3 Lessons Learned by a Baby Boomer Career Blogger

Baby Boomer Career Blogger

Baby_Boomer_Career_BloggerI became a baby boomer career blogger in June of 2011. Three and half years later, I have learned a lot. My readership has taught me so much.

I thought now would be a good time to reflect on what I have learned and get feedback from you!

Baby Boomers – We are not like our parents!

I attended a session at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference called Getting Old: A Job for the Young.

The session was led by José Colucci from IDEO. IDEO is a leading design firm that does a lot of work for Apple.

Many of his assumptions were that our old age lifestyle will look a lot like our parents’ did. WRONG!!

Yes, we will live a lot longer. We will also work a lot longer because we will not have enough money to retire on.

For example, he stated that we will purchase as many cars in retirement as we purchased before retirement. Hmm…I turn 60 years old next year, and I am looking at purchasing my last car. I expect this car to keep me going for 20 years! I think I have owned 8 cars in my lifetime.

I see these kinds of assumptions all over the place.

What I have learned as a baby boomer career blogger is that “We are so NOT LIKE OUR PARENTS!”

(Sorry for the rant!!)

We were Raised to be Generalists, and Traditional Education has Failed Us!

I have said many times:

I was raised to be an employee to work for a father-like company who would take care of me until and through retirement.

When I entered the workforce in the mid 1970s, generalists were valued. We were not encouraged to become specialists.

I attended a session at SXSW Interactive called Higher Education: To Get a Job or Create a Job? The premise of the discussion was how can higher education prepare our kids for a job when the skills required by industry changes every couple of years.

Most of us were raised to attain a set of skills that would sustain us throughout our career.

WOW—that is not at all true anymore! The skills I have acquired in the last three years as a baby boomer career blogger are pretty amazing.

What school did I attend? NONE!

What classes did I take? NONE!

Did I attend a lot of meetups? YES!

Did I read a lot online? YES!

Did I participate in online discussions like #blogchat? YES! (By the way, I attribute 90% of what I have learned about blogging to the #blogchat community.

What I have learned as a baby boomer career blogger is—being a generalist is no longer a safe route, and your skills will be acquired in a non-traditional manner.

The World is Changing and Our Children are Leading the Charge

The millennial generation are our children. I state in my multi-generational workplace workshop

They is the way they is — because we made them that way!

The bad grammar is on purpose! LOL!

The millennial generation are also referred to as echo-boomers. They are the opposite of ourselves. Just as we were the opposite of our parents.

I spoke last week at SXSW Interactive as part of the session called: Personal PowerWorks: Power Your Personal Brand and Career.

This was part of the Social Good Hub Program, learn more at http://sxsw.com/sxgood.

For most of us baby boomers, we would have been more interested in getting stoned and preaching peace when we were the of age of those in the audience. These younger folks are truly interested in creating a better world.

I WAS IMPRESSED!

What I have learned as a baby boomer career blogger is that our children are in control of our future!

The World has Changed

There is an incredible amount of information that is dispensed on Fox News, CNN and MS-NBC that our generation digests everyday. We listen to it and get really upset.

Our Congress is paralyzed because of all of the rhetoric. In my humble opinion, it is ugly!

What I have learned as a baby boomer career blogger is that we need to accept:

  • To teach and inform industry and government that we are not like our parents
  • That we will need to proceed in our careers very differently, and that we are not in control
  • To take the lead from our children

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Middle Skill Jobs Going, Going and Gone

Middle Skill Jobs

middle_skill_jobsMiddle skill jobs—jobs that do not require a four year college degree—are rapidly disappearing.

Last week, I wrote in my post Can Disruptive Technologies Disrupt Your Career about technology changes that could eliminate or disrupt careers. These jobs will primarily fall in the middle skill jobs category.

As was written in the DallasFed Economic Newsletter by Anton Cheremukhin:

Employment in the United States is becoming increasingly polarized, growing ever more concentrated in the highest- and lowest-paying occupations and creating growing income inequality. The causes and consequences of this trend are often considered in the context of what has been a relatively “jobless” recovery from the Great Recession.

hollowing_out

Classic Example

A classic example of the elimination of middle skill jobs can be seen in just about every airport.

Fifteen years ago, if you walked into an airport, you would be holding a paper ticket. There were gate agents who would check you in at the departure section of the airport.

Today, there are kiosks where you check yourself in. The issuance of boarding passes is completely automated. In fact, most of you check in before you leave your home or hotel.

Thousands of middle skill jobs have been eliminated.

Liberal Art Education

At one time, a liberal arts education would, at the very least, land you into many middle skill jobs. That is no longer true.

I am working with multiple clients who attained liberal arts educations at prestigious universities. Many ended up in administrative positions. They proved their worth by making processes work within their corporations. This might be in areas like Human Resources, IT, or Manufacturing.

They made things “just happen” in a human-centric process world, then, their jobs were automated. A common job title that has been nearly eliminated is Administrative Assistant.

Today, just about any process-driven task can be automated and then outsourced to any place in the world.

Why did this happen to them? They had really good soft skills, but soft skills can be easily eliminated in a hard skills environment. Their liberal arts education that led to middle skill jobs could easily be eliminated.

What to do?

Can your job be automated?

Get serious! Even customer-facing service jobs are being automated.

Should you go back to school?

I recently wrote the post College Degree After 50 – Worth It  where I asked whether going back to college made sense. My conclusion is that, unless the education is highly targeted towards a specific skill that is highly desired, it does not make financial sense.

It may make sense from a personal development perspective, but financially—NO.

Should you get training and certification in a highly desirable skill?

YES, but do your research first.

Middle skill jobs have been eliminated during every recession in the last century. That is not going to change!

Are you working in a middle skill job?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for March 14

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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  • Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers Audio Edition is now available! http://adbl.co/1C0WIAA

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How to Find Work Flexibility in Your Next Career

Flexibility in Your Next Career

flexibilityFor years, you worked in the same industry, happily clocking into the office each and every day. But now, things are different. While you would still like to keep working, you’re looking for a little more flexibility—and a lot more work-life balance—in your life.

That’s where a flexible job comes into play. A job that offers a flexible schedule can help you gain control over your life as well as your transition to a completely new career. That way, you can continue earning a paycheck but still have the time you want for other more personal pursuits, in particular spending time with your family.

Fortunately, flex comes in various forms. For example, you could work a full-time remote job, in which you would work a typical 40-hour workweek, but from the comfort of your home office (i.e., no more commuting!). Perhaps you would like to work a full-time schedule, but you don’t want to work every day. In that case, a compressed workweek could be a fit for you. In a compressed workweek, you might work in an office from Monday-Thursday, but work extra hours during those four days, leaving your Fridays free!

If you want to decrease the number of hours that you work, you could also find a part-time telecommuting job. In that scenario, you might work upwards of 25+ hours weekly, but not have to go into a traditional office. But if you’re looking to slowly dip your toes into your new career field, freelance might be the best option for you. As a freelancer, you get to choose when you work, who you work with, and how you work. You can score a permanent freelance job or have a variety of clients that you work for. Freelance work (i.e., being an independent contractor) allows you to truly work when you want to.

With so many options in flexible work, it can be hard to pinpoint which type of flex is best for your situation. So you’ll need to consider the following factors in determining what type of work flexibility will, well, work for you!

Your Budget

Determine how much money you need to make monthly in order to have the life you want to live. The amount you need to earn each month will ultimately factor into which type of flex work you’ll look for.

Your Family

Let’s say that you’re caring for a family member, or are a proud part-time babysitter to your grandchildren. You may need more (or less) free time to be with your loved ones and take care of your family commitments. As such, you’ll need to scale back (or ramp up) the number of hours that you’re able to work.

Your Health

If your calendar has one doctor’s appointment after another on it, finding a freelance job that pays the bills (but also lets you completely customize your schedule) will be an important factor in finding your flex.

Your Career Goals

Let’s say that for the majority of your career, you were a tax accountant. Now, you’re switching careers in order to become a world-class baker. It’s uber important to decide why you’re switching careers and how much time you want to dedicate to it. If you want to focus on this new career and are willing to work really hard at excelling at it, then finding a full-time telecommuting job would work for you. If your new career is more of a passion project that you want to dabble in once in a while, you might look into part-time work to slowly immerse yourself into this new career and make the transition easier.

Now that you’ve determined what kind of flexible schedule job you’d like to have and identified the factors that went in to making that decision, it’s time to find a flexible job! The best way to land a job with work flexibility is to look for companies that are known to have flexible policies. You can find out this info from looking at a company’s website or even calling its HR department. And when you’re looking at job descriptions, you should look out for words such as “telecommuting,” “remote job,” or “virtual position.” But be careful of job postings that use words like “work from home” or “work at home” as they might be job scams.

It’s exciting to start a new career, no matter what your age. And by having a flexible position, you can work in the career that you were meant for, and do it all on your terms.

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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Can Disruptive Technologies Disrupt Your Career?

Disruptive Technologies

disruptive technologiesI am attending SxSW Interactive  this week. I am amazed at the possibilities for market disruption in so many areas.

Twitter was launched at SxSW in 2007, and now you see hashtags on just about every news outlet.

Will disruptive technologies disrupt your career, industry, or both?

Automobiles

New collision avoidance technologies are being implemented throughout the auto industry. As vehicles are able to avoid collisions, the economic impact on society will be reduced. When driverless cars are introduced, it has been hypothesized that possibly as much as 90% of collisions could be eliminated.

How will these disruptive technologies affect:

  • Insurance industry
  • Auto parts suppliers
  • Auto repair shops

Just 10 years ago, it was predicted that driverless cars would not be technically feasible anytime soon.

Healthcare

We have seen many disruptive technologies emerge, described as wearable devices. My wife has a fitbit which she uses to track how many steps she takes each day.

Even more important is the development of EKG apps for your smartphone. For about $200, you can have a portable EKG machine.

How will these disruptive technologies affect:

  • Hospitals – Hospitals charge for EKGs
  • Physicians
  • Clinics

Finance

Bitcoin, which is digital currency, has the possibility of changing the world of finance and accounting. It has the possibility of completely eliminating the credit card industry.

Mobile payments could very well change how we pay for everyday products. Are you ready to give up your credit card?

How will these disruptive technologies affect:

  • Banks
  • Credit Card companies
  • Governments

Publishing

We have already seen the rise of e-books within the last five years. Now, audio books have become progressively easier to produce and publish. My book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers is now available on audio. It was not feasible to self publish an audio book just two years ago.

I sat in a session where comment moderation was discussed by employees from the NY Times and CNN. The NY Times has a large staff that moderates thousands of comments a day.

How will these disruptive technologies affect:

  • Magazine publishers – They are already disappearing
  • Newspapers – Same
  • Book Stores – When was the last time you went into a book store?
  • Publishers – Traditional publishers are progressively becoming inconsequential

Sharing Economy

We have entered into the sharing economy by being able to rent our house, condo, or apartment on AirBnB or HomeAway.

Disruption is occurring in the local transportation markets with Uber, and Lyft. Will taxis become obsolete?

How will these disruptive technologies affect:

  • Hotel industry
  • Taxi industry

Next Disruption – Higher Education

I just walked out of a session called Higher Education: To Get a Job or Create a Job?

It was discussed that the skills needed in three years to be competitive are still unknown. Therefore, going to school for a 4 year degree no longer guarantees you the skills needed to be employable.

Higher education must become more nimble and entrepreneurial. If it does not, it will progressively become irrelevant.

All of the disruptive technologies I have written about are creations within the last 2-10 years.

What does this mean for your career?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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You can also download my personal branding white paper – Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

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BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for March 7

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

Career

Baby Boomer

Job Search

Career Pivot

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

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Do Others Prejudge You Based on Your LinkedIn Profile?

prejudge

NickandZuzu.com

Do You Prejudge Someone After Looking at their LinkedIn Profile?

Thom Singer’s keynote speech at Product Camp Austin 14 was on how someone decided to prejudge him based on seeing him speak. This person thought that she would not like Thom. However, when she actually met him in person, she discovered he was a really nice guy.

She had prejudged him based on seeing him on stage.

Hmmm…do we do the same with LinkedIn and other social media platforms?

Do you prejudge someone when you view their LinkedIn profile?

Do others prejudge you?

LinkedIn Profile

My presentation at Product Camp, “Leveraging LinkedIn – Creating a Professional that People will Remember“, was about establishing your brand on LinkedIn.

People will prejudge you based on your LinkedIn profile.

Yeah, yeah, I know we are not suppose to do that, but we do. This goes hand in hand with all of the discussion about Unintentional Bias.

Let’s discuss what you can do about establishing your brand on LinkedIn. We can then manage how someone might prejudge you!

LinkedIn Picture

I previously wrote a post called 3 Key Elements of your LinkedIn Photograph.
The three key points were:

  • Framing and Clothing
  • Background
  • Chin Line

Recently, I read a LinkedIn Publisher post by Jason Seiden titled What Profile Photo Works Best on LinkedIn: A Real-Life Experiment where Jason tested a variety of photos.

What he determined was the most important factor in the picture was the …….

Background!

Yes, people will prejudge you based on the background of your LinkedIn photo!

Jason’s most successful photo was one where he was a keynote speaker. You could tell that from the background.

Think about it! What does the background of your LinkedIn photo say about you?

SxSWiIf you are attending SxSWi please come to my presentation on this topic!

Headline

The vocabulary you use in your LinkedIn Headline and Summary is critical.

The default LinkedIn headline is “Current Job Title at Company Name”.

The headline is 120 characters long. USE ALL OF IT.

Instead insert phrases like “Product Management” or  “Merges & Acquisitions” and separate each with a “|”.  Check out my LinkedIn profile to see an example.

Yes, people will prejudge you based on the headline.

(More: 1st Place to use Keywords is in your LinkedIn Headline)

Summary

The Summary section of your LinkedIn profile should contain your brand story.

Tell me who you are and not what you have done.

You can tell the reader what you have done in your experience section. I have written a four posts on the process of writing your brand story.

If you want the reader to prejudge you in an authentic way, then tell an authentic story!

We will be prejudged based on our LinkedIn profile. What we want to do is paint an authentic picture of ourselves so that we can develop a real life relationship.

Do you prejudge based on what you see and read online?

By the way, I’m honored to share that my presentation won best session at Product Camp Austin!

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 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

Are You Likeable? Does It Matter?

Are You Likeable?

likeableIs it important to be likeable as it relates to your work and career?

Do you consider yourself a likeable person?

Think about some of the best people you have worked with. Have they been likeable?

Is it important to be likeable to be successful?

Likability and Your Career or Business

Currently, there is much being written on this topic.

Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More and How Leaders Can Deliver by Dave Kerpen.

It pays to be LIKEABLE!

You can have a rock-solid business strategy, unlimited resources, and the most talented people on staff. But only one thing is guaranteed in today’s hyper-connected society: if your business isn’t likeable, it will fail.

Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action by Rohit Bhargava

How to become a trusted resource for consumers in a society of constant manipulation

People decide who to trust, what advice to heed, and which individuals to forge personal or transactional relationships with based on a simple metric of believability. Success, in turn, comes from understanding one basic principle: how to be more trusted. Likeonomics offers a new vision of a world beyond Facebook where personal relationships, likeability, brutal honesty, extreme simplicity, and basic humanity are behind everything from multi-million dollar mergers to record-breaking product sales. There is a real ROI to likeability, and exactly how big it is will amaze you.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant

Givers are at the top and the bottom of career success. Bottom early in their career and at the top later in their career.

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

13 Habits of Exceptionally Likeable People on Forbes.com by Travis Bradberry

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception. In reality, being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence (EQ).

The 13 habits of exceptionally likeable people are as follows:

  • They ask questions
  • They put their phones away
  • They are genuine
  • They don’t pass judgement
  • They don’t seek attention
  • They are consistent
  • They use positive body language
  • They leave a strong first impression
  • They greet people by name
  • They smile
  • The know when to open up
  • They know who to touch (and they touch them)
  • They balance passion and fun

Being Likeable and Career Success

We all know that not all successful business men or women have been likeable. What has changed is that the speed of communication has accelerated. Those who are not likeable will not create good karma and it will cost them…eventually.

It has been said many times that:

People hire people they like!

In my opinion, it is more important for your career success to be likeable than knowledgeable.

Yes, it does matter to be likeable?

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 personal branding white paper – Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

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 February 28

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

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?

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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

Re-entering the Workforce – Marketable Skills After 50

Marketable Skills After 50

marketable skillsAre you over 50, re-entering the workforce, and wondering about your marketable skills?

There are those of you who have served as housewives; still others, who raised their children, then raised other people’s children. You may have taken extended time off to care for a parent.

You who have lived great lives but now desire to get busy and get a job outside of the home may feel that you can’t compete in today’s workforce. We will shed light on your dilemma.

Let’s look at 3 recommendations for those re-entering the workforce with few marketable skills after age 50.

People are willing to hire others to attend to the things they no long have the time to do.

Marketable Skills Recommendation #1

Think about your talents, passions, and the things that you want to learn. Think about how your skills fill a need.

Present your talent to those who need it.

Sometimes, you can do this with a business card announcing your services, or with a postcard noting that you have the answer to a problem.

Try asking a needs-based question that your potential client is looking for someone to help them answer.

And don’t think that these jobs can’t lead to a lucrative salary. For example:

  • Home workers are generally excellent at organizing.
  • Event planners, personal shoppers, or home health aides are ideal professions for those with are excited to use those skills sets.

You have lived and have noticed many issues, concerns, and problems in your community, nation and worldwide.

Think about the solutions that you feel would best address any particular problem. For instance, you may have noticed a few businesses that have recently opened in the community. Although they might offer competitive prices for their products, you notice that a few workers are young and lack good customer service.

Marketable Skills Recommendation #2

Offer new businesses your service as a customer service trainer, working to help employees learn great ways to offer excellent customer service. Job creation starts with company’s needs.

Craft a short bio and offer your services to new businesses in town, based on your talents.

Go to the chamber of commerce and grab their members’ directory and start there. You’ll be surprised how many companies would be interested in hiring people for subcontracted assignments based on direct need.

These opportunities do not require that people possess a PhD, but rather, pertinent skills.

For example, accounting firms would welcome a smart, intelligent bookkeeper assistant to help with audits, tabulate clients’ documents during tax season, and help with paper pushing at the end of the fiscal year.

Companies need the obvious:

  • Capitalize on trends
  • Respond to problems in the company
  • Improve on the way things are being done now
  • Use of old things in new ways
  • Increase customer base
  • Expand business
  • Help save or make money

Recommendation #3 Connect with opportunities that will help connect your talents. See Government Senior Citizens Resources (http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml), Work from home computer customer service jobs (http://www.segroupllc.org/), and Opportunities for online writing jobs (http://bit.ly/1DDCz3C).

Realize that you should not limit your ideas about your talents. They include:

  • Personality
  • Assurances
  • Vision
  • Age
  • Perspective
  • Insight
  • Credibility
  • Skill
  • Information
  • Authenticity
  • Reputation
  • Values
  • Wisdom
  • Research, data
  • Understanding
  • Experience

You have remarkable employ-ability skills that most employers would be glad to have on board.

First, consider only the jobs and career areas that are of interest to you. Next, connect with a professional organization. This affiliation will teach you, help you to earn continuing education credits, and introduce you to like-minded people. Most importantly, they will help connect you to opportunities to work, learn, and give within your industry of choice. 50+ people have a dynamic place in the workplace!

Go find your place!

Debra Ann Matthews, M.A., JCTC is a passionate career coach and resume writer who works with debra ann matthewshundreds of clients throughout her career to achieve their dreams. Her extensive experience includes helping in President Clinton’s AmeriCorps, Up With People, and Job Corps. She loves to help motivated career changers in her business Let Me Write It For You. She’s noted in USAA Military, NBC Chicago, MSN Latino, Monster, Monster Working, Calgary Sun, Money Mix, & Careerbuilder.co.uk. Connect with her on LinkedIn at letmewriteit4u or via FB at www.facebook.com/letmewriteit4u.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my personal branding white paper – Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

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