Back to Your Future After 50

Back to the Future day photo courtesy of Back to the Future II

This post is in honor of Job Action Day, which tackles the after-50 career.

In Back to the Future II, Doc Brown and Marty McFly took their DeLorean time machine to October 21, 2015. Thirty years ago, filmmakers took some giant leaps as to what would be happening this year. Some predictions almost happened, like Cubs in the World Series (they made the playoffs) and Rocky (there’s a new Rocky – and it’s Creed) and some didn’t, like faxes and the Jaws 19 sequel.

What does this mean for your career after 50?

After 50, my clients look at careers differently. Is their current profession (or former one) meaningful? Do they enjoy what they are doing? What might a new career look like? Do they have what it takes to make the leap? You do, it may look differently.

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” – Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown

New Career Direction:

While you may not need a road for your new career, you’ll want a focused career direction and a map to get there. What you wanted to be when you grew up may not be what you want now. Plus, new careers are constantly being invented. Thirty years ago, social media, blogs, and smartphones didn’t exist. How can you apply your current skills and expertise to a new field? When working with clients in career change mode, one of the action items I recommend is to make a list of your talents and check out onetcenter.org’s “My Next Move” to see careers you can explore that use those talents, skills, and abilities.

Find Meaningful Work:

According to one study, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are delaying retirement. While there was not a Rocky 19, Rocky Balboa (aka Sylvester Stallone, 69), is still going strong. Instead of being the fighter this time around, he serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed in this year’s movie, “Creed.”

Review the list of talents, skills, and abilities you created and identify nonprofits that may benefit from those skills. Or use them to see who and how you could mentor a younger employee.

One of my clients, a finance executive, left his financial career to explore his two passions, golf and nonprofit. He wanted to give back. He landed an Executive Director role with a nonprofit organization that benefits youth through the game of golf.

Create Your Own Business:

Doc Brown was not only an inventor of things, but a “re-inventor” of himself. With each Back to the Future movie, you see the Doc using whatever tools are available to create opportunities for him and Marty to escape perils and change the future for the greater good.

One of my clients, a training and development professional, retired from one gig and created her own consulting firm dedicated to transforming leaders and creating cohesive teams – the work she enjoys doing most. She also wrote a book about her experience.

Update Your Personal Brand:

Throughout the Back to the Future trilogy, Doc and Marty have to quickly adapt to whatever year it is – the future as well as the past.

One of my clients at 50+ took a risk. After being downsized, she decided to target a career and work environment she really wanted. Her “nothing is holding me back” attitude and willingness to do what it takes, helped her reach her goal.

She said, “I thought these dreams might have been way, way too big —but they’re happening! (Washington) DC called me…. Thank you for all the work and coaching. I truly appreciate the guidance and would recommend the sessions we had. YES, YES, YES, I just keep smiling.” A year later, my client was promoted.

One of the things she likes most about her new gig is that they appreciate and value older workers. Many employers do. Use your personal brand to attract right-fit employers.

Good use of social media is another way to boost your personal brand. When 86% of people Google you before ever meeting you, a strong online presence is important. And LinkedIn typically lands on page one of that search.

If you’re already on LinkedIn, take a look at your profile. Does it reflect your current brand, skills, employment, and goals? If not, it’s time to update.

Revive Your Network:

While social media didn’t exist at the time the Back to the Future series, offline networking, like Doc and Marty collaborating, did.

Networking is the No. 1 way people land new gigs, new clients, and new business. Take the time to list all the people you know in your network, including former coworkers, colleagues, friends, family, George McFly, etc. Who needs to know about you?

Does asking for help with your new adventure feel uncomfortable? It’s OK. You’ve survived many life events by now, you will again. Each time I ask my clients in workshops or coaching sessions how they feel when they help others, they use words like: wonderful, good, happy. Won’t it be great to have your network feel this way when they get a chance to help you?

Marty McFly: Doc… what if we don’t succeed?

Doc: We *must* succeed.

You will succeed when you get back to your future and take control of your career. Won’t it be great to love Mondays?

Copyright 2015 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Job Search: Make it Simple

I saw this article in today’s JSOnline and something clicked:

Boys’ invention is worth its salt

November 11, 2008 12:35 a.m. | Why didn’t we think of it? That’s how Ariens Co. engineers reacted when they first saw the snow-thrower accessory invented by sixth-grade students Matt Moran and Sam Hipple. »Read Full Article

———

Now that you’ve read the story, think about your own job search. Have you made things too complicated? Here are 5 tips to simplify your search:

1. The Networking Monster: Have you created a networking monster? “Hey, know anyone who’s hiring?” – that’s the monster I’m talking about. Check out our newsroom for tips to tame the monster and make your networking efforts simple, easy, and FUN.

2. The Long Boring Resume: Is your resume filled with complex language, industry jargon, and other non-essentials that make it 5 pages long? Pass it around to your friends. If they ask you to explain things or look confused, it’s too long, too complex, and too boring. Trim the fat. Focus on results. Accomplishments demonstrate your value and the employer’s potential ROI on their investment in hiring you.

3. The Drama Queen — or King: Are you whining about your situation to everyone? Remember attitude is everything. It’s OK to express your opinion and grieve for your job loss, but then turn it around. “I always hire attitude over experience,” said one human resources director. “Skills can always be learned.”

4. The Over-Engineered Process: Are you making the job search process so complex that you’re afraid to start? Are you making excuses? (You can’t start until you’ve completely updated your contact database… You can’t start until you have the perfect interview suit… You can’t start because…) Take action and do one thing for your search now! A baby step is better than no step.

5. The View from the Pigeonhole: Target your career focus and your search, but don’t limit yourself to the methods you use in the process. Networking is the No. 1 way people land new gigs. BUT there are many ways to tap your network – both online and off. Contact companies cold. Talk to recruiters. Post your resume online – and follow up. Snail mail your resume to decision-makers – and follow up. Paste your resume into company website application forms – and follow up.

Now is the time to simplify. Take action. One small step in your job search is one giant step toward YOUR new dream gig!

Let us know your favorite – and simple – job search step. Share your stories with us – and inspire others!

Copyright 2008 * Wendy Terwelp



 

Vote for YOU and Your Ideal Career

Tomorrow is Election Day and time to vote. As you’re choosing a candidate, think about your own career choices. Did you choose your current career or did it choose you?

 

Perhaps you started in banking during college and moved up. Now you are out. Maybe you were recruited by an investment firm during college. Now you are out.

 

While times are tough, you still have a choice.

 

You can choose to whine and complain about the economy and your crappy career situation OR you can choose to take this time to find a career that is ideal for you.

 

Maybe you fell into the role you’ve just been downsized from – and you hated every minute of it. I worked with one client who had been with his company 25 years before being downsized. “I hated every day I was there,” he told me. “What?! But you worked there for 25 years!” I said. “How did you make it through?” He said, “Why, I took it one day at a time.”

 

How horrible to hate going to work, especially when the typical employee works 2080 to 2600 hours a year. And works an average of FORTY YEARS (or more).

 

Here are some action steps you can take right now and vote – vote for YOU and your ideal career – one that you are passionate about! One where you can say, “WOW, I love going to work!”

 

1.    Choose a new career. If you’re burnt out on your current career or, like my client, hated the 20+ years you’ve worked in the industry, take some career assessments to find a new direction. Here’s a link to some freebies.

 

I also recommend taking more in-depth assessments for greater and more detailed results – to help you identify what makes you tick, how others perceive you, and what might be the ideal work environment for you.

 

2.    Choose your attitude – and make it a positive one. I recently worked with a client who’d been downsized. I’ve rarely met a more positive person. Here he was in a difficult situation, family, main provider, and unfortunately in a declining industry. How did he view his situation? Why he had more time to spend with his family. He had time to help his children with their homework and watch them learn new things. He had time to take some classes and improve his skills. And he had time to research and pursue a new, more lucrative, and stable industry. That’s how he viewed things. How are you viewing your situation? You’ve got a choice.

 

3.    Choose to rebuild your network – the right way. “Know anyone who’s hiring” is not an effective way to rebuild your network. Here’s the right way: Personal Branding Sound Bite.

 

4.    Choose to learn new ways to network. Yes, networking events, social gatherings, and professional organizations are still an excellent way to network. How about the latest tools like online networking? Do you know how to use LinkedIn the right way? Have you updated your bio? Wondering what Twitter is? Check out this self-study class: Rock Your Network® Online for the latest.

  

5.  Choose to take control of your personal brand. The challenge for most professionals is that they lack the discipline necessary to define their personal brands. As a result, their peers select it for them. Unfortunately, the personal brand others select for you will not always be the personal brand you would have selected for yourself. Take action now.

6.  Choose to recession-proof your career – where you are. See my blog post below: Top 10 Tips to Recession-Proof Your Career.

7.  Choose to volunteer. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.”

Now is the time to cast a vote for YOU and your ideal career. What choices will you make this time around? It’s up to you. And you’ve got a choice.

 

Want more tips for Job Action Day? Check out QuintCareers and its chosen bloggers. Enjoy!

 

———————————————–

© 2008 Wendy Terwelp All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp has helped thousands of clients be rock stars at work since 1989. A recognized expert on networking, both online and off, Wendy has been featured in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, The Business Journal, Monster.com, Careerbuilders.com, and more as well as numerous radio shows. She has published hundreds of articles on the web and in print. Are you ready for your next big gig?®

Learn more> http://www.knocks.com.