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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: July, 2019
Jul 29, 2019

After 30 years advising, building, running, and investing in a variety of consumer and technology companies in emerging markets, Mark Silverman, CEO of Amava, is now focused on the unique needs of the 1.2 billion people moving beyond career and parenting. Our aging population is creating enormous challenges, but also fantastic opportunities to help people live longer, healthier, more content lives. Mark invites you to join him and support organizations (both for and not-for-profit) bringing innovative solutions to a population looking for social engagement and meaningful connections.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:19] Marc welcomes you to Episode 138 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:49] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[2:09] Marc has released five chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. Sign up to be part of the review team at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:26] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released. Marc plans to release the book in mid-September and do both a virtual and a real book tour.

[2:44] Marc has already recorded multiple podcast guest appearances. One is already out, where Marc was interviewed on the Not Old, Better Show podcast by Paul Vogelzang. Marc plans to have Paul on as a guest to tell his story. You will find a link to this podcast in the Show Notes at CareerPivot.com/episode-138.

[3:12] Marc will be in Austin the week of September 22nd, the New Jersey area the week of September 29th, and D.C., the following week. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:25] Marc has two events planned in Austin, three in New Jersey, and is working on a few more. He doesn’t have anything scheduled for the D.C. area, yet. Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give Marc some advice on venues or groups who’d be interested in hosting an event.

[3:45] Next week, Marc will be reading the preview chapter from Repurpose Your Career: Playbook for Building Strategic Relationships.

[3:53] This week, Marc interviews Mark Silverman of Amava.com.

[4:01] Amava™’s mission statement is, “We want you to live a long, fulfilling life. We focus on social engagement because, according to research, it can be more important to wellness than genes, nutrition, or fitness routines. It’s downright scary how dangerous it is to become isolated.”

[4:28] Marc welcomes Mark Silverman, the CEO of Amava, to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:45] Marc found out about Mark Silverman and Amava from a member of the Career Pivot Online Membership Community and thought he would like to have Mark on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:59] Mark shares the origin story of Amava. Mark and his Amava Co-Founder KP Naidu had started sharing their personal stories of friends and family. Mark had witnessed his grandfather and his father-in-law decline in health after disengaging. Mark had also witnessed the value of continuing engagement of his parents and their friends.

[5:24] About a month after KP and Mark started their early conversations, they were at a meeting of local business and volunteer leaders discussing the concept of Amava. It was not yet a company. They met Claire, a successful physician who had retired, the prior year.

[5:42] When they asked Claire how she was doing, she talked about the fun she had in the first six months of her retirement. After traveling and visiting family, she found herself with a lot of time on her hands and nothing meaningful to do. She found it difficult to find people to do things with.

[6:44] Claire was only 62, and for the first time, she was struggling to find purpose and friendship. When Mark and KP told her more specifically about their plans for Amava, she immediately asked when she could join. That’s when Mark and KP knew that this was a huge issue for so many people, even for successful people.

[7:07] Whether people are struggling to get a positive start on their new post-career lives, or are just looking to find a few more meaningful activities, and people with whom to connect, Mark and KP realized this was something that they really wanted to pursue.

[7:21] Marc recalls the beginnings of Sun City. It is not a new problem for retirees to find ways to engage in the community.

[7:39] Mark points out that people are retiring earlier and living longer after retirement. How do you make 30 years of retired life meaningful? How do you stay active and connected? It is a massive and growing problem. Research from Stanford, Harvard, and others shows the significant negative impacts on health of disengagement and isolation.

[8:26] When Mark and KP started researching Amava and the solution they proposed they found research that with as little as five hours a week of meaningful activity where you are connecting with other people, you can live a long, healthy life.

[8:42] Marc has no plan to retire. He wants to work less at something he enjoys, and on his terms. Marc recalls his interview with Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life:  Living and Working in an Age of Longevity. Andrew had written an article on NextAvenue called “Is 75 the New 65? How the Definition of Aging is Changing”.

[9:07] Andrew proposed that the mortality rate for a 75-year-old today is the same as it was for a 65-year-old 20 years ago. We’re going to live for a long time.

[9:21] Amava helps their members find meaningful, socially-engaging things to do with their time. This is as important to longevity as eating right and exercising.

[9:38] The Amava editorial team works with employers, non-profits, educational institutions, group travel organizations, and the members, to surface opportunities to earn, learn, give back, or achieve some other personal objective.

[9:55] Amava also offers, from time to time, products and services that are designed to support their members’ socially-active lifestyles. Many Amava members are primary caregivers of a loved one and are looking for advice and support.
[10:08] Caregiving is the one purposeful activity that can increase isolation and loneliness. Amava seeks to help their members find balance through other flexible activities that meet their often-hectic schedules and also help them find support for their caregiving activities through Amava partners and members.

[10:26] Amava has tens of thousands of members. A typical Amava user is somebody who has or is about to leave their full-time job or become an empty-nester. There is a balance of people retiring at a traditional retirement age and empty nesters who have left their careers early and have lost their sense of purpose with the children gone.

[11:08] Among Amava members, age is less important than stage. People become empty-nesters and leave their careers at a broad range of ages.

[11:30] Mark shares a story about a member who volunteers with Meals on Wheels in the Denver area and was looking for volunteers for an all-day activity. She asked Amava to post the opportunity. The result was finding several much-needed volunteers and creating new connections in her local community for herself and Meals on Wheels.

[12:21] Mark shares the experience of an early Amava member empty-nester and former executive. She was looking for a flexible part-time position with a meaningful social component. The most important thing to her was staying active and staying social, more than the amount of money.

[12:46] Amava suggested a number of local opportunities, both paid and volunteer. She ended up working part-time for a regional espresso shop that had a position in her community. She worked there for over a year and made a lot of connections.

[13:11] A marketing executive grew tired of the daily grind and travel. Instead of a part-time position, she decided to open a small gathering place in her town, where people could connect with each other, and listen to local musicians while enjoying hand-crafted food. While she had challenges, it has become a big hit in the community.

[13:45] Amava helped by bringing together experienced people who knew how to open a shop, and creating awareness in the community for her shop. She was a self-starter and didn’t need a lot of help finding her “next.” It was an incredibly rewarding experience early on for Amava.

[14:19] Amava is looking at bringing people on who can help people set up their own businesses. A lot of people leaving their full-time careers look forward to controlling their own destinies and experience what it means to build something on their own, now that they have time and a little flexibility.

[14:54] In the case of the marketing executive, she reached out to Amava, then started connecting with people in her community, online and in person. Amava’s goal is to help people move from an online connection to experience connection with people in their local community that would support her and help her.

[15:45] Amava members are spread out across the U.S., with maybe 1% of the members outside the U.S. Amava has not reached out internationally, so the international members found them by searching. Amava grows by about five to ten thousand new members a month.

[16:14] Amava is engaging with employers and organizations to help them understand how to communicate with an aging population and to have hiring and management processes that support a workplace that is age-friendly and attractive to Amava members.
[16:45] Many organizations use age-specific labels that can offend. Businesses are not prepared for how to handle over-qualified applicants who are no longer focused on building their career or making the most money possible but want to stay engaged.

[17:09] If the interviewing and onboarding processes aren’t handled appropriately, a lot of applicants can feel as if their years of experience make them less qualified for a less-skilled, lower-paying position, than overqualified for it, creating a bad experience for the employer or the brand.

[18:03] To get involved, start at Amava.com and explore the types of opportunities. A lot of members start by exploring and opening their minds to the various possibilities. Some think that their only path is to do what they did in their career, but less of it. But skills can be used in different jobs, especially if you are flexible in the status or pay you receive.

[18:52] Then, dive in deeper. Over time you will find various kinds of very specific opportunities in your local community, either developed by Amava or by others. Amava continues to reach out to communities where the members live. Amava has a concierge service to match people. So far, hundreds of people have taken advantage of it.

[20:29] The basic platform, to search Amava and look for opportunities is free. Members can sign up for the newsletter and receive opportunity concepts twice a month by email. Some things on the site require a member profile, which starts with your email address and your location. Amava does not sell information and keeps it private.

[21:04] In the future, there will be tiers of membership associated with folks that represent particular types of organizations and want to promote those organizations or services. At this time, the entire platform is available during this phase.

[21:18] The ability for everyone to search for and get inspired to do things with their time for social engagement will always be free to Amava members. Their mission is to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to stuff in their community where they can connect with other people. That aspect will be funded by employers looking to hire.

[21:56] What Amava is building is nothing less than the largest opportunity or experience marketplace for the post-career, post-parenting generation. At their rate of growth, within the next few years, they will have between five and ten million members and between half-a-million and a million opportunities directly targeting that population.

[23:03] Amava is not looking to become a social platform for people to connect online. Their focus is connecting people in a particular stage of life with the real world. By 2030 there will be over one billion post-career people, so there is potential for growth. Their most important focus is on serving members and creating value for their needs.

[24:05] Boomers want face-to-face or auditory communications. Marc tells Millennials in his Multi-Generational Workplace Workshop that if they have a Boomer boss, they need to go talk to the boss. Marc is pleased that Amava is intended for people to talk to one another.

[24:35] Amava is looking to build an organization that is for its members and by its members. Over the next several years, they look to encourage large organizations, employers, and educational institutions to provide opportunities to connect with this member base and to encourage members to post their ideas and opportunities.

[25:26] Mark hopes that everybody will join Amava and start to experience it. They invite your feedback. As they are early in their growth, they always want feedback, even critical feedback. They are very thoughtful about living a socially engaged life.

[26:03] To reach out to Amava, just go to Amava.com. It’s really easy to sign up for the newsletter. You simply put in your email address. You can explore from there. There are a number of support opportunities on the website. You can also write directly to Mark at Mark@Amava.com.

[26:51] Marc thanks Mark for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[27:00] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc is excited about what Mark and his team are creating. Subscribe to their free service at Amava.com.

[27:14] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success share their successes and teach others.

[27:32] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort.
[27:39] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[27:54] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[28:16] This Fall, they are moving out of the beta phase into full production. If you would like to have input on this project, please and sign up CareerPivot.com/Community.
[28:30] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[28:49] Please come back next week, when Marc will read the preview chapter from Repurpose Your Career: Playbook for Building Strategic Relationships.

[28:59] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[29:04] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-138

[29:12] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jul 22, 2019

Stephanie Brodt, owner of Stephanie Brodt Virtual Executive Services left the corporate world after 20-plus years working as an executive assistant to work as a virtual assistant online. Now, as an author and coach, she teaches others how to leave the office and use their very own specific skills while working from their home or even while they travel. Stephanie’s online course, titled, “Your 9 to 5 Exit Plan,” is available at StephanieBrodt.com for those who wish to learn more about how to work with this type of freedom and flexibility. Stephanie is Marc’s virtual assistant and she’s launching a new course the same week this episode airs. Marc has no financial relationship with this course. He just wants to help Stephanie be successful with this new endeavor as she has been a great virtual assistant to Marc for well over a year.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:29] Marc welcomes you to Episode 137 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:59] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[2:17] Marc has released five chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. Sign up to be part of the review team at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:34] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released.

[2:46] Marc plans to release the book in late September and do both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, the NYC Area, and D.C. in late September and in October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:02] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com.

[3:07] Next week, Marc will interview Mark Silverman of Amava.com.

[3:12] Amava™’s mission statement is, “We want you to live a long, fulfilling life. We focus on social engagement because, according to research, it can be more important to wellness than genes, nutrition or fitness routines. It’s downright scary how dangerous it is to become isolated.”

[3:32] Marc had planned on playing Mark’s interview this week but changed his mind. This week, Marc is interviewing Stephanie Brodt. Marc shares her biography.

[4:43] Marc welcomes Stephanie to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Stephanie is Marc’s virtual assistant (VA) and she is launching a new course on how to become a VA. Many Baby Boomers have never considered becoming a VA.

[5:16] Stephanie has already talked to Marc’s online membership community, so Marc wanted to bring her onto the podcast, too, to explain what a VA does. Stephanie is not a Boomer but is near the upper end of Generation X.

[5:59] Stephanie started out of college as a receptionist for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

[6:010] Her bachelor’s degree is in business management, but she always worked in the office as an executive assistant, administrative assistant, project manager, and general manager, all basically in positions where she assisted other people to be successful. Stephanie liked being behind the scenes, managing the details of projects.

[6:36] Stephanie loves that work and has done it for 20-plus years for different organizations, mainly at institutions of higher education.

[6:51] Today, Stephanie works virtually, from her home office or while traveling with her husband. She works as a VA, which has slowly gone into coaching other people how to take their office skills and use them virtually instead of at a physical location. She started by coaching her friends who were interested in working virtually.

[7:31] Stephanie still keeps a few clients on hand that she works for as a VA, mixed in with the coaching.

[7:44] A virtual assistant assists in whatever that business is doing, just as in an office — help your boss manage calendars, send out newsletters, help them with correspondence and customers. You may help them with data, bookkeeping, or accounting. Whatever you can do to assist them, you can do virtually, online.

[8:22] Small business owners and medium-sized business owners may need help and not have a full-time employee to help them. A virtual assistant could do website management or blog editing. They could edit books. It could be anything that a company needs.

[9:04] Stephanie edits Marc’s blogs, sends emails, puts together Marc’s podcast, and sometimes talks to Marc’s clients. Marc put a request on LinkedIn that he was looking for a VA and Stephanie responded to it. When they first connected, Stephanie was living in Indiana. Now, she lives in Florida, where she and her husband moved to “semi-retire.”

[10:01] Marc and Stephanie have never met in person. That is how things are with most of her clients. Stephanie has had clients in Spain, the UK, Australia, and one in Colorado, U.S. Stephanie and Marc do video conferences online.

[10:44] It was a slow process for Stephanie to go from the workplace to the virtual workplace. The more she did her job, the better she knew it. The older she got, the more freedom she wanted to have. She wanted to schedule her own time off.

[11:22] When Stephanie was brought into her final corporate job, the company had no administrative staff and she was asked to create one. Stephanie brought on three assistants and taught them how to run an administrative team. As they became better, Stephanie was eventually told that the team could work without her and she was let go.

[11:58] Stephanie was sad that the position was gone, but in the back of her mind, she didn’t want to return to an office where she had to beg for her time off. She didn’t enjoy the commute or the timeclock. So, she started looking for ways not to go back to an office. They had given her a severance amount, so she had a little cushion.

[12:57] Stephanie and her husband agreed that she could use up the cushion, and if she hadn’t figured out what to do after that, she would go back to an office. They cut back wherever they could and Stephanie started figuring it out.

[13:17] Stephanie’s job was to spend 40 hours a week figuring out what she could do. What she figured out was that she could do what she had always done: the tasks she had always done in an office. She could quickly convert that to working online for clients all around the world and work when she wanted.

[13:58] She could work at home or while they traveled in the car. She could hook up her phone as a hotspot and work in the car as they drove from Indiana to Florida. Her clients never noticed it. She didn’t have to ask anyone for anything. She could just do it. [14:21] The more Stephanie found out, the more she started doing it, the more passionate she became. People her age that have always known work in a physical location had no idea this work was available and how easy it is to step into it.

[14:44] Stephanie became very adamant about telling people around her, when they would ask about it, that they could use their computer at home the same way they use it in an office, with just a few tricks and connecting programs added.

[15:07] When she saw people being suffocated by the time and place restrictions of work, she was passionate about helping them do the same things she was doing. Besides coaching people how to be VAs, she keeps a few clients that she really enjoys working for herself, Marc being one of them.

[15:49] Stephanie eventually chose a specific niche for her VA work. At first, Stephanie worked for companies that were in areas she had already worked in. She recommends staying in familiar territory to start. Once, she picked up a client who was an author and a life coach.

[16:27] This client was producing things for her clients that resonated with Stephanie. Stephanie was so interested, she would have assisted this client for free. That led her to see that she enjoys that type of work more. Working on her terms allowed her to discover and choose what she liked best.

[17:10] Stephanie started to look toward people who were authors, speakers, and life coaches, to study their mentality and way of looking at life. She started looking only for that type of work. She might take on others that approached her, or hire assistants to do the work for those clients. This started unexpectedly, from all the referrals she received.

[18:06] To avoid disappointing the people who had sent her the referrals, Stephanie brought on assistants she managed and assured the quality of their work. Stephanie retains for herself the work for coaches, speakers, and authors.

[18:33] Marc describes VA work to his clients like this: You work 80% of the time, you make 75% of what you used to make, and you get to fire clients you don’t like.

[19:08] Stephanie wants to really live every day, not just weekends, vacations, or holidays. She goes to lunch with friends, and does the work in a morning, evening or the next day. She also only picks clients she enjoys working with, who click with her.

[20:04] You set up your business in a way that you do get to choose. Don’t set up your business in a way that money is so tight you have to take every client, whether you work well together or not.

[20:40] There are certain clients that are going to make you miserable but you get to make that choice.

[20:53] Stephanie first thought that she would just do the work that she knew how to do and it would be very easy, and relaxing. She thought she wouldn’t have to work as hard.

[21:12] Stephanie feels like she has put more energy into it than she thought she would but she’s passionate about what she does. The hours and the days seem to fly by. She’s not watching a clock. Her work blends easily with her life.

[21:35] Stephanie sets limits to her work time. She has family time and she meets a friend every week for a long lunch. But she doesn’t forget her work at the end of the day She’s always thinking of what she can make better and what she can do next. She looks forward to the challenges every day. It’s much more than just a job; it’s a real part of her.

[22:55] Stephanie talks about the online course she is launching. She found that a lot of people her age who have worked in an office for many years have a lot of fears and doubts about working at home or wherever they want to work. They don’t understand how that plays together.

[23:30] Stephanie created a very simple course and teaches it the way she wishes someone had taught her, on how to take what you do right now and how to go find clients that want to hire you for those skills.

[23:46] In her course, Stephanie walks you through how to write emails to prospective clients showing what you can do for them, how to follow up with those prospects, and how to create your profiles online so that someone looking for a VA or a project manager will see you and be drawn to you.

[24:08] Stephanie teaches the very basic steps that get you from beginning to end as far as finding the clients and getting the money coming in. That’s a big fear if you’ve had 20 years in an office with good pay, benefits, and security. To walk away from all of that is a scary, scary thing.

[24:35] If you have a job now, you can start working through this course on the side and bringing on a few clients. You will charge more per hour than you were paid in an office, keeping in mind that you have to pay for your insurance. When you have enough clients on the side, you can seamlessly walk over and go on your own.

[25:06] This course teaches you how to do that. You don’t buy a lot of equipment, you don’t have to create a website, and you don’t have to put all this money into a business. To start, you just take what you know and you start telling other people about it and helping them out, and they pay you for it. It’s as easy as that.

[25:31] Stephanie sells the course to do at your own pace, when you want. Stephanie also does a private Facebook group for questions and answers in Live Q&As with her. It’s a hand-holding process for how to get started until you’re ready to leave the office.

[25:51] Marc refers back to Episode 14 with Taylor Pearson, the author of The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5. Taylor Pearson calls this process stair-stepping your way out.

[26:21] You can do as Stephanie did, having a little cushion to support her at first, or you can build it up on the side until you are confident in going on your own full-time. Stephanie is confident that if you have used those skills in the corporate world for several years, you can use them successfully in your own online business.

[26:43] Companies are craving people who have done the work, who know how to show up and hit deadlines. It’s hard to find that type of person. They need you. Stephanie wants to teach people how to get out there and do it.

[27:05] Administrative assistant jobs in big corporations are going away but the work isn’t going away. To solopreneurs, independent contractors, and small service firms who don’t want to hire a full-time employee, this makes perfect sense.

[27:34] Stephanie’s course is on the home page at StephanieBrodt.com. Sign up for the webinar on Insider Secrets. That will also lead to the course. You can reach out to Stephanie by phone or email on her website.

[29:06] Virtual Assistants are a relatively new concept in the last 10 years or so. Marc tells how he uses Stephanie’s services. Because Marc gives deadlines to Stephanie, it forces him to get things on time to her.

[30:17] Marc thanks Stephanie for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[30:26] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Being a virtual assistant is one of the ways you can gain freedom from the ‘nine-to-five grind.’ Stephanie enjoys both the job and the freedom it allows her to pursue her life dream.

[30:41] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success share their successes and teach others.

[30:57] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort.
[31:05] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[31:19] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[31:41] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[32:00] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Mark Silverman of Amava.com

[32:06] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[32:10] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-137

[32:18] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jul 15, 2019

Diane Mulcahy is the author of the bestselling book, The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want. Diane created the first course on the Gig Economy, an MBA class she teaches at Babson College that was named by Forbes as one of the Top 10 most innovative business school classes in the country. Daine consults to companies about the gig economy, is a Forbes contributor, and speaks globally about the future of work. You can learn more about Diane’s work at DianeMulcahycom.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:37] Marc welcomes you to Episode 136 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[2:06] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[2:26] Marc has released five chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. Sign up to be part of the review team at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:41] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released.

[2:52] Marc’s plan is to release the book in late September and do both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, the NYC Area, and D.C. in late September and in October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:13] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on venues or groups who would be interested in hosting an event.

[3:23] Next week, Marc will interview Mark Silverman of Amava.com.

[3:29] Amava™’s mission statement is, “We want you to live a long, fulfilling life. We focus on social engagement because, according to research, it can be more important to wellness than genes, nutrition or fitness routines. It’s downright scary how dangerous it is to become isolated.”

[3:54] This week, Marc is interviewing Diane Mulcahy. Marc shares her bio.
to the Repurpose Your Career Podcast.

[4:43] Marc welcomes Diane to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Marc notes that most listeners are over 50, from the corporate world, with an employee mindset. One of the chapters in Diane’s book tells of an opportunity mindset.

[5:24] How you work affects how you think about things. The employee mindset is relatively passive and conformative. The mentality is to outsource your professional development and financial stability to an employer, taking whatever benefits somebody gives you; you are reactive.

[6:16] When you work independently, in order to be successful, you really have to change to an opportunity mindset or an entrepreneurial mindset; you are proactive. It takes ownership and going out and getting what you want. You have to think about what you want to get out of your professional life, take the reins, and drive toward your goals.

[7:25] The opportunity mindset is about choosing the type of work you want to do, the level at which you want to operate, the rates you want to charge, and your revenue targets, then going out and getting them.

[7:46] Marc says even employees should drop the employee mindset. It doesn’t make sense today. Employers expect employees to take care of their own training and professional development.

[8:19] Diane agrees that even if you are an employee, you can really benefit from thinking about your mindset, and how you approach your work life and your professional life. You can bring an opportunity mindset to your work. If you don’t find the benefits you want at your existing company, you can find a new opportunity at a different company.

[9:17] Diane suggests thinking about where you fit on the spectrum between employee mindset and opportunity mindset. Whichever way you are leaning, how does it affect your opportunities and how your career is going? How might you want to move along that continuum in the future?

[9:40] Marc had an employee mindset for a long time, and it took something to really shake him up to get him to change. Several people in Marc’s online community now have portfolios of gigs; they would not have thought of that until Marc presented the idea to them that they didn’t have to have a single job. They are all over 60.

[10:26] Diane explains the pathway to a portfolio gig. First, take the pressure off. Not every gig has to pay. Gigs that don’t pay can be valuable, too. They are easier to get. Volunteer gigs provide the opportunity to expand your network and develop new skills by doing. When you have finished that term, you have an actual portfolio to talk about.

[12:44] It can be hard to figure out what you want to do if you have always had a corporate career. Gigs can be a nice, low-risk, low-commitment way to try things that you’re curious about or interested in and see if they fit. Try an industry new to you. Diane uses the example of film. Volunteer at a film festival. Get involved.

[14:00] For gigs that pay, consider whether you can hang up your own shingle and deploy your skills to a new client base. Ask yourself if there is a way to stay involved with past clients or colleagues from the corporate world, for projects, referrals, or consulting gigs.

[15:32] There are now online platforms for just about every industry there is. Go online, bid on some projects, and create a portfolio of gigs. Search for platforms in the industry and the sector where you’ve worked.

[16:13] Marc recalls the art walk he visited last summer in Mexico. There were 90 artists and most of them were ‘gringos’ over 60. Most of them had not started creating art before moving to Mexico. They almost invariably started learning how to do their paintings by watching YouTube videos.

[16:49] Diane notes resources for taking classes on edX.org, mooc.org, coursera.org, LinkedIn Learning, and more. For anything you want to learn, you can find an online class. Some are free, some are low-cost; they are all on-demand from the convenience of wherever you are. It’s an amazing opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills.

[17:29] Marc tells everybody to listen to podcasts. “There’s a podcast for everything.”

[17:51] To find gigs, first look toward your former employers and colleagues. You are a low-risk, known quantity to them with internal knowledge. Secondly, reach out to the broader network of people you have met over the years in work-related contexts or community situations. Ask for ideas for projects or consulting opportunities.

[18:59] Thirdly, there are platforms popping up for every industry, every sector, and every skill set. Some fit small niches. Diane names a few: Upwork for a wide range of projects, Catalant matching consultants with companies, axiom for attorneys, toptal for software coders, and 99designs for graphic designers and marketers.

[19:47] Look for a platform that targets our sector, industry and skill experience.

[20:00] Diane created and teaches a class on the gig economy in the MBA program at Babson College in Boston. Diane gives her students an assignment to brainstorm a list of 10 potential side gigs that they could do to make money. Almost anyone can come up with a list of three to five. You have to stretch think of 10 gigs. Then they discuss them.

[21:10] Talking about this list with someone else may spark new ideas based on what they thought of or they might suggest a gig for you that you hadn’t imagined. Other people see us differently than we see ourselves. They may have a different perspective on our talents that we take for granted.

[21:52] This is a really good exercise if you're in transition, or thinking about transitioning. Spend some time in a creative mindset to come up with new ideas. See where that leads.

[22:08] Marc talks about MSU (Making Stuff Up) disorder. Marc says it’s a very dark place when you’re inside your own head and you don’t know what you don’t know. Talking to other people can give you new ideas. So much has changed in employment over the last five years. Marc has a friend starting a Fulfillment by Amazon business.

[23:44] Technology has really augmented and expanded the opportunities that are available. A lot of people ‘snowbird’ someplace else in the winter. That used to make it challenging to work. Now if you create something online where you can work remotely, you can really take your work wherever you go.

[24:33] Diane interviewed people for her book who had jobs as coaches, design consultants, and even a psychologist, all of whom were operating their business online. They interact with their clients through Skype, Zoom, or Webex. It’s very freeing to be able to do that.

[25:05] Daine’s book has a chapter on facing fears by reducing risks. She directed the chapter more at people who are considering making the transition from a job to a portfolio career. If you have already transitioned, you have overcome that fear. But all of us have fears about the future.

[25:50] Diane recommends taking your fear and “wrestle it to the ground.” Put a name to it. What is the fear? Take that feeling of fear and articulate it for what it is. “I’m worried that I’m going to run out of money,” for example. Then lay out the risks around that and think of specific acts you can take to mitigate the risks.

[27:14] One risk is that you’ll outlive your money. So, look at an investment. Another risk might be a big health problem. So, look at Long Term Care insurance. Or maybe change your living situation to a population center, with mass transit, deliveries, and health services close at hand.

[28:15] Another risk might be the cost of living. Think about ways to earn additional income to supplement your retirement savings.

[28:43] Diane recommends breaking down your big fears into specific actionable risks. Fears become a lot less scary when you break them down on paper. Then you can talk about them with other people who have already been retired for five or more years. Ask them how they dealt with these fears. Ask what else you should be thinking about.

[29:51] Do the work yourself, to understand what your own fears and risks are. Then find ways to check and validate those fears and also create opportunities for action by discussing them with other people. It is calming and allows you to take control of your fears and manage them. This is an exercise that Diane’s MBA students say is powerful.

[30:37] Marc is a fan of Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com. Darren did a podcast episode where he asked, “Why don’t you figure out what’s the really worst thing that can happen if you do this?” Usually, you’ll find that the worst thing is not so bad. But if it is really bad, then you know you’ll need to do something about it.

[31:06] Diane says that most people do jump to the worst-case scenario when they’re considering a specific action. It is helpful to assign probabilities to the likelihood of the fears coming to pass. Research and take action on reasonably likely scenarios to make sure they don’t happen. Triage the risks.

[32:29] Time management as a gig worker is a topic that people leaving a traditional job don’t often think about. It is a real issue.

[32:55] Diane talks about hiring a research assistant part-time to help while she was writing her book. The assistant came in at 9:00 and left at 6:00 because that was how she had always worked in her recent corporate job. It hadn’t occurred to her that she could work a different schedule.

[33:58] As you transition to working for yourself, think about time differently. Give yourself time to experiment with the structure of your day to see what works. In a full-time job, other people structure your time for you. You may never have learned the skill to structure your own time. Figure out when you do deep, concentration work best.

[35:02] Figure out when you are the most energetic and able to interact with the outside world. When is the best time for you to do meetings and phone calls, as opposed to deep work? What breaks should you take during the day? Do you need to go to the gym and reboot for the rest of the day?

[35:44] You also need to structure your weeks. Diane tries not to schedule anything after 3:00 on Fridays. She takes a couple of hours to reflect on the week, create a priority list for the next week, and go to a yoga class or do something that allows her to mentally wind down and transition to the weekend.

[36:30] Experiment and find your own habits that work for your productivity. Reflect on what it was like to go from a really structured full-time job to having a lot of time and learning how to structure it. It’s a challenge with a learning curve. It requires some compassion and kindness to yourself with a sense of learning and experimentation.

[37:09] Marc largely does not work on Fridays. Friday morning, he blocks off for his hiking club. He doesn’t work on Saturdays, but he does work on Sunday afternoons. This is a schedule that works for him. He uses a virtual assistant. She has deadlines, which helps Marc.

[37:37] Diane agrees you don’t have to be the hero and do everything yourself. A virtual assistant is a big help. It is good to build a team around you to keep you accountable and on track. Diane works with someone to do her monthly newsletter and keep her social media on track. Working with other people keeps Diane on time with deliverables.

[38:29] As you leave your full-time job, consider whether you need that kind of outside accountability to get things done. That works really well for Diane, who is very deadline-oriented. Your team can be very part-time and still help you accomplish the goals that you want.

[38:59] Marc is very horizontally-skilled. He knows how to do a lot of stuff. It took him so time to realize he didn’t need to do all of it. He had to be willing to find people to do things he either didn’t like to do or wasn’t very good at doing.

[39:27] Diane emphasizes the point and ties it to building a portfolio of gigs. When you are faced with finding your own work to do, how do you start? You can learn all the new media skills yourself, or you can work with someone who is an expert in them. Focus on what you like to do and what you are good at and interested in; outsource the rest.

[41:09] Some people run into problems in keeping momentum when they work independently. You have to sustain the motivation and the momentum yourself. If you are working with other people, you have projects underway, you have a plan outlined, you have interim deliverables, with deadlines. It’s a great way to maintain momentum.

[42:08] Baby Boomers may not be used to building a team and hiring people to do things. Diane asks her students why shouldn’t they hire someone to free up their time to do the things that they want to do and that they’re good at doing? What is the highest and best use of your time?

[42:50] By being a client, you are actually helping somebody else to build up their independent business and validating their skills and expertise and learning from them. Maybe you can refer them to other people you know.

[43:26] You can reach Diane at DianeMulcahy.com and sign up for her monthly newsletter there, and for her question of the month to reflect on as you transition to working independently. Diane’s book is available on her website or on Amazon.

[44:13] Marc thanks Diane for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[44:23] Marc hopes this episode gave you some things to think about.

[44:30] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success share their successes and teach others.

[44:48] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort.
[44:55] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[45:09] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.
[45:33] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[45:53] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Mark Silverman of Amava.com

[45:59] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[46:04] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-136

[46:11] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jul 8, 2019

Hannah Morgan, the Career Sherpa walks through the steps to build your online relationships and influence in a way that puts you in front of the people you want to meet to move forward in your career. Hannah covers the main platforms she uses and recommends, and how they differ in purpose, as well as their similarities. Listen in to learn the secrets of online networking, finding your tribe, and getting closer to the right opportunity for you.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:22] Marc welcomes you to Episode 135 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:51] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors, and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[2:11] Marc has released four chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. A fifth chapter will be released this week. Sign up to be part of the review team at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:27] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released.

[2:39] Marc’s plan is to release the book in late-September and do both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, the NYC Area, and D.C. during the months of September and October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[2:54] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on venues or groups who would be interested in hosting an event.

[3:05] Next week, Marc will interview Diane Mulcahey, author of The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off, and Financing the Life You Want.

[3:19] This week, Marc discusses online networking with his good friend and colleague, Hannah Morgan, a.k.a. Career Sherpa. You will find Hannah at CareerSherpa.net.

[3:34] Marc welcomes Hannah to the Repurpose Your Career Podcast.

[4:25] Hannah and Marc met online. They have never met in person.

[5:00] Online networking is networking through social media, blogs, or other online channels. Don’t network when you need something. Network to build mutually beneficial relationships and have some fun with it.

[5:58] Chris Brogan first described online networking in relation to finding your tribe, which is people that have something in common with you, a way of thinking, or a passion about a subject. Hannah says the fun is really in finding your tribe.

[6:46] When Hannah started writing about ‘job search,’ she looked for other people writing about ‘job search.’ She found a couple of people writing blogs on it, before the days of social media. She commented on their blogs and began dialogs with them. She found other people they were affiliated with and made more connections.

[7:21] From these new connections, Hannah learned about new technology and tools. She started a Twitter account. The most important message Hannah has about online networking is to find your tribe, talking about your interests.

[7:41] Marc’s definition of a tribe is those people who would probably say yes if you asked for a favor. Dunbar’s Number says you can maintain about 150 real relationships. Marc has 7,000 LinkedIn connections. That is not his tribe.

[8:18] Marc was doing some unemployment rate research for his book and he asked five people he knew would assist him. They are in is his tribe. He has a relationship with them.

[8:54] Some of Marc’s tribe he has met in person, like Teresa Ferguson of AustinUp and some he only knows online. Marc connects online with even the ones he has met.

[9:52] Networking is like a job search. The first step is to identify your targets. Sarah connects with each member of her tribe on as many social media platforms as possible, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Those are the platforms where Sarah is active and she uses them for different purposes.

[10:49] Sarah creates Twitter lists to keep people organized and to make her experience easier. All her marketing ‘peeps’ are on a marketing list. Her job search ‘peeps’ are on a job search list. Different platforms allow different strategies to keep your tribe top-of-mind. Take the effort to wish them a happy birthday or congratulate them.

[12:44] Make a concerted effort to stay in touch with the people that are in your core tribe. Also, take a relationship to the next level with a phone call, or Skype or Zoom just to catch up.

[13:45] Marc uses Facebook to stay connected with his Austin tribe; he also uses it to stay in touch with his local group, Gringos Ajijic & Lakeside. It works better for Marc than Google because people share their recommendations. Marc uses LinkedIn for personal stuff and Twitter for jobs lists. He posted about Twitter lists and targeted jobs.

[16:08] If you are looking for a job in a targeted city, Hannah suggests starting with a tribe there by joining a local Facebook group. LinkedIn also has some groups by city. Join a group and look for the kind of news that’s being shared relative to your targeted company or field.

[17:28] Hannah is an introvert and seeks information before taking action. She spends time researching and becoming acclimated before she jumps in to do things. Look to see who is most active in your area of interest. Look for great networkers. They want to help you build your network.

[18:35] Marc says MeetUp is a neglected platform. Marc looks at what meetings are going on in Austin and who is attending them. It will give names, which Marc uses to find email addresses on other platforms.

[19:10] Tagging is a great way to stay top-of-mind. Each platform has a different method for tagging. Hannah gives an example of when to use tags in your posts on all three platforms.

[20:57] Marc suggests looking for articles you think specific people would be interested in, and about once a week sharing an article with two or three people tagged in it for their feedback.

[21:09] If you’re looking in a remote location, subscribe to the local business journal. When something happens in that location you want to share, be very surgical about posting it and tagging one or two people you would like to impress at a target company. Don’t tag 100 people. Tag three that could have the biggest impact on your career.

[22:23] Marc walks into networking events with the goal of finding whom he can help, not how many people he can meet. He creates “good karma” by helping people. Similarly, you can find really good content and share it online, with a few to whom it would be really useful. Or use it to start a conversation.

[23:04] Marc responds to LinkedIn connection requests by accepting them and then responding, “Hey, I accepted your connection request. How did you find me?” This starts a conversation. Asking good open-ended questions is a way to get a conversation going, either in person or online.

[23:55] Commenting on posts among your tribe on LinkedIn is helpful, too. Leave a well-thought-out comment and ask an open-ended question. LinkedIn is all about building relationships by engaging with each other and share information.

[25:42] Boomers sometimes have difficulty asking for help. Marc just turned 63. He wants to work into his 70s and he needs to build relationships to help him prepare for the next thing. Things are changing quickly. Hannah adds, this is one of the things we may not like to do, but that our career health requires.

[26:55] Hannah recommends using hashtags to search for content, cities, occupations, and so forth, on LinkedIn. When you share content, use the appropriate hashtag that will let people interested in your content to find it easily.

[28:18] A member of Marc’s online community started searching for her target job title by hashtag and a lot of content popped up for her. Use hashtags both to search and to curate content. LinkedIn can suggest hashtags for your content.

[29:21] The same hashtag that works on LinkedIn will also work on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Marc is not on Instagram! A lot of the Ajijic expats are older than Marc and they resist Facebook but Marc endorses it highly as a valuable resource.

[30:16] Marc refers back to the Susan Joyce episode on personal SEO and privacy. Susan Joyce cautions to be careful what you talk about on Facebook because it will be searched by your target employers when you apply. Don’t mix rants and professional content in the same account.

[30:58] Hannah says it’s okay to lurk on these platforms and check out what other people are saying. You don’t have to share anything. Hannah says a lot of older people are using Instagram to share pictures and keep track of family members.

[31:41] Marc now uses Facebook primarily to share his experiences and what he learns in Ajijic and to share photos. Marc wants to help others with it, and others can keep track of what Marc is doing.

[33:10] Marc will use Facebook to share about his book tour coming up in September and October.

[33:22] Hannah notes that according to Pew Research, the majority of people only log into LinkedIn once or twice a month, so it is unlikely they will see your share. Don’t put all your eggs in the LinkedIn basket? Use a mix of platforms.

[34:16] Marc recommends using the telephone. Gary O’Neal of Austin HR (Now Asure Software) told Marc that if you want to get to a recruiter call them. They get too much email and too much activity on LinkedIn.
[35:08] Like any new routine or habit, it takes time to see the results you’re looking for. Don’t give up. Commit to 30 days to establish more online connections. You will get hooked.

[35:55] You’re digging a bunch of holes and planting seeds. And you don’t know which ones are going to germinate. But you’ve got to give it time. Marc has a client who uses Sales Navigator to surgically identify people and companies who could hire him. He gets a good response rate from his personalized outreach messages.

[37:29] When you have the intent of “good karma” — you’re putting out helpful information and you want to help, and then go back and ask for a favor, you can’t go wrong.

[37:46] Marc thanks Hannah for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[38:00] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Hannah is a great resource for the whole job-seeking universe. Go to CareerSherpa.net to check out everything she offers.

[38:11] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success share their successes and teach others.

[38:29] Gene presents to the community how he obtained his first consulting client through LinkedIn Sales Navigator and using the methods described in the book Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty, by Patrick Lencioni. This is a great book on consultative selling, even for introverts.
[39:03] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort.
[39:09] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[39:24] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more. They are starting a group for bloggers, writers, authors, and publishers.
[39:57] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[40:15] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Diane Mulcahey, author of The Gig Economy.

[40:21] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[40:26] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-135

[40:34] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jul 1, 2019

The chapter, “Building on Weak Ties,” from the upcoming third edition of Repurpose Your Career, introduces the principle of weak ties, or former colleagues and associates who are able to connect you to an expanded network of information and opportunities. Marc explains the theory of weak ties and gives practical advice on how to reintroduce yourself to your weak ties and enlist that help to find employment opportunities. Marc shares how a client, Steve was able to discover an invaluable network of his weak ties, and land a job, using only one-on-one contacting, starting with LinkedIn. Finally, Marc offers an action plan for cultivating your own weak ties. Listen in to learn how your weak ties can be your strongest assets.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 134 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot is the sponsor of this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:44] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your neighbors, and colleagues. The more people Marc reaches, the more people he can help.

[2:04] Marc has released four chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. A fifth chapter will be released in the coming weeks. Sign up to be part of the review team at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:24] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released.

[2:35] Marc’s plan is to release the book in late-September and do both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, the NYC Area, and D.C. during the months of September and October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[2:52] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on venues or groups who would be interested in hosting an event.

[3:02] Next week, Marc will discuss online networking with his good friend and colleague, Hannah Morgan, a.k.a. Career Sherpa.

[3:15] This week, Marc reads the next preview chapter from Repurpose Your Career, “Building on Weak Ties.” This chapter was supposed to be in the last edition but it got dropped in editing. From early comments from the Repurpose Your Career Review Team, this is proving to be a very impactful chapter. Marc hopes you enjoy it.

[3:43] “Building on Weak Ties.” People tend to make a very short list of who can help them in their job search; the same people they might ask to help them move — very close friends. That’s a big mistake.

[4:06] In 1973, Johns Hopkins sociologist, Mark Granovetter, wrote a paper called “The Strength of Weak Ties.” Malcolm Gladwell brought this paper to the world’s attention in his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Granovetter was exploring the relationships we have with people we know slightly or by reputation.

[4:29] Granovetter postulated that we might be more influenced by people with whom we have weak ties than those with whom we have strong ties. If your best friend buys bright orange shoes, you might think that’s crazy. If you suddenly see people wearing bright orange shoes, your perspective might shift. You start to think it’s a trend.

[5:00] Granovetter was talking about the distribution of ideas but the same thing works with behavior. If your partner says your sense of humor is inappropriate, you might take offense. If someone you know slightly through business ties tells you the same thing, you will probably give the thought a lot more weight.

[5:29] When you talk to those with whom you have strong ties, you don’t give them your background. When you talk with those with you know less well, you are more explicit. You need to state exactly what you want and why. This can force you to articulate for yourself what you need.

[6:00] A great explanation from the Changing Minds website says “In the familiarity of strong ties, we use simple, restrictive codes where much is implicit and taken for granted. In communicating through weak ties, we need more explicit elaborated codes for meaning to be fully communicated.” Elaboration gives more scope for creativity.

[6:27] Elaboration stimulates thought. Innovation becomes a likely result. The more weak ties we have, the more connected to the world we are. We are more likely to receive important information about ideas, threats, and opportunities in time to respond to them.

[6:42] Our acquaintances’ networks and our networks have a very small intersection. Our weak ties know people that we don’t know. This makes them very valuable during a career move. Your weak ties are all the people you’ve ever worked with, volunteered with, belonged to organizations with, been neighbors with, or watched kids’ sports with.

[7:14] You might think you could never reach out to those people since they are virtual strangers. Marc was introduced to the concept of weak ties through the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, by Adam Grant. Grant writes about Granovetter’s survey of professionals who had recently changed jobs.

[7:43] Granovetter wrote that about 17% heard about the job from a strong tie. Their friends and trusted colleagues gave them plenty of leads. Surprisingly, people were more likely to benefit from weak ties. Almost 28% heard about the job from a weak tie. Strong ties provide bonds but weak ties serve as efficient bridges to new information.

[8:10] Strong ties travel in the same circles and know the same opportunities as we do. Weak ties open new networks with new opportunities.

[8:27] Everyone you’ve ever worked with or known has gone on to new jobs, made new friends, and created new business contacts. By this calculation your network is huge! For a variety of reasons, it is tough to ask weak ties for help.

[8:58] Ask yourself, “What would I do if the shoe was on the other foot?” You can expect your weak ties to respond to you the way you would respond to them.

[9:20] Be a giver. In the workplace, there are givers, takers, and matchers. Givers do prosper and takers don’t. Givers look for opportunities to help. Marc explains how a giver is motivated.

[9:59] Takers are always self-interested. They look for what they can get out of a relationship or exchange. Marc talks about a taker’s motivation. These are not good sources of help.

[10:21] Matchers will give if they can see a personal benefit arising from it. They don’t want to give more than the other person or team. Marc explains the behavior of matchers. They will help you if they can see how you can help them back. They are the most common workplace type.

[10:57] The lines between these styles are not “hard and fast.’ You have probably worked with all three. You can spot the differences between these types at a networking event. Marc tells how to see it.

[11:34] If you recognize yourself as a taker, now is a good time to assess and change your behavior. What is your mindset when you interact with people? Is it to make a friend, see if you can help, or to quickly run through all the ways this person could help you? If that’s the way you’re thinking, you probably haven’t built many bridges.

[11:55] Your first order of business might be to start looking for places to give. Volunteer. Answer questions on social media threads if you have expertise. Offer to mentor or assist former colleagues or acquaintances who can benefit from your knowledge base.

[12:13] If you’re a giver, it may be even more challenging for you to ask others for anything. It’s actually easier to give than it is to be the one who needs help. You’d like people to respond to your giving. Many people are actually delighted to give back.

[12:39] Marc shares the example of working with Steve, an introverted account manager. He was a “farmer” who was very good at cultivating relationships. Then his job was cut and he was scared. Marc used the Birkman Assessment and the Career Pivot evaluation process with Steve to analyze his needs and personality.

[13:41] From the evaluation, they created a set of branding statements to work with. They reworked his LinkedIn profile focusing on the complex products he sold in his previous position.

[13:56] Marc developed a set of open-ended questions Steve could use in any interview. He was then prepared to explain why the right company should hire him.

[14:12] Using LinkedIn, Steve reached out to colleagues he had worked with over the past 20-plus years. It was incredibly difficult for him to admit he was unemployed at this stage. He learned that most of the people he reached out to had experienced unemployment in the last decade.

[14:32] We are long past the time when others assume that being unemployed means there is something wrong with you. The more Steve reached out, the easier it got. Steve is a really nice guy and a giver. He had built a lot of bridges and burned none of them. People remembered him and were willing to help.

[14:55] Marc tells how it works. Build a list of people you have worked with over the last 20 years. Divide the list into two: people who worked in the same function as you and people who worked in a different function. Find these weak ties using LinkedIn search. Use the current company or past company options to locate them.

[15:20] For people who worked in the same function as you, see where they currently work. Did they change functional areas? If so, reach out and ask them how they did it.

[15:36] For people who worked in a different function, what company or industry are they working in, now? If they changed industries, ask them how they did it.

[15:47] Weak ties are easy to approach. Send them a personalized LinkedIn connection request that reminds them of your connection and why you are reaching out to former colleagues. Ask if they are willing to schedule a short phone call to see how they are doing and ask them to accept this invitation to connect.

[16:14] This is the time to ask for AIR — Advice, Insights, and Recommendations. Marc shares sample questions. Ask if they will introduce you to someone at their company or another company.

[16:34] Steve was amazed at how many weak ties were delighted to hear from him. He was more amazed at how many were willing to assist him in his job search. This greatly expanded his network and his visibility to companies and jobs. His weak ties proved to be invaluable. He found companies that needed his account management expertise.

[16:58] Next, Steve started with his last employer and used the Similar Companies section on LinkedIn to find companies that were either direct competitors or in adjacent industries. After following this deliberate process, Steve found the perfect match through a weak tie at a company that supplied parts for his former employer.

[17:23] This company needed a national account manager. The “courting process” of the interviewing went pretty quickly. It was only six weeks from the time he was introduced to the company to the time he received an offer. As an introvert, Steve had not attended any networking events.

[17:45] Steve spent all his time reconnecting with weak ties and researching companies capable of hiring him. He did all his networking one-on-one via email and phone conversations. He leveraged his network to the fullest. His network was larger than he had believed.

[18:07] Once Steve realized that just about everyone was willing to help, the whole process became a lot more comfortable. Marc had told Steve early on that this next job would come through a relationship and that he had no control over the timing. That is exactly what happened.

[18:25] If you had a career of any duration, making use of weak ties, whether for ideas, encouragement, or connections, your extended network is probably a lot more powerful than you think. And when you talk to them, ask them if there is anything you can do to help them.

[18:44] When you cultivate your giving tendencies all along the way, you can develop a reputation in your extended network of being a giver. It’s also a nicer way to live.

[18:55] Action Steps. Build a list of people you’ve worked with over the last 20 years. Begin to reach out to them over LinkedIn. Make sure you approach your search as a giver. If you haven’t been a giver, look for opportunities to give. If you’ve been a giver, let someone else have the fun of giving, this time.

[19:16] Used LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search to find people in similar functions and similar companies to the one you’re interested in. Send these contacts a short note to see if they’re open to a call or coffee about positions in their company or industry. Ask for AIR.

[19:35] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. The concept of weak ties is so critical to most of our future success. Marc hopes you will implement it throughout your career.

[19:48] The Career Pivot Membership Community continues to help the approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project to grow and thrive. The community has moved on to the next phase where community members who have experienced success share their successes and teach others.

[20:06] Gene is presenting on how he obtained his first consulting client through LinkedIn Sales Navigator and using the methods described in the book Getting Naked: A Business Fable about Shedding the Three Fears that Sabotage Client Loyalty, by Patrick Lencioni. This is a great book on consultative selling, even for introverts.
[20:40] This is a community where everyone is there to help everyone else out. Marc is recruiting members for the next cohort.
[20:47] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[21:02] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Please go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more. They are starting a group for bloggers, writers, authors, and publishers.
[21:35] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you listen to this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[21:56 Please come back next week, when Marc will talk with Hannah Morgan on online networking.

[22:04] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[22:09] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-134

[22:17] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates on this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, the Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

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