From Fitness Trainer to Facebook Intern
In this episode, I am speaking with Howard Waldstreicher. He is the author of Facebook’s Oldest Intern: How a 60-year-old fitness trainer reinvented himself with the most unlikely of companies. This is a fascinating story of how Howard, who was totally screwed in the pandemic as a gym owner and fitness trainer, picked himself up and revived a previous career, and got hired at Facebook at the age of 60.
Here is how Howard describes himself on his Amazon author page.
Call him what you will – a gadfly, a shortie, or a squeaky-voiced Texas cowboy. But I had a blast working for Ross Perot.
At age 26, this Queens-born boy got his first real job as a computer programmer for Perot’s Electronic Data Systems in Plano, Texas. I liked the structure and the dress code: wingtip shoes, blue and grey suits, short haircuts, and conservative ties. In fact, if you dared to visit the bathroom without your jacket it was grounds for termination.
These days, things are a little bit different. At 60 (61 now), I stumble out of bed, throw on some sweatpants, and meander to my desk. Nobody cares if I’ve brushed my hair or if I’ve showered, or if I’m wearing pants. After all, I work at Facebook.
Wait, it’s Meta now. Well, that’s what the millennials tell me, anyway. They’ve helped me with a lot of stuff I don’t know since I’m the oldest employee at the office, definitely top three.
Thing is, despite the fact that it’s the alter universe from Perot’s clean-cut company, I absolutely freaking love it.
I landed the job after a 20-year hiatus from the information technology world, during which time I ran a fitness center, was a tennis instructor, and had a family. So, not only did I leave my field, but I left the world of having to answer to a boss – at all. My adult kids thought my new gig was cool. No other employer would even speak to me about a job at my age.
This episode is sponsored by Career Pivot. Check out the Career Pivot Community, and be sure to pick up my latest book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life Third Edition.
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