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Message 11 of 40

Thanks @DavidB852954  - Sounds like you are on a solid path.  Did you have a specific question or concern?  It sounds like you need to invest in some additional marketing support to grow your business.

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Hello John, After retiring as a successful chiropractor due to disability, I have developed a 6 week consulting program for people 35-65 with chronic persistent back or neck pain. I wish to market and coach primarily online. I am motivated to do this because of the ongoing opioid crisis and the fact  that with my program people can minimize/eliminate chronic pain without additional pills, surgery or even doctors. 

My roadblocks are tech related. I have hired various coaches/freelancers but my progress is slow this last 18 months. What would you recommend? Thanks in advance!

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@JohnTarnoff I have a landscape and a catering business and at one time my catering business was growing, I didn't have all of the tools in order to make my catering business blossom. My landscape business has always been good, I just want it to become bigger and better. 

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Message 14 of 40

Yay! Glad it resonated! Wishing you the best of luck @PeterM347935. Keep in touch with me via LinkedIn or my website https://johntarnoff.com

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Message 15 of 40

Excellent feedback John! You made me look at stuff differently and I feel a lot more empowered now with that advice! Thanks!

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Message 16 of 40

Thanks, @PeterM347935 -

 

I think it's great that you're going for an advanced degree in your field.  This will certainly give you greater authority for the work that you're looking to do.

 

The key question shouldn't be the kind of company you want to work for, it's the job you want to do, and more specficially the value proposition that you bring to the table.

 

Yes, as an older worker, you are going to have a more difficult time because the hiring process overall is focused on younger people (see earlier posts in this thread for more on that injustice!). 

 

But you bring so much more to the table than mere "job qualifications." With your 3 decades (I'm assuming) in your field, plus this new degree, you should have a pretty good sense of what exactly you would like to do at this stage in your career.  I would start there.  Figure out the "Peter LLC" angle that you want to focus on.  What problems do you like to solve in the work that you do?  How does the degree enhance your ability to do that work?  What additional (perhaps more refined or more technical) problems will the degree qualify you to solve?

 

Start with you, and your value proposition, and then look for companies who are struggling with the problems you solve.  It may or may not be a company like Fitbit.  But in the process of finding the company where you're eventually going to land, you should by all means check out the top companies you're interested in and build connections there.  Again, these connections will be based on the value proposition you're "selling."  You may meet people at these top companies (either through LinkedIn, or at conferences, networking events etc.) who say "I like what you do, but we don't have any need for that right now.  However, I want to introduce you to my friend at Company X who might be interested."

 

As you can see from my earlier replies in this thread, I'm a big believer in your network as the way to build traction and find your eventual berth.  At this age, "fit" is vital.  Employers want it, and you don't want to go to work for a company that sounds good on paper, but where the culture is actually toxic, or you're stuck in a position that only uses 20% of your potential.  You're too old to take a back seat or get mired in useless power politics just because you want to be at a "marquee" company.  Find the place where you can do the work you want to do and work with people who understand you , support you, and where your success is their success.  Or you could be consulting to a handful of innovative startups in your field, doing leading-edge work, building your reputation as a problem solver.  Your phone will be ringing off the hook (as we used to say).  

 

Bottom line, if there's a need/market for what you do, and you have a clear and consistent message around that value proposition, it doesn't matter how old you are because you're filling a real need and driving bottom-line results.

 

Let me know if this makes sense, and if you have any other questions!

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I'm going back to school for a MS in biotechnology. I currently am a Fitness Director at a health club. I'm concentrating on management within the biotechnology degree since I have managed my own business for over 20 years and currently help in managing the club I work at. I'd like to work in management in a biotechnology company like Fitbit or something similar, but I worry about being accepted at my age which will be 52 when I graduate. Are my fears justified and what can I do to be more viable?

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Message 18 of 40

@RebeccaA376184 wrote:

Hi, John -- I'm 62 years old and lost my job in PR/Communications in December because I asked my boss for a meeting to discuss a title change and reclassification of my job. I apply for job after job -- I have more than 30 years of progressive Public Relations experience, but don't get inteviews. I had my resume and cover letter reviewed and paid to have it revamped through the AARP recommended vendor. It came back with numerous errors and typos, so I corrected everything and I am using their version for applications. Still no nibbles. 

I'm into my 9th month of unemployment and need a job quickly. Any suggestions for me? I have worked in both the for- and non-profit sectors, including health care and cultural institutions.

Thanks, Rebecca.


 

Thanks @RebeccaA376184 

 

I wish we had connected nine months ago.  Unfortunately, you are in a situation that many people find themselves in who are older, have been let go, and go about thinking they can apply to jobs the traditional way.  As you have discovered, it no longer works.

 

Resumes no longer get you an interview.  They are necessary as a record of your past achievements, but employers are focused on hiring younger, cheaper, more malleable candidates.  This is the unfortunate, ageist truth.

 

You also have too much experience for most of the jobs that get posted. This is true in any industry.  The bar has been raised for older workers. Employers glaze over when contemplating hiring someone older.  This is a cultural bias issue that we're not going to fix in this conversation, or in the next few years.  It's changing, but none of us has enough time to wait.

 

First, as I've recommended in earlier replies, your LinkedIn profile has to be thoroughly up to date.  This is where everyone goes to learn about you if they think you may be someone of interest.  

 

Second, what is your specialty?  There has to be a niche industry you covered, or a specific talent you have in the PR field.  You have to decide what PR/Comms issue (notice I said issue, not issues) you are the best at handling, and focus your job search on companies who are engaged in that area - or who need someone in that area.  Adopt the mindset of a consultant looking to provide value to a client, not that of an employee looking for a job.

 

Use LinkedIn to target the agencies or Comms divisions of the companies you resonate with, and think could be in your sweet spot in terms of the work that you do.  Find all of the professionals you've worked with over the years and invite them to connect on LinkedIn and see who they know (these would be your "2nd" level connections on LI).  Start networking amongst your 1st and 2nd level connections to find open positions, as well as conferences, events and meetups that you could attend to build your network and find out about openings.

 

It's all about "who you know," particularly in a field like PR/Comms which is so much about personal connection and interaction.

 

In the interim, I would also look for opportunities to volunteer your services to high profile non-profits where you can do good work, make new connections, but also have something to crow about.  That way it looks like you're continuing to work.  

 

Back to LinkedIn, NEVER put something in your headline like "seeking employment" or "seeking new position"  That is anathema to recruiters.  Everyone is looking for you to be actively engaged in your work (hence the recommendation that you volunteer).

 

I wish I had a short term solution for you, but at the end of the day, the only viable sort term solution is a well-established network that you can turn to for information and leads.  Hopefully some of these suggestions can help you reinvigorate your efforts. 

 

Best of luck in making this work. You have lots to offer and should be out there doing great work.  Keep at it, use some of these tips, and I have a feeling the next nine months will be a lot more successful!

 

 

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Message 19 of 40

@r882285h wrote:

Hi John, I feel like I am at somewhat of a career crossroads. I have been with my current company for approaching 25 years and it has been filled with ups and downs, but generally a mainly safe job which allowed an opportunity and flexibility to raise my kids stress free while earning what I thought was a good salary.

 

My youngest child will be headed to college this fall. There are changes in my workplace and my role and I'll admit, I return home from work pretty sad every day. I have tons of soft skills and high EQ, and lots of ideas for ways I would like to pivot my next career path.  I feel like I must prepare now for what is likely my last decade in the hustle/bustle of work heading into retirement. Actually, career coaching or counseling is among those areas.

 

My challenge - I can't seem to really put it all together.  I have an opportunity to take individual courses and even obtain a degree at a discounted price via my part-time adjunct work. I just don't know if there's ROI in spending money to take classes on something that I can monetize in the short term or invest in another degree long term if neither will lead to a career transition heading into retirement. I just don't know how long I can feel stuck in my current situation. I just feel like I'm all over the place with things I would like and possibly can do, but when I look at my paycheck and responsibilities, I realize, I can't start at the bottom in terms of salary.


 

Thanks @r882285h -

 

You are at a very common crossroads, these days.  It is really a second mid-life crisis, but one that is very specifically focused on work, and the premise and promise of a second-act career.

 

I would caution you on the pursuit of an additional degree or certification, unless there is a very specific role/career you are pursuing that requires it (e.g. software coding, HR management).  You mentioned coaching, and yes, there are certainly coaching credentials offered all over the place, but very few with credibility and history (e.g. the International Coaching Federation - ICF).  And it depends what kind of coaching you plan on going into.

 

If you like the business/industry you're in, but just are feeling stale in your specific role, or not on board with the direction the company or culture are going in, you might look at ways of starting a consulting practice that grows out of your current role, or addresses an adjacent problem or solution that needs handling - something that current clients/customers are experiencing but having a hard time figuring out.  With your experience and savvy, you could package up that solution or set of solutions and market  them to your existing rolodex.

 

If you're tired of your business and are really looking to slingshot your way into something new, this will require some research and deep reflection on your part.  I talk about this extensively in my book, as it is really a big step.  The big caveat about making this big a leap is to really determine if you motivation is a genuine readiness to open to and embrace something really new and more authentic to who you are - or a reaction against your dissatisfaction with your current situation.  You may need to take a good long vacation to reflect on this question before you decide on your course of action.

 

Creating a side gig while you are still in your well-paying job is an option if you have an idea that lends itself to a small business or an online business.  Consider one or more experiments, or potential partners if you and a trusted (and I mean trusted) colleague or  friend have an idea.

 

Taking a pay cut is a concern, although I don't think you'll wind up having to go back to square one.  One thing I recommend to people who are in a stale situation in their longstanding job is to also try to refresh that job.  This will help you to feel better about going into work, likely extend your viability there from management's POV, and possibly unleash new ideas that could actually renew your positive feelings about the job (I've had this happen with clients in the past).  What you don't want is to get let go before you've fully figured out your own bridge to the next thing.

 

Talk to your manager or HR, or someone you think is already in your corner about how you could do more to create/provide value to the company.  Just showing that kind of initiative might surprise them, even if it feels to you like the last thing you want to offer (because you're so down on your job).  And it might surprise you to find that they're open to working with you.  If your initiative totally falls on deaf ears or hits a wall, then you know that your days are numbered and you should immediately start making exit plans, including thinking about all these new ideas, but also hitting the tradtional job search.

 

In any event, you have to make sure your LinkedIn is thoroughly up to date, engaging, and accurately captures who you are, why you're motivated to do what you love doing, and connects to professionals in your industry and potential recruiters on topics of current concern.  See an earlier reply for some ideas on how to deal with the LI profile.

 

Best wishes for a successful second act!

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Message 20 of 40

Hi, John -- I'm 62 years old and lost my job in PR/Communications in December because I asked my boss for a meeting to discuss a title change and reclassification of my job. I apply for job after job -- I have more than 30 years of progressive Public Relations experience, but don't get inteviews. I had my resume and cover letter reviewed and paid to have it revamped through the AARP recommended vendor. It came back with numerous errors and typos, so I corrected everything and I am using their version for applications. Still no nibbles. 

I'm into my 9th month of unemployment and need a job quickly. Any suggestions for me? I have worked in both the for- and non-profit sectors, including health care and cultural institutions.

Thanks, Rebecca.

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