Summary Points for Repurpose Your Career:
A Practical Guide for The Second Half of Life
Old dog? It’s time to learn some new tricks
Everything Baby Boomers and many Generation Xers learned about how careers work is outdated. You don’t find a job and stay in it forever, because some startup might invent a cloud-based service that renders your industry obsolete. You don’t learn a skill set and ride it to the sunset because some new technology might make that skill set an anachronism. Instead, you become a perpetual learner, pursuing your own new skills, learning about new industry tools, adopting new technologies whether you like it or not. Today, everyone’s an entrepreneur in their own career, with career pivots and side gigs. And older workers have to participate with the same robust enthusiasm as a Millennial. This book helps you understand how.
Ageism is a real thing, but not the only thing
The reason companies often give for turning away older workers is they lack “career runway.” In a world where few people keep a job more than a couple of years, that’s clearly malarkey. Ageism exists. Many younger people feel uncomfortable having colleagues at the same age as their parents and find transparent reasons not to hire them. As of the publication of this book, that wasn’t illegal. But ageism is not the only reason older people get rejected for jobs. I know many older people who can’t be bothered to learn the new tools or tech used in their industry. They think social media is a waste of time. They have let themselves go, both physically and in terms of how they present. That’s not ageism; that’s entitlement.
You need to understand your mindset
The biggest liability to a career pivot is having the wrong mindset. Negativity, fear, the tendency to invent information rather than seeking the truth (Marc calls this MSU disorder—Making Stuff Up), or putting your head in the sand and failing to look at reality can all make a career pivot much harder. Marc gives practical steps for freeing yourself from the toxic perspectives that will hinder your search.
The key to finding a fulfilling new career is to know thyself
Most of us have a whole system of underlying, core needs we’re not aware of. They’re so much a part of us, and so rarely a part of the conversation regarding careers, that we don’t factor them in when looking for a job. Knowing things about yourself, such as how much control you need, how much diversity in daily tasks, what kind of environment helps you be most productive and what kinds of rewards you’re seeking, translate into fulfillment far more than salary and title. People in midlife are in a better position to identify what’s important to them.
A career pivot is a set of practical steps
The best approach to a career change is a series of pivots that get you where you want to be. This includes identifying your personal operating system, networking and using social media strategically, and building a tribe. This also includes learning how to negotiate for what you want, remembering that you’re not just putting yourself out there, hoping someone will have you. It’s not easy for someone with experience and some gray hair to deliberately choose to step down from the position of “expert.” But overcoming pride and taking these steps is the path to greater fulfillment for the rest of your life.