Retirement and Career Planning – Do You Neglect Both?

Retirement and Career Planning

PlanningYou may be wondering what retirement and career planning have in common.

For most baby boomers, we have neglected both!

My mantra is I am a baby boomer who was raised to be an employee, and I was to go to work for a father-like company who would take care of me until I retired.

Retirement planning—there was no need!

Career planning—my company was going to help and guide me with that!

(More: Baby Boomers and Retirement “Professional” Infographic

Help with Retirement Planning

I was listening to talk radio last weekend when a local financial services ad played.  The advertisement talked about a report by Harvard University professor Robert Merton that discussed the impending retirement crisis. I found the article, called The Crisis in Retirement Planning, on Audible.com and listened to it. It’s very thought provoking.

Most of us baby boomers when we started our careers were offered a defined benefit retirement plan (pension). This was professionally managed and, when we decided to retire, we would have a lifetime income in our retirement. By the late 1990s, companies were rapidly phasing out defined benefit plans.

Starting in the late 1980s, defined contribution retirement plans (IRA and 401(k)) were offered. We would contribute money each paycheck, and our employer might match a portion. We were responsible for managing the portfolio. When we retire, we need to manage how to create an income stream. Do you know how create income from your 401(k) or IRA? I don’t.

I have a unique perspective on this topic. My father was a research economist for the New York Stock Exchange for over 25 years. I grew up hearing my father talk about the financial markets. My father was an egghead intellectual.

When I graduated from college in the late 70s and started my career with IBM, I thought I could manage my own money. When I reached my 30s, I realized I did not know crap on how to manage my money, so I sought a financial adviser. I have been with one ever since.

Professor Merton’s premise is that most of us are not qualified to manage our retirement portfolio. I agree with him.

I could study up and do it myself, which I am sure some of you do. But…I do not want to. I have no interest in the topic.

Have you run a retirement calculator? 56% of workers report that they have not attempted to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for a comfortable retirement. (Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Are you qualified to perform retirement planning?

Are you ignoring retirement planning?

Are you getting help with your retirement planning? Will you be able to retire as you planned?

(More: Baby Boomer Career Development Plan

Help with Career Planning

I am in my late 50s and am on my seventh career! I started my career business in 2011. Looking back, I wish I had also had someone to advise me throughout my career.

The great recession shook the baby boomer generation to its core. Many baby boomers saw their retirement portfolios crumble and they exited the market. Many were laid off and, when they found jobs, they made significantly less money.

Suddenly, most of us plunged into a world where traditional job search methods were thrown out the window. Social media became the way many companies found talent. Your resume is almost irrelevant.

I am approached frequently by baby boomers who have been unemployed for six months or longer. Many voluntarily took a package. They are now in financial trouble. They come to me looking for help, but they can no longer afford to pay me. They waited thinking they could find that next job on their own.

In 2013, I was twice approached by retired senior military who had left the military and thought they would quickly find jobs in the private sector. Both came to me after 9 months of unemployment—in a panic.

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a former CFO who took a voluntary package. She has been unemployed for a year, and is now dipping into her retirement savings. I told her a typical job search for someone like herself is 12-18 months and could be longer if it is not handled properly.

I am working with two clients at the same company to plan their exit. That exit could come in the next three months or over the next three years. They will move when the time is right!

Just like retirement planning, are you qualified to manage your career?

Just like retirement planning, are you ignoring managing your career?

Do not wait until you get laid off. Plan your career NOW! Always be ready for your next career pivot!

Contact me for a free 30 minute consultation

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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

Career Reflection – A Twice a Year Duty

Career Reflection

Career ReflectionHow often do you perform a career reflection? In the Targeted Job Search,  I suggest that you plan to do this twice a year. There are two special times of year to perform a career reflection:

  • July 4th holiday
  • New Years

These two times are approximately 6 months apart and most of us have the time off from work.

Goals

Did you achieve your goals over the last six months?

If not, what is to be learned?

I set goals for this website and increased traffic. Starting in February, LinkedIn began instituting major changes that reduced the traffic by 90%. In June, website traffic had been restored to previous levels, which is about seven thousand visitors a month.

What did I learn? I must always have a Plan B.

This is a good time to put an entry in your calendar for six months from now. Create goals for the next six months and write them in your calendar.

Career Reflection

Reflect back over the last six months:

  • What did you accomplish? Make note of quantifiable accomplishments.
  • What new skills did you acquire? What can you do now that you could not do six months ago?
  • What did you learn about yourself? This is a great time to take notice of what is important in our lives. It is easy to focus on others and not ourselves. At least this is true for me!

In the last six months, I had my first paid speaking engagement outside of Austin. My presentation titled “The Multi-Generational Workplace – Why Can’t We All Get Along” has been in hot demand. If this is of interest to your place of business, please contact me.

Spend some time and clearly document your accomplishments,  new skills, and lessons learned and file this away to be reviewed in six months.

Time to Update

Once you have completed your career reflection, it is time to update your LinkedIn profile and your resume! Updating your LinkedIn profile and resume should be a regular habit. You never know what will happen in the next six months. Besides, you want to be a good passive candidate with updated information in your LinkedIn profile.

It is also a great time to update your target list.

Who do you want to work for next? This does not mean you will be changing jobs, but you want to be ready!

Spend time researching perspective companies, as well as your connections into those companies. Who do you know or who can make an introduction to a strategic individual? Remember, when you meet a strategic connection, you will be Asking for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

If you have been in your position over two years, I suggest you actively work your target list. With the median duration of employment at just over five years, you should plan on staying in a job less than that and allow eighteen months for a passive job search.

If you are willing to perform a career reflection exercise twice a year, document your results, and update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and target list, you will always be ready for the next step in your career.

Are you ready?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Check out the new Career Pivot Review offering.

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

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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

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

The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays

PlaybookCareer Playbook

Do you have a playbook for your career? I wish I’d had a playbook when I started my career!

What about now?

Do you feel a little lost and not sure where to go next?

For many of us who are over 50 years of age, the concept of career has changed. It is now just about making enough money to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.

The work world has changed. The concept of being hired for a full time job and receiving a steady paycheck is rapidly disappearing.  For most baby boomers, this is really scary.

(More : Over 50 and long term unemployed – What do you do?)

What if you had a Baby Boomer Career Playbook that laid out your options going forward?

I was recently introduced to Carleen McKay who is with Ageless In America and the San Diego Mature Workforce Coalition.

Carleen has launch the first of a series of playbooks. It is called The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays.

The concept behind this playbook is to give you real life examples of what you could do if you exited the traditional world of full time employment.

The book contains real stories from real people (names were changed to protect the innocent!).

You do have options rather than going to work full time for an employer! For many, going to work full time is no longer an option.  This book provides powerful stories and lessons about baby boomers who have taken a different path.

  1. Portfolio Workers – Juggling preferences
  2. Starting Over – When the job you once held no longer exists
  3. Starting Out – Entering the workforce for the first time at 50+
  4. Learners – Repositioning through learning
  5. Virtual Workers – Working from here, there and anywhere but an office
  6. “Freelancers” – Temps, free agents, contractors
  7. Interim Executives – Leaders of change
  8. Global Workers – Working from everywhere
  9. Job/Work Cyclers – Managing multiple changes
  10. Barterers – Collaborating and gain-sharing
  11. Good Workers – Doing what matters for others
  12. Subject-Matter-Experts – Focusing on expertise
  13. The Buyers – Small businesses or franchises
  14. The Innovators – Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs

Download it now! It is free!

Other Playbooks

Carleen is helping others create playbooks. Here are two playbooks that are in the works:

The Playbook for The Young Women of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math)

Less than half of young people entering STEM careers are young women.  Role models and the stories of successful Millennial women in these careers are, in my opinion, the prime motivator to encourage women into the careers that will dominate the future.

 The Playbook for Interns

It’s intention is to encourage internships in order to ensure employ-ability upon college graduation.  While written primarily for anticipated graduates; all stages of internships will be addressed.

Take a moment and download The Career Playbook Series: Boomers + Second Half Plays and let me know what you think.

Does this help you along in your career journey?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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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

3 Steps to Walking Into Your Interview with Confidence

Confidence is the number one factor to having a successful interview!

ConfidenceIf you walk into an interview feeling good about yourself, it will exude from every pore. The one thing you cannot fake is passion.

I am going to give you three steps to take starting 45 minutes before an interview. Step 3 may sound a little crazy, but stick with me.

Step 1

Arrive 45 minutes early for your interview and find a quiet place. This could be just sitting in your car. It could be sitting in the lobby of the company where you are interviewing. It could be a bathroom stall. Bathroom stalls have multiple purposes in life!

I want you to sit quietly with your eyes closed and go back in your mind to a very happy experience. This could be a great vacation, a winning moment in a game, getting your acceptance letter to college, college graduation, accepting an award at work…

Sit there for a full 10 minutes and soak up those good feelings.

Do you feel the confidence growing?

Step 2

If you have a close friend who is willing to help, call them and ask them for a pep talk. If not, give yourself a pep talk.

Do not do this in your head. I want you to say out loud that you are good, no… you are damn good, no… you are damn *&^%$ good! You can customize this to how you would say it, but I want you to hear the words.

Do this for ten minutes. Yes, if you are in a crowded area like a busy street, some people might think you are crazy for talking to yourself. Well, I talk to myself all of the time! I am one of the most interesting people I know!

Do you feel the confidence growing?

You are now 15 minutes from your interview. We are ready for step 3.

Step 3

Step 3 is based on the premise your body shapes who you are. Amy Cuddy was a TED Talk presenter and in her video Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are, she explains that, when you take on powerful and winning body shapes, it will increase testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.

You will feel more confident.

For this activity, you will probably need to go into a bathroom stall. Stick your hands up like Usain Bolt when he won the 100 meter dash at the Olympics. Keep them up for two minutes and soak in that winning feeling. If you still do not believe me, read her paper, Power Posing.

Yes, I know this sounds crazy but it does work!

Follow these three steps to feel more confident walking into your next interview.

 

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

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

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest whitepaper 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.  Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Career Planning for 2014 During the Holiday Season

Career Planning for 2014?

Career PlanningNow is the time to start career planning for 2014. The holiday time is a great time to reflect, catch up, and make plans for 2014.

I wrote previously about creating Career Development plans for yourself. Take a moment to read that post, as we want to start the process NOW!

I am writing this post as I am riding in the car to get out of town, get some rest and reflect.

Reflect Back on 2013

Reflect back to the beginning of 2013. What were you doing? What were your plans for 2013?

What skills have you acquired in the last year?

What have you accomplished?

I will be taking the next few days of down time to reflect back and write down all of my accomplishments and new skills gained.

Next, I will look at what did not work out as planned. What did I learn from the experience?

For example, I piloted with great success my Cure for Career Insanity webinar series in 2012, with plans to launch it in 2013. I never launched it this year because I was at loss on how to market it effectively. What I learned was I got ahead of myself. I was at least a year too early in building of the business. I will launch it in Q2 of 2014.

Catch Up with Friends, Colleagues and Relatives

I have to keep reminding clients that their next job will most likely come through a connection. It may come through a connection that has nothing to do with your profession.

I have a current client that I have to remind that she has a huge untapped network in the parents of her children’s friends. Your daughter Susie plays on a soccer team and you may know the wife of an important executive at one of your target companies because her daughter plays on the same team with Susie!

When I left corporate America for the first time to teach high school math, my best connection was my chiropractor. My chiropractor knew me well, understood and appreciated my values, and knew a LOT of people.  Expand your thoughts about your network beyond the traditional work relationships.

The holidays are a great time to seek out these people and make or renew connections.

Who have you lost touch with in the last couple of years? Reach out and find out how they are doing!

Make Plans for 2014

Write that development plan for 2014.

Remember the four steps I highlighted in my post:

  1. What do you want to do in your career in the next one, three and five years?
  2. What direction is the industry heading? You need to be keeping track of the pulse of your industry.  What are the strategic directions? How does industry directions correlate with what you want to do?
  3. What skills do you currently have and what skills do you need to acquire?
  4. how to you integrate these new skills into your online presence (LinkedIn profile, blog, Twitter feed,….), your resume and your personal brand? How are we going to advertise and actively promote our newly acquired skills?

This will take some time. Plan on having this complete by New Years day 2014.

Are you ready to for some Career Planning for 2014?

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Special Notice – Starting in December

I am initiating a free monthly teleconference where I will address a pressing topic and then take questions.

You will need to register for the event and you can provide a question ahead of time that I will be prepared to answer on the call.

The first call will be on Tuesday December 10, 2013 at 1 PM CT / 2 PM ET / 11 AM PT

Career Planning for 2014 – What you can be doing over the holiday season to prepare for 2014?

Register now

I plan on holding these once a month and generally keep them to under 1 hour.

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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 whitepaper 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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

3 Facts Impacting Your Career and How to Manage It – Guest Post

Career Career Management

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, career is defined as “course or progress through life.” Wikipedia defines it as “an individual’s journey through learning, work and other aspects of life.”

Since career is described as a course and a journey, it would yield best results if it were actively and effectively managed. Otherwise, it is a collection of disconnected tasks and events with unpredictable and often undesirable outcomes.

It used to be that people studied a field and then went to work for a company for 20 or 30 years. Companies had vested interests in managing their employees’ careers to maximize the employees’ benefits to the company.

Fast-forward to today where:

  • Average length of employment is roughly 4.5 years according to US Bureau of Labor.
  • 90% of Millennials are expected to stay in jobs for less than 3 years, according to Future Workplace “ Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers.
  • The average employee will have 15-20 jobs over the course of their working lives.

The employers no longer look at the relationships with their employees as long-term relationships. They expect plug-and-play hires. This means managing your career is your responsibility and yours alone. Active management means ensuring your career’s path is laid out, reviewed, and adjusted on regular basis. Conscientious employers used to do this for their employees, since it was in their own best interest—but it is now we, the individuals who need to do this.

Numerous studies support the fact that individuals who can articulate and demonstrate the business value of their accomplishments are more successful. They are more in demand and earn higher incomes.

These trends and market forces are creating the need for tools that enable individuals to take charge of their career and manage them more effectively. This calls for a tool that is designed specifically to address the needs of professionals for capturing their career achievements and facilitating communication of their career stories succinctly for every job opportunity. This is what a Career Management Platform is all about.

A comprehensive Career Management Platform should enable individuals to preserve their body of work or career assets (professional portfolio) in any digital format and media type (video, images, links, PDF, etc.). When creating and managing the portfolio of work, consider the following:

  • Capture and maintain all achievements (expertise, accomplishments, skills, education, training, patents, publications, etc.) as well as work experiences (compensated or volunteer). This enables assembling focused profiles/resumes that provide the most effective positioning for every given job opportunity.
  • Understand, capture, and articulate the business value of the achievements.
  • Capturing each achievement as a separate portfolio element.
  • Capture the details of each achievement as soon as possible and update them as new information becomes available. Portfolio elements should be added to a profile on an as-needed basis to best communicate/support credentials or convey the career story.

When it comes to exploring career opportunities, all experts and career coaches emphasize having a tailored and focused resume for each opportunity. These professionals suggest preparing a profile (resume) accompanied by a set of befitting achievements that best address the requirements of the particular job opportunity.  The random acts of applying with a generic resume or slightly reworded one yields no desirable results.

Talentral is the Career Management Platform that addresses today’s savvy and conscientious professional’s needs. It is an innovative system that simplifies the task of managing all career assets, and it facilitates creation of focused presentations that effectively communicate every aspect of a career story. This platform enables members to:

  • Develop and maintain a complete rich media portfolio of work privately and securely.
  • Have one public profile and multiple private profiles that are accessible through managed URLs. Each member is provided with a unique vanity URL for their default public profile and all other profiles are assigned unique managed URLs.
  • Move achievements between portfolio and profiles with ease.
  • Tweet or post any profile to Facebook directly from the platform.
  • Receive direct communications on each profile.

You are in charge of your career – with Talentral you can Maximize your Potential.

Author:

Career management and personal branding expert. Kamyar Faron has been coaching and guiding professionals at all experience levels maximize their potential through active career management, career planning and personal branding. Is it a new career starting in college or after graduation? Is it a career transition in need of rebranding and repositioning?

He is founder and CEO of Talentral, which is the merger of his two passions, technology and helping people at a personal level. Talentral is a Career Management Platform, which enables professionals at all levels reach their maximum potential.

Kamyar has also been an advisor to a number of startups focusing on messaging, product positioning, business model, and channel development. He received his bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering form Northrup University and went on to pursue his MBA at University of California at Berkeley.

Kamyar lives in San Francisco Bay Area with his wife of 20 years and his twin 16 year old daughters – let’s not forget Leo the spoiled Pomeranian with an attitude.

See Kamyar’s Talentral Profile here.

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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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Curating Your Career by Creating a Career Scrapbook

Curating Your CareerWhat the heck is curating your career?

Curating your career is collecting information, maybe projects you were involved with, awards you won, campaigns you created and putting it all together in one place in a way that lets people visually comprehend what your career has been about. It’s a little like keeping a scrapbook. You can also include stuff that’s related to your career but not just about you, that helps the social angle.

As a child of the 1960′s and 1970′s, when we had real photographs and we received in depth news via newspapers and magazines we would collect items that we wanted to remember or maybe show off.

We kept scrapbooks. You know the ones that your grandmother wanted to show you or the ones you created for a school project.

I had a scrapbook of newspaper articles where my name appeared. My last two years in high school I was a pretty good quarter miler and my name would appear in the local newspaper every time I finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a major meet. If I won, my name might appear in an article. Pretty good stuff for a teenager in the 70′s. Pictures and articles went into my scrapbook.

Your Career Scrapbook

I have been blogging over the last couple of months on using social media to manage your career.  I have been discussing using blogs, LinkedIn and social media in general to promote your personal brand. One way of showcasing your talent or promote your personal brand is to curate content online or create a scrapbook of interesting webpages, pictures, articles,…

I have been using a product called RebelMouse. RebelMouse allows you to create an online scrapbook. I created the Career Pivot BoomerJobTips page on the Career Pivot website using RebelMouse. I have set it up to automatically pull content from my CareerPivot Twitter feed, other users Twitter feeds, RSS feeds, and FaceBook pages.

At this point you can rearrange the content however you would like by going to the native BoomerJobTips RebelMouse page. It is just like having an online scrapbook.

I found this a fascinating way for people to view content that I have selected. They do not need to be on FaceBook or Twitter. (Yes, a lot of Baby Boomer guys are not on Facebook or Twitter!) Oh by the way it is free or at least for now it is free for the basic features.

Did you have a scrapbook as a kid?  Do you like finding and collecting interesting articles on the Internet? Are you curating your career and did not know it?

Start curating your career and promote it among your friends.

(Disclosure – I have no financial connection to RebelMouse other than being a happy customer.)

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

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

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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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

The Key to a Successful Career Shift: Asking for Help

Asking for HelpAsking for Help

My colleague was in her 20s. I was old enough to be her father. But I had switched careers in midlife to be a math teacher in an inner city school, where I could tell that she knew what she was doing. I, on the other hand, was ready to jump out the window.

(More: This post first appeared on PBS NextAvenue.org in February of 2013)

So I asked her for help. Begged might be a better word. If she would give me her lesson plans, I figured, I would follow her every move, like a little puppy dog — a 6-foot-4-inch puppy with hair loss and wrinkles — until I got the hang of teaching. Voila!

Advice From a Career-Design Coach

I’ve made seven career changes, currently work as a career-design coach for other boomers and just wrote Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers. My experience and research has shown me that asking for help is the biggest hurdle people in midlife face when shifting careers. But it’s also the essential first step.

We really struggle, however, before asking others for assistance. It’s hard to swallow your pride, forgo speeches to new, young co-workers that begin “I was doing such and such before you were born” and instead say, “I need help.”

Men Are Often the Most Reluctant

Asking for help changing careers is especially tough for men. (Kind of like asking for directions.) I know that’s a blanket generalization, but research backs me up.

Women tend to work cooperatively; men tend to compete for the alpha position. And requesting guidance is a definite concession of the alpha spot.

5 Strategies to Ask for Help Shifting Careers
But if you’re considering a career shift — whether you’re a man or a woman — and want to increase your chances of success, I suggest you adopt these five strategies to ask for help:

1. Craft a sharp elevator pitch. To get answers to your questions about entering a field, you need to be able to clearly state the type of work you want to do. A 30-second elevator pitch is the best way to get your message across. (Next Avenue’s work and volunteering blogger, Nancy Collamer, has tips on how to create one in her post, “The Perfect Elevator Pitch to Land a Job.”)

Once you’ve perfected your elevator pitch, share it not just with others who already have a job like the one you want, but with everyone you meet. You never know who’ll have the keys to unlock the door. Gratefully accept any advice or offers of introductions.

2. Ask for AIR. When you seek out someone in your prospective next career, offer to buy him or her a cup of coffee or lunch. But don’t request an informational interview; that says you want a job and can scare people off. Instead, ask for AIR: advice, insights and recommendations.

Advice Tips on what it takes to break in and succeed.

(More : Asking for AIR – Advice, Insights, and Recommendations)

Insights The kinds of things someone usually learns after years in the field: the skinny about its culture, politics, pitfalls and key players. You want to learn who is on top and why. Then you’ll have a better sense of how to make your own way.

Recommendations Find out who you should talk to next and ask, if appropriate, for an introduction. Request names of good books to read and classes to take, as well as industry groups that can help you start networking effectively.

3. Cultivate your tribe. A tribe is the group of your friends and relatives who are pulling for you. They’re the ones who’ll hold your hand through the career shift and support you when you’re discouraged.

(More : Cultivating Your Tribe for Career Success)

Asking for help isn’t just about getting questions answered; sometimes, it’s about assisting you emotionally when things aren’t going well. Your tribe will be there for you when you make mistakes — and when you triumph.

Make a habit of connecting with members of your tribe individually, meeting for coffee or a walk. Share the latest steps of your journey. They’ll help you stay sane and likely draw inspiration from your story.

4. Admit your weaknesses to people who could assist you. One of the hardest parts about asking for help when changing careers is telling others what you don’t know.

Say you’ve been a curmudgeon about social media, proudly (if privately) never joining Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Since social media can introduce you to people in your new field and help you stay up on its latest news, now’s the time to confess your ignorance to someone you know who’s an ace at social media and ask for an informal 101 course.

5. Say thank you. Every time someone is useful in your career transition, show your appreciation and spread the word. If his introduction led to a job interview, tell him and express your gratitude. People like knowing they have helped.

The Bottom Line
I’m firmly convinced that nobody makes a successful career change without the help of others.

You may start off feeling like a panhandler. But you’ll quickly see that, in addition to a free cup of coffee, your questions give people the chance to show off as experts. And that makes everyone feel good.

Just be sure to be as willing to give as good as you get. While you’re asking for help, someone might ask you to share insights. Do so with gusto. Karma works!

This post later appeared on Forbes.com in February of 2013!

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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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Baby Boomer Career Development Plans

Career Development PlanCareer Development Plan??

When was the last time you had a career development plan?

Most of us who joined the workforce, during the 60s, 70s or 80s remember sitting down with our managers once a year to work on a career development plan. That was when you started your career with one company and planned to stay there for thirty or more years. I started my career in the late 1970’s working for IBM.

I did not appreciate the value of doing those plans back then.

Boy, those days are over!

I was asked the other day about the value of creating career development plans for those of us who are in the second half of our working lives? Our employers no longer get invested in our career development. After all, the average employee stays 4.4 years. Who does care?

I sure hope it is you!

Baby boomer career development plan

So, sit yourself down and create your own career development plan.

The first question to address is what do you want to do in your career in the next one, three and five years? This can be very hard for many of us. We rarely have thought about what we want to do versus what will employers be willing to pay us to do. But the fact of the matter is that employment values have shifted. What you want, enjoy and makes you happy is considered important not only to individuals but employers.

The second question is what direction is the industry heading? You need to keep track of the pulse of your industry. What are the strategic directions? How do trends in your  industry correlate with what you want to do? If they do not match up, you may need to go back to step one OR look at a different industry or career path.

The third question is,  what skills do you currently have and what skills do you need to acquire? Many of us in our second half of our work life did not think we needed to acquire any more skills.

Boy, were we wrong! Technology is changing the world at an incredible pace and no one can afford to ignore the ways it’s morphing the work world.

The fourth question is, how do you integrate these new skills into your online presence (LinkedIn profile, blog, Twitter feed,….), your resume and your personal brand? How are we going to advertise and actively promote our newly acquired skills?

Yeah, yeah I know you think you should not have to do this.

This final step that is the new piece of your career development plan. How is anyone going to know that you know your stuff?

Many baby boomers are leaving the corporate world and entering the world of entrepreneurship. If you’re one of them,  you absolutely have to add the promotion step to your career development plan.

When are you going to start on your baby boomer career development?

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

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

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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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Should Baby Boomers Care About Their Personal Brand?

Personal BrandBaby Boomers, should you care about your Personal Brand?

I have written a couple of posts on this topic in the last few months:

Each time I have posted links to these posts on a variety of LinkedIn groups.

I have received comments like:

Why do I have to post on social media? Face to face communication is far more important.

You cannot build real relationships on Social Media!

First, that’s actually not true. I know many people who have met clients, customers and collaborators on social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. They begin by commenting on one another’s posts, having online discussions and getting to know one another. Then, after a period of this, one or the other recommends they meet off line. Frequently, the relationship they built online proves to be something fruitful for both of them.

I also have many clients who work on large multi-national teams. They rarely meet face-to-face with their teammates. One of them has been running worldwide events for a large multi-national corporation from his man-cave for the last several years. His only interaction with his teammates was over the phone. And, like many people who get entrenched in a company, his business relationships were entirely with people who worked for the same multi-national corporation. It was an all-consuming culture.

He is now looking for employment. He knows his stuff. The problem is no one knows that he knows his stuff.  Had he been interacting with other people who do similar things in other companies, he would be a known entity. He would have connections outside of his own company.

Now he has to start promoting his skills. He has to be a salesman where he is the product.

Does this sound familiar? Had he been building relationships, reputation, answering questions for peers on social media, he would have a personal brand as an expert in this field.

That’s why Baby boomers should pay attention to Personal Brands!

We, baby boomers, were raised to be employees and were expected to go to work for father like corporations that would take care of us.

Those days are gone forever!

Dan Schawbel’s new book Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success is counter to the way many baby boomers were raised. Promote yourself? Many of us were taught that our work should speak for itself. Or we should let others speak for us. People who promoted themselves, unless they were really, really good at doing it subtly, were seen as arrogant.

The world has changed.

You now need to look at yourself as a product. A well-defined product that can be promoted worldwide!

That well-defined product is defined by your personal brand.

Can you afford to ignore developing and promoting your personal brand?

If you want to stay employed for the next twenty years (which many boomers will need to do) your personal brand cannot be ignored.

Should baby boomers care about their personal brand?

You tell me!

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

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

————————————————

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

Subscribe

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.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist