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By David Harder on August, 16, 2010

Ageism at work? Become a journalist!

My greatest fear in today’s economic landscape is that too many American workers will give up their hopes, dreams and aspirations. A recent Towers Watson survey indicates that  over 70% of American workers are hunkering down and planning to stick to their old jobs. That same reputable firm put out figures that over 80% of our workers don’t like their jobs! By lowering our personal expectations, we also lower the productivity, innovations and standards of the workplace. There will be many essays to come on this topic. Let’s take one selection at a time.

In the months ahead, let’s examine a few of the myths / beliefs that get in the way of career/work/employment satisfaction. Some of us are holding onto mediocre jobs because we believe we’re too old to change. Some of us end up in that terrible place because when we were kids, we went for, “it’s just a job.” Now we are fifty and sixty and we need to change! What happens to those kids that pursued their dreams? What happens when they make it to the top? Do they quit for mandatory retirement? Broadcast journalism has certainly been accused of ageism. Let’s look at the evidence:

Morley Safer – 79  Morley is an integral part of 60 Minutes for decades. At almost 80, we still find Mr. Safer in flack jackets in the battlefield with a childlike curiosity that makes him such an interesting journalist to watch.

Diane Sawyer – 64 America’s class act! How many women become world news anchors in their sixties and boost the ratings?

Barbara Walters – 80 She will be holding the mike when asking, “How do you feel about the end of the world?”

Christian Amanpour – 52 Yes, in this crowd, 52 is a toddler, but she’s aged twice as quickly by bringing middle east terrorism  into our living rooms.

Anderson Cooper – 43 Because you can see he loves it and you know he will still be here at 100.

Bob Simon – 69  Engaging in news stories as if he was 40.

Dan Rather – 79  The gold standard of in your face reporting. (In comparison, Geraldo’s a 67 year old thug)

Katie Couric – 53  Shows her colon, gets mud slung on her ratings, Katie has whatever it takes to get 90 – gracefully.

Charlie Rose – 65  Does 65 with greater vitality then many 40 year olds.

Brian Williams – 51 Will be with us for fifty-one more years.

Charlie Gibson – 87 The grandfather of 60 minutes.

Andy Rooney – 91 Hasn’t he been 91 since the beginning of time?

Walter Cronkite – 93 Walter quit in 1980 and said, “I regretted it within twenty-four hours and for the rest of my life.” What would have been if he stayed on the air?

Betty White – 88  She’s not a journalist but what 88 year old can talk about her baking skills on Saturday Night Live?

The point of today’s essay is do something that you love and do it well. It is never too late to find something that you love and to also do it well. If you have that, you will be vital!

All the best