Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Next Chapter

By Barbara LaBier

Today’s retirees will live longer than other generations and still have working on their minds. For many, a second career will supplement social security and offer opportunities for new areas of self-fulfillment. Many people have told me that finding work different from what they did during 40 years of their lives will add a new dimension to living where they are better able to match their passion with doing something they like.

This attitude is prevalent among retirees who come from successful careers who are seeking opportunities to make more money while finding self-fulfillment through work.

Instead of taking any job after retiring, experts say it is time to focus on a career that brings you some pleasure.

“It has been a voyage of self discovery according to Sam who worked as a salesman and real estate broker for Long and Foster for 30 years. Sam always knew that he enjoyed the teaching and training aspect of his career. When he retired, he soon found that he was bored and broke staying at home playing the stock market. After visiting a career counselor, he learned to evaluate what turned him on about a new career and chose coaching for real estate professionals. Now, Sam teaches strategies for building real estate businesses through career coaching seminars and retreats for professionals looking to build their sales and businesses. He enjoys the travel and participating in retreats and public speaking where he earns thousands of dollars for his advice.

Rob who spent 30 years in the restaurant business as an owner, manager, chef, bartender and server was burned out. He wanted to retire and utilize his skills in the restaurant industry in second career in a job that was easier on this body.

After a few sessions with a career coach he was able to redirect his career skills to a large corporation where he is working in the area of corporate sales in the retail and industrial food services area.

“Sysco was delighted with my skills because I had intimate sales knowledge of purchasing equipment, recipe planning, food services and sales. When I meet new clients in the corporate world, we speak the same lingo, ” Rob said happily.

But what about the folks who retire and feel devalued by the experience? Many people are enraged about loosing their title, job, and income as well as the way they were once defined by society. When they start a new career their seniority is gone, they make mistakes and stumble, they have lost their mentor status, they are reduced to the status of an apprentice. Comparing themselves to a youthful culture is often painful.

Cynthia who is in her middle sixties will be retiring next year. For 35 years she worked in the IT industry as a technical writer and now is getting ready to embark on a second career as a Financial Planner.

“I am very excited about trying something new.” she said. “A career that capitalizes on my love of people, interest in stocks, companies and business and my delight in creating strategies to help others succeed is what I want. ”

But what about failure? For Cynthia her long career filled with ups and downs has made her philosophic.

“During my working life, I developed wisdom about how to fail gracefully and recover. Not everything has to be achieved in a day. My youthful impatience of expecting over- night success has been replaced with an inner confidence, knowledge and an expanded sense of humor. I know that I will be successful given time,” she added.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Six Ways To Stay Unemployed

I was perusing an old diary that belonged to my Uncle Willy who lived through the Great Depression and found this bit of advice on how to maintain your mental health.

“Baring your soul can be therapeutic,” he wrote. “So the next time you are depressed and you can’t afford a psychiatrist make an appointment with a potential boss at a job interview.”

1. When the employer asks why you are leaving your current job tell him why you hate your work and your boss is such a jerk.

2. Also reveal why you’re so dissatisfied with your current buddies at work.

3. After he or she brings up salary tell them you are flexible but with your talent and experience and won’t settle for peanuts.

4. If the interviewer asks what you’re planning to do in the next five years- don’t be shy tell them the truth …that you’d like to be retired.

5. Should they ask you if the job you are interviewing for is the perfect job for you tactfully explain that you like the job as a Contract Specialist but would be better suited as a Radio Host.

5. And finally, if you’re asked if you could hear people at work talking behind your back what would they be saying about you… say “Nothing, I lip read and am deaf in one ear.”

6. Be sure to send a thank you note a week after you have finished the interview.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

What’s Going On With Social Media At Work?

Social Media can be a boon for any business when it’s used to promote products and a company. For many entrepreneurs it is free marketing. Clients get to know the company on a personal level and feel connected. A Facebook Page brings customers to a website to find out more information or to contact the business owner.

Marketing businesses understand that emailing potential clientele during business hours can result in building stronger relationships that will eventually bear fruit with more business. Collaboration and creativity improves office morale and sparks participation in online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Govloop. Staff in this environment are treated as mature adults not disobedient children who are constantly monitored by their bosses.

Yet, employees using social media can create problems for some business owners. Executives say they block social media sites because of breeches in security and the belief that social media leads to lack of productivity. Others think that employees spend too much time updating their profiles rather than working.

Computer World reported in 2009 that 54% of companies in the USA banned social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and My space; Nineteen percent allowed only social networking sites for business. And only 10 % of 1400 CIO’s  are allowed full access during office hours. In a more recent study of companies that have 1000 employees – 8% percent of them have been fired because of their behavior on social media sites. Some got caught on-line revealing confidential information about the business or clients.
Social media critics take a negative approach and say that using social media as a strategy takes too much time to bear fruit and that it removes marketing resources and taking them away from other marketing plans. And, most important customers are annoyed by emails.

Social media in the private or the governmental arena has become a management problem. Social media sites are currently in place at every Government site. GAO, for example, performed a study that showed that these technologies could actually expose government records and sensitive data. Privacy issues may be compromised until methods are established for protecting and managing personal information. A balance must be achieved where networks are protected from threats and intellectual properties maintains compliance with internal and government regulations. Every employer should be prepared to develop management policies ahead of time regarding social media. What has been your experience using Social Media in the office?

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hone Your Talents If You Want To Be Truly Successful

Some people will tell you that the secret to success in life is identifying the things you don’t do well and get better at them. Actually, it is just the opposite because if you spend all your time focusing on your weaknesses you’ll end up with a lot of strong weaknesses. Instead, focus on your strengths and delegate weaknesses to someone who has passion and talent in that area. If you want to have the opportunity to excel focus on your strengths and let the rewards that follow pay for help to do the things you can’t.

For example, I am mathematically challenged so when tax time comes around I hire a gifted accountant to handle my taxes. When I did them myself, the IRS would send me love notes about my mistakes and since the errors were simple they’d even recalculate my taxes for me. Not that I don’t trust the IRS or am not grateful for their help—but I decided it was time to seek other services.

So it makes sense to focus on capabilities and multiply your confidence. When you feel confident you can do amazing things. Lacking confidence makes it much harder to put your capabilities to work.
Thinking about how you can grow your clients capabilities instead of just selling them products and services is a leap for most entrepreneurs. However, it can be the key to innovation that can lead to exceptional customer loyalty, enthusiastic referrals, brilliant testimonials and dramatic increases for future growth.
No matter where you find yourself try to make your future bigger than your past—identify and capture opportunities to multiply your efforts, results and contributions to others.