What about me? Ageism in book publishing
Where are the new career paths for the over 40s?
Publishing has been talking for some time now about how it wants to attract ‘digital natives’ and ‘bright young things’ into the industry; the latest comment overheard concerns the industry ‘finding its future in millennials’ (in this instance they meant people born in the year 2000 or after). Yet on the opposite side of the spectrum, it feels that every month the UK Government is talking about raising the age of retirement to 70 and beyond.
In this changing climate, where are new the career paths for the over 40s in publishing? It seems whenever there is a restructuring in a department, a new broom comes in, determined to clear out what they see as ‘dead wood’ and very often it is the senior members of the team who face the prospect of their jobs being made redundant. The people holding these posts have already reskilled or retrained and seem to find when looking elsewhere that some organisations place little value on the experience that goes with age.
Is there a prejudice building against those who have learnt digital ‘because they don’t think the same’ as those who only know a digital world?
What is happening to career longevity in publishing? Is there any future for anyone over 40 in this industry? Is any value placed on company loyalty anymore? Where do you go when your job is made redundant? Are the only career options to start your own business, become a consultant, freelance or to tread a new career path entirely?
We as an industry need to be addressing these questions and so much more. Age diversity at the upper end is essential to the success of book publishing as much as ethnic and social diversity.
So what about me? Where are the new career paths for the over 40s? We don’t have all the answers but will be debating this issue at our first evening event with The Book Trade Charity BTBS on 22nd June 2016. We have a limited number of tickets and the price of a ticket (£12) includes a drinks party sponsored by Redwood Publishing Recruitment. 50% of all ticket sales will be going directly to The Book Trade Charity BTBS to support its work, helping those in the book industry (bookselling, publishing, distribution).
Time: 18.30 onwards
Date: Wednesday 22nd June
Venue: (Advance ticket purchase only) Truckles of Pied Bull Yard, London, WC1A 2JR
Tickets £12 available here (50% of all ticket sales go directly to The Book Trade Charity BTBS).