead of every technology shift in my career and I’ve managed to be involved ahead of the trends. I’ve changed and reinvented myself constantly. I can write code and marketing copy. I can sell, and I can support customers. I can build a product from idea to product sale. And I have plenty of experience doing it all.

We always claim that experience is a valuable teacher. Then in practice we just ignore it.

You can certainly hire young people if you choose. But what are you giving up by not hiring “mature” people?

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