As a young adult I was not interested in a career, I wanted to be free and escape the small and claustrophobic island on which I was born. Certainly it was a place of stunning beauty although it didn't pay to have different ideas. To be valid was to conform, in manner, clothing and attitudes. My career plans were different, I wanted to explore, to adventure into the wide open spaces of mainland Australia.
This aversion to a career plan continued with marriage to a farmer and children. I never gained a sense of wanting a career, although I did continue my passion for the arts. Like many creative types, this vocation did not provide sustainable income, and I was fortunate enough not to need it.
Times have changed. Thirty years later the family farm is on the market and I am looking for work. In fact, in a turn around, I am now looking for a job in a deliberate way, that could be described as a 'career development'. The dilemma is how to convince employers that I am competitive with clearly younger, qualified candidates.
Wrinkles, described by Kate Blanchett as 'song lines', balance my greying hair, bent shoulders and crepey skin. 50 sounds like a lot of years, its a lot of numbers and yet I don't feel old, not on the inside. Mid forties sounds like a lot better prospect for employers than over fifty, and ageism is real. The temptation is to dye my hair, perhaps I could pass for 45?
To be totally truthful while I balk at dying my hair, I have dyed by eyelashes and eyebrows. I suppose it isn't really a world event, it doesn't make headlines. It does make me wonder though. Would we think any differently if newsreaders and politicians refrained from using hair dye? Would we question their competency, and would it make any difference if they were men or women?