Baby Boomers – Are you making adolescent decisions?

Adolescent DecisionsAdolescent Decisions?

Are you put in the position to make adolescent decisions?

Many baby boomers are making the same decisions that they had to make when they were adolescents.

Think about it. When you were young:

  • You had no money
  • You had no stuff
  • You knew you needed to work for the next 30 or 40 years
  • You needed to make a career decision

Now a lot of baby boomers are in a similar position:

  • You have no money or at least not enough to retire on
  • You probably have a lot of stuff that costs you money to keep
  • You know you need to work for the next 10 or 20 years
  • You need to make a career decision and possibly multiple career decisions over the coming years

See the similarity?

Can you make better adolescent decisions now?

Most of us when we left home and made our first career decisions, made those decisions in a vacuum. We did not know what we did not know!

We certainly know more today and can make better decisions.

Why are we having to make these decisions?

Whole industries and job categories have gone away!

Many are being forced to make these decisions kicking and screaming.

Let me tell you about John.

I met John shortly after I started my business. John had been a successful photo journalist for a major newspaper. John saw that photo journalism was going away along with the newspaper business going into decline.

During the last decade, he retrained and became a home inspector. He had a business inspecting homes when they were to be sold. Just as he was making a go of it, the great recession hit. We know what the great recession did to the real estate market.

John once again made a move into the energy efficiency market place where he partnered with contractors to help home owners determine how they could save money by making their home more energy efficient. John enjoyed the green energy part of the job but he was a salesman which he did not enjoy. However, he learned a number of sale techniques that he felt comfortable with.

John could not make a go of it financially and took a job working in a boutique home improvement store. He is making half of what he made as a photojournalist. However, he is making a go of it!

He is now looking at moving back into the new home business as that segment of the market improves. If all goes well he should return to his previous earning potential.

All of the shifts has been stressful on his marriage as his wife became the primary provider. To put it bluntly this whole transition has not been easy on him or his family!

I had coffee with John last week and for the first time since I have known him I saw optimism in him. He has learned something new at each step of the way. Kind of like when we were adolescents making adolescent decisions.

The difference is we have obligations that we did not have when we were young. We have spouses and children. It would have been easy for John to throw in the towel and give up. It probably would have wrecked his marriage. He did not give up and is willing to make yet another transition. Kind of like when we were adolescents making adolescent decisions.

Are you making adolescent decisions?

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Comments

  1. Always sad to hear about another journalist who’s doing less meaningful work. Baby Boomers came of age at a time when work wasn’t just about money. Now many of us are scrambling for mere survival.

    It seems to me that we should be sounding the alarm about a society where watchdog journalism is an endangered species, where we don’t take care of our children, sick people, or elders. Where income inequality is making life miserable for many of us, and our sons and daughters graduate from college with crippling debt.

    I can’t get excited about a new real estate bubble, frankly. There’s a lot more to worry about.

    We need to address the root causes for Boomers’ dilemmas. Individual solutions won’t be enough in the future, I suspect, particularly if Obama appoints Larry Summers as Treasury Secretary.

    If the U.S. can’t set up a reasonable safety net, plus restore opportunity for its youth, we’re going to lose any vestige of what made us a superpower. We’re well on the way.

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