How Long Will My Job Search Take?

How Long will My Job Search Take?

job searchI am often asked, “How long will my job search take?”

My answer is almost always, “It depends.”

I work, primarily, with experienced professionals—which is code for those over 50 years of age.

I tell them that a really short job search is three months. It takes almost three months for a company to decide to hire someone, post the job, interview candidates, make an offer, and then make the hire.

What factors affect how long the job search will take:

  • Depth of experience and perceived salary requirements
  • Your Network
  • Geographical demand for your skills
  • Time of year
  • Age discrimination

Depth of experience and perceived salary requirements

The more experience you have and the greater perceived salary requirements, the longer it will take. Notice I wrote perceived salary requirements. Yes, I know you say you will take less money butno one will believe you!

The reality is, the higher the perceived salary requirements, the fewer and fewer jobs there will be. After you get over a 6 figure income, the number of jobs decreases in most job markets.

Your Network

Your next job will likely come through a referral. If you follow the Target Job Search Strategy you will be strategically building a referral network.The stronger your network the shorter your job search.

Geographical demand for your skills

Are your skills valued in your local job market? For example, if you have an oil and gas background and you are looking for a position in Central Texas, where I live, well…it will be a tough and long job search. However, if you move to Houston,  you will find your skills much more valued.

If you have a certification, is it valued in your local market? The varies greatly by region!

If your skills or credentials are in over abundance or are not valued in your local region, you need to extend the length of your job search or expand your geographical search zone.

Time of year

Like every other business process, hiring goes through cycles. A lot of hiring occurs after annual budgets are approved. Look at financial statements of each target company on your target list and determine when the financial year begins. Some companies start their fiscal year in October and others start in January.

Hiring usually stops from late November through the middle of January. This is an excellent time to network and build your tribe, but little hiring occurs during this time.

Similarly, hiring slows down (but does not stop) during July and August when many people go on vacation. It only takes one person in the hiring process to go on vacation for everything to grind to a halt.

Age discrimination

Age discrimination is alive and well. You need to factor this into the length of your job search. You have to be realistic and find employers who value your skills and experience and will not discriminate based on your age. I am working with a client right now who in part of the long term unemployed cohort, and she is targeting government positions. For her, it is a numbers game, but she will be treated fairly in applying for government positions.

So how long will my job search take?

I tell my clients to plan on a minimum of 6 months to 2 years. If you are employed, it really depends on the amount of time you can dedicate to the job search. If you follow my Target Job Search Strategy, you should plan on starting your job search 18 months after you start a new job and plan on that search taking 18 months. That means you will be prepared to changed jobs every 3 years. That does not mean you will change jobs every 3 years, BUT you will be prepared to do so.

How long do you expect your job search to take?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

The Generational Fault Line – Quake or Tremor

The Generational Fault Line

Why the differences between generations will reshape your workplace

generational fault lineThere is a definite Generational Fault Line that was clearly denoted in a new report I was asked to review. The report, The Great Generational Shift –Why the differences between generations will reshape your workplace was developed by Hudson, a leading provider of specialized recruitment, talent management, and recruitment process outsourcing services in the Americas and worldwide.

This is by far the most comprehensive study of generational issues in the workplace that has given psychographic assessments to a large audience (28,000) and was multicultural (22 languages).

I have written extensively on the Multi-Generational Workplace on this blog. This report largely supports many of the conclusions that I have written, but is backed with a comprehensive study of thousands of workers.

Generational Fault Line in Leadership Style

Baby boomers were trained in traditional leadership traits based on leading, decisive, motivating, and persuasive. Baby boomers scored significantly higher in these leadership traits than Gen X and Gen Y.  However, the report states:

Today’s workforce does not need to be persuaded of the facts (they can check Google), but instead seeks leaders who can sift through mounds of data and translate it into meaningful insights.

Gen Y has been raised in the era of big data. It is more about being able to analyze data and translate that into business results.

Baby boomer leaders were trained to be strategic in their leadership style. Gen Yers have entered the job market at a time of tremendous change and uncertainty. The report states:

Generation Y is much less ‘strategic’ than Boomers, which may reflect today’s increasingly volatile and uncertain
business environment. It is harder than it was in the past to develop long-term business strategies, and leaders need to be nimble to deal with frequent changes to the competitive landscape.

Long term strategy is far less important in a world where you have to be able to pivot…and pivot quickly.

Do you see the generational fault line pressure building?

Boomers Will Have to Adjust Expectations

The generational fault line is going to shift. If you are a baby boomer, you have to accept it is going to happen! With many baby boomers unable to retire, baby boomers will have to adjust their expectations.

The study finds that baby boomers are less ambitious and altruistic than Gen Y. I cannot speak for everyone, but I am far less ambitious now in my late 50s than I was in my 20s and 30s.

There is no question in my mind that Gen Y is far more altruistic than baby boomers.

The report states:

As new leadership traits creep into the workplace, Boomers will need to be aware of the key drivers behind visibly different behavior. Avoiding judgement and embracing Boomers have a great deal still to contribute to the workforce in the coming two decades, not only in their own skills but in passing on these skills and mentoring younger generations. Yet they are less ambitious and altruistic than younger people so will need to be motivated to share those skills in other ways.

I previously wrote that it is highly likely you will work for someone who looks like your kid!

Are you ready to mentor the next generation to be leaders? I have expressed concern in the past on where Gen Y will acquire and learn leadership skills given the demise of long term corporate employment.

There is a definite generational fault line between Baby Boomer and Gen Y expectations in the workplace.

Generation Y May Not Be Entitled and Impatient, Just Misunderstood

I have said over and over that:

Gen Y is the way they is because—we made them that way!

Gen Y were raised in an environment where everyone wins. Everyone gets a trophy or blue ribbon. These expectations need to be managed. At the same time, they were raised in a connected world. They are used to constant communications and, therefore, feedback.

I hear complaints that Gen Y do not have interpersonal skills. They have very different interpersonal and communications styles than baby boomers or Gen X. 

The report states:

Raised in a connected world, they will also prefer to communicate through non-traditional channels and may need more regular feedback and reinforcement than other generations think necessary.

Organizations need to ensure they are aware of the benefits of a well-rounded individual and provide opportunities for Generation Y to see and experience other traits such as motivation and persuasion in action.

What About Gen X

Lori Hock, Hudson CEO Americas stated:

Generation X will have to become the diplomats in this great generational shift. They will have to learn traditional leadership skills from baby boomers and adapt them to the new workplace. They will need to learn to lead but share with baby boomer leadership and up and coming Gen Y leaders.

Every generation is necessary going forward in to keep the generation fault line from creating an earthquake.

Every generation will need to be making adjustments and accommodations to create a stronger and more united collective.

This is just in time, especially in the USA, as we have much new and re-building to do ahead. Business as usual is changing much faster than any new way is replacing it.

Take the time to download and read this report, The Great Generational Shift –Why the differences between generations will reshape your workplace.

What are you doing to keep the generational fault line slowly shifting and preventing a major earthquake?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for October 18

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Job Search

Career

Baby Boomers

Career Pivot

 

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Interviewing with an Uneducated Interviewer

The Uneducated Interviewer

Uneducated InterviewerYou have likely encountered the uneducated interviewer! It is my claim that most hiring managers have never been trained to interview candidates.

I just finished reading Who by Geoff Smart and Randy Street. This book is the bible on how to interview for A players.

They chronicle ten different interview styles of the uneducated interviewer:

  1. The Art Critic -These are the managers who think they can spot talent when they see it.
  2. The Sponge - They think if they spend enough time with you they will soak up enough to make a hiring decision.
  3. The Prosecutor – The have watched too many episodes of Law and Order. They will aggressively question candidates attempting to trick the candidate.
  4. The Suitor - They want to sell the candidate rather than interview them.
  5. The Trickster - These are the interviewers who use gimmicks to test for certain behaviors. The authors state “they might throw a wad of paper on the floor to see if a candidate is willing to clean it up.”
  6. The Animal Lover - Have you been asked in an interview “What type of animal would you be”?
  7. The Chatterbox - Have you spent more time in an interview talking about the local sports team or the weather?
  8. The Psychological and Personality Tester - Have you been required to take an assessment before being able to interview?
  9. The Aptitude Tester - This is a variation of The Psychological and Personality Tester.
  10. The Fortune Teller - The interviewer asked the candidate to predict the future. The authors give an example “If you are going to resolve a conflict with a co-worker, how would you do it?”.

Do you recognize any of these?

Have you used one of these interviewing techniques? I have!

I will admit it. I have not been a very good interviewer!

Let’s address the three most common in my experience:

The Suitor

The suitor is the easiest of the uneducated interviewer to deal with. Be prepared to tell stories. You should have a story prepared for each responsibility listed in the job description.

When there is a break in the conversation, pivot it back to the job description and immediately launch into a story. “Let me tell you about the time I demonstrated…”

The Chatterbox

The chatterbox is definitely an uneducated interviewer. Most do not have a clue of how to interview, but be prepared to be hyper-vigilant when interviewing with other interviewers. If the hiring manager is a chatterbox, the decision on whether to hire you will most likely come from others.

The Prosecutor

As soon as you realize your interviewer is playing the role of district attorney, you have to play the role of a good witness. You need to listen carefully to the interviewer and answer the questions. Be prepared to thoughtfully delay answering the question. You can rephrase the question, “Let me make sure I understand the question. You said…” This will give you time to think and make sure you really understand what he or she is asking.

When I taught high school math, I used questions like, “Do they have 4th of July in England?” The answer is YES! They do not celebrate it, but they do have 4th of July.

Lastly, be prepared to probe for pain points. Ask the interviewer about what was behind the question they just asked. You might say, “From the last question, can I infer that you are having a problem with…? If true, let me tell you about the time…” It is important not to pause between the question and the second sentence. Remember, you are dealing with a district attorney and you want to take control of the flow of conversation.

The key in dealing with an uneducated interviewer is to be conversational and respectful. You definitely want to control the flow of the conversation. Be prepared to tell stories on how you demonstrated your expertise.

Can you spot a uneducated interviewer?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Our Perceptions of Ourselves and Others and Their Impact

Our Perceptions

PerceptionsOur perceptions of who we are is our reality!

Our perceptions of others is our reality!

That is some pretty heady stuff.

What about others’ perceptions?

How others perceive you is their reality.

Do you know how others perceive you?

If you think you know how others perceive you, where do you derive that from? Did you ask them?

When our perception of ourselves is different from others’ perception of us, we run into problems at work. More than likely, it will cause us stress.

Roger Birkman and Perceptions

I just returned from attending the Birkman Next Generation Conference in Sugarland Texas. The conference was attended by hundreds of Birkman consultants who use the Birkman Assessment to help individuals and companies reach peak performance. This was the first conference not attended by Dr. Roger Birkman, who passed away at the age of 95 earlier this year.

Dr. Roger Birkman, a World War II pilot, was fascinated by the impact that perceptions had on pilot and crew performance. Dr. Birkman went on to study psychology at the war and later developed the Birkman Assessment.

The Birkman Method, as it is formally known, is a personality, social perception, and occupational interest assessment used to identify behavioral strengths, motivational needs, stress behavior, and occupational interests.

I have been using the Birkman Assessment for three years on hundreds of clients. I am still fascinated at what it reveals and how there can be major disconnects between our perceptions of ourselves with others perceive of us.

Examples

I am currently working with a gentleman who you could describe as an introvert. In the Birkman Method, he is referred to as low acceptance. He likes working by himself or with a small group of close colleagues. Many would assume he would want to work from home.

Does he want to work from home? NO! In fact, %^$& NO!

He very much needs to be around people. He does not necessarily want to interact on work projects with others, but he needs to be around people. You would never know this unless you talked with him about his need.

The world of coworking spaces has arisen just for these kinds of people.

I have written before about my client that I refer to as a Structured Anarchist.

Bob appears as a very orderly person. He loves rules and structure, or at least that is how he appears. In the Birkman Method, he is referred to as High Structure.

What Bob really loves is creating rules and structure. By the way, he is phenomenally good at creating systems. He just does not want any rules or structure placed on him when creating these systems.

Others’ perceptions of Bob did not align with Bob’s own perception of himself. He kept being placed in very orderly roles, but what he really wanted was to be placed in total and complete chaos where he could create order.

It was not until we worked through the Birkman Assessment that we identified this disconnect and he could articulate this strength. He no longer waits to be placed into a role, but he actively seeks out opportunities where he gets to create order out of chaos.

If you would like to learn more about Birkman Assessment, watch this excellent video below!

I came back from the Birkman conference charged up and wanted to share this video with you.

Do you see the impact that perceptions have on the workplace?

Feel free to reach out to me through my contact form if you want to discuss the Birkman Assessment any further.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for October 11

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Career

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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References from Beyond Your Reference List

References

referencesReferences are a key component in getting a job. Who can verify that you know your stuff?

Traditionally, references are supplied when an employer is getting ready to make an offer. Recently, I have had two clients who had very different experiences as it relates to references.

Asking for References after a Phone Interview

I have a client who is a very experienced technology professional. He had a phone interview with a technology hiring manager with a regional retail firm. The interview went very well! Afterwards, the recruiter asked for a list of references.

My client became a bit incensed that he was being asked for references so early in the process. He did not want his references to be bothered until he knew he wanted the job.

The recruiter told him that they would instead contact the people who recommended him on LinkedIn. What!

My client was still incensed, but relented and supplied a list of references.

He asked me if they could do that? My response was YES!

Do you have LinkedIn recommendations from people you would prefer prospective hiring managers to not contact? You do not have to display all of your recommendations. You can hide recommendations!

Behind the Scene References

Behind the scene references have occurred for a long time.

This starts with an employee referral. When someone passes your resume to the hiring manager, he or she becomes a reference.

I recently had a client who got a job because of a behind the scene reference. I wrote about “Susan” in my post, Moment of Clarity – Fending off a Layoff.

Susan’s marketing position was eliminated, so she was facing a layoff. She interviewed for a position in the Learning and Development function. Susan has extensive experience in Learning and Development, but she had been in the marketing function for an extended period of time. After the interview, the hiring manager talked to few people who Susan had worked with in the past. These people were Susan’s behind the scene references.

The hiring manager did not ask for a list of references. The hiring manager therefore, did not need to ask for permission.

Susan later found out one of those references was absolutely key in landing the position. If she had not done some detective work, she may have never known who had helped her land the position.

Usually, behind the scene references come from employees at your target company.

However, recently, I had a client get a positive reference from the neighbor of the hiring manager. The hiring manager’s neighbor was a colleague of my client at a company five years ago. How did the hiring know this? He did his homework on LinkedIn.

This is why it is critical that, when you leave a job, you never burn bridges. Make sure you leave on a positive note.

Have you receive references from beyond your reference list?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Baby Boomers and the Ever Shrinking Workforce

Shrinking Workforce

shrinking workforce

click to enlarge

I have recently read a book and multiple articles on the shrinking workforce in America. Each of these left me a bit disturbed about the future.

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has been steadily declining ever since the beginning of the great recession.

Why is it shrinking? Is it necessarily bad? I think so.

Why are people leaving the workforce?

In the recent article on CBS MoneyWatch – Why are people leaving the workforce? they quote Bob Funk, chief executive of global staffing company Express Employment Professionals.

There’s no clear reason why people are leaving the workforce, and the issue has ignited a fierce debate among economists. One trend that they seem to agree on? About half of the decline is due to baby boomers entering their retirement years.

The other half of the decline gets a little fuzzy. Funk notes that some portion of the unemployed either don’t want to work or don’t think they can find a job. His company commissioned a poll of the unemployed in May, he said, and found that 47 percent have completely given up looking for work. “That’s a real problem,” he said.

Approximately, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 years of age every single day.

Are they retiring and leaving the workforce? Some are and some are not.

My question for you is—If baby boomers retire at 65, is it because they want to or have to?

It is my belief more are retiring and leaving the workforce because they have to, due to health or because they just can’t find a job.

What do you think?

Unretirement

I recently read Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life. The author states that unretirement, which is staying in the workforce past the standard retirement age of 65 and delaying retirement, will save the retirement for baby boomers, save the economy, and save social security.

The bigger question is whether baby boomers can stay employed past 65? For most, this will mean creating a business or developing a portfolio career and not a traditional job.

The author projects that by 2020, the demand for workers will be high enough that employers will need to hire older workers. However, the author also questions whether current hiring practices can and will change to allow the hiring of older workers.

I agreed in theory with just about everything the author said, but he based a lot of his projections on the workforce expanding and not shrinking!

Left Behind: The Long-term Unemployed Struggle in an Improving Economy

A recent report from Rutgers University called Left Behind: The Long-term Unemployed Struggle in an Improving Economy states the the great recession continues to have a lasting effect on our economy. The report is a product of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, which conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,153 Americans between July 24 and August 3, 2014.

In the great recession, over half of the long term unemployed were baby boomers. Baby boomers were less likely to become unemployed, but if they did, they would likely enter the ranks of the long term unemployed (over six months).

Here are several quotes from the report

Two-thirds of all adults in the survey, including those who were laid off and those who never lost a job, say the recession had an impact on their own standard of living, a staggering number in American society

Even though the stock market has soared in recent years, just one in seven employed workers say its performance affects them a lot; another half say the market has a little impact on them.

The report clearly shows the impact of the great recession has long lasting effects. The booming stock market has helped those at the top, but not the common man.

The report paints a picture that is far different from the rosy economic numbers that are coming out of Washington.

What does all of this mean?

The average baby boomer will have to work long past 65 years of age, if allowed. Will they be allowed to continue to work?

My hypothesis is that the shrinking workforce is due to:

  • Baby Boomers who are retiring by choice
  • Baby Boomers who are retiring due to health issues
  • Baby Boomers who cannot find work and have given up looking. There only choice is to apply for Social Security and retire.

The last two groups will likely retire into poverty.

I do not like this picture!

What do you think?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperStrategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for October 4

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Social Media

Job Search

Multi-Generational Workplace

Personal Brand

  • How To Pimp Your Personal Brand – And Why It’s Crucial To You Getting A Job – Social-Hire http://bit.ly/1wZimAi

Career

Baby Boomer

Career Pivot

 

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Why Do You Want to Leave Your Current Position?

The dreaded question – Why do you want to leave your current position?

leaveThe one question most candidates dread is,  “Why do you want to leave your current position?”

You cannot say “My boss is a jerk,” or “The work environment is toxic.” If you do, the interviewer will likely think, “Next candidate please!”

When asked this question, you absolutely, positively avoid saying anything negative. There are two reasons to not go negative:

  1. It will give the impression that you may be part of the problem. There are two sides to every story. The interviewer knows they are only hearing one side.
  2. By getting negative in an interview, you cannot avoid degrading your own attitude. If you followed my instructions in my post 3 Steps to Walking Into Your Interview with Confidence, you will be feeling good about yourself. This is key!

Pivot the Answer to What You Want

When you are asked the Why do you want to leave your current position? question, you can respond in the following way:

My current job is fine (which may or may not be true), but what I am looking for is…and then state what you are looking for in your next position.

Next, ask a question about the possibilities of getting what you want. For example:

Can you tell me about the initiatives you have in the areas of…?

It is important that you, rather than the interviewer, redirect or pivot the conversation back in a direction that you want to take.

Be prepared for the interviewer to probe for more information, but absolutely do not go there. Resist the urge at all costs.

I have previously written about three client examples. Take a look at these now:

All three examples were derived from real situations. In all three situations, the interviewee had a planned response prepared for the dreaded question.

Being Prepared with Interview Questions

You should come into any interview with at least 10 questions that you would like to get answered. Print them out and keep them in front of you. Take notes and record the interviewer’s answers on the paper. By writing down the responses, it gives you time to think about where to take the conversation next!

Controlled pauses (that is my term) give you a chance to think about the flow of the conversation.  Another example of a controlled pause is to restate the question you were just asked.  Let me make sure I understand your question. You asked…

Remember it is YOUR DAMN INTERVIEW!

Be prepared for the most common questions and the dreaded question – why do you want to leave your current position?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist