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Repurpose Your Career | Career Pivot | Careers for the 2nd Half of Life | Career Change | Baby Boomer

Repurpose Your Career podcast brought to you by Career Pivot is a podcast for those of us in the 2nd half of life to come together to discuss how repurpose our careers for the 21st century.  Come listen to career experts give you proven strategies, listen to people like you tell their stories about how they repurposed their careers and finally get your questions answered.   Your host, Marc Miller, has made six career pivots over the last 30 years. He understands this is not about jumping out of the frying pan into a fire but rather to create a plan where you make clear actionable steps or pivots to a better future career. 
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 24, 2017

In this episode, Marc discusses his new book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, now available on Amazon; and the paths he took to write it and the two books that preceded it. Marc starts by describing his departing the corporate world and starting a blog, how the blog led to a white paper, a website, and then a book, and how wrote two more books, earning additional credibility at each step. Marc explains the art of self-publishing, and what you can expect in writing your book.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:42] Marc left his last corporate job in January, 2011, and in June he started a blog, called the My Career for My Life blog, with two, three, and then four posts a week. It took Marc months to find his voice and learn his readers’ interests. He listened to learn.

[2:16] In late 2011, Marc hired Susan Lahey, who interviewed him, and wrote the white paper, Don’t Retire, Even If You Can, a Baby Boomer Manifesto. The CareerPivot.com website launched in February 2012, along with the white paper. Using the white paper and the blog, Susan wrote the book, looking to author Gudjon Bergmann for title ideas.

[3:04] Having a title, Marc next needed a cover. He started with graphic artists, but he didn’t get their technical questions. He was introduced to MamiSerwaa Amoakohene, who took Marc through a branding process, and helped him choose graphics suited to his audience.

[4:07] Susan drew from the white paper, and the blog posts which were most popular. Writing a blog will tell you, by feedback, the topics people want to read. Marc hired a college student to edit, which led to a minor skirmish between creatives; then they crowdsourced reviews. The common criticism was all the stories were from Marc’s life.

[5:23] Marc used CreateSpace to publish the paperback, and KDP to publish the Kindle version. They released them about the first of January. They found three typos in the paperback, and fixed them to release the Kindle version. The only marketing was a book signing at BookPeople. There was a glitch in swapped covers, but Amazon fixed it!

[6:52] Marc did a giveaway of the Kindle version, to get a mailing list for his next book. Marc has a relationship at NextAvenue, that led to an article picked up by Forbes, for invaluable credibility. Marc planned the next edition for 2015, but it didn’t work out.

[8:14] In 2014 Marc had a VO client record audio; Marc edited the audio, and put it on ACX.com — now Audible.com. His main expense was time. There have been 100 audios sold, and 2,500 books, in four years. What was gained was credibility, not much income. The credibility led to guest blogging in 2014 on Personal Branding Blog.

[10:35] The blog forced Marc to write more on personal branding. Of the blogs, they put the five most popular into a white paper, and it was incredibly well-received, by AARP. They added more posts, and turned it into an ebook. Marc lost a lot of time and momentum creating it, from co-authors walking away from it.

[12:29] In early 2016 Marc started making the pivot to focus on the 2nd half of life. He wrote the blog post, “Careers in the 2nd Half of Life.” It was very popular. That made him think of a second edition focused on the 2nd half of life, and asked MamiSerwaa for cover suggestions. They retained the walking element, with changes, to differentiate.

[13:30] Marc started working with Susan in 2016, giving her 8-10 of the most popular blog posts to roll them into 4-5 chapters. Then Marc dictated client stories to Susan that she could fit into the old version to add depth. The book was completed toward the end of 2016, and Marc reached out to well-known authors to review it for quotes.

[15:00] Marc asked Susan to pick a professional editor she wanted to edit the book. It worked out much better for all. With the new draft, Marc sent a Review PDF to 100 people, to for quotes. He expects to get 50 to 70 reviews. He has five reviews so far. He also set up pre-ordering on Amazon Advantage. That led to 30 preorders.

[17:31] As with the first book, Marc used CreateSpace and KDP to create and publish the books. Amazon customer support was amazing every time Marc needed help.
[18:30] Marc launched the Kindle version on April 18, at $.99, to encourage reviewers to buy the book, and be a verified Amazon purchaser. On the second day, 50 copies have been sold so far, and it’s rolling out smoothly. If you want reviews, Marc says, you need to ask people to review it on Amazon. They generally won’t think of that on their own.
[19:20] Marc’s blog allowed him to find material that people wanted to read, and most of the book came from his most-read blog posts. Marc credits Susan on the cover, and both Susan and MamiSerwaa on the Amazon listing. It costs nothing to give credit, and it creates loyalty. A book is a credibility-builder, second to none.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

CareerPivot.com/blog

Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey

The Author’s Blueprint: Successfully Write a Non-Fiction Book, Conquer Procrastination and Never Get Writer's Block Again, by Gudjon Bergmann

Createspace.com

KDP.amazon.com

BookPeople.com

Audible.com

ACX.com

Personal Branding blog

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!, by Marc Miller

Careerpivot.com/2016/careers-2nd-half-life

Advantage.amazon.com

Ericvanderhope.com/how-to-set-up-pre-orders-on-amazon-for-print-books

 

Please take a moment — go to iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Give this podcast a review and subscribe! If you’re not sure how to leave a review, please go to CareerPivot.com/review, and read the detailed instructions there.

Apr 17, 2017

Mike Martin made a career pivot after 30 years in industrial sales, first as a volunteer instructor and substitute teacher. Mike realized that instructing had a very fulfilling feel to it. Night college courses in teaching seemed the next logical step. This eventually became full-time aviation school at a college in Killeen, Texas, then two years of rail operations, instructing train operators on the new light rail extensions on the Harris County Metro line.

Wanting very much to use his pilot experience and passion for aviation, Mike joined Dart Drones in 2016 as a commercial drone pilot instructor. Dart is growing, and Mike is also helping Dart develop specialized curriculum aimed at target industries, and he even got to write a blog piece on the FAA knowledge test given to pilot candidates. Mike is very happy now, and says he has found a good place, and the future looks bright. Dart Drones has been on Shark Tank. Please see the link below.

 

Key Takeaways:

[:56] Marc reads a listener review from M11395 on iTunes, and invites listeners to write their own reviews.

[3:16] Mike’s early influence was wanting to do anything big, noisy, and loud, and usually something moving. He wavered between train engineer and pilot. He took flying lessons as a teen, hoping to fly commercially, but that didn’t happen.

[4:22] Mike went into industrial sales after a series of warehouse jobs that paid for his flying lessons. He found he was good with parts. His cousin suggested he should sell parts, instead of warehousing them. He opened a dialog with the CEO of a parts company he respected, and was offered a job in their electrical parts company.

[6:13] In the late 80’s, purchasing became automated, competition was tougher, decision makers became hard to reach, and commissions were cut. When expenses reached income, it was time for a new career. Mike enjoyed his time in sales, until it was no longer sustainable. He wishes he had focused more on aviation.

[7:49] Mike’s present employer, Dart Drones of Scranton, Penn., was represented on Shark Tank by CEO Abby Speicher. She got $300K from Mark Cuban for 10% of the company. She will use it to build the curriculum into more specialized areas, such as fire departments, and search and rescue.

[8:22] Besides training classes with Dart Drones, Mike also has an agreement with another company, Drone Ascent, for on-call commercial assignments as an operator.

[9:14] Mike’s first pivot came at a moment of clarity doing volunteer work at a school science olympiad, teaching the students meteorology. That led him to substitute teaching, and he went back to school for a certificate — during a big teacher layoff. He applied his certificate towards a bachelor’s degree in aviation, and worked at an airport.

[12:42] Lacking flight hours, Mike looked at other transportation, and found an opening for train operators in Houston, passed the test, and aced the interview. He was hired, and sent to train operator school. Then he tested and burned in trains, and trained rail operators for two years on the new lines, until they opened, before returning to Austin.

[16:42] Mike found a lot of activity in the drone industry, and found a place there, training people for FAA drone operator registration. These are drones weighing more than 250 grams, and less than 50 lbs.

[17:23] Mike learned from trains, that he could take on something big, with great responsibility involved, and train someone new, in a matter of hours, to running it up and down the line in a competent way.

[19:16] Mike’s pivots were all about piloting, which applied to driving a train. He took his piloting skills and applied them to the rail industry, and then added his training skills, and applied them with his pilot skills, to the drone industry.

[20:20] Mike needed flying hours to fly drones and train others on a prosumer drone. So he bought a drone and put in 25 hours. He got the job at Dart Drones, after impressing the CEO by talking about the science olympiad, and the need for more females in technology.

[23:01] Mike gives his advice to listeners. Don’t give up your dreams. One avenue might not be your thing, but you might find another avenue, like the training part of drones.

[25:34] Marc’s Notes: Mike is a really interesting guy, and his journey has taken a lot of twists and turns. Mike is very persistent, and has a very supportive spouse. Do not discount either of those attributes.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Careerpivot.com

Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me

Mike’s email: MPM660@gmail.com

DartDrones on Shark Tank Article on TechCrunch

Mike Martin's post about driving on the Houston Metro Line

 

Take a moment — go to iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Give this podcast a review and subscribe! If you’re not sure how to leave a review, please go to CareerPivot.com/review, and read the detailed instructions there.

Apr 10, 2017

Amy Blankson is Marc’s guest in this episode. Amy has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between positive psychology and technology. She is the only person to be named a point of light by two presidents, President George Bush, Sr., and President Bill Clinton, for creating a movement to activate positive cultural change. A sought-after speaker and consultant, Amy has now worked with organizations like Google, NASA, The U.S. Army, and the XPRIZE Foundation, to help foster a sense of well-being in the digital era. Amy received her BA from Harvard, and MBA from Yale School of Management. Most recently she was a featured professor at Oprah’s Happiness course. Amy is the co-author, with Shawn Achor, of award-winning children’s book, Ripple’s Effect, and the mother of three girls who remind her on a daily basis why it’s so important to create a happier future for all.

Marc and Amy discuss Amy’s family background in psychology, positive psychology, and happiness, and focus on her new book, The Future of Happiness, 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era. They cover several questions about the effects of technology today, near future, and the three personas related to technology.

Listen in for tips on making technology a positive tool for good in your life.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:09] Amy recalls a childhood scuffle, in which her brother, Shawn Achor, to forestall her imminent outraged outburst, convinced her she was a unicorn. By diverting her attention from his injustice, he turned her anger into awe. Amy was raised in a family of psychologists, and is anxious to share what she has learned about happiness.

[4:43] Amy starts her book with three questions: Where are we heading? Would we be better off without tech? What will happiness look like? Amy explains why she chose those questions. Her book came out of her experiences with her company, Goodthink, a positive psychology consulting firm.

[6:43] When Pandora’s box was opened, evil and pestilence were released, and the one thing left in the bottom of the box was hope. We have some really powerful tools that have been unleashed. Things can be used for bad or for good. As a society, we need to think about how can we use technology to its best and highest purposes.

[7:55] Technology helps us live longer; it can supply 3D printed organs to replace failing ones. Children born without a hand can have a 3D printed one within a week for under $30.00. Technology helps us manage our finances, and frees us up for more quality family time.

[8:19] We also have technology that is so distracting that the human attention span has dropped below that of a goldfish, to under 8 seconds. What do we do about that now, to change the trajectory for the future, so our technology is not distracting but propels us forward?

[10:02] Research shows that happiness and technology can be balanced. Technology is only a means to the end. We have to train the operators to use things better. Amy refers to the when, where, why, and how of using technology. It depends on intentionality.

[11:05] Are you using technology to connect, or to journal, or are you using it to check out, so you don’t have to talk to your spouse? Start your day by writing down your tech intention. You are 42% more likely to achieve your written goals. Be accountable to your intentions. The technology will not do that for you.

[13:04] What about solitaire on your iPad! Check your time. Don’t fall off the “happiness cliff.” Games can turn from a diversion into a fixation. Some games and puzzles, like Sudoku, can help prevent dementia.

[15:49] Who are the embracers, the accepters, and the resisters? Amy says that people define themselves by their attitude toward technology. When you embrace your persona, you can set your course how you will make technology work for you. You may like some technology, such as medical equipment, but not smart phones.

[18:34] Amy is doing some original research around the connection between your tech persona, and some of the stressors that you feel. What does she find about resisters and stress? To reduce stress, try to see technology more as a challenge than a threat.

[19:47] Tunnel vision and confirmation bias can lead you astray, when you are first introduced to a new technology. Amy says a positive and engaged brain activates dopamine in your system, and activates the learning centers in your brain, which enables you to see new possibilities. Keep an open mind, and it will be easier to use.

[21:30] Tech is not a toxin, it is a tool we need to learn to wield effectively. Research shows that a tech detox does not bring happiness. If you keep setting happiness at the end of an event, you eventually push it over the cognitive horizon. Approach technology with happiness and a growth mindset, and that will mold how you use the technology.

[24:11] Amy discusses the positive use of Fitbit and other wellness tools, and relates them to her father’s medical concerns. Technology can be used as tools for happiness for years to come. They will become more user-friendly in years to come.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Careerpivot.com

Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me

Twitter: @AmyBlankson

GoodthinkInc.com

FutureofHappiness.com

FutureofHappiness.com/story

The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era, by Amy Blankson

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey (April 17, 2017)

 

Please take a moment — go to iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Give this podcast a review and subscribe! If you’re not sure how to leave a review, please go to CareerPivot.com/review, and read the detailed instructions there.

Apr 3, 2017

In this episode, Marc discusses what you repurpose when you make a career pivot, and he examines the pivots of three clients to illustrate what he means. Marc starts by reading a review on iTunes, and then discusses the three career pivot examples. More information about each client example will be found in Episodes #020, #024, and #028.

 

Key Takeaways:

[:56] Marc takes this episode to examine the components of a career pivot, and what you are repurposing. He does this by reviewing the late-career pivots of three clients.

[1:15] Marc thanks everyone who has left a review on iTunes of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. On this episode he reads a listener review from iTunes user Unpobregato, who calls the podcast a lifeline. You can read the review on iTunes.

[2:26] In preparing a career pivot, you have two things you can repurpose: your existing skills, or your industry knowledge. The examples on this episode did one or the other. [3:01] Example 1: Elizabeth Rabaey was interviewed in Episode #020. Elizabeth went from environmental engineering air and water permitting, to marketing in a mining construction equipment company, making multiple pivots.

[3:21] Example 2: Mike Martin is on Marc’s blog. In Mike’s first pivot, he went from industrial sales to driving trains for the Houston Metro Line, and being a trainer for them, as they launched the Red Line.

[3:45] Example 3: Jennifer will be on a future podcast. Jennifer went from handling sponsorships for live sporting events for a major broadcaster, to a project manager for an agency that deals with curly hair, and has moved from broadcast to digital media.

[4:36] Episode #020 is Elizabeth’s story. Elizabeth had a political science and journalism degree, and went to an engineering firm. She was detail-oriented. Years later, she wanted something different. Elizabeth left, but returned to do business development and marketing, which were new skills for her. She repurposed her industry knowledge.

[5:57] Marketing for them was painful, but Elizabeth gained valuable skills. A few months ago, she took a job with a mining equipment company. She now coordinates marketing events and conferences, and writes social media. She got the job because she knew equipment. What she’s doing now is not at all what she did before.

[6:58] Mike will be on Episode #024. Mike spent many years in industrial sales. After a layoff, he wandered around, considering teaching. He had an associate’s degree in aviation technology. He could have gone back for a bachelor's degree in aviation. He is a pilot. With some thought, he decided to apply to drive trains.

[8:09] Houston Metro Authority was rolling out their Red Line. Mike’s pilot skills and mindset made him a good candidate to drive a train. He tested the line, and also trained other drivers. Mike repurposed his existing skills. However, the commute was hard, and after a couple of years, he came back to Austin to train drone pilots.
[9:48] Jennifer will be on Episode #028. Jennifer is a Gen Xer. She spent 20 years at a major broadcast company. She handled the NBA, NASCAR, and everyone loved her job. She, however, hated it; especially dealing with sponsors. She got laid off, moved to Austin, and met Marc, and he evaluated her.
[11:15] She had very good project management abilities, especially to manage creatives. She landed at a digital media company, dealing with curly hair. She repurposed her project management skills, and being able to deal with creatives. She started as a contractor, part-time. She “dated” to get the job.
[13:14] Elizabeth repurposed her industry knowledge, to get a job to learn knew skills. Jennifer repurposed her project management skills, to learn digital media. Both of these will likely continue to transition. Mike repurposed his skills to get jobs where he learned new knowledge. He made two pivots, to driving trains, and being a drone pilot.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

CareerPivot.com/episode-22

CareerPivot.com/blog

Contact Marc, and ask questions at: Careerpivot.com/contact-me

 

Please take a moment — go to iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play. Give this podcast a review and subscribe! If you’re not sure how to leave a review, please go to CareerPivot.com/review, and read the detailed instructions there.

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