Thursday, April 4, 2013


Tom Friedman recently wrote in his column in the New York Times that Boomers had it easy when they first started out in their careers. All they had to do was “find a job.” He contrasts that with today’s recent college graduates who may be lucky enough to find a job, but more than likely will have to “invent” their own job. The internet has alleviated the need to know or memorize facts.  After all any internet connected device (I-phone, Blackberry, Droid, I-Pad, tablet computer, etc.) can access facts on the internet. The key however is not to know the facts, but to know what to do with the facts at your finger-tips.

 This has become the challenge of the mature worker (defined as anyone over the age of 40).  If they can’t find a job, they must invent one and become an entrepreneur, or an outsourcing agent for someone’s business.  Let’s say you are 60 years of age.  You were forced to retire early.  But you still need an income because the retirement savings you planned on were used to pay for your child’s education, your Mother’s eldercare, and the new car to replace the old one that just died with 200,000+ miles on the odometer. Starting your own business isn’t easy especially when financial resources are slim.  What do you do now?

A significantly important ingredient to a successful career “invention” is to identify your DRIVERS before you start something new.  DRIVERS are the emotional rewards we derive from work, play, fun that gives us a significant level of satisfaction and holds our interest.  We conducted research with pre and post retirees.  We asked one question: “Why do you work beyond the paycheck.”  We got back 85 different reasons: to have accomplishments, to use my skills, continuous learning, make a difference, mentor, etc.  The length of the list surprised us.  The responses were so impressive that we wrote a book about them.  Don’t Retire, REWIRE!  Knowing your DRIVERS and aligning them to the work you do or business you start is a major key to success.  The opportunity to get driver fulfillment is usually the difference between toil and drudgery or looking forward to getting up in the morning to do something that satisfies, stimulates, excites, and engages. 

If you need to find work or “invent it,” make sure your DRIVERS are getting fulfilled. Take the DRIVERS test.  Don’t worry about the facts.  You can download them!