Episode #85 – Denise King interviews Marc Miller for the audience of the Escape the Corporate World Summit.
[:57] Marc welcomes you to Episode 85 of the Re-purpose Your Career podcast and invites you to share this podcast with others. Please subscribe, share it on social media, write an honest iTunes review, or tell your neighbors and colleagues.
[1:34] Last week’s episode was part two of a four-part series called “Can Juan Repurpose His Career?” Marc will return to that series in a couple of weeks.
[1:45] Next week’s episode will cover Marc’s and his wife’s driving to Mexico the last week of June. It will be the next of a series about becoming an expat in Mexico and taking Career Pivot with him.
[1:57] This episode comes from when Denise King interviewed Marc during the “Escape the Corporate World Now” Summit.
Now on to the podcast…
[2:07] Denise, the host, welcomes the audience to “Escape the Corporate World Now Summit” and introduces her guest, Marc Miller. Marc gives his bio — he is a Baby Boomer, raised to be an employee of a company that would take care of him for 30-40 years. They ‘moved his cheese,’ and it didn’t happen.
[3:20] Marc graduated in the mid-to-late 70’s with an engineering degree and went to work for IBM. After 22 years of ‘wandering’ from area to area at IBM, they cut his pension plan. He left to work for a successful tech startup that was quickly acquired by Lucent.
[4:34] On July 11, 2002, Marc had a bicycling accident going downhill on a blind turn. He crashed head-first into a vehicle going uphill at about his speed. He broke or dislocated several bones but had no internal or brain injuries. In three days, he was on crutches. In 10 weeks, he was on a bike. In four months, he was flying to China, into the bird flu.
[5:43] Marc wondered why he was doing that. His first tech startup left him debt-free and mortgage-free, even after he had put his son through college. He was grateful that his accident gave him more time with his son. After four years at school, his son came back and listened to Marc.
[7:06] The year after his accident, Marc laid himself off and got his Math teaching certificate. Then he went to teach high school math. He devotes a chapter of his book to this experience. He wasn’t the best fit for the job and it wasn’t a good fit for him. Years of teaching adults had not prepared him for teaching high school.
[7:56] Next, Marc moved to fund-raising for the Jewish Community Center in Austin. That was an interesting experience, but not for him. He relapsed into working for a tech startup. Logitech bought them and it “got really, really ugly, really, really fast.” He timed his resignation to get the optimal financial reward.
[9:15] That’s when Marc started Career Pivot, primarily because he had changed careers seven times, using a process for change. That process is a pivot, changing from position to position in incremental steps.
[9:57] You can either change a business skill or switch industries using the same skill. It doesn’t work well to try a new skill in a different industry. Marc gives a case study of a successful pivot done over years.
[11:58] When Marc came out of teaching and went back to a startup he was feeling lost. He watched his friends still at IBM and other companies who were being spat out in their early 50’s, and they were totally lost. Marc joined the board of LaunchPad Job Club and wondered who was helping his generation.
[12:42] When Marc started at the startup LifeSize, the great recession of 2008 hit. He searched for career books or a career website for Baby Boomers. Marc found nothing. Marc hired a student intern to do some Boomer research. Boomers were expected to retire. State pensions are in debt. Most Boomers will not retire.
[14:21] Marc wants to work on his terms at something he loves. He launched the Career Pivot Brand in 2012 because nobody else was addressing this problem. Even still, a Google search today shows Career Pivot to be the only site focused on Boomer careers.
[15:58] For hundreds of years new technologies have replaced old technologies in a form of creative destruction. It used to talk 50 years, now it happens quickly. Think what the iPhone has done to cellular and what Amazon has done to retail.
[17:10] Marc has a creative destruction workshop he gives. He explains how to stay ahead of the creative destruction. Your growth will be funded by you. No one’s going to take care of you, anymore. You have to stay on top of things.
[19:59] In the corporate world we play roles. If we do it long enough, we believe the role. Marc explained how he behaves as an extrovert, because it pays, even though it exhausts him.
[21:13] Marc uses the Birkman Assessment for clients one-on-one, to poke them while assessing them. The assessment shows not only how you behave in an area, but how you want to be treated in that area.
[21:49] Marc describes case studies of structured anarchists. They love order, so long as it is their order. They are good at fixing stuff. Then they want to move on to something else.
[23:49] Marc continues explaining how the Birkman Assessment analyzes your worst and best times in your career. Then it covers your needs. The idea is to get you very self-aware about what you want.
[24:41] Our environment and who we work with are more important than what the job is. If it’s the right environment, it probably will be a job you want to do.
[26:26] Marc suggested to one client to go find a problem to solve. The problems he solves will lead him in the direction he wants to go. What drives you? What gets you up in the morning?
[27:37] Most Boomers need to find something they want to go do, with a financial element to it. There’s a balance between what you want to do, and what society will pay you for. Marc does not think anyone would pay him to be in a band.
[28:55] Quiet, by Susan Cain talks about restored niches. Some people need to exercise, some pick up a book to read, or write or draw something.
[31:08] Marc opens how much the Birkman Assessment revealed about him. Marc is very, very low-change. Don’t interrupt him, and don’t get in the way of his schedule. Marc had to make some changes.
[31:59] Birkman’s category of “organizational focus” helped Marc to understand his personality compared to other people. Marc has a client he describes as a square peg because his scores are so different from others.
[32:58] Denise relates to not fitting in. Her mother was an artist, and her father was an investment banker. Denise sees that there was no combining those two roles in one job.
[33:54] Technology has created a lot of activities. For instance, recording a podcast. That was not widely available a decade ago. PCs, the internet, and telecommunication are easily affordable. Be open to new roles that were never available.
[35:12] Marc’s parting words: You need to keep an open mind. You need to know who you are. For those born in the 50’s and 60’s, there is a ton of data (based on life experiences). When have you been happy at work, and why? What didn’t you like to do, and why? Don’t repeat familiar experiences of the past. Run to a role, not away from it.
[36:06] Marc presents some free offers of content from CareerPivot.com.
[36:51] Marc says you can either walk off a cliff, let someone push you off the cliff, or best yet, plan the trip and wear a parachute. Plan your career.
[39:39] Check back next week, when Marc will air the episode recorded during their trip to Ajijic, Mexico.
Mentioned in This Episode:
Please pick up a copy of Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey. The paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats are available now. When you have completed reading the book, Marc would very much appreciate your leaving an honest review on Amazon.com. The audio version of the book is available on the iTunes app, Audible, and Amazon.
Marc has the paid membership community running on the CareerPivot.com website. The website is in production. Marc is contacting people on the waitlist. Get more information and sign up for the waitlist at CareerPivot.com/Community. Marc has four initial cohorts of 10 members in the second half of life. They are guiding him on what to build. He is recruiting members for the fifth cohort who are motivated to take action and give Marc input on what he should produce next. He’s currently working on LinkedIn, blogging, and book publishing training. Marc is bringing someone in to guide members on how to write a book. The next topic will be business formation and there will be lots of other things. Ask to be put on the waiting list to join a cohort. This is a unique paid membership community where Marc will offer group coaching, special content, mastermind groups, and a community where you can seek help.
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