Careers in the 2nd Half of Life

Careers in the 2nd Half of Life

I have been thinking about how careers in the 2nd half of life are different. In fact, I claim that the idea of a career in the 2nd half of life is a relatively new concept.

My father was forced into retirement at the age of 59 in 1978. He did not want to retire, so he decided to teach college economics (he had been an economist for the NYSE for 25 years). He did not have his Ph.D. and had a really hard time making the transition because everyone expected him to retire.

Things have changed. We are living much longer. I plan on living both a longer and healthier 2nd half of life than my parents.

When Does the 2nd Half of Life Begin?

First, we need to answer the question—when does the 2nd half of life begin?

When I was growing up in the 1960s, someone who was 60 was really old. I remember my grandfather was using a walker in his late 60s! He was also a 3-pack-a-day Luck Strike smoker. He passed away in November of 1968, a little after his 70th birthday. There was no thought of a career in the 2nd half of life because you had one career. Period.

For many of us, the 2nd half of life began in our mid 40s or early 50s. So what happened?

When I graduated from Northwestern University with my engineering degree in the late 1970s, I had a completely different set of priorities than I would 25 years later.

  • I bought a house and acquired debt (mortgage)
  • Got married
  • Had a son

Back then, it was about getting promoted and making more money.

I then went through a whole series of changes after I turned 40.

  • IBM discontinued the pension plan in 1999. They re-instated it for those of us over 40, but I no longer trusted them. I left in early 2000 for a successful startup.
  • Our only son graduated from high school and left for college. (Empty nest)
  • At age 46, I had what could have been a fatal bicycle collision. I hit a car head on, where our speeds exceeded 50 mph.
  • We paid off the mortgage.

All of these changes caused me to change perspective on what a career meant to me.

For me, the 2nd half of life had began in my mid 40s.

What is Different in 2nd Half of Life Careers

In the late 1990s, my boss at IBM told me she was going to promote me. IBM had—and I believe still has—a band system that went from 1-10. I was a band 9. She wanted to promote me to a band 10, but I told her no. IBM was periodically laying people off, and band 10 jobs were very vulnerable. Plus, I did not want to do the work most band 10 employees did.

I was as high as I wanted to go in my career. That was a defining moment.

What is different in 2nd half of life careers is that we care more about what we are doing than what it will do for our career.

I started Career Pivot after I was put in a highly unethical position by my manager at my last job. I bolded last job because I do not plan to work for anyone else as an employee ever again.

I want to make enough money to support my wife and myself for as long as I can. I want to work the amount that I want to work.

My 2nd half of life career plan is to work less at something I love.

What is your 2nd half of life career plan?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Recovering from My 3 Biggest Career Mistakes

Recovering from My 3 Biggest Career Mistakes

recoveringIn my last post, I chronicled My 3 Biggest Career Mistakes. I want to discuss how I went about recovering from those mistakes and give you a model to follow. If you have not read that post, please go read it now.

This is all in preparation for my presentation, “Turning Reinvention Failure into Future Success” at the Mega Reinvention 2016 Virtual Conference. At the end of this post, there is a discount code to get 10% off the admission price.

Recovering from Reinvention Failure

I have been in “reinvention mode” for much of the last twenty years. I started in my early 40s, when I was seduced by a former manager to move to IBM’s consulting group.

After a near fatal bicycle accident, I blindly went off to what I thought would be a dream job teaching high school math in an inner city high school.

After leaving teaching, I decided to try my hand at non-profit fundraising. I went to work for a Jewish Community Center. As I said in my previous post,  being a non-Jew as the face for a Jewish organization is…interesting! I told myself that I could make this work, but I could not.

There are three common themes that play out when I analyze how I recovered. (I am a recovering engineer, so I analyze things a lot!)

  1. Have a Plan B ready. In each case, a Plan B appeared out of the blue. In hindsight, this was a combination of luck and fate.
  2. If you are going to fail, fail fast. In two of the three situations, I failed within six months. This greatly eased the recovery. When I forced myself to stick it out, the recovery was much more painful.
  3. Learn from each experience. I am applying things I learned from my failures while building Career Pivot.

Recovering from Consulting Hell

In 1998, I left a comfortable job in IBM to go to work for their consulting group. This was a huge mistake. I worked with a lot of unhappy consultants. I worked on a project where my values were compromised (a project designing a point of sale solution for a short term loan company).  I quit the project, and six months later, the consulting position as well.

Plan B – I knew that I could find a position in the division I left within IBM. It took two months, and the consulting group did not push me to find anything quickly.

Fail Fast – I failed quickly. I had the advantage of being in close contact with people in my old organization. If I had stayed another year, well, I probably would not have been so lucky.

Learn from the Experience – In those six months, I learned how large consulting groups mitigate risk in bidding projects. They follow strict methodologies. I also learned a lot about myself. The team I work with is absolutely imperative.

I landed back in a marketing group as the Project Monterrey Evangelist. I knew this would be short term since I left IBM early in 2000 to go to work for a semi-conductor startup that was acquired by Lucent.

Recovering from Teaching High School

After a near fatal bicycle accident in 2002, I left to teach high school math. I ignored every sign that public school administration were not interested in over 40 year old guys (we do not do what we are told). They want to hire new college graduates who are compliant and will follow the rules.

I finished my first year of teaching Algebra I and II in June of 2005. I was incredibly successful. No one in the school district noticed. I was later interviewed by a University of Texas professor who was amazed at my students’ test results. I was exhausted, both emotionally and physically. The emotional exhaustion was the biggest factor to get me to leave.

I was successful because of my team. I recruited multiple mentors during my first year and leaned on them heavily. I returned in the fall, to teach five sections of Algebra II. All of my mentors from my first year were gone. I mistakenly thought I did not need them. I was wrong.

I resigned in December of 2005, at the end of term, exhausted and depressed.

Plan B – I did not have one. It had been over two years since I left my technology job. I was out of date. I did land a short term training assignment on a State of Texas project, but that did not last.

Fail Fast – In hindsight, I should have resigned at the end of my first year. I could have more easily returned to high tech at that point. My recovery would have been easier.

Learn from the Experience – My entrepreneurial juices were energized when I was in this battleship called public education. I mentored my principal as we went through a high school redesign. It was clear to me that I would eventually work for myself to fix real-world problems. I also learned that I stayed too long. I did not have the emotional stamina to work with teenagers who had problems most of us cannot even imagine.

It took nearly ten months before I landed a non-profit position. It was a really painful ten months!

Recovering from Non-Profit Work

In October of 2006, I was hired to develop a corporate fundraising program for the local Jewish Community Center. I was considered for the position because I had deep business relationships within the community, and, though I am a non-Jew, I was a member of their organization (I worked out at the facility because it was close to my house).

During the winter of 2006/2007, I determined that there was no way in the world I could be successful in this role. There were cultural, organizational, and managerial roadblocks that were too numerous to document. Plus, I saw telltale signs of the impending great recession. All of the banks I approached were very friendly, but kindly showed me the door. I had a position that would eventually be eliminated.

Plan B – In early spring, I decided that I would leave in October. My plan was to take 3-4 months off to rest. I was approached in the early fall of 2007 with three technology opportunities. Quickly, I had multiple Plan Bs! I took a long vacation, and was hired in December of 2007 by a tech startup to develop a training and certification program.

Fail Fast – It only took six months for me to decide to leave. This was the best decision I could have made. Failing fast was so beneficial.

Learn from the Experience – I really need to understand how organizational rules apply to my job. That was not the case in this environment. I assumed that I could get groups within the organization to work with me, to do things differently, to think a little differently—boy, was I wrong! Working inside of a non-profit was not for me.

Recovering Model

In my analysis of all three career mistakes and what it took to recover, I have the following advice:

  • Be prepared to pull the plug on the reinvention project. Have a clear timeline and metrics to determine whether you will be successful. If you are going to fail, fail fast. When I started Career Pivot, I had a timeline to guage how to measure success. I determined the metrics of financial success that I needed in years one, two, and three. I have hit all of these, by the way.
  • Have a Plan B in place from day one. In my first couple of years of Career Pivot, I gave soft skills webinars and provided instructional design work for an international construction company.  This gave me the option to return to similar work, if desired. I just gave that work up in the last six months.
  • Should you fail, take the time to chronicle the lessons learned. If you do not, you will likely make the same mistakes again.

This advice follows the methods used by many of today’s technology startups. Take a look at this New Yorker article Fail Fast, Fail Often, Fail Everywhere.

The real issue is that most baby boomers were raised to never give up. Most of us remember the great quote from the Apollo 13 mission, “Failure is not an option!”

Several people responded to my first post that they hung onto their reinvention until they could no longer make it. They have yet to recover. They stuck to it so long that their connections with their previous career was lost.

The fail fast strategy is counter to our baby boomer cultural beliefs. The reality is that, if you are going to fail, you need to identify it early and cut your losses. That is hard.

Do you have a fail fast story? Have you hung on too long? Either way, tell your story below.

I am presenting this topic at the Mega Reinvention 2016 Virtual Conference.

recovering

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Career Pivot Smartphone Survey Results [Infographic]

The Results for the Smartphone Survey are IN!

A couple of weeks ago, we conducted an informal survey of smartphone usage by our readers.  We were curious to see if you are 50 or more years of age, own a smartphone, and what type of functions you use on your phone.

Here are the results from the survey:

  • 85% of the people who responded are 50 years or more old
  • 90% of the people who responded own a smartphone

As shown in the infographic, the three primary uses of the smartphone are for making and receiving calls, checking and responding to emails, and texting.

Other Responses

We were most interested in the responses we received for the “other, please specify” function category on our survey.  Here are some highlights from what we discovered:

  • Reading: newspapers, magazines, books, newsletters.
  • Services: Uber, Lyft, home lighting & security monitoring systems, parking garages locations, bus service, food delivery, etc.
  • Calendar: schedule, appointments, planning
  • Tools: alarm, timers, flashlight, magnification, calculator, tracking mileage, and invoicing
  • Camera: video and picture (taking and sharing)
  • Internet: searching for information, access to the Cloud

The “other smart phone functions list” shows that smart phones have become an integral part of our lives. They provide us with the tools to do our jobs or run our small businesses, occupy our time when we are bored, document our life via pictures or video, learn something new, or order products or services—all within the palm of our hands.  We have come to rely on such a small device to help us throughout each day.

Internet

Let’s discuss the “Internet” function a little bit further.  Our respondents said that they use the Internet function on their smartphones to search for information related to their jobs, businesses, and to access Cloud storage.

Is the “search” Internet function also being used to find a new job?

Are you using mobile job search apps?

The Cloud provides a quick and easy way for you to save your cover letter and resume so that you can access and revise them for a prospective job opening or employer at a moment’s notice. Are you doing that?

Are you using your smartphone during your job search?

As  a Baby Boomer, are you missing out on job opportunities?

We want to know if Baby Boomers are using these tools, or if it is just the younger generations.

Next week, we will publish another survey:  What are Your Career Plans for 2016?  The survey will ask what your 2016 career plans are and what tools you are going to use to make those changes.

If you want to make sure that you participate in our next survey, sign up for our mailing list.  That way, you can participate in this and future surveys ,as well as find out the results very quickly.

We want to hear from you!

author Elizabeth RabaeyThis post was written by Elizabeth Rabaey, a Baby Boomer herself, is a creative with a love for details. She has spent over 20 plus years working for environmental engineering and consulting companies providing project management and technical assistance on many innovative engineering projects. She has applied creative, literary and scientific skills to these projects to help the client maintain a profitable business operation and protect humans, health and the environment. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

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Dinosaurs, Boomers and Owning a Smartphone [Survey]

Dinosaurs, Boomers and Owning a Smartphone

smartphone_userIn April 2015, Pew Research Center published a report called U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. Given the massive changes in the job market by SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics Cloud), I checked out the report to see how baby boomers are adopting smart phones.

My conclusion is that we—baby boomers—will become dinosaurs if we do not pick up our pace of change.

smartphone usageThis is best highlighted in chart to the right.

What you can see is that a little over half of us from 50-64 years of age have a smartphone. I fall into that age group.

Only about a quarter of those over 65 years of age have a smart phone. That includes people outside of the baby boomer generation (over 70 years old) but you get the picture.

Smartphone Ownership

One obvious reason that baby boomers do not own a smartphone is cost. When I ask people in my job club about smartphones and using social media, I inevitably hear, “I can’t afford it.”

My claim is that you cannot afford to not have a smartphone.

I have a client who recently purchased a 2 year old Motorola Android smartphone for $100. His data plan is $50-75 month. You do not need a huge or unlimited data plan.

You do not have to have the latest devices. I sure do not have the latest! I have a two year old iPhone 5, which I will replace in a couple of years. I look at this like buying a car. I would much prefer to buy a year or two old car and keep it till I need a newer model.

Being skilled at navigating smartphone apps will be a job requirement in the future. If you cannot navigate a smartphone like a 20-something, you will be deemed a dinosaur.

World of Mobile Apps

If you are performing a job search, having a smartphone is critical to make and receive both phone calls and texts. Having a smartphone adds the following capabilities:

  • Internet Browser – This is the most basic function of the smartphone, but it is often the most critical. I can Google search a business and the phone number will pop up. I can click to dial immediately.
  • E-Mail – This is invaluable in your job search. I have my phone set to utilize both company and personal e-mail accounts.
  • Calendar – I can access my Google calendar via the Google Calendar app.
  • Maps – This is invaluable if you want to be able to easily find a location for an interview or networking event.
  • LinkedIn – You have access to any of your network’s LinkedIn profiles in the palm of your hand.
  • Twitter – You need to learn how to use Twitter. If I want to reach a recruiter quickly, I tweet them. Think of it like texting, except that I do not need to know their phone number.
  • Weather and Traffic – I get traffic and weather alerts from a local television station app. This has proven to be very helpful when traffic or weather is bad.
  • Audio – I do not listen to music on my iPhone. I do, however, listen to books and podcasts. This has caused my learning to skyrocket. I used to read maybe two business books a year. Now, I listen to 15-20 books a year. I listen to 10-15 podcasts a week (look for a post on the podcasts I listen to in a couple of weeks).
  • Finance – I use mobile apps from my credit union, financial adviser, credit card company, and PayPal. I can deposit checks directly from my iPhone.
  • Skype – I have met with clients using Skype from my iPhone. The video is absolutely stunning. Do not be surprised that you will likely be asked to interview with a recruiter via Skype.
  • Camera – It is great to have a camera with you at all times. Besides shots of friends and nature, you might get pictures of receipts, products that you want to purchase later, or screen shots on someones computer.

From a personal perspective, there are a several smartphone apps that I adore:

  • YMCA – My YMCA has an app that has a barcode. This allows me to enter the facility and alerts me to closures. In the last year, this has proven to be invaluable because of severe weather. I walk about two miles to get the Y.
  • News Apps – I have multiple news apps on my iPhone. This includes CNN, CNN Money, Yahoo Finance, and KVUE news.
  • Games – The only game I play on my iPhone is Solitaire.

I am heavy smartphone user. I run much of my business from my smartphone.

Smartphone Survey

I’ve told you how I use my smartphone. Now, I would like you to take a short 3 question survey on smartphone use. Even if you do not have a smartphone, please take the survey.  Click here to take the survey.

I will share the results in about two weeks. My plan is to issue a simple survey every month throughout 2016.

If you subscribe to this blog, you will get notification when the survey results are available.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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PBfBB_kCover-02Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

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Experienced is the new Entry-Level

rewiredExperienced is the new Entry-Level

These are turbulent times in the business world – for companies and individuals alike. With change comes the need to think differently; and in no area is this truer than in workforce matters. The shifts in the demographic landscape and the economy have dictated the need for a new hiring paradigm that gives employers and individuals flexibility and efficiency.

According to a Deloitte Talent Strategy Survey (“Talent Edge 2020”), 83 percent of respondents acknowledge that significant improvements are needed in their talent programs. What is the answer? Flexible workforce solutions that put qualified people to work and help employers meet their corporate objectives.

Companies have been tapping into internal candidates for years, but what about experienced professionals who have left a company or industry due to layoffs, retirement, or personal reasons. The “Alumni Workforce,” introduced by rewired.solutions, is made up of skilled professionals who are ready to reengage (and get rewired!) They have the skills and don’t need extensive training – they just need work!

Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are completely disrupting the existing work model. Working much later into their lives, out of desire or out of need, these veteran employees looking for part-time, contract-based, or even full-time work – and they aren’t looking to compete with millennials for entry-level work. They have more experience in the workforce, and in many cases at just one or a few companies.

“A company wanting to leverage the investment it has made in human capital seems so obvious, but nothing like this is in place,” says rewired CEO, Tim Hearon. “We are helping individuals cash in on that need and rewire themselves back into workforce in a way that works for them.”

Are you a Professional Alumni looking to rewire your career? Register for free to start finding job matches at https://rewired.solutions/

Rewired is changing the way companies hire by connecting experienced professionals with employers seeking cost-effective and flexible alternatives.

Lauren_SlivaThis post was written by Lauren Silva.  Lauren is a Marketing Consultant and blogger for rewired. A graduate from the George Washington University’s School of Media & Public Affairs with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications, she has experience in online and print marketing, as well as graphic design.

Note from Marc Miller: I like what this startup is doing. It is worth taking a look.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Top 5 Unspoken Objections To Hiring A Baby Boomer

Top 5 Unspoken Objections To Hiring A Baby Boomer

objectionsThere are certain universal unspoken objections that exist when considering whether or not to hire a Baby Boomer. You need to know what they are so that you can deal with them without them manifesting into an insurmountable problem.

Self-talk, at times, can be a wonderful thing. It can persuade us all to be more positive, it can lead us to achieve greater things, to step outside of our comfort zone and to do things we did not think were humanly possible.

Self-talk is not only a power for good, however.

Negative self-talk is built into the fabric of each and every one of us. We make negative assumptions about the world around us in every way imaginable. We talk ourselves out of great things. We look for ways to discredit. We find faults in everything. We do this every single day of our lives. Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is a liar! It is an inevitability that negative self-talk will happen in the mind of every recruiter or employer when considering whether or not to hire a Baby Boomer. To make matters more complicated they exist only in the minds of the recruiters or potential employers. They will NEVER admit to them or say them out loud.

These are the top 5 unspoken objections to hiring a Baby Boomer:

UNSPOKEN OBJECTIONS #1 – You are Tech-Averse

Amazingly, 28% of the US workforce are technology averse.

These people are the 16% who have a cell phone but have not yet graduated to owning a smartphone. These people are the 20% who do not have wireless internet in their homes. These people have little or no social media presence whatsoever. You know who you are!

Being tech-averse is something that immediately makes you stand out from the rest of the workforce for all the wrong reasons, especially if that tech-aversion extends to you having a fear of all things social media related. The way that recruiters and employers directly source for candidates has changed forever. The first thing a recruiter does in the morning when they get to work is open their email, their database and their LinkedIn page. It is now embedded into almost every sourcing model. Having a LinkedIn profile is a must, regardless of your age. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, you need to get one NOW!

More: Can Disruptive Technologies Disrupt Your Career?

UNSPOKEN OBJECTIONS #2 – You won’t get along with younger members of the team

Lack of culture fit.

If I had $1 for every time I have heard this as a reason for not hiring an older applicant, I would be rich!

Older people tend to have more in common with older people, that much is obvious. That said, that does not stop older people from working well in multi generational teams (something that employers are beginning to see the benefit of more and more). A great way to convince an interviewer that you will work well with younger team members is to give them an example of a time when you formed a friendship with somebody much younger than you and how you built a great working relationship with them. If you can really make the point that you can give them all of your wonderful experience whilst at the same time engaging and communicating with rest of the team, that will really help to put the interviewers mind at ease.

More: Gen Y Boss – Baby Boomer, are you ready?

UNSPOKEN OBJECTIONS #3 – You are stuck in your ways

A common misconception is that the Baby Boomer generation are set in their ways and not open to learning new things.

In my experience, interviewers automatically jump on the ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ bandwagon when considering Baby Boomer candidates. To combat this, offer up some examples of what you have recently learned something new. This doesn’t have to be work related. Try and demonstrate that you have not reached an intellectual plateau and that you can easily pick up new things quickly.

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

UNSPOKEN OBJECTIONS #4 – You are too expensive

Inevitably, the most experienced workers in the workforce are often the most expensive.

Remember that you are competing with other candidates who will be a LOT less expensive than you in terms of salary. The best thing you can do to handle this, in my experience, is to state your openness and flexibility (to an extent!) when it comes to your salary requirements. I have lost count of the amount of time I have seen Baby Boomers lose out on a job simply because they were unwilling to lower their salary requirements.

More: What is Your Current Salary? How to Answer!

UNSPOKEN OBJECTIONS #5 – You are too negative

Now this may (or may not) come as a shock to you, however, there are a huge amount of Baby Boomers out there who have a very negative outlook when it comes to life in general!

This can be a huge red flag for any interviewer. It is your negativity that stopped you getting the job, not your age. Try and be as upbeat as you can and avoid telling negative stories at interview. Smile and try and steer your answers in a positive direction! Also, reiterate your openness to trying new ways of working. This in itself can have leave a hugely positive impression in the minds of the interviewer.

The only way to deal with these unspoken objections is head on!

You need to get them into the conversation somehow, whether that is face to face in an interview or simply over the phone. Tick them off in your mind one by one as you go along. If you manage this, you will have done as much as is humanly possible to erase the negative self-talk that exists in the mind of the interviewer and will improve your chances of landing the job exponentially!

Have you heard any of these unspoken objections in your career?

Chris MorrowChris Morrow has spent the past decade working in the recruitment industry in both the UK and Australia. He is a Candidate Coach & Founder of chrismorrow.careers a website dedicated to helping job seekers improve their chances of success when looking for a new job

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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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

Baby Boomer Brain Drain – Does Anyone Care? [Infographic]

Baby Boomer Brain Drain

brain drainNextAvenue.org published America’s Coming Brain Drain: Retiring Boomers which contains an infographic from MBA@UNC. This infographic, seen below, chronicles the issues that will be caused by baby boomers leaving the work force—the Baby Boomer Brain Drain.

What I find disturbing is that so few companies are preparing or seem to care at all.

Baby Boomers in the Workforce

Let me spell out some key statistics:

  • Baby boomers have 56% of corporate leadership positions
  • 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day and will continue to for almost 20 years
  • In 2029, all baby boomers will be 65 years old or older
  • Baby boomers account for 31% of the workforce
  • 4 million companies, which make up 66% of all businesses with employees, are owned by baby boomers

Baby boomers will leave the workforce in the next 20 years, but not in the way we planned.

Are Companies Planning for the Baby Boomer Brain Drain?

Heck NO!

  • 62% of employers at Fortune 1000 companies believe that future retirements will result in skilled labor shortages in the next 5 years
  • 68% of employers have not analyzed the demographics of their workforce
  • 77% of employers have not analyzed the retirement rates of current employees
  • Only 19-37% of employers have taken action to prevent baby boomer brain drain

Baby Boomers and Retirement

Many of us do not want to retire like our parents. Many of us want to learn new skills and stay current and active. Many of us cannot do this alone.

Returning to college is cost prohibitive. I wrote about this in my post College Degree After 50 – Worth It?

Companies will need us to stay on the job, but are they doing anything about it? The statistics below say NO!

Brought to you by MBA@UNC’s online MBA programs

What do you think? What should companies and/or the government do?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Boomer Labor Power: The Experienced Dividend

Boomer Labor Power

boomer labor powerFor years, companies have sought out younger corporate talent to replace aging executives. What has evolved is the appreciation for the 50+ sector that brings a broad span of experience in human development, generational understanding, fiscal needs, and more.

In a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employers agree that the Boomer Labor Power of 50+ employees has many advantages. A few statistics that emerged from this survey:

  • 77% of older workers have more knowledge and skills than their younger counterparts
  • 71% are more mature and professional
  • 70% have a stronger work ethic
  • 63% are good mentors
  • 59% are more reliable than their younger counterparts

The SHRM survey of its members also indicated that only 36 percent are beginning to examine internal policies and management practices to address the issue of the potential loss of experienced talent through retirement.

Is you company prepared or will Boomer Labor Power persist?

The shift toward older executives working longer …

The number of executives working in and through retirement years has been building for the last decade. They are proving that they can make a greater contribution as the Boomer Labor Power to an organization in a shorter period of time. They are healthier than their counterparts from 10 to 20 years ago. In addition, most have been in the workforce throughout the computer evolution so they have kept up with technology and learned to adapt quickly to change.

According to some executive recruiters, more organizations are hiring older employees – a trend that has picked up speed in the last few years. Their rationale is that age doesn’t matter if you have the right skill set and experience. They don’t worry so much about length of the hire because many employees today tend to move on within three to five years anyway. (source: http://www.diseco.com/more-companies-are-hiring-older-workers/)

Are you seeing this shift to Boomer Labor Power?

On the other hand…

A recent article, “Why Aren’t Firms Planning for an Aging Workforce,” by Jim Emerman, Executive Vice President of Encore.org, revealed that many companies are undervaluing older workers and how a few forward-thinking companies are implementing programs to tap the strengths of the Boomer Labor Power.

You still need to “sell” your assets…

To get the job the formula remains the same.

You need to demonstrate to the hiring manager or recruiter who you are and what you can do for an organization. As a 50+ executive job seeker, you have the advantage of highlighting your seasoned reliability, good judgment, ability to listen, problem-solving ability, and comfort level in working with different types of personalities. Also, it’s critical to emphasize how your valuable life experiences, perspective and ideas can benefit a team comprised of different ages and add a positive, new dimension to a diverse workforce.

What are you or your company doing to be prepared for the Boomer Labor Power shift?

LouiseGarver(Jan17-2014)Louise Garver is an award-winning, certified resume writer, executive career coach, branding, online identity, and job search strategist. Previously her career included recruitment and corporate management experience. Co-author of “Win Interviews!: The New Must-Have Game Plan”, Louise earned 13 career-related certifications, a master’s degree, and post-graduate certification in career counseling.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

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

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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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

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

Re-entering the Workforce – Marketable Skills After 50

Marketable Skills After 50

marketable skillsAre you over 50, re-entering the workforce, and wondering about your marketable skills?

There are those of you who have served as housewives; still others, who raised their children, then raised other people’s children. You may have taken extended time off to care for a parent.

You who have lived great lives but now desire to get busy and get a job outside of the home may feel that you can’t compete in today’s workforce. We will shed light on your dilemma.

Let’s look at 3 recommendations for those re-entering the workforce with few marketable skills after age 50.

People are willing to hire others to attend to the things they no long have the time to do.

Marketable Skills Recommendation #1

Think about your talents, passions, and the things that you want to learn. Think about how your skills fill a need.

Present your talent to those who need it.

Sometimes, you can do this with a business card announcing your services, or with a postcard noting that you have the answer to a problem.

Try asking a needs-based question that your potential client is looking for someone to help them answer.

And don’t think that these jobs can’t lead to a lucrative salary. For example:

  • Home workers are generally excellent at organizing.
  • Event planners, personal shoppers, or home health aides are ideal professions for those with are excited to use those skills sets.

You have lived and have noticed many issues, concerns, and problems in your community, nation and worldwide.

Think about the solutions that you feel would best address any particular problem. For instance, you may have noticed a few businesses that have recently opened in the community. Although they might offer competitive prices for their products, you notice that a few workers are young and lack good customer service.

Marketable Skills Recommendation #2

Offer new businesses your service as a customer service trainer, working to help employees learn great ways to offer excellent customer service. Job creation starts with company’s needs.

Craft a short bio and offer your services to new businesses in town, based on your talents.

Go to the chamber of commerce and grab their members’ directory and start there. You’ll be surprised how many companies would be interested in hiring people for subcontracted assignments based on direct need.

These opportunities do not require that people possess a PhD, but rather, pertinent skills.

For example, accounting firms would welcome a smart, intelligent bookkeeper assistant to help with audits, tabulate clients’ documents during tax season, and help with paper pushing at the end of the fiscal year.

Companies need the obvious:

  • Capitalize on trends
  • Respond to problems in the company
  • Improve on the way things are being done now
  • Use of old things in new ways
  • Increase customer base
  • Expand business
  • Help save or make money

Recommendation #3 Connect with opportunities that will help connect your talents. See Government Senior Citizens Resources (http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Seniors.shtml), Work from home computer customer service jobs (http://www.segroupllc.org/), and Opportunities for online writing jobs (http://bit.ly/1DDCz3C).

Realize that you should not limit your ideas about your talents. They include:

  • Personality
  • Assurances
  • Vision
  • Age
  • Perspective
  • Insight
  • Credibility
  • Skill
  • Information
  • Authenticity
  • Reputation
  • Values
  • Wisdom
  • Research, data
  • Understanding
  • Experience

You have remarkable employ-ability skills that most employers would be glad to have on board.

First, consider only the jobs and career areas that are of interest to you. Next, connect with a professional organization. This affiliation will teach you, help you to earn continuing education credits, and introduce you to like-minded people. Most importantly, they will help connect you to opportunities to work, learn, and give within your industry of choice. 50+ people have a dynamic place in the workplace!

Go find your place!

Debra Ann Matthews, M.A., JCTC is a passionate career coach and resume writer who works with debra ann matthewshundreds of clients throughout her career to achieve their dreams. Her extensive experience includes helping in President Clinton’s AmeriCorps, Up With People, and Job Corps. She loves to help motivated career changers in her business Let Me Write It For You. She’s noted in USAA Military, NBC Chicago, MSN Latino, Monster, Monster Working, Calgary Sun, Money Mix, & Careerbuilder.co.uk. Connect with her on LinkedIn at letmewriteit4u or via FB at www.facebook.com/letmewriteit4u.

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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 personal branding white paper – 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 or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group