Join the Discussion – Career Pivot Office Hours on Blab

Join the Discussion

DiscussionLast Monday (January 11th), a few of you joined me for a discussion during Career Pivot’s Office Hours. Some of you e-mailed me before hand that the time conflicted with the NCAA Football Championship game. Several more told me that the time would not work for those of you who were not in the US or Canada.

So what is next?

We will be doing this again tonight—Monday, January 18th. Feel free to join us for a discussion by clicking here to navigate to the office hours page.

What I Learned from the First Office Hours Discussion

A number of you popped into the session. Take a moment and download the Career Pivot Office Hours Login Instructions. There were a couple of minor technology glitches. The two most common issues I heard were:

  • The participant did not have a Twitter ID. The Twitter ID is only needed for authentication purposes. Follow the instructions and create a Twitter ID.
  • A couple of users had audio problems. I suspect these folks were using a browser other than Chrome. Blab (the platform I am using for the office hour discussion) does not work on Firefox or Internet Explorer, so make sure you’ve downloaded Chrome!

Why Am I Holding Office Hours?

I am declaring that 2016 will the year of community.

A decade ago, I quit a failed attempt at becoming a high school math teacher. I was lost. I was really lost.

I found an organization called Launch Pad Job Club. This group met every Friday morning. When I walked in for my first meeting, the room was filled with a lot of people who were just like me—lost. The biggest thing I learned was that I was not alone.

This is my tenth year serving on the board of directors for Launch Pad Job Club. The founder, Kathy Lansford-Powell, created a community. It is a community that provides real support to its members.

I would like you to be able to drop in for office hour discussions and realize that you are not alone. I would like to create a virtual community similar to Launch Pad Job Club.

Many of you are having career issues in the 2nd half of life. You may feel that your situation is unique and worry that no one will understand. What you will discover is that it is highly likely that others are having the same issues. Some may have found solutions, but you will not know unless you join the discussion and ask for some advice.

Why Else?

Video is becoming pervasive in more ways than you might think. I want to create a friendly environment for my tribe to experiment with these new technologies. Blab is a really cool video platform.  If you are having problems, we can help you.

What’s Next?

After we get this discussion session launched, I will add a second session that will probably be held at 1 PM Central Time (GMT-6), which is in the evening in Europe.

If you join us tonight and do not want to get on video, announce yourself in the chat box. Let us know you are watching.

If you just want a question answered and do not want to get on video, type it into the chat box too.

Join the Discussion

If you have any questions, please download the Career Pivot Office Hours Login Instructions.  If you still cannot figure it out, feel free to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you tonight or next Monday evening. I will be here to discuss your issues and help in any way that I can. Let’s build this community!

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

Top 10 Career Pivot Posts from 2015

Top 10 Career Pivot Posts

3rd AnniversaryThis will be the first of two posts that details what Career Pivot readers found interesting in 2015. This post focuses on the most popular articles published in 2015. Next month’s post will list what readers found most often via Google. That will be an interesting list!

Let’s get started.

#1—4 Signs That You Are Working for a Failing Company

failing companyI have multiple clients who currently work for failing companies.

These companies fall into a variety of industries:

  • High Technology
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Telecommunications
  • Oil and Gas

Each of them have worked for these companies for many years. Do they see the signs that the businesses are failing?

Click here to read the entire post.

#2—Is It Time to Move On In Your Career?

move onAre you reaching the point where it is time to move on in your career?

Why are you staying?

Inertia. Inertia is a dangerous thing.  You might be saying:

I have been here too long to just leave.

I am too valuable to let go.

I will wait for the next package to come along.

Or, are you just too comfortable in your position, and to move on would be a lot of work?

Either reason is dangerous. In most cases, you probably have not yet formulated a Plan B.

Click here to read the entire post.

#3—8 Best Baby Boomer Career Websites

careersherpa

Good career websites that focus on baby boomers are few and far between. Recently, Hannah Morgan, The Career Sherpa, published her list of the Best Job Search Websites 2015.

Of course, Career Pivot made the list in the over 50 category. There was only one other website in that category, Kerry Hannon’s website. Kerry regularly writes for Forbes, AARP, and PBS Next Avenue.

When Career Pivot made the Forbes 2013 Top Career Website list, I wrote a post where I dissected the list, and was very disappointed—there were only three career websites that focused on baby boomers.

Click here to read the entire post.

#4—Are you a Multipotentialite?

multipotentialiteI was introduced to the term multipotentialite by a prospective client last week.

You are probably thinking, “What the….yet another classification, just another way to put me into a box.”

One thing I can say after giving close to 300 Birkman assessment feedback sessions as part of my Career Pivot evaluation over the last three years, none of us fit neatly into a box!

The term “multipotentialite” comes from Emilie Wapnick and her website Puttylike.

Click here to read the entire post.

#5—Top 5 Unspoken Objections To Hiring A Baby Boomer

Note: This was a guest post from Chris Morrow.

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.

Click here to read the entire post.

#6—College Degree After 50 – Worth It?

College Degree After 50Is attaining a college degree after 50 years of age worth the effort and expense?

There is a lot of conversation about whether higher education is worth the money.

Robert Reich recently wrote a piece for Salon.com titled:

Robert Reich: College gets you nowhere

The Author writes:

This is the time of year when high school seniors apply to college, and when I get lots of mail about whether college is worth the cost.

The answer is unequivocally yes, but with one big qualification.

A college degree no longer guarantees a good job. The main reason it pays better than the job of someone without a degree is the latter’s wages are dropping.

If this applies to a high school senior what about a 50+ year old who has seen their industry or profession disappear?

It all comes down to what you expect to gain from attaining the degree.

Click here to read the entire post.

#7—The Demise of the Paycheck – Good Riddance

paycheck

My Last Paycheck

Paycheck…where is that dang paycheck? Oh, I did not get one in 2014. That’s right. I have not had a paycheck since 2011.

Because it is January, I started to gather my papers together to do my income taxes. I paid my property taxes today. I made sure to file my quarterly estimated taxes. What was missing is the W-2 statement I used to get from an employer.

It still feels strange not getting a paycheck!

I was raised to be an employee and to work for a father-like company that would take care of me.

Does this seem familiar?

For most baby boomers, we were encouraged to take the safe path, to work for a solid company and get a regular paycheck.

When I started to work for IBM in 1978, I got paid weekly. Every Monday, my paycheck was deposited into my credit union account like clockwork. It was always there! There was security in knowing that there was a steady flow of money coming in.

Click here to read the entire post.

#8—Re-entering the Workforce – Marketable Skills After 50

Note: This was a guest post from Debra Ann Matthews.

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.

Click here to read the entire post.

#9—3 Signs You Are a Closet Introvert and What to Do!

closet introvertI will admit that I am a closet introvert!

I am not alone. There are many of you out there who appear to be extroverts, but are really closet introverts.

Is there a 12 step program for this condition?

Why do naturally introverted people start behaving like extroverts?

They get paid to be extroverted! DUH! The awards and kudos all go to extroverts!

Click here to read the entire post.

#10—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.

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 I left 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 of a Jewish organization is…interesting! I told myself that I could make this work, but I could not.

Click here to read the entire post.

In 2015, CareerPivot.com received over 160,000 visits to almost 700 posts on the website. This was more than 40% growth over 2014, and this year, I hope to cross the quarter million line!

What do you think of this list?

Wait until you see the list of most found posts in 2015.
Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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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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You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic 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

Failure Is Not an Option Is Total BS

Failure Is Not an Option is Total BS

FailureThose of us who grew up during the race for space are familiar with the phrase, “failure is not an option.” Gene Kranz wrote the book Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. The phrase was immortalized in the movie Apollo 13.

It was ingrained in our entire generation that failure is completely unacceptable.

This belief gets many of us into trouble in our careers. We hang on for too long to failing jobs, careers, or businesses.

I am going to tell you that, in today’s world, this is total BS!

Failure is an option?

I recently wrote two posts about my career failures:

I learned from all of these experiences. In fact, I learned more from these three experiences than any other within my career. What I learned was that, if I was going to fail, I should fail fast.

This it totally counter to the way we were raised. We were raised that failure is unacceptable. We were raised to persevere. If you failed, you were simply not trying hard enough.

We were raised during a time where the upfront investment to start a business was huge. Most people would need to get a significant loan to get started. If you were to fail, the financial and personal consequences would be very big. That is why most of us became employees.

I was raised to be an employee and to go to work for a father-like company that would take care of me.

Therefore, when I graduated from college with my engineering degree from Northwestern, I went to work for IBM.

It was all about mitigating risk in my career.

Now, it is about mitigating risk if you should fail. What I have learned is that  failure is an option as long as you fail fast, limit your losses, and learn from each experience.

Barriers to Entry Have Disappeared

One big change is that the barriers to entry to start a new business have been reduced significantly. I have:

  • Published two books without a publisher, and successfully sold a couple of thousand copies.
  • Created a website and blog which garners over 10,000 visitors a month without a major capital investment.
  • Created a highly recognizable brand—Career Pivot.

All of this was done with very small financial investment, but with a lot of sweat equity.

I belong to several technology meetups where new companies are rapidly formed. They develop a plan to create an app. They sign up for Amazon Web Services, rent space at a co-working facility, and start developing the product. Total investment? Less that $10K. Ten years ago, the initial investment was probably closer to $1M or more.

This is a totally different mindset than how most of us were raised.

I had a discussion with a FranNet consultant a couple of years ago. He told me about the people he met in 2002-2004 who had been laid off after the dot-com bubble had burst. Many of them had a lot of money in retirement accounts. He told them never to put more than 10% of their net worth into a franchise. They could afford to take the risk, but were terrified of failing. They were still too risk averse to take the chance.

I want you to go back to the 1960s. If you were unemployed back then and did not find a job quickly, there was something wrong with you. Today, a massive percentage of the population has been touched by unemployment over the last fifteen years. Being unemployed is no longer a red flag on your record.

In Silicon Valley, failure is a badge of honor. Check out this article in Inc. Magazine: Why Silicon Valley Loves Failure. If that does not change your perspective, well…

Lessons Learned

Here are some things I learned from my career failures:

  • Always have a plan B. Be prepared! Should you fail, you will have a fallback strategy.
  • If you are going to fail, fail fast. Do not hang on just because you can.
  • Learn from every experience. Failure is only bad if you do not learn from the experience.

In today’s world of low barriers of entry, “failure is not an option” is total BS!

Am I full of it?

If you think so, tell me why in the comment box below.

If you think you are ready to make the leap, I am presenting this topic at the Mega Reinvention 2016 Virtual Conference. By the time this post goes live, the conference will already have begun, but the sessions are recorded. You can get a 35% discount using the code MILL1010Q when you register. Go ahead and register now.

What have you go to lose? Remember failure is an option as long as you fail fast, limit your losses, and learn from each experience.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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

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

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Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

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

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic 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

4 Exciting Career Pivot Community Initiatives for 2016

Community Initiatives

communityI want to make 2016 the year of the Career Pivot Community.

February will mark the 4th anniversary of Career Pivot. One of my biggest challenges has been to create an online community. I want to create a community that both meets your needs and is a place where you will want to participate.

I will roll out the following set of initiatives throughout the year.

Let’s get started.

Surveys

The first Career Pivot survey launched in November and was about smartphone usage. The results of that survey were published in early December. Check out what your peers said!

The second Career Pivot survey is still open. Read the post, What is Your Career Plan for 2016? [Survey], and take the survey. The results will be published on January 13th. Please subscribe to this blog to get the results delivered to your inbox.

You will find a new survey at the beginning of each month. Upcoming surveys will include:

  • Social Media Use
  • Podcasts
  • Mobile Apps

Comment below with your suggestions for future surveys.

Office Hours

Starting on January 11, 2016, I will be available for office hours via Blab. Blab is an open virtual meeting place where up to four people can meet via video, and an unlimited number of people can watch and text in questions.

This concept is like when you were in college and the professor had office hours. You could pop in and ask questions anytime during the allotted hours. I plan to be available every Monday evening at 8 PM Central Time (GMT-6). You will find links to the sessions and instructions on how to access Blab on my Office Hours page.

I am really looking forward to meeting with everyone in this open forum. I will NOT record any of these sessions. Think of this like visiting my office with the door open.

BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

The BoomerJobTips LinkedIn group has grown to 1,500+ members. My plans for this group is to change its focus from posting interesting articles to a forum for discussion. Every other week, I will post a question and send a LinkedIn message to all of the members of the group asking for your feedback and participation in the discussion. My goal is to have a discussion of common issues that face the community. I will closely moderate the discussion to keep it about finding solutions.

Please take a moment and join the group now.

Video

I plan to leverage Blab and Periscope.

I will be using Blab to interview people from around the world, where you will be able to watch live or wait for the recording. A good example of this was when Hannah Morgan, aka Career Sherpa, interviewed me via Blab. Check out the post and recording.

I will also be re-purposing the audio for a podcast. Are you listening to podcasts?

I will blog about my favorite podcasts within the coming month.

Periscope is a live-streaming app for your smartphone. My goal is to produce a short video a couple times a week related to the topics that I am writing about. I will also be soliciting questions that my readers would like me to answer during these sessions. As with Blab sessions, you can watch live or wait for the recording. If you want to watch live, you will only be able to watch via the Periscope Smartphone App.

One of my goals is to introduce the Career Pivot community to these new vehicles in order to stay connected.

Anything Else?

I have a lot more planned for 2016.

I will be pivoting the focus to the second half of life. I am working with so many people in their late 30s and 40s who are confronting the same issues that my core baby boomer community are experiencing. I will focus on career issues for those in their second half of life.

The second edition of Repurpose Your Career will be called Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide to the Second Half of Life. This is planned to be published in June of 2016.

A preview will be available for download as a white paper in early February of 2016.

2016 is the year of community for Career Pivot.

What can I do to motivate you to participate in this community?

Please participate and get involved.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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

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

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Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

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

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic 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

Happy Holidays from Career Pivot

Happy Holidays

Animal_2I want to wish happy holidays to all of the Career Pivot community. I hope everyone is looking forward to a great new year.

I will be taking a break from publishing any new material until January 2nd, 2016, when the next BoomerJobTips update will come out.

Look for some exciting announcements on Monday, January 4th, 2016.

Fireworks_2Happy Holidays

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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

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

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Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

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

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic 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

How to Manage Graduates, Guide for Baby Boomer Bosses

How to Manage Graduates

multigenAt Inspiring Interns we deal with placing graduates in graduate jobs every day.

Gen Y’s have different expectations and work place values to their baby boomer bosses – in many ways they are the high-expectations generation. They’ve been brought up with gold stars, being told they’re amazing, and being encouraged to find their passion and do work they love. Thus their expectations of the workforce are higher than any generation to date; they want flexible hours, great colleagues, exciting and varied work that challenges them, career progression, good pay and benefits, and to be acknowledged when they do well. This may sound like they’re asking a lot – they are. And it’s fantastic.

What better way to have our workforce transform to provide all these things than with a push from the younger generation’s fresh energy and high expectations? It means the work place has to improve if it wants to keep young talent employed. The main concern for employers in regards to young workers is employee retention.

Therefore what is the best way to manage graduates so they want to keep working with you?

Mutual respect

Graduates want to be respected, even though it’s likely they haven’t done much to ‘deserve’ it, they want to be respected for who they are. Research shows they prefer a friendship relationship with a boss, as opposed to a hierarchical relationship. They want to be able to bring new ideas to the table, and have those ideas listened to and considered, if good. Thus a good way to manage graduates is to focus on building a personal relationship with them. Share the vision of current projects, sharing why they need to do the work they’ve been given; why it’s important, and how it will help the company.

Instant feedback

Generation Y doesn’t want to wait six months to get feedback, they want to know how they are doing now. Research shows that many Gen Y’s don’t stay in graduate jobs longer than 24 months, so waiting a quarter of that to get feedback doesn’t make sense to them. When given constant feedback they can grow and progress much more quickly, which is what many of them want. A good way to do this is to have a conversation with them about how frequently they would like feedback; bi-weekly/monthly/tri-monthly?

Variety

Repetitive jobs bore anyone, but graduates have particularly low levels of patience for them. Giving Gen Y’s the freedom to come up with creative projects on the side, or to work with another department for a day to better understand that role, are great ways to keep Gen Y’s engaged. Touch base with them regularly about how they’re enjoying their work, whether they’ve had any out-of-the box ideas, and whether they’re satisfied with the variety of work they have.

For more information read: Age Expectations: A baby-boomer managing a Generation Y

Are you managing your younger employees in this manner?

Please write a comment below on what you can do differently.

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Ben RosenThis post was written by Ben Rosen. Ben is the CEO and co-founder of Inspiring Interns, the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency. Inspiring Interns connects talented graduates with top companies and start-ups across the UK, filling graduate jobs and paid internships (with the aim of going permanent). They have kick-started the careers of over 5,000 young people.

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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

————————————————

Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

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

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic 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

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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Blab – Boomer Job Search with CareerSherpa and CareerPivot

Blab with Hannah Morgan and Marc Miller

BlabThis week, I had the joy to be on a Blab session with Hannah Morgan, aka Career Sherpa.

You are probably asking yourself, “What the heck is a “Blab?”

Blab is a livestreaming platform that enables a public video chat among four participants at a time. If you are familiar with the likes of Periscope, Meerkat, and Google Hangouts, it is kind of a combination of all three.

Basically, it is a free service which facilitates an open conversation on the internet. It is layered on Twitter (you need a Twitter ID), but it is a simple and easy to use open video service. Numerous people can watch the Blab, but only four will talk together at a time.

Check out my discussion with Hannah Morgan on Job Search and Baby Boomers.

Blab Office Hours

I am considering holding Blab “office hours” one evening a week in 2016. I would be available to discuss whatever you want for that hour. You could pop in to discuss things with me, but remember: the office door would remain open! Others would drop by and listen to our discussion.

Another option—I could plan a Blab session each week to discuss a suggested topic and then open it up for dialogue. You could either be ready to be on the video or type in your question. This would be a great way to start a discussion and build our community.

My goal is to have a place where we can have a weekly gathering to discuss issues, get the audience comfortable using video technology, and have some fun. Think of it as a water cooler for those of us with a little less…or a little grayer hair on the temples. You get the idea.

If you would, please take a moment and comment at the bottom of the post to give me some feedback on this idea to use Blab.
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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You can also download my whitepaper “Don’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

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Stop Applying and Work the Relationships Rant

Stop Applying

stop_applyingPlease stop applying online for positions! I have said this at least a dozen times in the last couple of weeks.

It makes me want to pull out what little hair I have left in my follicle-challenged scalp.

Let me explain my frustration.

Contract Recruiter

Last week, I had coffee with a financial recruiter. She works for one of the national recruiting companies and recruits for small to medium businesses. She primarily  places accountants, financial controllers, and an occasional CFO.

She told me that she gets great resumes across her desk—resumes with 30 plus years of experience. She said,  “I can’t get interviews for any of them. The clients are just not interested.”

I had to mutter under my breath, “Why are they coming to you?”

Someone with 30 plus years of experience is over 50 years of age. The only way they will get in front of the hiring manager is through a referral.

Passing a resume through a recruiting service will get you nowhere!

ARGH!! Stop applying and start building relationships to get a referral.

Work the relationships! Work the relationships!……

Resume Writer

I received an e-mail from a resume writer who was looking for advice. His question was, “What strategies can a career changer who is in mid-career use to compete against younger, more experienced veterans?”

WOW!!

When making a career change—a career pivot—your resume is not what will get you that next position. It will be a relationship. Most of the time, someone will take a chance and hire you.

In my six career changes, all have been half step career changes. I had one foot in the old world and one foot in the new world. It was always a relationship that helped me across.

ARGH!! Stop working on your resume and stop applying. Go build the relationships that will take you across into your new role!

Account Manager

I have been working with a gentleman who is closer to 60 than 50 years of age. He was let go from his account management position near the beginning of the year. I have had him working his weak ties dutifully. He has been reaching out to people he worked with over the last 20 years. He has been asking for A-I-R (Advise, Insights and Recommendations).

Last week, he interviewed with a company and an offer should be coming shortly. He did not fill out a single application in the past three months. He had multiple interviews during that time. A personal referral got him every interview.

He has a strong internal advocate helping him at the company where we are expecting an offer.

If you follow his lead, you will stop applying for jobs and work your relationships. Boy, did he work the relationships! It was amazing how many people were willing to help him.

YEAH!!! (More on his story in a later blog post)

Over 50

If you are over 50 years of age and are looking for a job, you need to stop applying and work the relationships. If you wait for a position to be posted online, you are too late!

Waiting is not a job search strategy!

RANT OVER!

I feel better now.

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 whitepaper “Don’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

BoomerJobTips – Curated Content for July 4

BoomerJobTips Update

BoomerJobTipsWelcome to this weeks BoomerJobTips Update the central point to get current career information for the Baby Boomer Generation!

Check BoomerJobTips Daily for the latest curated career content. Content is curated from hundreds of the leading career websites with a focus on baby boomer career issues.

Most Popular

Baby Boomers

Social Media

Career

Job Search

Career Pivot

Another way to look at the same links AND MORE from BoomerJobTips.

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You can also download my latest white paper The Multi-Generational Workplace – Making Generational Diversity Work