The Arts and Your Career

The Arts and Your Career

ArtsCreating a career in the arts or music is incredibly difficult.

I work with so many clients who are highly creative. They tend to have big interests in the arts and music. Many have stuffed those interests because they cannot make a living at what they love.

Let me tell you two stories about clients who have started to feed those interests.

Susan and Photography

I have written about Susan twice before:

Susan started her career as a photographer. She quickly found that she was unable to make photography into a viable moneymaking career. So, she just stopped.

Her top three Birkman interests were Literary, Social Service, and Artistic. She was highly creative and loved helping people. Her job in market research allowed her to fill the first two, but she had stuffed her interest in the arts. When I learned this, I told her to get out her phone and just start taking pictures. She needed to fill her interest in the arts!

She responded, “Take pictures of what?”

My response was,  “Anything you want!”

Susan has gone through ups and downs (as you will discover in the previous posts). She is currently working for herself taking project jobs.

Over the last few years, I periodically get texts from Susan with absolutely beautiful images. Each time, you could tell she was beaming.

The photograph above was taken a few months ago and was just accepted in a major black and white photography competition.

Susan texted me when she learned her photograph had been accepted.  Susan was ecstatic.

She does not get to fill this interest in her career…but it can be—and needs to be—filled in her personal life!

(More: Talents versus Skills – Do you know the difference?)

Steve and Music

Steve graduated from high school and pursued a music degree. After a couple of years in college, he realized that he would never be able to make a living as a musician.

Sound familiar?

Steve pursued multiple business degrees and was pretty successful. When the great recession caused his business to fail, he was at a crossroads. He was now almost 40 years disconnected from his musical past.

He found work and was doing okay financially, but he was not happy. Almost by accident, he reconnected with some band buddies from his past. He found that his passion had not gone away.

The arts and, more importantly, music fed his soul.

The business world of music has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Now, we are working together to see if he can marry his acumen in business with his love for music.

Common Themes

When I work with clients who have high interests in the arts and music, there are some common personality characteristics:

  • They tend to be more shy and introverted than normal. Some have learned to behave like extroverts, but they really are closet introverts.
  • They are far more likely to be emotional and kind, empathetic souls.
  • They do not like conforming to strict rules. They tend not to function well in rigid environments.
  • They like to add flair to their work products. This often comes out in beautiful Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. They take pride that their work products look good!

The Arts and Your Career Rarely Intersect

I remember being in Washington D.C. last year to visit our son and daughter-in-law. We were in the National Portrait Gallery and met young employee who was a recent college graduate with an art history degree.

I told her congratulations on finding a good job where she actually got to use her degree.

More importantly, I said I was sure her parents were even more ecstatic that she found a position using her art history degree!

Those of you who have high interests in the arts and music are probably not getting those needs filled within your career. If you have stuffed those interests in order to pursue a career that pays the bills, puts food on the table, pays the mortgage, and puts your kids through college, you may want to resurrect those interests.

Have you taken your interest in the arts or music and stuffed it?

Maybe it is time to repack your bags!

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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3 Signs You Are Institutionalized Like Brooks at Shawshank

3 Signs You Are Institutionalized

institutionalizedAre you institutionalized like Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption?

Brooks was a convict who was being paroled after having been in prison for 50 years. The thought of leaving was so overwhelming, that he attacks a fellow prisoner so he can remain in prison.

“Red” (played by Morgan Freeman) explains:

Red: Would you knock it off? Brooks ain’t no bug. He’s just…just institutionalized.
Heywood: Institutionalized, my ass.
Red: The man’s been in here fifty years, Heywood. Fifty years! This is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man. He’s an educated man. Outside, he’s nothin’! Just a used up con with arthritis in both hands. couldn’t even get a library card if he applied. You see what I’m saying?
Floyd: Red, I do believe you’re talking out of your ass.
Red: Believe what you want. These walls are funny. First you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them.

That’s institutionalized. Sound familiar??

Watch the video of the scene:

Do you work for a major corporation or government entity? Are you scared to leave?

Are you institutionalized?

I can think of three major groups that tend to be institutionalized.

  • Large corporations, like IBM
  • Military
  • K-12 education

There are others, I am sure. Please comment below and give me your suggestions!

Your Network

Do most of the people you know work for the same institution?

Are most of your LinkedIn connections working for your current employer? Do you lack LinkedIn connections because you did not see the need?

When I worked for IBM during their near bankruptcy in 1993, most of my colleagues lived in IBM ghettos. These were neighborhoods that were inhabited almost exclusively by IBMers.

When I taught high school math between 2004 and 2006, it was an all consuming work environment. I lived and breathed what was going on in the school, and I rarely came up for air. Most of the teachers had little experience and contact with the outside work world.

If you can count the number of people you know outside of your institution on your two hands, you are probably institutionalized.

(More: Strategic Networking uh err .. Strategic Relationships

Your Vocabulary

Do you speak “work speak?” Is the vocabulary particular to your institution? When I worked at IBM as a programer, we talked about APARs, VM, MVS, and JES.

When I taught high school, we would discuss TEKS and TAKS.

When I worked in a briefing center for IBM, we would bring in military customers and they could throw out so many acronyms that our heads were spinning when we left the room.

Can you speak jargon-free English for a whole day?

If not, you are probably institutionalized!

(More: Finding Keywords to Manage Your Career [Video]

Your Skills

Do your skills have value outside of your current institution? If not, you are probably institutionalized.

I remember when, in 1993, my boss was offered an early retirement package. She was 49 years old with 30 years at IBM. She was one of my best bosses ever.

She thought she had no value outside of IBM. She was institutionalized.

Of course, her skills were highly valued outside of IBM, but she did not know it!

(More: Talents versus Skills – Do you know the difference?

Next Steps

Start by networking with people who have left your current institution. Where have they gone?

Contact them and ask for AIR – Advice, Insights, and Recommendations.

I had a client who was a West Point graduate. I asked him if any of his classmates left the military and went on to successful careers in the private sector.

His response was YES!

I asked him do you think they would be willing to help him?

His response was YES!

Get help in translating your skills outside of your current institution. I think you will find that, if you use the right vocabulary, you will be able to sell your skills.

Practice using this new vocabulary on anyone and everyone who is willing to listen.

Are you like Brooks?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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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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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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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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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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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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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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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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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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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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College Degree After 50 – Worth It?

College Degree After 50

College Degree After 50Is attaining a college degree after 50 years of age worth the effort and expense?

There is a lot of conversation about whether higher education is worth the money.

Robert Reich recently wrote a piece for Salon.com titled:

Robert Reich: College gets you nowhere

The Author writes:

This is the time of year when high school seniors apply to college, and when I get lots of mail about whether college is worth the cost.

The answer is unequivocally yes, but with one big qualification.

A college degree no longer guarantees a good job. The main reason it pays better than the job of someone without a degree is the latter’s wages are dropping.

If this applies to a high school senior what about a 50+ year old who has seen their industry or profession disappear?

It all comes down to what you expect to gain from attaining the degree.

Preservation or Reinvention

Are you trying to preserve or re-invent your career?

I have heard of many going back to school and getting a masters degree in their chosen profession. As long as their current employer supports and/or funds the degree program, it proves to be successful. A good example is getting a Masters in Education, for those in the K-12 education field.

It is used to be that attaining an MBA was a sure fire way to spark your career. I am not sure that is true anymore. Especially, if you are going to invest $100K of your own money. I have one client who received her MBA from a prestigious executive MBA program, and it has done nothing for her. Of course, she received it during the great recession.

In my research for writing this post, I have found nothing that says getting an MBA after 50 makes sense financially.

If you think differently, please comment below.

If you are reinventing your career, my experience is that getting a bachelors or masters degree after 50 is not a good investment, especially, if you are taking out student loans!

I have talked to dozens of individuals over the last couple of years who obtained their college degree after 50. Almost all of them told me it did not give them the competitive edge they needed.

If you are entering a new field after 50 years of age, you will be competing with others much younger than you. The same issues of age discrimination that you found in your old field will likely apply in the new one.

My conclusion is that getting a college degree after 50 works for preserving your career.

It does not make sense most of the time getting a college degree after 50 works to reinvent your career.

Either way, you must do your research. Find others who have successfully forged the trail before you embark on getting your college degree after 50.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs offered at many community colleges are much less expensive and time consuming.  For example, Austin Community College offers certificate programs in non-profit management. If want to make the leap from for profit to non-profit, this a cost effective means of gaining skills and will give you some street cred in your new field.

I recently talked with Christine Jensen, who I found through her article on PBS NextAvenue website called RIF’d at 59: The Lessons She Learned.

Christine is now a freelance writer. She is considering going to her local community college for a photography certificate. It is affordable and she can pick and choose what to take. She may not even pursue a certificate if she obtains the skills she needs without completing the program.

It all comes down to — do your research!

Have you pursued your college degree after 50? Was it worth it?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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4 Signs That You Are Working for a Failing Company

Are You Working for a Failing Company?

failing companyI have multiple clients who currently work for failing companies.

These companies fall into a variety of industries:

  • High Technology
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Telecommunications
  • Oil and Gas

Each of them have worked for these companies for many years. Do they see the signs that the businesses are failing?

Well…they see it, but it is easier to bury their head in the sand than to admit they really need to get out!

So, what are the signs?

Repetitive Layoffs, RIF, Resource Action, or Redundancy

I have one client who works for a major pharmaceutical company. The building is starting to look like a cemetery—hardly a living being there. When there are more open desks than filled, that is a sure sign that you are working for a failing business.

How many times have I heard, I made it through the last layoff - I am safe!

No, it is not if you get laid off, but when.

This may well be a sign of a failing company!

Circling of the Wagons

This can typically be seen in upper level management, where the old guard circle the wagons and protect their own. One symptom I have been seeing is bright up and coming women being pushed out by older, more established men. You might call this the return of the “good old boy” network.

This usually happens before a major layoff. Upper management starts to maneuver themselves into prime positions before they screw everyone else.

This may well be a sign of a failing company!

Generous Pension Buyout Offers

I’ve had many clients who have been offered lucrative pension buyout offers within the last six months. They are “take it or leave it” offers, with the requirement that they retire. Most of these clients have been at their companies 30+ years, and are not in a position to retire (with children heading off to college, spouse with health issues, other mitigating factors, etc.).

They tell me, “If I can last just five more years…”

But beware—these offers expire quickly and will never be offered again. I tell them,  “They want you gone! Figure out how to make it work!”

Reminds me of 1999, when IBM converted my pension to a cash balance plan and then switched it back for everyone who was over forty years of age. Oh yeah, minus a whole bunch of perks—like health insurance. A former boss of mine said:

They took it away and gave it back, they would never do that again.

IBM stopped funding the pension in 2008. I left in 2000 with a lump sum pension payout. Best financial move I ever made!

This may well be a sign of a failing company!

Management Bad Behavior

Have you seen bullying behavior?

Have your manager’s e-mails become more and more terse?

Do you feel like you are being shouted at in e-mails?

These are all signs of stress in the workplace. When a business is failing and in a tailspin, there is more work to be done by the few that are left. Stress levels increase exponentially. This brings out the worst behavior.

This may well be a sign of a failing company!

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be working for a failing company.

It may be time to move on in your career!

Disruptive technologies like mobile communications, cloud computing, and fracking are wreaking havoc on many long established multinational giant companies.

Playing it safe in your career is the new risky!
Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Work to Live OR Live to Work Transition

Work to Live or Live to Work?

work-liveMost baby boomers work to live.

I know when I started my career, I sure did!

I was raised to be an employee who was supposed to go to work for a father-like corporation that would take care of me until I retired!

Do not get me wrong—I often enjoyed my work. The further I progressed in my career, I found increasingly better positions that suited my talents and skills.

I still went to work to get that paycheck. Oh, that regular paycheck that paid the bills, put food on the table, paid the mortgage, saved for our son’s college education, and planned for retirement.

The goal was to get that paycheck.

(More: Demise of the Paycheck – Good Riddance)

Live to Work

Some of you are blessed to have a talent that permits you to live to work.

Many of us have a talent like that, but do not recognize it.

In 2002, I had a bicycle accident that shook my belief system to the core. I hit a car head on, where speeds exceeded 50 miles per hour.

I lived!

From that point on, I have been working on the live to work thing.

I taught high school math at an inner city high school. I was amazingly successful, but could not teach and stay healthy at the same time.

I did a year of non-profit fund raising, but could not tolerate the dysfunctional organizational behaviors of non-profits.

I started Career Pivot in 2011, and I can truly say I live to work.

It was only then that I realized I had talents that would allow me to live to work.

(More: Talents Versus Skills – Do You Know the Difference?)

The Great Recession

The great recession has shaken quite a few people in our generation. Many would now even enjoy getting to a place where they could work to live.

Prior to the great recession, there were organizations like Encore.org all set to leverage the urge to transition from work to live to live to work. The idea was that, when we retired, we would want to give back.

With 69% of us worried that we will run out of money in retirement, giving back is not in the forefront of our thoughts!

Work to Live — Live to Work Transition

Most of us will work until we no longer can. My plan is to never retire, but work fewer hours at something I enjoy.

The great recession and the fundamental shift in our economy has changed almost all of our retirement plans.

Are you planning on a Work to Live — Live to Work transition?

Are you just hoping to be able to continue to Work to Live?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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

Subscribe

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 whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

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