Baby Boomer Brain Drain – Does Anyone Care? [Infographic]

Baby Boomer Brain Drain

brain drainNextAvenue.org published America’s Coming Brain Drain: Retiring Boomers which contains an infographic from MBA@UNC. This infographic, seen below, chronicles the issues that will be caused by baby boomers leaving the work force—the Baby Boomer Brain Drain.

What I find disturbing is that so few companies are preparing or seem to care at all.

Baby Boomers in the Workforce

Let me spell out some key statistics:

  • Baby boomers have 56% of corporate leadership positions
  • 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to for almost 20 years
  • In 2029, all baby boomers will be 65 years old or older
  • Baby boomers account for 31% of the workforce
  • 4 million companies, which make up 66% of all businesses with employees, are owned by baby boomers

Baby boomers will leave the workforce in the next 20 years, but not in the way we planned.

Are Companies Planning for the Baby Boomer Brain Drain?

Heck NO!

  • 62% of employers at Fortune 1000 companies believe that future retirements will result in skilled labor shortages in the next 5 years
  • 68% of employers have not analyzed the demographics of their workforce
  • 77% of employers have not analyzed the retirement rates of current employees
  • Only 19-37% of employers have taken action to prevent baby boomer brain drain

Baby Boomers and Retirement

Many of us do not want to retire like our parents. Many of us want to learn new skills and stay current and active. Many of us cannot do this alone.

Returning to college is cost prohibitive. I wrote about this in my post College Degree After 50 – Worth It?

Companies will need us to stay on the job, but are they doing anything about it? The statistics below say NO!

Brought to you by MBA@UNC’s online MBA programs

What do you think? What should companies and/or the government do?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for May 9

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.

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  • The Secrets of a Successful LinkedIn Blog – by People Who Really Know with Marc Miller  http://bit.ly/1EVbcC5
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Should I Take the Buyout Package

Buyout Package

buyout packageHave you or someone you know been offered a buyout package?

If you work for a large multinational corporation or the US federal government, the answer is probably yes.

How do you determine whether to take it or not?

The idea for this post came from a New York Times article, Making Money Decisions When You Lose Your Job.

I have also had multiple clients who were offered a buyout package or severance. You will find references to them in my post, 4 Signs That You Are Working for a Failing Company.  Rather interesting—I reposted that same material on LinkedIn Pulse and it went viral. Check out the comments.

I then recorded a podcast with Roger Whitney, the Retirement Answer Man, on this topic.

Evaluating the Buyout Package

You need to consider the following:

  • Immediate financial needs
  • Tax implications
  • Health insurance
  • Provisions of the separation, including non-compete clauses
  • Long term financial needs
  • Mental health and well-being

Immediate Financial Needs of the Buyout Package

How are you going to make ends meet financially?

  • Check out unemployment benefits
  • Consult your financial adviser immediately
  • Perform a careful budget analysis. How much money do you actually need to live?

If you plan to return to work, a good rule of thumb is to allow one month of unemployment for every $10,000 of annual income. If you are making $100,000 annually, you can expect your job search to take 10 months.

(More: How Long Will My Job Search Take?)

Tax Implications

If you get a lump sum severance in the second half of the year AND you get 6 months or more of severance, you may move into a higher tax bracket…especially if you find work quickly.

I had one client get contract work within 6 weeks of being laid off. This was in the September/October time frame. He told his new employer to withhold pay until the following year. This helped him in two ways:

  1. He did not need the money now, and the extra money would’ve pushed him into a higher tax bracket
  2. He would receive a lump sum check in January, which was an emotional relief

If it is late in the year, you may be able to negotiate to delay receiving your severance until the following year. Larger multinational companies may not do this, but smaller companies will likely negotiate.

Consult your tax accountant.

Health Insurance

This is less of a big deal than in the past. Now, you can buy individual health insurance due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You will get sticker shock!

Group health insurance via your employer is EXPENSIVE! You paid for it indirectly via lower wages and your employer purchased it. Check last years W-2 statement. It clearly states what your employer spent on your health insurance. When you continue your company health insurance via COBRA, it will be pricey.

Consult with an insurance broker who can spell out your options. You will have many of them, but, since you will be paying for your health insurance at least for a while, it’s worth it to go through them all.

Provisions of the Separation, Including Non-Compete Clauses

Read through the separation agreement. I suggest you take it to your lawyer.

If you have a non-compete clause in your contract and you live in a right to work state like Texas, that non-compete is likely not enforceable. Contact an employment lawyer.

Long term financial needs

Review your retirement accounts with your financial adviser. When I left my last company, I was completely stressed out. My blood pressure was very high and I was becoming physically ill from working there. I had to get out.

I went to my financial adviser and asked, “Can I retire? Can I retire now?

After running numerous Monte Carlo simulations, the answer was yes. I had no plans to retire and I had already started Career Pivot legally, but it gave me piece of mind to know that I would be okay.

I have had multiple clients who have been offered both voluntary and involuntary packages. I always tell them to talk to their financial advisers.

Mental Health and Well-Being

Your mental health and well-being is critical in evaluating a buyout package. One of the key factors to consider is that you will likely not have a paycheck. No matter how well prepared you are, emotionally giving up the paycheck is really difficult.

When I gave up the paycheck, I still woke up at 4 in the morning in a cold sweat saying to myself,

“I do not have a paycheck!!”

Do not under estimate the emotions that will surface. Find someone—a spouse, friend, counselor, clergy, social worker, etc.—to help you work through these emotions.

(More: Demise of the Paycheck – Good Riddance)

When a buyout package is offered, evaluate it using expert advice. You may be tempted to wait for the next round.

When a buyout package is offered, the next round is almost never more lucrative.

Have you been offered a buyout package? Tell us about your experiences!
Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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The Best and Worst Parts of Working from Home

Working from Home

working from homeWhen you’re stuck in the throes of commuting and cubicle life, working from home can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel. And for the most part, it is. But there are aspects of telecommuting that can be taxing, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Here are just some of the best and worst parts of working from home—and how to handle them.

The benefits of working from home:

Your schedule is your own.

Doctor’s appointments. Your child’s writing celebration. Gym time. There are so many demands on your day that it’s hard to fit them all in, especially when you work in an office. Having a flexible schedule means you can adjust your schedule to meet the challenges of your day—and still get all of your work done. It might mean starting your workday earlier or finishing up later, but having complete control over your schedule is truly the ultimate in work-life balance.

No interruptions.
When you worked in an office, you had a steady stream of chatty colleagues stopping by your ‘cube to talk…and talk…and talk. Phones were ringing and machines were beeping. Sitting in your home office, though, you can savor the silence—and zero interruptions. Being able to work in a more focused manner without incessant interruptions is definitely a bonus of working remotely.

Increased productivity.
Studies have shown time and time again that remote workers are far more productive than their in-office peers. Why? Without having a lengthy commute, a micromanaging boss breathing down your neck, and typical office interruptions, telecommuters can experience greater productivity without anything to interrupt their workflow.

The downside of working from home:

It can be lonely.
When you first started to work from home, you couldn’t believe how absolutely quiet it was. You could hear the slight hum of your computer being on. In fact, you could hear yourself think! At first, that was a huge benefit. But after awhile, working from home can get a bit lonely, even for those former office workers who were once desperate to ditch their office mates. One way to combat this is to stay in touch socially with your virtual colleagues, either by instant message, email, phone, or even sites like Yammer or Sococo, which can give you the virtual feeling of working together as a team. Another option is to take your office on the road with you, working at a local Starbucks, the park, or even a co-working space where you’ll be around people but still be able to get your work done, too.

You have to be very disciplined.
Sure, you have a project due by the end of the day…but there’s a Walking Dead marathon on that you want to watch. While there are a lot of distractions when you work in an office, there might be even more when you work from home (your comfy bed, anyone?). So it’s important to treat working from home as if you were working in an actual office. Set up your home office away from other distractions, such as the TV or the kitchen. Even though you have flexibility as to when and how you work, you still need to take your remote job seriously and treat it as such.

You must be able to problem-solve.
You can’t connect to your company’s videoconference. Your landline connection is spotty. A myriad of tech issues can happen when you’re a telecommuter. Whereas you could always reach out to the IT department when your computer glitched on you, now that you’re working from home, you are the IT department. Being a telecommuter means that you’ll need to be able to problem-solve fast—and also on your own.

But fixing issues isn’t always just of the tech kind; you might get what reads like a testy email from a coworker. Or you might get a confusing IM from your boss. Instead of letting issues slide (and then having to deal with the emotional aftermath later), it’s up to you to exhibit your superior communication skills to handle anything that comes your way. That way, you can clear the air and continue working peacefully (and productively) from home.

Just like anything else, working from home has its pluses and minuses. But if you go into it knowing what to expect—and knowing some traits about yourself, too—you’ll be able to thrive as a remote worker and find the Holy Grail that is work-life balance.

Jennifer ParrisThis post was written by Jennifer Parris, career writer at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. FlexJobs lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work-from-home jobs and other types of flexibility like part-time positions, freelancing, and flexible schedules. Jennifer provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for May 2

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.

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Weak Ties versus Strong Ties in your Job Search

Weak Ties versus Strong Ties

weak tiesWeak ties—or weak connections—in your network are more valuable than strong ties!

WHAT?

Weak ties are those people who you do not know well…those people with whom you only have a casual relationship.

Wait a minute. Everyone has been telling you that you need to network and develop deep relationships to help in your job search. That is still true.

Why would weak ties be more valuable that strong ties?

This concept comes from a section in the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant. Look for a couple of more posts based on this book.

Adam writes:

Strong ties are our close friends and colleagues, the people we really trust. Weak ties are our acquaintances, the people we know casually. Testing the common assumption that we get the most help from our strong ties, Stanford sociologist Mark Granvotter, surveyed people in professional, technical and managerial professions who recently changed jobs. Nearly 17 percent heard about the job from a strong tie. Their friends and trusted colleagues gave them plenty of leads.

By surprisingly people were significantly more likely to benefit from weak ties. Almost 28 percent heard about the job from a weak tie. Strong ties provide bonds, but weak ties served as bridges: they provide more efficient access to new information. Our strong ties tend to travel in the same social circles and know about the same opportunities as we do. Weak ties are more likely to open up access to a different network, facilitating the discovery of original leads.

Here’s the wrinkle: it’s tough to ask weak ties for help.

The premise is that weak ties know about people and opportunities that your strong ties do not.

Asking for Advice

Most of us are not comfortable asking weak ties for help. Heck…I am a guy and I do not like asking for help from anyone!

The magic word is to ask for advice.

When you ask for advice, you will rarely be turned down. If they do turn you down, they are a jerk and you do not want to talk with them anyway.

When you ask for advice from a weak tie, it is a compliment.

I might sound like:

Can you give me some advice on how to get hired at your company?

Can you give me some advice on who I need to talk to at your company to get a xyz job?

Can you give me some advice on how to best hear of new opportunities at your company?

You are not asking for a job! You are just asking for a little bit of advice.

This fits nicely into the asking for A-I-R—Advice, Insights, and Recommendations.

If you can become comfortable reaching out to weak ties, your network will expand greatly…and so do your opportunities.

Have your weak ties been more valuable than strong ties?

Tell us about it!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for April 25

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.

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Assumptions – How They Create Career Sinkholes

Assumptions and the sinkholes they create

AssumptionsAssumptions—we all make them when we manage our career!

Of course, this company needs someone with “xyz” skills.

My next job cannot be as bad as this current job.

Everyone lets people accrue vacation time from the time they start.

I will work for the local school district, and of course they have good health insurance.

I have either heard these from clients or I have made these mistakes myself.

Conscious Versus Unconscious Assumptions

Conscious assumptions are easy. It is the unconscious assumptions that will get you into big trouble.

Years ago, I taught a problem determination workshop for IBM. When you get stuck on a problem it is usually due to an unconscious assumption. Let me give you the example I told in that workshop.

Early in my career, I owned a 1976 Ford Pinto, a non-exploding one. It would not start and I diagnosed that it had a bad starter solenoid. Early one Saturday morning, I went to the local auto parts store and bought the necessary part. I installed the new solenoid, but it still would not start.

I spent the rest of the weekend diagnosing the problem. Finally, around 4 PM on Sunday I screamed in frustration, “It has be to the damn starter solenoid.” I bought another new starter solenoid, and this time, it worked!

My unconscious assumption was that the first new starter solenoid had to be good. It was NEW! It had to be GOOD! I wasted much of a weekend because of that unconscious assumption.

I will make a wager that most of you have experienced something like this in your life. I created a sinkhole that I fell right into.

Assumption Examples

Example #1

I had a client who had an offer in hand from a Fortune 500 employer. When we did some careful digging through the offer letter, we learned that:

  • The employer did not let new employees start accruing vacation until after their six month anniversary.
  • They were not offered company health insurance until after their six month anniversary.

What we discovered from a former HR employee at the company:

  • If my client asked, they would credit six months of vacation time into their account when they were hired.
  • If my client asked, they would pay my clients COBRA payment for six months until they were eligible for company health insurance.

Notice in both cases, the benefit was only offered if my client asked. Would you have asked? Probably not.

It would have been easy to assume that health insurance and vacation started at time of hire. It also would have been easy to assume that, once we learned of the reality, there was nothing my client could do about it.

Assumptions could have easily created a sinkhole for my client to fall into!

Example #2

In 2002, after a near fatal bicycle accident, I decided to pursue my Texas High School Math teaching certification. I was an engineer. I had taught adults for over 25 years in over 35 countries. There was a shortage of math teachers. I made the assumption that finding a teaching position would be easy.

It was not easy!

What no one told me was the public school system wants people who are highly compliant. Guys over 40 years of age and who come out of the corporate world tend not to be so compliant. Principals know that!

No one in my teacher certification class cohort who was male and over 40 years of age could get an interview. Nobody would talk to us! Only when school was about to start in August would principals begin giving us the time of day. Why? They had no choice.

My assumptions created a sinkhole that I fell right into. I did get a teaching position less than a week before school started, but it created a stressful situation that I would not want to repeat.

I can give you a lot more examples. Assumptions can be very dangerous!

What assumptions have you made that created a sinkhole? Did you fall in?
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 paper “Strategic 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

Repurpose Your Career – 5 Steps to Your Next Career Pivot

Your Next Career Pivot

Repurpose your careerWhether you are a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, or Millennial, retirement like your parents had is no longer a possibility for most. Just about everyone will have to go through career changes—career pivots—sometime in their life. It’s time to learn how to repurpose your career.

Let me lay out five steps for you to follow that will help you repurpose your career and make a successful career change.

Step 1 – Know thyself.

Take time to understand your core needs, like autonomy, creativity, and your own definition of a good team. Reflect back on your career when you were the happiest. Use my Career Reflection Worksheet to guide you through seven areas of job satisfaction.

Many of you have morphed into altered versions of yourselves in order to fit comfortably in corporate America. You may not really know yourself anymore. I use the Birkman Method® assessment to dissect your personality and find those areas where you are no longer in line with your authentic self. Most of us who have worked over 20 years have done this to ourselves!

(More: Career Reflection – A Twice a Year Duty )

Step 2 – Build your tribe.

Who can you count on for help and support during this transition? Who is going to lift your spirits when you slip and fall?

Your next career move will almost always come through a relationship! Strategically build relationships within industries and at companies that can help you make your next career pivot.

Build a team around you…and keep in touch with them!

(More: Strategic Networking – Building Your Tribe )

Step 3 – Act on facts, not assumptions.

We often think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but when we get there, we find out it’s AstroTurf.

In 2003, I left the high tech industry to teach high school math. I made two flawed assumptions:

  • As an engineer who had taught adults all over the world for 20 years, I assumed that school districts would want me to teach math. They did not! They did not want any guy over 40 years of age (likely because we don’t do what we are told)!
  • I would be able to get reasonable health insurance for my wife, son, and myself from the school district. NOPE! My out-of-pocket expenses were double my COBRA payment. I stayed with COBRA until I could find another alternative.

You need to turn off assumptions and really research new opportunities.

(More: Assumptions – Be Careful when making a Career Pivot)

Step 4 – Learn how to network strategically.

By using social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, you can target individuals who you need to meet and develop relationships.

Sometimes your best connections will come from people who do not know you from work. When I was looking for a teaching position, my best connector was my chiropractor. She knew a lot of people outside of my normal sphere of contacts.

If you have children, your children’s friends’ parents can be a goldmine of connections. When making a career pivot, you will want to be creative in finding new connections.

(More: Networking Strategically to Your Next Position)

Step 5 – Learn to ask for help.

Yes, I am a guy. I do not like asking for directions. But you’re heading into new territory and no one succeeds at a career pivot without others’ help. Set aside your claims to status and your pride in order to reach for something new where you may now be the rookie. This is hard at first, but it gets easier.

When I went off to teach high school math, I was a total novice. I needed to suck it up, admit that I did not know what I was doing, and ask for help. I found a teacher across the hall who would share her lesson plans with me. For an entire year, I stayed two days behind her teaching schedule.

If you follow these five steps, you will have a good chance of being successful when you repurpose your career.

(More: The Key to a Successful Career Shift: Asking for Help

Special Announcement

As part of the 100 Days on Jobs for Career Changers, FlexJobs.com and Career Pivot are excited to host a webinar on “5 Steps to Repurpose Your Career.” If you’re wondering how to transition your ideas for career change into action, this webinar will be a great resource! For more information and how to register Click Here!
Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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This post originally was published on FlexJobs.com.

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

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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

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for April 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

Multi-Generational Workplace

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

Subscribe

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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 paper Strategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper