There are many factors that come into play when considering a candidate who is looking for a career opportunity. From previous experiences to adaptability and attitude, these are common traits for a recruiter or hiring manager usually look out for. But, there is one huge factor that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue but is almost taboo to speak out, and that is AGE.
There is an underlying phenomenon these days that prospective employers and hiring managers are looking for “age over experience” instead of “age and experience”. This definitely shouldn’t be the case as success can come at any age.
Here are a few entrepreneurs that started at a later age, but reached massive success to take inspiration from.
Harland “The Colonel” Sanders – Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)
Age of Success: 62
Harland David Sanders was born on September 9, 1890, in Henryville, Indiana. Before his legacy with fried chicken began, he worked many odd jobs to support his siblings after his father died. From a railroad fireman to a streetcar conductor, he was already a seasoned working adult at a young age. It wasn’t until age 40, where the beginning of his career really took off. While running a service station in Kentucky, he would always feed hungry travelers. That is when he decided to set up a restaurant which was the birthplace of the ever-famous fried chicken we know and love today.
In 1952, at the age of 62, he decided to franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken and the rest is history. A decade later with over 600 franchises across the globe, he sold the company and headed for retirement. But even after that, he still visits his restaurant chains and continues to be the ambassador and spokesperson of KFC. Harland Sanders died of leukemia, December 16, 1980, at the age of 90.
Reed Hastings – Netflix
Age of Success: Late 40s
Ah, Netflix. Who hasn’t heard of them right? Maybe you don’t subscribe to their services but your children or grandchildren surely do. Or that young intern at your workplace who couldn’t stop talking about that new series she’s been binging on the whole weekend with her new boyfriend. It’s inevitable, this new platform of streaming. Like how “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, online streaming is the next revolution that will supersede television and cable.
Thus comes the story of Reed Hastings, the current CEO of Netflix. He started his own business of DVD rental at the age of 37 just because he was charged $40 for returning the movie “Apollo 13” late. The credibility of this story is shaky but still amusing if real. Years later, with internet streaming becoming more popular, the company became the Netflix we love today.
Stanley Martin Lieber (more famously known as “Stan Lee”) – Marvel Comics, currently an empire bought by Disney
Age of Success: 39
Ah, the greatest comic book writer ever to step foot on planet Earth, Stan Lee. With a superabundance of characters from comics to live-action movies, his contribution to the entertainment world is nothing short of extraordinary. Without the creation of all the Marvel characters Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created, the Avengers Movies (highest grossing and most successful franchise of all time) will not have come to life and be the inspiration it is today.
With all that said, becoming successful has never a thing to do with age, but striving for what you believe in. So brush off those dusty bones friend, it’s time to make those dreams a reality!
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts. It’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln