Friday, July 23, 2010


I recently gave a talk to a group of recent Wake Forest graduates in New York City. I opened up my program by saying, "I'm not a Mom so this is NOT repackaged material that I have told my kids, and secondly, this information is what I tell job candidates who are 50 plus, and looking for new work or an encore career, so listen up and understand that these ideas will last you a lifetime."

This surprised the students but I said," Industries have changed, and some have collapsed. Like you, older job seekers don't have a curriculum to follow; this is a new landscape for them too. And they, like you students, have to rewire® and adapt a new mindset, new thinking and new actions if they are going to achieve the job they are seeking." The key thing is that there are smart people and organizations out there who want to help you with your job search and see you succeed. I told the students that there are great career sites to check out and to all of you I say use the internet for ideas and remember to check out sites like for insights and positions.

So first, let me share what I call the back story which applies regardless of age:

  • DON'T read every article about unemployment. Headlines like: "Jobless Numbers Are Worse Than You Think," don't serve anyone well, especially a job candidate. Be wary of the headlines but be aware of them and don't succumb to the negativity of the message.

  • If your computer opens up on Yahoo or Google News, or if you constantly have the tv or radio news on in the background, view the news with a new set of eyes and ears.

  • Look for what industries are being praised in the news for being innovative.

  • Listen for where talent shortages are occurring and think do I have those skills? Could I if I went back to school for an additional class or program? Or do I have them but just not focus on them?

  • Recognize new companies are EMERGING so don't assume you know what is going on out out there to hear and see it all and don't DISCARD an idea before you investigate it. Check it out. Treat a job search like a scavenger hunt and you're looking for clues.

  • Adopt the motto: You never know!

  • If you don't know why you work beyond the money and need to have your motivators verified, read DON'T RETIRE, REWIRE! and discover or reconfirm what drives you.

Secondly, here are some other ideas to consider:

  • Manage your expectations in terms of b0th the actual job and lead up interviews.

  • You know you're terrific but make sure you manage yourself.

  • Think like an actor---they are always auditioning and going from one gig to another. That is the new mentality for today and tomorrow.

  • Like it or not, people "still" judge the book by the cover--(difficult for a Nook or Kindle!) but not for people.

  • Make sure your attitude is as good as your abilities and that your substance and style match up!

  • Believe that resources are all around you, and they will be. LinkedIn and Facebook are tools but need to be managed.

  • Tailor your search and your time. Get out and meet people. Sending resumes to recruiters, good friends or headhunters ISN'T enough---it never was!

  • Get creative in how you reach people. Does your barber or stylist know someone you need to know? You never know!

  • Update that elevator speech. It's easy to get stale and to sound stale.

And never forget to share. Help your peers and hopefully they'll help you. I do believe that people want to help each other so when you are networking make it easy for your network to work for you. Good luck--we are all in this together!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Hurrah! More cracks are appearing in the "age wall." Last week Ringo Starr turned 70 and gave an interesting interview to The New York Times entitled: 'I'm Not Hiding From It,You Know'. I was intrigued how he talked about"it." What was the "it?" The chronological number 70? Or was the "it"about aging overall? Or was it the reality that Ringo was 70, a number that he admits is high? The thing I loved was that when asked about how he was feeling about the number 70...Ringo said, "In my head, I'm 24."

And that to me is the key to continous living, loving, laughing and rewiring regardless of one's age! My belief is focus on your functional age not on your chronological age! Lead with what your head is telling you, not with what the ache in your knee is saying!

Ringo Starr isn't hiding his age; he's not pulling any punches about it, in fact, just the opposite. He's out there with "it," and asking us to celebrate it with him! And Ringo has even taken 84 year old B.B. King as his new role model!

And the best thing is that Ringo hasn't deviated from his original purpose and mission of "love and peace." So many people today are looking for meaning and purpose in their futures, to them I say....go back and listen to some old Beatles tunes if you need a little or a lot of inspiration---if you're open to receive, you'll find some answers!