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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: 2019
Jun 10, 2019

In this episode, Marc talks about their health insurance and healthcare experiences in Mexico. He sets the stage by explaining why health insurance has been a thorn in his family’s side for over 20 years, starting with Mrs. Miller developing an endocrine system tumor in the 1990s. She became uninsurable except through an employer’s group health policy. As long as she was on a health plan, her treatment was very affordable. But their circumstances changed. Listen in, to hear of the insurance benefits the Millers found by becoming expats in Mexico.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Marc welcomes you to Episode 131 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you; 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.

[2:07] 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.

[2:29] Marc has released three chapters of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. If you would like to be part of the review team, please sign up at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:44] 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.

[2:55] Marc’s plan is to release the book in mid-to-late-September and do 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.

[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 replay a webinar that Susan Joyce of Job-hunt.org fame gave to the Career Pivot Membership Community called Personal SEO: Being Found and Protecting Your Privacy. This should give you a good sampling of the quality material available in the Career Pivot Membership Community. List to the end for more.

[3:53] This week, Marc had planned to give an update on their expat journey, about healthcare experiences, resident visas, and finance processes, but the healthcare experiences ended up being such a big piece, that this episode is all about health insurance and healthcare in Mexico.
[4:16] Please see the show notes at CareerPivot.com/episode-131 with additional resources and videos, which are fairly considerable.

[4:35] In this episode, Marc will talk about health insurance and healthcare in Mexico. He sets the stage by explaining some health problems of Mrs. Miller that led to her becoming uninsurable except for an employer group health plan.

[5:16] In 2000, Marc left IBM and went to work for a successful tech startup. The Miller’s have always lived frugally. They paid off the mortgage and their son’s college education, so, in their mid-40s they were debt-free. They don’t buy expensive cars and have always lived within their means.

[5:53] Marc’s timing in career pivots has been impeccable. He started at Agere, his first tech startup, in January of 2000 and rode out the Dotcom Bust recession. He started at Lifesize Communications, in December of 2007 and rode out the Great Recession.

[6:16] Marc just turned 63, and his wife is 64. She will be 65 and eligible for Medicare at the end of the summer. Medicare is a big deal.

[6:40] Health insurance has been a thorn in their side. When Marc works for himself, he can’t buy health insurance for his wife. No one will insure her. When Marc left his last tech startup, at the beginning of 2011, they went on COBRA, paying about $1,100 a month. After 18 months, Marc enrolled his wife in the Texas Health Insurance Pool.

[7:20] High-risk pools are not wonderful, in Marc’s experience. There is a lot of bureaucracy and it is expensive. Marc got a private plan from BlueCross BlueShield of Central Texas. After the Affordable Care Act came out, the Millers both went on the Exchange, first Mrs. Miller, and then, Marc, when his plan was terminated.

[8:05] That was OK until October of 2016 when Marc received a premium notice that their plan was going up 50% to $1,800 a month. That’s when their journey into becoming expats started.

[8:28] Marc knew when President Trump was elected and Republicans came into power that there would be chaos in the healthcare world. The Affordable Care Act is flawed; it is fixable but nobody wants to fix it.

[8:44] 2017 was an interesting year for the Miller family. They went to San Miguel de Allende, where his wife developed what they later learned was anemia. They went to Ecuador, where his wife collapsed so they came home. They had been at 9,000 ft. Marc recorded CareerPivot.com/episode-29 from his wife’s hospital room.

[9:21] Mrs. Miller has been treated and the condition was resolved. In 2017, the Millers spent $25,000 on health insurance and healthcare and did not reach their deductible. In 2017, they took a policy from Central Health, the public health organization in Central Texas from Sendero Healthcare, for around $1,100 a month.

[9:54] If the Millers had the same plan this year, they would be paying over $1,600 a month, or $19,000 in premiums for a $7,000 individual deductible and $10,000 family deductible policy. This sets the stage for why the Millers are expats.

[10:20] In Mexico, you have a public side to healthcare and health insurance and a private side. In the U.S., you have insurance exchanges and employer plans, which are private plans. On the public side, you have Medicaid and Medicare. Most of us will end up in Medicare, but there are reasons to opt out.

[10:59] In Mexico, on the public side, the two most common ones are IMSS, about which Marc has little information, and Seguro Popular, which stands for Popular Insurance. Seguro Popular is roughly the Medicaid of Mexico. As an expat with a resident visa, you can sign up for Seguro Popular. It is largely free.

[11:38] Under Seguro Popular, you are required to go to public clinics, doctors, and hospitals. Your wait times will be significantly longer than if you have a private plan.
[11:53] There are a lot of economic refugees in Mexico. The Washington Post had an article about the millions of Americans coming to Mexico. About two million from the U.S. are in Mexico; about nine million civilian Americans are outside the U.S.

[12:19] Healthcare and health insurance are large reasons and major drivers for the migration. Expats living strictly on their Social Security usually sign up for Seguro Popular because it is inexpensive. You can buy private health insurance. Listen to CareerPivot.com/episode-115 where Marc interviewed Valerie Friesen about it.

[12:58] Valerie Friesen is from Blue Angel Solutions. She sold the Millers separate private health insurance policies for Marc and his wife with a $5,000 deductible. The combined premiums for the year come to about $2,000. The carrier is VUMI, a U.S. company. The policies are catastrophic policies. Regular healthcare is inexpensive.

[13:48] Marc tells about his wife’s experience with an endocrinologist during their March–April 2018 trip. Being a retired R.N., Mrs. Miller has high expectations for her care. She was thrilled. She learned things that no other doctor had told her. She has been being treated since 1992. The appointment cost 700 Pesos (about $36).

[15:09] The doctor sent Mrs. Miller to a hematologist for her anemia. The appointment was made for two days later. The hematologist spent an hour with her and told her things she had not heard from other doctors. Mrs. Miller also saw a dermatologist. Each of the three appointments was 700 Pesos.

[15:54] Mrs. Miller also had bloodwork, and teeth cleaning. In total, the Millers spent $150 for healthcare. Marc has had his teeth cleaned twice, paying 600 Pesos (about $30). In the U.S., Marc paid up to $200 to have his teeth cleaned.

[16:40] Expats can get confused dealing with Mexican healthcare. Marc recommends some videos about emergency room experiences: The Expats Mexico, Tangerine Travels First Visit, Tangerine Travels Second Visit, Retirement Before the Age of 59.

[17:20] You are responsible to pay your bills at the time of service. Your medical records are yours. Mrs. Miller was emailed her results within three days. You are in charge of keeping your records. Marc shares a case study for a head injury for about $100 at a private clinic. It would have been less expensive at a public clinic.

[18:40] There is pricing for locals, and sometimes tourist pricing, which is higher. You have to ask how much it will cost. Marc shares another case study where the patient forgot to bring her medicine. If you have medicine, bring it with you! Clinics may not have your prescription available.

[19:43] Credit cards are not readily accepted in Mexico but they are accepted in the healthcare system. Even for hospitalization, you pay at the time of service, which may be $2,000 to $3,000, U.S., and then you file an insurance claim for reimbursement. Mexico is a cash society, so be prepared.

[20:13] Getting medications is largely inexpensive, as long as what you have is common. Mrs. Miller takes a thyroid replacement medication that she cannot get in Mexico. The Millers will go back to the U.S. once a year and get a refill for a year’s supply. Marc’s research showed him that this is a typical solution.

[21:13] This usually means you are getting the medication outside of your insurance. Marc’s wife can get one of her medication in Mexico but at a hospital, not at a standard pharmacy. So she has been buying it in the U.S., as well. It costs her $400 or $500 for a year’s worth.

[21:54] The Millers will go back to Austin in September when Mrs. Miller becomes eligible for Medicare. You will need to get educated on Medicare. Marc explains Part A and Part B. If you do not sign up for Medicare at 65, or discontinue Medicare and re-enroll later, you will pay premium penalties,10% per year that you waited.

[22:47] There are a lot of expats who never sign up for Medicare or who cancel it, thinking they will never go back to the U.S. They sign up for Seguro Popular, instead. Most expats eventually do go back to the U.S. The Millers will sign up for Medicare.

[23:24] Mrs. Miller will also sign up for Social Security at age 65, even though it is about a year early. They looked at the numbers and decided it was a good decision. She will pay her Medicare out of her Social Security payment.

[23:47] When you get older than 69, you cannot always apply for health insurance in Mexico, especially with a private health insurance company. There are many factors to research. The plan the Millers bought from VUMI at Blue Angel Solutions does not cover them in the U.S. It covers them everywhere else in the world.

[24:27] A plan to cover the Millers in the U.S. would have tripled the cost. When the Millers go back to the U.S., they buy a temporary health insurance policy from VUMI. When this show airs, the Millers will be in New Jersey for a wedding. They are paying $167 for a policy to cover them for the five days they will be in the U.S.

[25:06] When the Millers went to Austin for three weeks, earlier this year, they bought a similar policy for over $300. Mrs. Miller also bought a negotiated policy when she went back to the U.S. for a vaccination.

[25:35] After Mrs. Miller enrolls on Medicare, her trips to the U.S. will be covered.

[25:46] In Mexico, some expats are not rich but have enough money to retire on. They enroll in Medicare but do not buy Mexican insurance. They pay all their medical needs out of pocket. If something bad happens, they plan to go back to the U.S. for it to be covered by Medicare.

[26:27] Some expats do not sign up for Medicare as it does not cover anything in Mexico and they never plan to go back to the U.S.

[26:39] However, there is a hospital being built in the area that will take Medicare Advantage plans. In general, Medicare is only for the U.S. Some people living on Social Security cannot afford $135 a month for Medicare.

[27:11] In CareerPivot.com/episode-119, Marc interviewed Queen Michele, who is in her mid-50s and she has no health insurance in Mexico. She is living on $1,100 a month, her teacher pension. Health care is very affordable and she’s taking the chance of not needing anything big.

[27:30] Other economic refugees sign up for Seguro Popular and the health care they get is very good quality, even better than they might get in the U.S. You do have to shop around for doctors. Many of the doctors are trained in the U.S. Many are trained at the medical school in Guadalajara.

[28:24] There are several hospitals in Guadalajara. There is one small hospital in Ajijic. A bigger hospital nearby just opened. Being an hour outside of a major city is an advantage. There are plenty of English-speaking doctors in the area. Mrs. Miller’s doctors are based in Guadalajara but come down to Ajijic every week or two weeks.

[28:53] Mrs. Miller has been very pleased. Marc will go soon for his physical exam. Mexican Health insurance and healthcare have solved a lot of problems for the Millers. Marc will not move back to the U.S., if ever, before he is eligible for Medicare.

[29:34] The healthcare system and the health insurance business is very broken in the U.S. right now. There is a proposal for Medicare at 50. CareerPivot.com has a link to a blog: “Could New Medicare At 50 Bill Save You Big Money?” This is not Medicare for All but would allow people to sign up for Medicare at 50 and pay the full cost.

[30:06] In many cases this is a good median solution. A Medicare specialist recommended the article to Marc for the website.

[30:38] If you have any questions for Marc, please leave a comment on the show notes page at CareerPivot.com/episode-131. You can also leave Marc a message at Podcast@CareerPivot.com.

[30:59] It’s not until you experience healthcare outside of the U.S. that you realize just how broken the U.S. healthcare system has become. Check out the show notes with the additional resources and videos you may find useful at CareerPivot.com/episode-131.
[31:23] The Career Pivot Membership Community website has become a valuable resource for approximately 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[31:37] 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.

[31:51] 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.
[32:26] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[32:45] Please come back next week, when Marc gives you a taste of what’s available within the Career Pivot Membership Community in an interview with Susan Joyce of Job-hunt.org fame about personal SEO, being found, and protecting your privacy.

[33:02] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[33:08] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-131.

[33:15] 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.

Jun 3, 2019

Rich Karlgaard is the publisher of Forbes Magazine and the author of Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. He is also a lecturer, a pilot, and the author of four acclaimed previous books. A self-proclaimed late bloomer, Rich had a mediocre academic career at Stanford, which he got into by a fluke, and after graduating, worked as a dishwasher, night watchman, and typing temp, before finally finding the inner motivation and drive that ultimately led him to his current career trajectory.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Marc welcomes you to Episode 130 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you this podcast; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:42] 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.

[2:02] Marc has released the third chapter of the next edition of Repurpose Your Career to the Repurpose Your Career review team. If you would like to be part of the review team, please sign up at CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam.

[2:20] You will receive new chapters as they become available. Marc would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book is released.

[2:31] Marc’s plan is to release the book in mid-September and do a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, NYC Area, and D.C. during the months of September and October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[2:48] Contact Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on venues, job clubs, or groups who would be interested in hosting an event.

[3:04] Next week, Marc will give an update on where he and his wife are in their expat journey. He will talk about their healthcare, the resident visas, finances, and more!

[3:19] This week, Marc interviews Rich Karlgaard. Marc introduces Rich and welcomes him to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:26] Marc first saw Rich interviewed by Richard Eisenberg on NextAvenue. People in Marc’s online community recommended Rich’s book, because “We’re all late bloomers.” Marc asks about late bloomers and the background for writing the book.

[4:54] Rich talks about slacking through Stanford, after transferring from a Junior College. He contrasts himself with his ambitious, and diligent roommates. One was working on the space shuttle program, but couldn’t talk about it.

[5:56] At age 25, Rich held jobs such as dishwasher, temp typist, and security guard. On the night shift, his professional counterpart was the rottweiler patrolling with him. A couple of months later, Steve Jobs, also age 25, took Apple public. Rich always related to the idea that he was a late bloomer.

[6:35] We celebrate the early bloomer in popular culture but not late bloomers. Rich did a Google search for late bloomers and found Colonel Sanders, Ray Kroc, and Grandma Moses. Rich decided to write a book. There was no clinical definition of late bloomer, so he made one up.

[7:32] The late bloomer starts coming into their own, fulfilling what they feel is their destiny, at a later-than-expected age. It is in context to their peers. Rich explains what it means to bloom.

[8:25] Through a journey of challenging experimentation, you arrive at the intersection of your native gifts, your deepest passion, and your abiding purpose. With those three aspects in alignment, you begin to feel pulled toward some sense of who you were always meant to be.

[9:04] Marc recalls that when he graduated from college, he followed the path his parents expected of him. He went to work for IBM. He played different roles through many transitions. Much later, he realized that all his weaving around got him to where he is today. Marc didn’t bloom for quite a while.

[9:33] Rich tells how he got into Stanford and why he wasn’t ready for it.

[10:03] As a security guard, Rich had time to read. He read the  New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, thrillers and literary novels, including Saul Bellow. He started learning what really great writing looked like. Later, he put all of that to work.

[11:12] Marc remembers when he was on a journey of discovery that he applied later.

[11:44] Rich talks about pulling experiences together and applying them to a passion and purpose, making use of your earlier interests in a new way. This can happen several times in your life, as you reinvent yourself according to new circumstances. In our later years, many of us want to have stood for something that transcends our life.

[12:41] In 2017, Fortune Magazine asked CEOs from the Fortune Best Places to Work list, including Intuit and Genentech, what they valued most in employees. The answers included curiosity, deeper pattern recognition, leadership skills, management skills, resilience, courage, and compassion.

[13:27] We expect companies to hire for high grades from elite universities. The best CEOs look for people with curiosity, courage, and resilience to keep growing. Oftentimes, the early bloomers stop growing, according to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
[14:26] Late bloomers often have a growth mindset. The early bloomers, who are rewarded in their youth, often get to the point where they think they know enough. Later blooming skills turn out to be hugely valuable. Curiosity is the first step toward growth. Early bloomers trade their curiosity for focus to get high grades.

[15:25] Marc notes that late bloomers often label themselves multipotentialites. They have lots of interests. They also tend to get bored easily. Their curiosity always drives them to learn that next thing. Rich says one becomes a better pruner of their interests as they go through life, and then focus later on, which is when they bloom.

[16:07] Neuroscience says the brain is constantly pruning. Starting in our 30s, we lose rapid synaptic speed processing and some memory but we develop cognitive attributes that support management, leadership, executive, and communication skills and deeper insights. In our 60s, we start to develop additional attributes that support wisdom.

[16:58] Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, says our grit keeps rising throughout our lives. We become much better selectors of where we’re going to apply our grit. Rich brings it back to your native gifts, deepest passions, and abiding purpose. That’s where to apply your grit.

[17:54] We become better editors of our curiosity as we get older.

[18:00] Is quitting a failure? Rich quotes Vince Lombardi. There are certain circumstances where you cannot quit. As a life strategy, train yourself not to quit when adversity comes your way. In other cases, quit at the right time. Rich cites Richard Branson and the Virgin Cola and Virgin Brides companies that he quit at the right times.

[19:20] Rich talks about Intel quitting the memory chip business for the microprocessor business. Bob Noyce, Andy Grove, and Gordon Moore debated the decision. Bob Noyce thought you should never quit. Andy Grove foresaw the rise of the personal computer. Gordon Moore argued that a new owner would go into microprocessors.

[21:15] You should never quit as the first response to adversity but at any time, there is always an optimal use of your time, treasure, talent, and purpose. If you cannot make them work optimally in your current circumstance, look for a new circumstance. A strategic retreat can be very successful.

[22:12] Marc gives case studies of knowing the right timing from the Dot-Com Bust and the Great Recession.

[22:47] Daniel J. Brown, author of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, published the book about poor Depression-era students and their success at the Olympics when he was 62. It was on the NYT bestseller list for 110 weeks. It was his third book but his first success.

[23:40] Daniel J. Brown had quit high school because he was having what we now call anxiety attacks. He finished school by correspondence, working in the Berkeley University library. It was that there he discovered books. Had he stayed in high school, he would not have been in the Berkeley library.

[24:29] Later, Daniel J. Brown entered law school, as his father wanted him to. He quit after three days, full of shame. Yet at age 62, he published one of the great non-fiction books of the last 10 years.

[25:00] Marc notes that the decision to quit often turns out to be a very big decision and critical to later success.

[25:16] Entrepreneurs, artists, and writers are on a different path. As a late bloomer, when you get off of the conveyor belt everyone else takes, you take responsibility for your own journey and figure it out. You may find some dead ends and have to turn back.

[26:13] If you are on an unconventional path you risk that every time you quit you reinforce the feeling that you have not found the success you want. You may feel guilty about it. Quitting is just one tool in your tool belt. Use it when it makes sense.

[26:43] What does re-potting yourself mean? Rich says your environment and people around you may not bring out the best you. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking cited research that suggests some people are ‘dandelions’ and some are ‘orchids.’

[27:34] You can drop dandelions into any environment and they will thrive. Orchids can bloom only in certain circumstances. Rich talks about why he didn’t thrive in Bismarck, ND. You need friends around you who encourage your development.

[29:27] You might be in a job that does not take you to where the best of you can come out. You have to re-pot to find your ultimate destiny.

[29:46] For new stuff to begin, you have to end stuff, according to Dr. Henry Cloud, author of Necessary Endings. We have to decide on our priorities. Do we feel what Oprah Winfrey calls our supreme destiny — what we were put on earth to do; the fulfillment of our gifts, passion, and sense of purpose?

[30:31] If you feel that destiny, even in a small amount, you have to look at your environment to see if you are being supported. Successful re-potters have gotten a great lift by joining peer groups.

[31:50] Marc’s seven career transitions have been half-step career moves, with a relationship that took him across. ‘Weak tie’ connections know people you don’t know. Rich says this is a good thing about support groups and recovery movements.

[32:32] Rich calls the half-step idea ‘adjacent spaces,’ borrowing the term from management consulting. Rich shares a case study of an L.A. advertising copywriter who realized at age 50 that she was in a youth-obsessed industry. She re-potted to Vermont to do some serious writing and it worked well for her.

[34:00] Rich gives advice about self-doubt in late bloomers. People who feel they haven’t quite arrived at that place where they feel pulled by their destiny rather than pushed by outsiders have self-doubt. What do you do about it? A long-term strategy to deal with self-doubt is to wall it off from your self-worth.

[35:20] You have inherent self-worth. You are here. You are not an accident. Learn how self-doubt can be useful to you. It shows up at the worst moment. What is it telling you? Do you need more preparation or a partner? Self-doubt is your annoying friend. Listen.

[36:46] After you listen to self-doubt, use self-talk and self-compassion; frame your self-doubt in a different way. Instead of seeing yourself as nervous about something, see yourself as excited about it. It’s the same adrenaline. Tell yourself you are going to learn something from this great opportunity. Look at self-doubt in a new way.

[37:31] Marc talks about MSU (Make Stuff Up) Disorder springing from self-doubt. Be compassionate with yourself. You are your own harshest critic.

[38:09] If you let your self-doubt infect your self-worth, you spiral downward. No one else can destroy your self-worth. Protect it from your self-doubt. Treat yourself like you would treat a vulnerable good friend. Don’t attack yourself.

[39:15] It helps to talk to yourself in the third person. “Why is [your name] feeling self-doubt. [Your name] should be feeling excitement about this opportunity!”

[39:47] Go to RichKarlgaard.com to contact Rich. He would love to hear late bloomer challenges and successes. Rich is inspired by the people who achieve unconventionally, on an unconventional timetable, and by people who suddenly realized they had an opportunity to lean into who they were becoming, not who they once were.

[40:50] Marc thanks Rich for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Check out the book review written by David Jenkins and the NextAvenue interview with Rich.

[41:26] Marc hopes you have noticed that he is interviewing a lot of prominent authors in 2019. When Marc and his wife returned from Mexico last Fall, Marc was surprised to find his mailbox full of books from major publishers who wanted a review of the book and an interview on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[41:51] When Marc learns of a good new book, he contacts the publicist and asks for free copies to share with his online community, who write the review, and Marc schedules an interview for the podcast. No one has said, “No.”

[42:09] If you find a book that inspires you, please email to Podcast@CareerPivot.com and tell Marc about the book and the author and why you were inspired. Marc will see if he can get the author on the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Get involved!

[42:32] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for the 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[42:44] 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.

[42:58] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. 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 now starting a writers’ group.
[43:47] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[44:06] Please come back next week, when Marc gives an update on becoming an expat in Mexico.

[44:12] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[44:16] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-130.

[44:25] 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.

May 27, 2019

The chapter, “Life as a Square Peg: Gets Tougher as You Age,” from the upcoming third edition of Repurpose Your Career, addresses the challenges of working in a career or a workplace environment that does not fit well with your personality. Marc explains how to learn what type of work personality you have, and how to find the unique work environment and qualities that will fit you best, so you don’t have to fit a square peg into a hole of the wrong shape for you.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:04] Marc welcomes you to Episode 129 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:33] 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.

[1:54] Next week, Marc will interview Rich Karlgaard, who is the publisher of Forbes Magazine and the author of Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.

[2:12] This week, Marc will read a chapter from the third edition of Repurpose Your Career called “Life is a Square Peg: Gets Tougher As You Age.”

[2:25] This chapter, along with the two previously released chapters, is now available to the Repurpose Your Career review team. If you’d like to be part of that team, please go to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam and you’ll receive new chapters as they become available.

[2:48] Marc is looking for honest feedback and would love to get an honest review on Amazon.com after the book has been released.

[2:57] Marc currently plans to release the book in mid-to-late September with both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, NYC Area, and D.C. during the months of September and October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:15] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on venues or groups that would be interested in hosting an event.

[3:28] “Life is a Square Peg: Gets Tougher As You Age.” You play a role at work. The closer that role is to your authentic self, the happier you are likely to be. We act on the job to fit into the culture. We behave as we believe our boss or team expects us to.

[3:54] Many business cultures show little value for interest in the arts, expect employees to follow the rules, award employees for being extroverted, want you to check your emotions at the door, and value strong, engaged leadership. Some of these behaviors may differ from how you normally function.

[4:17] When you’re younger, it seems easier to be an actor at work. The older you get, the more exhausting it is to put on ‘the show.’ After decades of acting, you just want to be left alone to do what you do best. You don’t want to pretend interest in things that aren’t relevant to doing your job. You know your job better than your boss does.

[5:01] This is especially hard when you’re a square peg in a round hole. Some people are square pegs because their personality doesn’t lend itself to the social dynamics of the workplace. That is Marc’s situation. Marc is an introvert but he has to act the role of an extrovert.

[5:24] Some people are square pegs because the culture of their industry doesn’t fit them, like an engineer who is highly emotionally intelligent. Sometimes they came to a job from another country and everything about this culture requires them to act in a way that is different from how they grew up behaving.

[5:44] Marc has been working with quite a few square pegs who do not fit into the traditional roles that organizations define. Some squeeze themselves into those roles and end up unhappy and unhealthy. Stress wreaks havoc on their health.

[6:09] Personality Square Pegs: Marc, an introvert, used to be able to stay in character as an extrovert for a long time, in his 20s, 30s, and 40s. In his 50s, staying in character became exhausting. Periodically, Marc would be completely depleted, which was not how people knew him. He would take a long time to recharge, especially if drained.

[6:41] Our society is biased toward extroverts. Extroverts make more money. They are taken more seriously as leaders. They are perceived as more competent. Susan Cain pointed out in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking that many of our great thinkers and artists have been introverts.

[7:03] That’s only one kind of square peg. There are others.

[7:08] Creatives: Creative people have a high interest in music, art, and literature. Many creatives have abandoned those interests because they can’t fit into what our economy values or is willing to pay for. These people often express their creativity in colorful spreadsheets or attractive Powerpoint presentations.

[7:32] Autonomous: Autonomous people don’t like staying between the lines. They want the freedom to do it their way. They’re good in chaotic situations where they get to make the rules.

[7:44] High Empathy: People with high empathy treat people with kindness and caring and want their colleagues to treat them in the same way. Marc has worked in high-tech for most of his career. High-empathy people are not generally welcomed or considered the norm.

[8:01] Low Authority: Low-authority people would prefer having a colleague to a boss. Trying to micro-manage them is not pretty. Their personality is largely incompatible with today’s work environment.

[8:18] Industry or Company Mismatch: The Project Manager. Marc had a client who was a top-flight IT project manager. Her boss would give her a project; she would run it for a year, then her boss would give her a new project just like it. This was a dream scenario for a lot of project managers, but not for her.

[8:45] Unusual for her profession, she wanted to constantly learn new things and tackle new challenges to develop in her career. She talked to her boss who was surprised. He had been keeping her in her comfort zone. That was the last thing she wanted.

[9:12] Musical Technologist: Marc has met multiple musical technologists. It’s very common for engineers to have a high interest in music. Marc talked to “Ron,” who works for a large hospital system. He evaluates systems and stays on top of all the technology the hospital implements.

[9:36] Electronic Medical Records and related technology have accelerated the rate of change. Ron has a huge interest in music that he put aside for years. Ron can keep up with the technology but he doesn’t want to. What was once fun is now a lot of work. He spent the last years caring for elderly parents. He is done fitting into the round hole.

[10:23] The Creative Technologist: “Sam” wandered into technology a long time ago when he graduated from college. He has worked in IT departments of large companies and gotten pretty good at it. Now he’s in IT security, a hot area, but he is sick of it. He is both mentally and physically tired. In his 50s, he no longer fits into the round hole.

[11:01] He is physically fit and can do his job but he no longer wants to do it. Sam is highly creative and would love to marry his technical knowledge with some form of art. He is now exploring video options with virtual and augmented reality. Can he make a go of this and keep putting his children through college at the same time?

[11:27] Cultural Dyslexia: These are people born in an indirect culture, such as India, China, Japan, but who spent their teenage years in a direct culture, such as the United States and Europe. They attend Western universities and acquire Western personality traits. They do not feel they belong in either their birth culture or their adopted culture.

[12:00] We will see a lot more cultural dyslexia as people move around the world. Marc has seen cultural dyslexia cause people great angst as they try to fit in that round hole.

[12:18] Square Pegs and Financial Requirements for the Second Half of Life: Marc was blessed that his first tech startup job left him debt-free in his late 40s. Marc had children in his late 20s. Many others waited to establish their careers before having children. Many in their 50s are putting children through college.

[12:48] We have lived through two horrible recessions that decimated retirement savings and children’s college savings. Many square pegs feel they have no choice but to stay in their ill-fitting niche. This is one reason Marc and his wife moved to Mexico. They enjoy a lower cost of living and a slower pace of life.

[13:16] For many people, the task is to define and then find their own unique career hole. Marc shows his process for helping square pegs find their unique career hole.

[13:28] Define Your Career Hole: Another way to put this is “Know thyself.” You cannot target your ideal working environment unless you know what it is. You cannot find your unique career hole if you can’t define it. Can you clearly articulate what your ideal working environment looks like? For 99% of you, the answer is no.

[13:54] Reflect on when you’ve been happy in seven different areas in your career: Boss. When did you have a boss you really liked? What made that person a good boss? Team. When did you have a really great team? What was the makeup of that team? Value. When did you feel valued at work? What made you feel valued?

[14:20] Structure. How much structure do you need at work? Who should create that structure? Variety. How much variety do you need in a day? Emotions. Do you need a supportive emotional environment at work? Activity. How much activity do you need?

[14:40] You can use Marc’s Career Reflection Worksheet to help with this. Once you have clearly defined when things were really good in the past, go back to times when things were really bad.

[14:54] Marc uses the Birkman Assessment with his clients to pick out situations that highlight what causes them stress. Once you have identified those situations, you can determine how to avoid them. You can clearly identify the shape of that unique career hole. You can start the search, locating your unique career hole.

[15:15] Now, you have figured out what kind of peg you are and what kind of career hole you need. Create a list of open-ended questions you will use to investigate the companies where you’re thinking of working, to find out if they fit the bill. These questions will evolve, over time. Marc lists sample questions you might use.

[15:48] Develop a set of questions for each of the seven areas above.

[15:52] Next, target companies within your industry or profession that can hire you. You can dutifully use your questions to determine what companies have a unique career hole that matches your requirements. It will take a great deal of tenacity and patience.

[16:11] For some square pegs, it means going to work for themselves. For others, it means working for small organizations that are willing to create unique career holes for you. Do you know the shape of your unique career hole? Are you ready to define it?

[16:27] Find restorative niches. Marc appears to be an extrovert because he is a great public speaker. He can work a networking event with the best of them. He can meet and mingle with strangers with ease. When Marc is done, he is exhausted!

[16:46] Marc’s extrovert abilities did not develop overnight. In 22 years at IBM, he slowly became “a geek who could speak.” He was paid more money to do this. By his late 30s and 40s, his back would spasm one or more times a year and down for a week or more.

[17:07] Finally, Marc had a disk rupture and after taking three months off for bed rest, he kept going. Now that he is over 60, he has to be careful how much public speaking he does. Like other square pegs, Marc has to learn to take time to recover.

[17:23] Recently, Marc presented a workshop in Dallas, on working for a multi-generational company. He drove for three hours from Austin to Dallas in the morning, listening to podcasts, gave the two-hour workshop, and drove three hours back again. The time in the car gave Marc a restorative niche.

[17:44] Marc has to allow a lot of ‘alone time’ before and after being around people. If he does not, he is ‘dead’ for the rest of the day. As good as Marc is at being around people and presenting workshops, he is a square peg. ‘Shoving himself’ into that round hole is exhausting, especially now that he is older.

[18:08] If you are a square peg, a restorative niche might be listening to your favorite music while you work, doing creative projects in your spare time, or connecting with people with a similar cultural background. You still need to do the work to find your right-shaped niche, but this will keep you sane while you do it.

[18:31] Marc repeats his opening statement: In pretty much every job, you have to play a role, even if you work for yourself. You have to play a role with your customers or clients. The closer your role is to who you are, the happier you will be.

[18:47] Action Steps: Are you a square peg? Write down what roles you have been playing throughout your career that you would like to stop playing, now. Write down some of your personal square peg attributes and how they could be useful in different jobs and businesses. How can you find a way to work around them, where necessary?

[19:10] Write down some questions you can ask an employer that would help you see how well you and the organization’s culture could fit.

[19:18] Marc hopes you enjoyed this chapter. Marc is very much a square peg. Marc has never fit neatly in corporate roles. He has always forced himself to fit. When he hit his 50s, he found life to be exhausting. Marc now implements regular restorative niches whenever he does things that suck the life out of him, like being around a lot of people.

[19:45] You will find a link to the Career Reflection Worksheet mentioned in the chapter in the Show Notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-129.

[19:59] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for the 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is preparing to recruit new members for the next cohort.

[20:11] 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.

[20:25] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. 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 now starting a writers’ group.

[20:59] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[21:19] Please come back next week, when Marc interviews Rich Karlgaard, who is the publisher of Forbes Magazine and the Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.

[21:35] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[21:40] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-129.

[21:48] 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.

May 20, 2019

Tami M. Forman is the Executive Director of Path Forward, a non-profit organization that creates mid-career returnship programs to ease the transition back to work for people who have taken a career break for caregiving. Path Forward trains HR teams and hiring managers on how to support these programs successfully and provide support to participants to make the experience successful. Tami is building this organization from the ground up, working with donors, partners, and participants to fulfill the organization’s mission. Tami spent a decade as a marketing executive with Return Path. Tami has previously held editorial positions at Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin, iVillage, and News Corporation.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:38] Marc welcomes you to Episode 128 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot this podcast to you; CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[2:08] 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.

[2:27] Next week, Marc will read a new chapter from the third edition of Repurpose Your Career.) Marc has released two chapters to the Repurpose Your Career review team. If you’d like to be part of that team, please go to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam and you’ll receive new chapters as they become available.

[2:51] Marc currently plans to release the book in mid-to-late September with both a virtual and a real book tour. He will be in Austin, NYC Metro Area, and D.C. during the months of September and October. Marc would love to meet his readers and listeners.

[3:10] Reach out to Marc at Podcasts@CareerPivot.com if you’d be willing to give him some advice on setting up this tour. This includes venues if you’re from those areas. Marc would very much appreciate it.

[3:27] This week, Marc is interviewing Tami Forman, the executive director of Path Forward. Marc introduces Tami with her bio.

[4:27] Marc welcomes Tami to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:44] Marc learned about returnships from Dan Corbin who was at Return Path at the same time as Tami. Marc invites Tami to talk about the origin and mission of Path Forward.

[5:10] Path Forward is a nonprofit organization on a mission to help people who have taken time out of their career for caregiving to restart those careers. Most of the clients are women, but the programs are open to men and women who have taken chunks of time away from the paid workforce to care for children or elderly parents.

[5:43] This concept started within Return Path, a privately-held software company based in New York City, with offices in Colorado, Austin, Texas, Indianapolis, and globally. The head of HR was working to help women in technology and doing unconscious bias training. She ran into resistance hiring women who had taken a career break.

[6:43] The VP of HR realized that if she couldn’t influence the behavior of managers in her own company, there was a systemic problem. She worked with some people to put together a returnship, meaning a temporary assignment aimed at someone in mid-career.

[7:09] The program was phenomenally successfully for the six people in the program and for the managers. Other companies noticed and reached out to VP of HR Cathy Hawley and CEO Matt Blumberg to learn how to run the program in their offices.

[7:38] Matt decided to found a nonprofit and try to make a bigger impact by bringing it to many more companies.

[7:48] Marc sees men and women taking time off to take care of elderly adult parents. Tami sees a lot of women with the “double whammy,” who took a few years off to take care of their children and then their mother or father got sick and needed care. Many women have filled both roles. She has also seen stay-at-home dads.

[8:42] Childcare takes longer than elderly parent care, usually, so mothers raising children are out of the workforce longer. The longer the time out of the workforce, the longer it takes to get back into it. People taking a few years off for elder care have less difficulty getting a job. The age range of participants in the program is large.

[9:57] Marc has a man in his online community who got laid off, took care of a parent, and now is being asked what he did for 18 months. “Taking care of Mom” is not very well received at the tech startups he is trying to penetrate.

[10:17] How is a returnship different from an apprenticeship? The DOL has a specific definition to meet guidelines for a registered apprenticeship, but employers may use it less formally. Tami advises to anyone looking into any “ship” program is to get a strict understanding of what the program offers.

[11:16] Tami considers a returnship to differ from an apprenticeship mainly in the amount of training supplied. Tami notes the Microsoft LEAP program which has a training component alongside a work project component as a “classic” apprenticeship. A returnship is about just the work.

[12:03] People coming into a returnship have either directly applicable or transferrable experience they can put to work within the context of the returnship. They may need mentoring and would receive new-employee training. They have the basic skills.

[12:45] Some of the companies Path Forward works with do have a training component as part of their returnship because they want to expand the types of people they are able to bring into the program.

[13:01] Tami says during the interview process is the time to make sure you understand exactly what training and development the program offers and what the expectations are of you.

[13:20] Marc notes that tech sector jobs would provide some training because of rapid change in the industry. Tami says that tech companies are having trouble finding people to maintain legacy tech stacks. Younger people don’t know how to do it or don’t want to.

[13:50] Tami has worked with companies that have proprietary software where every engineer would have to be trained to work with it.

[14:17] Understanding what the expectations are is very important. Tami is aware of organizations and programs, such as a boot camp or an online course, available to teach specific skills to people returning to the workplace. The training alone would not be enough to get you a job, so the returnship work piece makes the difference.

[14:52] Kids don’t want to learn COBOL or Fortran.

[15:07] Besides tech skills, returnships can work for any company hiring for any professional job. Path Forward has had the most success in partnering with tech companies in Northern California, New York, Denver, and LA. Technology has an acknowledged gender-balance problem alongside a talent problem.

[16:08] The gender-balance issue, combined with the overall scarcity of talent, are the factors that lead to the success of returnship programs at tech firms. People out of the workforce are an untapped pool. Other industries may have gender-balance problems but no shortage of talent. They don’t feel the same pressure to bring in more people.

[17:36] Tami’s advice to people looking for opportunities, in general, is to go where “the people aren’t.” Go where the jobs are plentiful and the people seem to be less so.

[17:46] The ideal candidate for a returnship will have a background that matches what the job is. Someone who’s making a big career change will not typically be as successful. If you are making a career change, first get a lot of advice from people in the new career. Take a course. Take a consulting position. Accept a lower position.

[19:36] If you worked in marketing, do a returnship in marketing. If you worked in engineering, do a returnship in engineering. That’s where the 16-week boost, getting you back in the seat, with a manager who can see what you can do, is really successful.

[19:55] Tami sees that people who have a certain degree of resentment about the sacrifice that they’ve made and have ego issues about salary or position have a more difficult time than people who are open and have humility about them. It is better to be excited to be back and accept the opportunity after spending the time with family.

[21:04] Marc recalls last week’s episode with Andrew Scott on the 100-Year Life and their conversation about mindset in CareerPivot.com/Episode-127. If you don’t have the proper mindset you will not be successful.

[21:43] Tami shares a case study of Marina, in her mid-40s who made a career pivot from selling CDs by direct marketing at BMG Music. That world has gone away. However, her marketing skills were very transferable to different markets and channels.

[22:58] Marina got a returnship in marketing at Return Path and ultimately landed on marketing analytics, where she still works, three years later. She also took the Hubspot digital marketing course to do her own reskilling. There are a lot of vendors in various industries who make free training available to increase their potential talent pool.

[24:22] Tami shares Lisa’s story who was an engineer at IBM and had last coded using COBOL and Fortran. She had an EE degree, not a CS degree, because that wasn’t expected when she was studying. She had taken some software courses. Then she was out of the workforce for 20 years.

[25:14] Lisa wanted to get her Master’s degree, but her college-age son told her that wasn’t how it’s done anymore. He recommended she take a couple of classes and go work for someone who would let her learn on the job. She got a returnship at Return Path as an engineer. She is still there and was promoted to a team lead position.

[25:52] Besides her technical skills, they recognized her leadership and organizational skills she used as a stay-at-home mom for 20 years. She could inspire a team and get things done.

[26:45] Marc spoke a couple of years ago at an Austin Community College coding boot camp. He explained that a lot of the plumbing has changed, but none of the concepts has. You can learn how to replumb things and use new tools. Sometimes you have to spend your own time and your own dollars to get trained. Look online.

[27:30] Always be learning. You can work for 20 years in one job and get laid off when your job is not relevant. Constantly be in a mode of learning and staying relevant.

[28:47] After the dotcom bust companies slowly stopped spending money on training their employees. It’s up to the individual to find their own training and stay up to date.

[29:03] Managers making hiring decisions are very risk-averse. The returnship concept gives them permission to take a chance and not get in trouble. Companies working with Path Forward know the executives have sanctioned the program.

[29:44] For listeners in cities without Path Forward returnships, think about ways you can do work for someone so they can see what you can do, in a way that lowers the risk for them. That might be freelancing, pro bono work, or volunteering. Build a website for a community group that’s doing something interesting. Showcase your real skills.

[30:36] Networking is crucial. One way to network is to do work with someone. Another is to take classes with others. Get out from behind the computer and into the world. Find ways to work with people. That’s Tami’s last advice to listeners.

[32:02] To learn more, sign up for the newsletter at PathForward.org/participant for news about every partner they sign. There is a page of other returnships at companies not working with Path Forward at pathforward.org/return-work-programs-around-us. There is also a Facebook page at Facebook.com/PathFWD and Twitter at @PathFWD.

[33:21] Marc thanks Tami and hopes you enjoyed this episode. You might call this a movement of creating programs that help people reenter the workforce after a career break. Marc invites you to go back and listen to Episode 80 with Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO of iRelaunch found at CareerPivot.com/episode-80.

[33:59] Marc is working on setting up an interview with one or both of the people Tami mentioned in the interview. You will find links mentioned in this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-128.

[34:17] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[34:29] 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. Marc will be spreading out new cohorts as the community starts some new projects.

[34:51] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more. They are now starting a writers’ group.

[35:35] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[35:59] Please come back next week, when Marc will read a new chapter from the third edition of Repurpose Your Career.

[36:09] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[38:51] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-128.

[36:21] 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.

May 13, 2019

Andrew Scott is a Professor of Economics at the London Business School. His research, writing, and talks focus on the macro trends that shape the global environment, from technology, longevity, globalization, through to interest rates and exchange rates. His work on longevity emphasizes the positive impact of a longevity dividend. It isn’t just that there are more old people but that how we are aging is changing. Andrew’s 2016 book, The 100-Year Life, on this theme, became an award-winning global bestseller translated into 15 languages. He has been an advisor to a range of corporates and governments on a broad range of economic issues and an award-winning public speaker, combining, insight, clarity, humor, and a motivation to action for anyone who hears him.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:31] Marc welcomes you to Episode 127 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[2:02] 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.

[2:22 Next week, Marc will interview Tami Forman, who is the executive director of Path Forward, a non-profit organization that creates mid-career returnship programs. (If that interview is delayed, Marc will read a chapter from the next edition of Repurpose Your Career.)

[2:58] This week, Marc is speaking with Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity. Marc introduces Andrew with his bio.

[4:09] Marc welcomes Andrew to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:27] Marc reached out to Andrew after reading his article “Is 75 the New 65? How the Definition of Aging Is Changing,” on NextAvenue.org. Having interviewed authors Ashton Applewhite, Patti Temple Rocks, and Chris Farrell about ageism, Marc wanted to segue with Andrew into talking more about aging.

[4:58] Andrew says we have made a mess about age. Aging brings to mind ‘end of life.’ Chronologically, everyone’s aging at exactly the same rate — one year, every year.

[5:30] As a macroeconomist, Andrew looks at trends that shape the world. He noticed that, on average, we are living longer and healthier lives. Governments are worried about workers aging out of the workforce, causing problems for Social Security and pensions.

[6:12] Andrew wonders how does the good news that we are living longer and healthier turn into the bad news that we will be a burden on society? There are two things happening. First, as the birth rate declines and people live for longer, the average citizen is older. Everyone focuses on that.

[6:36] The exciting thing is that, on average, we are aging differently. In essence, we are younger for longer. A 78-year-old in the U.S. or the UK today has the same mortality rate as a 65-year-old from 40 years ago. We are in better health, but because we look just at chronological age, we don’t notice that. We need to look at biological age.

[7:33] Marc turns 63 next month. Marc lives a very different life at 63 than his father lived at 63. Marc’s father had been forced to retire at 60. He lived for 15 more years, but it figuratively killed him. Marc will not let his life pass on.

[8:12] Chronological age tells how many years since you were born. Mortality risk tells how many years until you die. The average American has never been older but we are also younger because our mortality rate is lower. We have a lot more years to go.

[9:05] In the Twentieth Century, we created a life based on a 70-year life expectancy — a three-stage life of education, work, and retirement. That creates a sociological sense of age — what you should be doing at a certain age. That’s where corporate ageism comes from.

[9:38] The average age of the Rolling Stones is seven or eight years older than the average age of the U.S. Supreme Court. We need to change our sociological norms. Andrew points to CareerPivot.com and NextAvenue.org as examples of experimenting with new rules for longer lives.

[10:10] The New Yorker, in 1937, first publicly used the word, ‘teenager.’ It was a new concept. In the 1950s, it became established. Previously, one was considered an adult by around age 14.

[10:54] For most of human history, people were not aware of the day or year they were born. They were “fit and healthy,” or “a grandfather,” or “a mother.” They didn’t know their chronological age. They had a more “real” sense of age.

[11:26] Starting in the Nineteenth Century, governments started keeping accurate birth records. In the Twentieth Century, birthday celebrations and birthday parties began. The song, “Happy Birthday To You”, became popular in the ’30s. Once governments began tracking people by age, they started separating them by age, for school and work.

[12:04] The greatest example of this age separation is retirement at age 65 when you are “old.” Because we are living longer, considering 65 to be old doesn’t work anymore. People age differently. There is a great diversity in how healthy and active people are over age 65.

[12:43] Marc talks about 80-year-olds in the Ajijic Hiking Group, who easily beat him in hiking. These 80-year-olds look at life differently than Marc would have thought they do. It is a mindset. Many are retirees. Marc isn’t retiring, at least for the next 15 years. He just moved his business down to Ajijic.

[13:41] The Twentieth-Century three-stage life worked for a 70-year lifespan. But we learned in the Twentieth Century that age is malleable. You can influence how you age and how long you will live. Diet, exercise, community, and relationships all make a difference. Having engagement and a sense of purpose helps you age better.

[14:30] How do we create this new, longer life, when the three-stage life has us retiring at age 65? How are you engaging in the world and what is your sense of purpose? We are in a social experiment. We need to find how to use time in productive ways.

[16:19] Anthropologists call an ambiguous threshold of transition a liminality. Teenage years are a liminality. The years around retirement are a new liminality.

[17:04] In Andrew’s book, Jane graduates from college, marries Jorge, and they take turns reinventing themselves every 15 years. This is foreign to how Marc was raised, to have a 40-year career leading to retirement.

[18:14] In a longer life, it is important to keep your options open. Reinvention comes by your choice or from circumstances given to you, like being laid off. Reinvention is one of the challenges of a longer life. Andrew tells 40-year-olds that they have more working years ahead of them than they have behind them. That shocks them.

[19:22] In Arizona, on January 1, 1960, Del Webb, opened the first Sun City with five model homes and a strip mall. 10,000 cars drove in the first day. In those days, people of retirement age could expect to live 10 or 15 years. Today, in a married couple of 65, one of the spouses has a good chance of living to 100. What are they going to do?

[20:20] The UK Pension was introduced in 1908. Since then, life expectancy has increased by 36 years. Andrew says it is crazy that the three-stage life has not been changed much in that time. We’re biologically aging better. Most of these extra years of life come in the second half of middle age.

[21:03] For about the last hundred years, roughly every decade, life expectancy has increased by two or three years. That’s like adding six to eight hours to every day. With more time, we would structure our day differently. We have longer lives and we can structure them differently. The average age of first marriages has gone from 20 to 30.

[22:14] The number of people working after age 70 has tripled in the United States over the last 20 years. A person in their 20s needs to think about working into their early 80s. There is time for experimentation and finding what you like and are good at. In your 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, you’re going to need to think more about investing.

[24:07] Almost half of Marc’s online community is over 60; one-third are over 65. One of the common themes is they all want the freedom to keep on working, on their terms. Andrew notes that GenX and Millennials want flexible, meaningful, purposeful, autonomous work; so do workers over 60. We all want that.

[25:09] At every age, preparing for your future self is important. That’s the key mindset perspective. “How do I make sure that I’m fit, healthy, engaged, and have my community and sense of purpose?” In a longer life, you need to be more forward-looking.

[25:58] At 78, you have 13 more years of life than at 65, with the health that a 65-year-old of 40 years ago had. You are younger than your age. There are new options and new possibilities at every age. We work it out as we go along.

[27:20] Marc recalls discussing with Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, that the older we get, the younger we feel, and the longer we want to live. Our view of old age keeps on moving further and further out.

[27:42] Andrew notes the paradox of aging: younger people see the challenges of aging and think it sounds terrible but happiness often increases as people grow older. Andrew shares his explanation.

[28:52] As people get very old and sense that they may be approaching their final decade, they do want to focus on the things that matter the most to them. For most, that will be in their 80s and 90s.

[29:33] Marc contrasts the treatment of ages in the U.S. and in Mexico. There are so many multi-generational homes in Mexico, and it is very healthy. Inter-generational mixing is good. Our U.S. obsession with age led to labeling the generations, separating them further from each other. The generations don’t mix.

[31:43] People are people. Labeling comes about due to a lack of inter-generational mixing. Inter-generational mixing will become more crucial as we all live longer. It is a great way of spreading knowledge and insight. It will help the young be more forward-looking and the old to be more youthful and innovative.

[33:02] Marc recalls his presentation in March on the five generations in the workplace. Many of the audience had never networked with Millennials. One had volunteered in the Beto O’Rourke Senate campaign, where he learned a lot.

[33:43] Andrew has a website, 100yearlife.com, that includes a free diagnostic to look at your finances, skills, knowledge, physical and mental health, and your relationships, as well as your ability to undergo change. A three-stage life did not encourage many transitions. The transitions were: college to work and work to retirement.

[34:20] More than 20K people have taken the diagnostic. There was no real pattern by age. People are the same, whatever age they are. Only one pattern emerged. Men in their 50s had quite narrow (similar) social circles. To transition well, open yourself up to new people and new ideas and find new circumstances.

[36:03] Put yourself into challenging and different situations where you are not as well-known. That’s how you grow, learn, and transition.

[36:20] Contact Andrew and buy his book through 100yearlife.com or see his ongoing work on his personal website, AndrewScott.global. Also, reach Andrew on Twitter at

@ProfAndrewScott or LinkedIn at Andrew Scott. Andrew shares resources with people around the world experimenting and learning from each other on how to live well longer.

[37:02] Marc thanks Andrew and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Andrew. What are you going to do with all those extra years? Marc has a plan; do you?

[37:21] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[37:35] 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.

[37:50] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. Right now they are forming writing groups. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[38:21] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[38:39] Please come back next week, when Marc will speak with Tami Forman, the executive director of Path Forward.

[38:46] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[38:51] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-127.

[38:59] 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.

May 6, 2019

After several years of different career paths, Kathy unexpectedly fell into something she loves to do — helping people find jobs. Kathy is an award-winning trainer, skilled in the design and presentation of seminars and workshops that have helped thousands of job seekers secure excellent career opportunities. She is the creator and facilitator of Launch Pad Job Club, Austin’s largest nonprofit networking and support group for job seekers, through which members are informed, motivated, and entertained through the job search process.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:44] Marc welcomes you to Episode 126 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. CareerPivot.com brings you this podcast; it is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[2:12] 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, to help more people. Thank you for helping expand the reach of this podcast!

[2:37] Marc is recording this introduction on April 30. There were over 8,000 downloads of the Repurpose Your Career podcast in April. That is triple the number of downloads from April 2018. Thank you!

[2:54] Next week, Marc will interview Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity. What will you do with all that extra time?

[3:08] This week, Marc is speaking with Kathy Lansford, the founder of Launch Pad Job Club, the first and one of the largest job clubs in Texas, founded in 2001. They are discussing current and future job prospects for 50+ workers.

[3:27] Marc shares Kathy’s bio and welcomes her to Repurpose Your Career.

[4:32] Kathy was a job search skills trainer for many years at the Workforce Solutions office. After a break, she went to Austin Community College at the tail end of an AARP grant to help people over 50 find jobs. After the grant ended, ACC took over the project, expanding the services to the general ACC population, as well.

[5:29] Marc met Kathy in 2006 after leaving his teaching job, when he got involved in Launch Pad Job Club. Later that year, Marc joined the board. Kathy is an expert on job search for people over 50. Marc introduces the topic of today’s episode: “Got Hope? Current and Future Job Prospects for 50+ Workers.”

[6:17] Kathy describes negative job trends for those over 50. Ageism is rampant, especially in a youth-oriented city like Austin, where Kathy lives. The skill sets of older workers are not wanted. Age discrimination is illegal but age questions are often asked.

[9:03] Kathy attends a group where people share their frustration at having their age used against them in the job search process before they can present their skills.

[9:37] Ten years ago, the Supreme Court made a decision that makes it harder to prove age discrimination than for other forms of discrimination.

[10:15] In the dotcom crash in 2001, in Austin, the first big layoff was at Dell. The laid-off workers had to sign waivers they would not sue for being laid off to get a severance package.

[13:27] If a company lays off evenly across all age groups, and then hires back only younger workers, that is the basis of a lawsuit.

[13:40] Recently a discrimination suit was settled against Facebook for only showing job postings to young people. Facebook ads allow a variety of targeting. Sellers can provide an email list and ask Facebook to find people who “look like these people.”

[15:29] A Bloomberg podcast recently stated that for some platforms, like Facebook, a $3 billion fine is inconsequential. They will keep doing what they do.

[15:59] Application tracking systems can screen for years of experience to target age ranges. The older job seeker never knows that their resume is never seen.

[16:54] “Conversant in digital speak” and “digital native” are codes for “young.”

[17:41] Kathy points out areas of hope. Lots of big companies are finding that they have gone too far to the young end of the spectrum. Kathy heard from her son in the semiconductor industry that young people don’t want to spend the time to be trained in processes. They quit after 12 to 18 months and move on to the next gig.

[20:31] AARP is an advocate for older workers. Kathy talks about their five-year grant, open to anyone over 50 and their one-year WESI grant open to women over 50. Women over 50 make up the largest-growing poverty group in the country. The AARP Austin five-year grant was successful in getting a lot of people to work.

[22:49] People over 50 stay unemployed longer. Kathy cites a statistic that job seekers 55 to 64 are out of work 34 weeks, on average. Job hunters 20 to 24 are out of work 15 weeks, on average.

[23:46] Marc had Carol Fishman Cohen on the podcast from iRelaunch some months ago. Kathy talks about the iRelaunch program, aimed largely at caregivers re-joining the technological workforce. GM has had several of these initiatives in conjunction with the American Society of Women Engineers and they hired many of the participants.

[25:32] Because the economy is so strong, with such low unemployment, companies are looking for talent anywhere; they are even willing to look in the “gray-haired world.”

[25:57] Kathy remembers a program from years ago with Eli Lilly and another pharmaceutical firm who created a pool of their retirees to call in for specific big projects at a good salary on a temporary basis.

[27:05] Companies with a strong diversity program are adding older workers to their diversity list.

[27:55] Marc will have Tami Forman of Path Forward on the Repurpose Your Career podcast in about a month to talk about helping companies create re-entry programs for professionals.

[28:29] Kathy mentions the Candice Bergen of the Murphy Brown show coming back as a relaunched career. Isabella Rosellini was long the face of Lancôme until they no longer needed her services due to age. In her 60s, they hired her again to represent older women who want to be beautiful.

[29:40] One of Kathy’s clients’ ex-husband has a Ph.D. in optical engineering. After working in startups for years, he taught high school math and physics for 15 years. At age 66, he has just started up with defense contractor BAE Systems who appreciates his expertise and experience.

[30:47] People have to be tenacious to get a good job in tech. One of Kathy’s clients with a Masters’ degree used Jobscan for LinkedIn. Jobscan scores your resume by the keywords in a job posting. They suggest having a keyword score of at least 80% before submitting a resume. The premium version of Jobscan also scans your LinkedIn profile.

[33:17] Kathy’s client made the changes to his LinkedIn profile suggested by Jobscan. He had the premium version of LinkedIn so he could track traffic. Very quickly, the traffic to his profile increased by 300%. A recruiter who visited his profile helped him get a senior-level position with the city of Austin. He is close to 60 and in a wheelchair.

[34:21] Public sector jobs tend not to discriminate by age. They look at your skills, background, and what you have to offer.

[34:49] Kathy shares a case study of a woman unemployed for a year. Kathy helped her with the state application and mock interview through the Back to Work 50+ program.

[35:47] Kathy’s client was turned down for different state positions until she networked with two friends who were at NXP (formerly Freescale and Motorola). Her friends got her connected there. She ended up with a $63K career job at NXP.

[37:23] Tenacity is incredibly important. Older people tend to be tenacious. Pro Publica had an article that half of us over 50 will be forced into retirement, not by choice.

[38:49] Austin now has some of the lowest mobility rates in the last 50 years. People don’t want to move. People are willing to work for less to stay. Some people are tethered by conditions; where they want to live, base salary, or base position wanted.

[40:48] Consider taking a step down the career ladder, or changing industries. Could you get a job if you loosened your requirements? Kathy shares case studies of people who expanded the scope of their search. Be open-minded and flexible.

[43:53] Marc gives a case study of a woman who drove for Lyft and got multiple contract gigs from passengers. Getting out and meeting people got her out of her funk.

[44:55] Volunteering is another way to feel fulfilled by sharing skills you have that others need and value. Sometimes a non-profit will hire people from among their volunteers who are mission-driven.

[46:07] Marc tells of his image consultant, Jean, who has launched a Fulfillment by Amazon business for a pierced earring back for women with sagging earlobes. She sources them in China and sells them on Amazon.

[47:04] There are all types of things you can do to make money these days.

[47:15] Kathy’s closing thoughts: everybody who wants to go to work, goes to work, whether at a job with benefits or a gig. The only people who don’t get a job are people who quit looking and quit believing in themselves. Reach out. Surround yourself with people who are energetic, positive, supportive, and excited. Help each other succeed!

[48:23] Marc thanks Kathy and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc has known Kathy for over a decade. Her dedication to helping older workers find jobs is remarkable. Marc wants you to remember the word ‘tenacity.’

[48:47] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[48:59] 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.

[49:14] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. Right now they are forming a writers’ guild. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[49:43] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[50:09] Please come back next week, when Marc will speak with Andrew Scott, co-author of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, on what you are going to do with all that extra time in your life.

[50:21] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[50:25] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-126.

[50:34] 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.

Apr 29, 2019

Paul Tasner, Co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks, Inc., and more recently, Co-founder of Sort, has 40 years of operations experience. He has held leadership positions in ventures ranging from startup to Fortune 100. For the last decade, his focus has been on sustainability.

 

Seven years ago, Paul took a leap of faith while his peers were contemplating retirement. He embraced the challenge of disrupting the traditional packaging industry. Appalled by the amount of plastic pollution on our planet, and no longer content to accept the dangers of plastic packaging materials, he founded PulpWorks and set out to create a safe, eco-friendly packaging for consumer products. PulpWorks uses paper and agricultural waste to mold compostable packaging and therefore diminish the waste deposited in our landfills, waterways, and oceans. In 2016, PulpWorks was awarded a patent for their Karta-pack™, a compostable replacement for the toxic plastic blister pack. PulpWorks and Paul have been recipients of more than 20 awards and the subject of more than 70 stories in the media. Paul was selected as the TED Resident in 2017. His TED Talk on sustainability, entrepreneurism, and ageism has been seen by more than two million viewers and translated into 28 languages.

 

In 2018, Paul, with colleagues in San Francisco and Mexico City, founded Sort, a company using artificial intelligence, IOT, and computer-vision technology to solve the contamination challenges facing the recycling industry.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 125 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:45] 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.

[2:06] This week is Episode 125. Marc has been doing the Repurpose Your Career podcast for two-and-a-half years. The podcast should exceed 8,000 downloads this month! Five episodes have had 1,700 downloads or more in the last year.

[2:26] Marc has been blown away at the success of this podcast! The audience is one of the smallest demographics — Baby Boomers — that listens to podcasts. Marc says, Thank you!

[2:31] Next week Marc will speak with Kathy Lansford. Marc has known Kathy as the founder of Launch Pad Job Club, which is one of the first and one of the largest job clubs in Texas, founded in 2001. They are calling the discussion, “Got Hope? Current and Future Job Prospects for 50+ Workers.”

[2:59] This week, Marc is interviewing Paul Tasner. Marc shares Paul’s bio.

[5:47] Marc welcomes Paul Tasner to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Paul feels that in real life he is not the person one envisions after reading his bio. He will let the audience judge.

[6:52] Marc found Paul through his TED Talk, which Marc found very inspiring to those of us in the second half of life.

[7:28] The first half of Paul’s life was devoted to engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain, including packaging and logistics, always as an employee. He had what appeared to be good jobs. Sadly, they didn’t remain good jobs. Entrepreneurism, however, has remained great for Paul.

[10:38] Paul asks people if they’ve considered entrepreneurism, and they say it’s risky. Paul says they’re at greater risk in their corporate job than Paul is as an entrepreneur.

[11:37] At age 64, Paul was fired. His company had done poorly and had a series of layoffs to meet budgetary restraints. The CEO who had hired Paul was replaced. The new CEO was someone Paul had known before and Paul was sorry to see him again.

[14:22] Paul was leaving the building on a Friday afternoon and was called into a meeting. The meeting was his exit interview. He and two others were let go. Paul met his wife and another couple at a restaurant, where he informed them he was just fired.

[16:06] On some level, the firing wasn’t a surprise to Paul. It was overdue and just the push that he needed. He never looked back. It was a blessing in disguise.

[17:10] Paul had flirted with entrepreneurism all his life but just hadn’t taken the plunge.

[17:52] In the 1990s Paul had consulted with some success and had gotten a permanent position from it. So he tried it again, only because he needed an income. He did it without any real passion and he felt that was not OK for his last career chapter.

[20:05] A former colleague of Paul’s had started his own business in Asia, creating packaging out of molded pulp fiber made from waste material. He asked if Paul wanted to be his North American sales manager. At first, Paul wasn’t interested.

[21:24] After thinking about the offer, Paul realized he really liked what his former colleague was doing. Paul came up with a counter-offer to start his own company in the States and outsource the manufacturing to his former colleague. They agreed.

[22:17] Paul’s former colleague’s business and Paul’s business both changed, and they no longer work with each other. Today, Paul has several other manufacturing partners that manufacture packaging for consumer goods for Paul’s company. Most packaging is high-end, using sugarcane fibers that create a sleek-looking package, almost white.

[23:33] Most of PulpWorks’s clients fall into the premium end of consumer products, such as electronics, cosmetics, and premium food items. PulpWorks is a small company and can’t compete with mass-producing products for huge organizations. Their production runs are short. Paul feels it is a fairly nice niche.

[24:40] Most of the packaging PulpWorks makes is designed to replace similar packaging made from plastic. We encounter unnecessary plastic packaging every day.

[26:06] Plastic disposal is in a crisis. Paul explains how we shot ourselves in the foot with China. Some waste management companies have no option but to put recyclables into landfills. They don’t have a market for it anymore.

[27:51] PulpWorks has always had two full-time employees: Paul and his Co-founder. Everyone else is a contractor, a temp, or a consultant. There are about half-a-dozen people according to the situation. They use lawyers, accountants, designers, coordinators. There is a deep pool in the gig economy and Paul has a large network.

[29:04] Paul and his Co-founder tried to raise money for the business but never did. They boot-strapped it all There were valid reasons people did not invest in PulpWorks and some reasons Paul thought were less valid, such as his age! Paul says the success rate of older entrepreneurs is 70%; far better than the rate of young entrepreneurs.

[30:35] Older entrepreneurs are a very successful group and getting more successful every day because the Baby Boomer Generation is growing in ranks and will outnumber the youngest generation that is in the workforce.

[31:18] Employers are going to have a problem if they simply set their sites on hiring twenty-somethings. They’re going to run out of talent. There just aren’t enough twenty-somethings to fill the roles.
[31:38] Success among older folks continues to rise. The 70% success rate of older entrepreneurs is a good number to bet on.

[31:53] PulpWorks is at cruising speed. They have their infrastructure completely developed and in place. Most of their efforts are focused on securing more business. They get a lot of inquiries online. They come up very high in SEO. They are intent on growing their revenues. They have no plans to sell the business.

[33:06] Paul is 73. If he feels pretty much the same as he does today five years from now, he will still be doing this or something like this. He loves what he is doing and gets up early to check his email every day. He keeps in pretty good shape by walking a lot.

He likes his boss a lot! He’s a good guy.

[34:49] You can reach Paul at PulpWorksInc.com, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Info@PulpWorksInc.com goes to Paul’s inbox, eventually.

[35:34] When Marc saw Paul’s TED Talk, he told himself, he needed to get Paul on the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Marc calls Paul a real inspiration. Marc and Paul agree they both want to work as long as they love what they’re doing.

[36:00] Paul talks about Sort, the new business he has started with a couple of partners. Unlike PulpWorks, it can’t be bootstrapped. They need to raise money in order to launch it. There are capital requirements in order for it to be successful. It’s a tech venture. They are in Northern California, where tech is king, so they hope to find the capital.

[37:03] Marc thanks Paul and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Paul is a great guy. Marc recommends that you watch Paul’s TED Talk.

[37:22] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[37:33] 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.

[37:48] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[38:11] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[38:30] Please come back next week, when Marc will speak with Kathy Lansford on current and future job prospects for the 50+ workers.

[38:39] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[38:44] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-125.

[38:52] 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. And, if you’re listening anywhere else, please let Marc know!

Apr 22, 2019

Over four decades, Patti Temple Rocks has held senior leadership positions in three distinct communication sectors: PR, advertising, and corporate/client side. She is an inspirational leader, innovative thinker, problem-solver, growth driver, brand steward, and an agent of change. Patti is passionate about fighting age discrimination and helping people understand how it harms individuals, businesses, and society, as a whole. You can learn more about this issue at Imnotdone.rocks.

 

Listen in for ways you can have this conversation where you work and where you live.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:09] Marc welcomes you to Episode 124 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:41] 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.

[2:02] Next week will be Episode 125. Marc has categorized the episodes. Look for them on CareerPivot.com/podcast. Scroll past the player to find Show Notes by Category, including interviews, audiobook chapters, series, and more.

[3:23] Let Marc know what you think about how they are organized. Feel free to email Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com

[3:38] Next week, Marc will interview Paul Tasner. Marc found Paul through his TED Talk where he told his story of being laid off at the age of 64 and becoming an entrepreneur and formed Pulpworks.

[4:01] This week, Marc interviews Patti Temple Rocks, the author of a great book on Ageism.

[5:46] Marc welcomes Patti to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Patti reveals some of her personal passions: traveling and experiencing local cultures.

[6:28] Patti explains the inspiration to write her book. Her boss and mentor, the first women to reach the C-suite at this large corporation, was pushed to the sideline. Patti asked the CEO why, and he said she was “just tired.” Patti knew that wasn’t true, and she started noticing age discrimination from that point on.

[8:45] Patti’s wanted to make sure that didn’t happen to her, and to prepare for the day when the workplace decided it was time for her to go do something else.

[9:10] Patti found a lot of writings about creating a second career when you are not perceived as valuable in your first career. Patti wasn’t ready to go do something else. She still had a lot to offer and give. Patti realized there were others who felt the same.

[9:55] Patti’s book focuses on a message for businesses: You’ve got to change because there is this huge population of us who are reaching the stereotypical retirement age and we’re not going to want to go.

[10:37] Marc has noticed code words for ageism. One term used in his workplace was he “doesn’t have the energy.” Patti says “digital native” can exclude Boomers.

[11:07] Chris Farrell in Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life, says that companies are going to need Boomers. Without companies changing their behaviors, there will still be ageism.

[11:29] When Marc interviewed Ashton Applewhite she had said that Boomers need to change behaviors. Patti saw there was room for her book.

[11:51] In Patti’s opinion, there were a lot of people willing to make assumptions without having conversations about what is in the best interest of the company and the employee. Talking about age is considered taboo. Talking about salary is forbidden. More transparency in business will uncover inequities.

[13:16] People assume that when an employee reaches a certain age, they don’t want to travel or move, or they are not worth training. These untruths continue due to lack of conversation.

[13:40] Ageism exists because we don’t talk about it. Patti remembers a time when there were no diversity and inclusion officers or strategies. Today, we are talking about racism and sexism in corporations and in society. Age does not have that protection.

[15:31] We need to start noticing when workers in their 50s and 60s are being ushered out of organizations. Ask the question, “What’s going on in my organization?” We can make a change. Marc tells of a case of disguised ageism from his corporate history.

[16:30] Patti gives an example of ageism from her own career. Our view of retirement changes as we approach the expected retirement age.

[19:34] Marc will interview Andrew Scott in May. Andrew and his wife, Lynda Gratton, wrote The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity. Young adults are probably not going to retire until they’re 85. They just haven’t figured that out, yet.

[20:29] Marc talks about Del Webb, who opened the first Sun City on January 1, 1960, with five model homes and a strip mall. 10,000 cars came through the first day. A lot of the people smoked. They were in their 60s and weren’t going to live for more than 10 years. Today a married couple of age 65 have a good chance that one will live to 100.

[21:53] Patti talks about how Herman Miller has addressed ageism. They realized that if everybody who was eligible for retirement took it at the time of their eligibility, they would have serious labor shortage and knowledge-transfer problems.

[22:47] Herman Miller also noticed that most people were retiring without giving much notice. Those people were also not really prepared for retirement. Herman Miller created a program of flex retirement that encouraged employees to work with their managers to plan for retirement in steps, as much as five years ahead of time.

[24:13] There almost always was a solution that was in the best interests both of the company and the employee. A major benefit for Herman Miller was in being able to plan for orderly successions with the person whose job is being filled making some contributions to the discussions. This program was a win-win.

[25:08] Companies need to realize that it’s in their best interests, from a labor standpoint, to keep their employees around longer. If we Boomers can get people talking about ageism, and treating it as a taboo subject, solutions will arise from that conversation.

[26:13] Patti interviewed many people who had experienced ageism. One obvious conclusion is that older workers are not around because of their higher salaries. It’s up to all of us to continue to prove our value, no matter what our age, so that we earn our salary. In cost-cutting times, that may mean reduced hours or a lower-paying job.

[27:51] 100% of the people Patti interviewed said that if their boss had offered the option to change roles and reduce compensation, they would surely have considered it and more than likely would have taken it. Most people aren’t in a position to completely retire in their 50s or early 60s, if for no other reason than the high cost of health insurance.

[28:30] Nobody should take a pay cut for doing the exact same job but companies can find a way to reorganize someone’s job to use their strengths at a lower salary.

[28:51] Marc is living in Mexico because of the high cost of health insurance in the U.S. Marc also notes that he never was offered at any job the option to do something different for less money.

[29:20] One of the common themes in Marc’s online community is that everybody wants the freedom of when they want to work, what they want to work on, and how hard they want to work. It’s not as much about the pay.

[29:43] Patti has seen through her career that everybody wants flexibility and freedom. It is especially important toward the end of a career. CVS offered a package to pharmacists and store managers to spend winters in Florida. This solved a training and staffing problem and worked out well for older workers. Flexibility is huge.

[32:11] Patti’s hope is that, as a result of this conversation in society, we will all have more choices about our own end of careers.

[33:46] Patti has the idea that the vast majority of people who don’t get employee reviews when they’re supposed to are over 40. It’s sort of decided for us at that age that we care less about career development. Patti says, let’s take control of the end of our careers, not just the beginning of our careers.

[34:28] Marc doesn’t ever want to retire. He wants to work less at something he loves, on his terms.

[34:46] Patti’s book, I’m Not Done: It’s Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, is available on Amazon. Patti’s website is Imnotdone.rocks and you can reach out to her there. Patti’s focus in her writings is to continue to raise awareness for this topic. People always thank her for bringing this up. Patti is not done talking about it!

[35:41] Marc thanks Patti and hopes you enjoyed this episode. Ageism is not going away anytime soon. Marc recommends Patti’s book. Let him know what you think of it.

[36:00] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[36:11] 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.

[36:27] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[36:52] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[37:14] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Paul Tasner, owner of Pulpworks.

[37:20] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[37:25] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-124.

[37:32] 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.

Apr 15, 2019

Creative destruction occurs when a disruptive industry supplants a legacy industry, causing the loss of some jobs and the creation of others. Marc explains the need to get ahead of the disruptions in your industry, using examples from industrial giants who quickly became insignificant or who vanished as a result of unexpected market or social movements. Marc shares current technological changes and views of more drastic changes soon to come.

 

Listen in for a sample of the helpful advice in the new edition of Repurpose Your Career.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:14] Marc welcomes you to Episode 123 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to 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 they reach, the more people they can help.
[2:06] Next week, Marc will be interviewing Patti Temple Rocks, author of I’m Not Done: It's Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, a great book on ageism. Marc thinks you will like this great interview.

[2:20] If you are a regular listener to this show, you probably noticed that Marc has stopped talking about the next edition of his book, Repurpose Your Career. Susan Lahey and Marc are back on track and a draft of the third edition just got sent to the copy editor.

[2:35] Marc’s plan is to release the third edition of the book in September of this year.

[2:41] This week, Marc will read the pre-release chapter, “Learn to Embrace Creative Destruction.” He plans to release this chapter in PDF form to the review team within a week.

[2:54] If you are interested in being on the release team and get early access to chapters in the new edition, go to careerpivot.com/rycteam. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.
[3:12] The pre-release chapter of “Learn to Embrace Creative Destruction.” In his book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains the problem of turkeys. A butcher feeds a turkey for 1,000 days. Every day that that turkey’s life remains constant confirms the surety of his current existence.

[3:40] “This is the way it goes. This is the way it has always gone. This is the way it always will go.” All of the data confirms that butchers love turkeys. The turkey can rest confident in this idea because he has 999 days of benevolent treatment to back it up.

[4:01] Then, a few days before Thanksgiving, everything in his worldview is upturned. This is what Taleb calls a ‘black swan event.’ All of the evidence proves it can’t happen, until it does.

[4:16] The truth is that this is the normal course of things in human existence. A sudden rain shower hits the picnic. A car accident ruins travel plans. A financial windfall or unexpected romance changes your trajectory. Death comes unexpectedly. This is how life is.

[4:36] In the world of work, the force behind these changes is often the power of creative destruction. One thing is destroyed and another is created. The turkey’s life is over. Dinner is served.

[4:52] If the change is in our favor, we think it’s a good change. If the change is not in our favor, we think it’s a bad change. Regardless of how we feel about it, though, it’s going to happen. We need not be taken by surprise, like the turkey.

[5:10] I was listening to a rebroadcast of a Freakonomics Radio podcast called “How Safe Is Your Job?” The hosts were talking about pianos. In 1905, they said, 400,000 pianos were made in America. If you wanted music in your house, you learned to play the piano.

[5:31] The phonograph had been created 30 years before, in 1877 but phonograph sales didn’t take off until 1915. A decade later, the radio became popular. Then, eventually, the tape player, the eight-track, the CD player, and streaming and…

[5:49] Today only about 30,000 pianos are made each year, about eight percent of the number made in 1905.

[5:58] Each new iteration of musical enjoyment was a form of creative destruction. Each caused people in the previous industry to lose jobs or pivot.

[6:09] In 1975, an employee of the Kodak company created a digital camera. But instead of developing it, Kodak concluded it was a non-starter because they didn’t think people wanted to look at their pictures on their TVs. So the company continued on focusing on chemical film until it became clear that they had bet on the wrong horse.

[6:31] In 2001, Kodak had the second-most-popular digital camera on the market but lost $60 on every sale. A decade later, Kodak declared bankruptcy.

[6:47] In these cases, creative destruction took 20, 30, or 40 years to bring down one giant and birth another. Now, that pace is accelerating.

[6:58] Amazon.com was founded in 1994 and, initially, just sold books. They were credited with the demise of several brick-and-mortar bookselling chains. Over the next 11 years, Amazon moved into retailing pretty much everything and by 2015, it passed Walmart to be the most valuable retailer in the world, by market capitalization.

[7:24] It took them and their online retail competitors only a few years to bring down what had been a staple of the world economy, the brick-and-mortar store.

[7:36] In 2018, Amazon started buying surviving brick-and-mortar retailers, including Whole Foods, presumably to collect data on people who still shop there and further strengthen their market presence.

[7:50] Now, Amazon is opening brick-and-mortar stores around the country, including convenience and book stores. They’re remaking retail, Amazon-style.

[8:00] The iPhone was created only 11 years ago, in 2007, but at that time, I used my phone for talking to people.

[8:10] Today, this is what I use my phone for: the weather report from the Weather Channel app; manage my social media with LinkedIn and Twitter. I removed the Facebook app after the last presidential elections.

[8:23] I take and view pictures, edit files in Google Drive or Dropbox, communicate with clients over Skype, check scores on the ESPN app, find my keys, using the Tile app, listen to podcasts and audiobooks (as I no longer listen to the radio), find the new coffee shop via Google Maps or Apple Maps, …

[8:45] … enter the YMCA by swiping the barcode in the YMCA app, manage multiple credit cards and bank accounts, show the police officer my proof of insurance via the State Farm app, check airline schedules to see if my son’s flight home is on time, …

[9:04] … search Google to answer the question my wife just asked me, and watch House Hunters International on HGTV via the Sling TV app. Oh, and a lot of people use them to listen to music.

[9:17] Because of the technology we have now, everything is being reimagined, reconfigured, reinvented, at a pace our parents never could have conceived of. One way to say it is the world is being ‘SMACed.’

[9:38] S = Social media: LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat. Today, people go to social media for everything. It’s the U.S. Mail, the telephone, the photo album, the gossip chain, the opinion column, the news, the entertainment, education, and job board, all rolled in one.

[10:02] It’s also one place employers go to find you and find out whether you are the kind of candidate they want.

[10:10] M = Mobile. Roughly 60% of adults get their news on a mobile device. According to the research by the Pew Research Foundation, mobile apps track our behavior and our preferences as well as give us a means to pay for things. People use mobile devices to shop, to bank, and to date.

[10:32] If your career isn’t mobile-friendly, you will be left in the dust.

[10:39] A = Analytics. More data has been collected in the last few years than was collected in the previous century. A lot of it is coming voluntarily from our activities via social media and mobile.

[10:55] How we shop, where we shop, what we pay with, where we go online, and even how long it takes to get somewhere are some of the things that inform this data. Do you remember the movie, Minority Report, where Tom Cruise walks through the mall and hyper-customized ads display everywhere?

[11:15] Analytics will affect how you are hired.

[11:19] C = Cloud. Cloud is changing everything in the technology world. Most of the major technology hardware vendors are seeing portions of their business collapse because data isn’t being stored on their hardware. It’s being stored in the Cloud.

[11:39] A classic example is IBM, who missed the shift and is seeing massive changes in their business. Their hardware business is collapsing. Cloud computing is sometimes referred to as SaaS or Software as a Service.

[11:55] With SaaS, you don’t have to buy a disc. You don’t have to save data on your computer. You don’t have to have a photo album or a filing cabinet. You can keep everything in the Cloud.

[12:10] Also, you can get services in the Cloud, rather than hiring someone to do them, like bookkeeping, record keeping, customer relationship management, and marketing.

[12:19] You can book travel on the Cloud, make appointments in the Cloud, even hold conversations in the Cloud. SMAC is a representation of what we’ve long called the Robot Invasion. Articles have said for decades that robots are going to take our jobs. And SMAC is robots doing just that.

[12:40] Some people assume the jobs robots can do are severely limited. I’m here to say, “Nope.”

[12:48] Surprising jobs a robot can do: journalism.

[12:52] An article in Wired called, “What News-Writing Bots Mean to the Future of Journalism,” leads with “When Republican Steve King beat back Democratic challenger Kim Weaver in the race for Iowa’s 4th District seat in November, the Washington Post snapped into action, covering both the win and the wider electoral trend.”

[13:15] “‘Republicans retain the control of the House and lost only a handful of seats from their commanding majority,’ the article read, ‘a stunning reversal of fortune after many GOP leaders feared double-digit losses.’”

[13:30] “The dispatch came with the clarity and verve for which Post reporters are known, with one key difference: It was generated by Heliograf, a bot that made its debut on the Post’s website last year and marked the most sophisticated use of artificial intelligence in journalism to date.”

[13:52] Any type of writing that is based on data can be replaced with automation and robots. In fact, artificial intelligence is working to take over creative writing, too. Another piece, in the Observer, is called “Will Robots That Can Write Steal Your Creative Job?”

[14:12] The author writes, “So, could the machines eventually begin to analyze popular fiction and start to come up with all new narratives that fit our tastes? Indeed, to ever more narrow tastes? We have already seen greater individuation in fiction as the e-book market has made shelf space infinite.”

[14:36] “Before e-books took off, novels about werewolves were already a healthy little Fantasy and Science Fiction sub-genre. Since e-books, though, billionaire werewolf romance novels are now a thing.”

[14:52] Automation robots will have an incredible impact on medical professions. If a doctor wants an EKG, he can record it on your smartphone app. All of your medical data will be digitized, including X-ray images, CT Scans, and MRIs.

[15:12] The Economist produced a special report called “Automation and Anxiety,” which discussed the impact on medicine of deep learning. A product from Enlitic can outperform doctors in reading diagnostic images.

[15:27] It’s not just the images are sent to places like India or China to be evaluated by doctors who are paid less but automation and robots are actually doing the work that doctors have always done.

[15:40] Jobs are being eliminated in retail at an alarming rate. Retail giants like Sears have shed legacy brands such as Craftsman and Lands End in an effort to survive. Many specialty chains are failing, like Tailored Brands (TLRD), owner of stores like Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank.

[16:05] Amazon is opening up stores like Amazon Go, where people can do their whole shopping trip without interacting with a single person. As the “Fight for Fifteen” movement works to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, one of the unintended consequences will be the deployment of automation and robots.

[16:25] I’m already seeing fast food chains rolling out mobile apps and kiosks where you can order your food and never have to speak to a person.

[16:35] I’m seeing lots of requests for career middle managers in the retail segment looking for assistance in getting out of the industry. A 2018 study by PWC predicts that nearly 40% of jobs in the U.S. may be vulnerable to replacement by robots in the next 15 years.

[16:54] Hopefully, I’ve demonstrated to you that professions that one would have thought would be immune to automation and robots are at risk. Similarly, if the industry where you are working is at risk, you must be on the lookout.

[17:10] If you think you are safe from automation and robots sabotaging your career, you must be smoking something! And yes, you are inhaling.

[17:22] It is devastating to realize that the career you built — the skills you’ve honed, the seniority you’ve acquired — have all been wiped out because someone built a robot that can do what you do faster and cheaper if not better.

[17:38] For many people, these changes have hit like an earthquake or hurricane. They are living in a career disaster area. They will recover but they’re not moving back into the old house.

[17:52] Sally was 65 and was a consummate marketing professional. She had worked in a variety of different industries over the span of her career. At different times in her career, she worked freelance and she worked for some major agencies.

[18:06] Like many of her peers, she took a hit in the great recession. Then her spouse passed away suddenly and Sally decided to move across the country to be closer to her children.

[18:16] Now, she’s trying to re-establish herself in a new city where the culture and job market are very young and vibrant. Sally is taking courses in social media and digital marketing but the skills required to be productive marketing professional have made tectonic shifts in the direction of technology.

[18:37] In the 1990s, when I was working in a marketing and sales support function in IBM marketing or in the executive briefing center, we produced presentations and marketing collateral; web content that supported the sale of IBM hardware and software. That world no longer exists.

[18:56] The world that does exist today, as I launch the Career Pivot Online Community, requires a completely new set of skills. I’m learning about Facebook marketing, Google Adwords, re-marketing, re-targeting, pixeling strategies, ad networks, and other digital marketing approaches.

[19:14] When I made the decision to leave the world of technology marketing, more than 15 years ago, I left a place that looks nothing like it does today. Can Sally shift into this new technological marketing world that’s populated with a very young workforce, at the age of 65? It’s possible but not probable.

[19:37] Larry is also 65. He is an engineer who has worked for some of the top companies that designed and manufactured leading computer hardware through his career. He was a program and project manager for huge multinational, multi-company development projects with huge scope and complexity. That world is disappearing, fast.

[19:59] Companies like HP, IBM and others have seen their hardware business almost completely disappear. Companies like Sun and DEC have been wiped off the map in a very short period of time.

[20:14] There are many like Larry, who built their careers around designing large and ever-growing complex hardware systems. But in the last 10 years, the hardware market has been commoditized. The iPhone sitting next to me has more computing power and function than huge computers of just a few years ago.

[20:35] Larry interviewed for a program management job with one of the leading Cloud infrastructure companies. And the first thing they asked him to do was to take a coding test. What?! A coding test? For a program management job?

[20:51] Like Larry, I haven’t written a line of code in over 15 years. Could I pass a coding test? Probably not. Does it make sense that they want to see if he can code? Probably not. But that’s not the world we live in, now.

[21:06] They moved my cheese. The complex world that Larry excelled and thrived in moved from hardware to software, at Warp speed. They moved Larry’s cheese —  referencing the book Who Moved My Cheese, an amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life by Dr. Spencer Johnson — and he didn’t even realize it.

[21:31] The career space that Larry and his peers lived in for so many years now looks like a career disaster area. Like Sally, he could retool but can he do it fast enough and be accepted in a very young, fast-moving market? It’s possible but not probable.

[21:52] It’s now time to shift expectations and direction. People can and do rebuild after a disaster. Sometimes people have to walk away from the disaster scene because it’s just too risky to stay. This is the destruction part. But after a period of grieving all that, it’s time to move away from destruction and get on with creation.

[22:15] From here out, there is no safe haven where you can just tuck yourself in and work as long as you want to work. Creative destruction is happening every day and you have to be constantly learning, evolving, and pivoting. How you do that is the subject of the next chapter.

[22:35] Action steps: Is your industry in the process of being SMACed? Evaluate where you’re keeping up with changes. Research what skills you need to keep up with your current industry and how much of a challenge will that be? Does it mean going back to school or merely taking online classes?

[22:55] Write down how your current skills might be useful in other emerging business types or industries.

[23:04] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. It is imperative that you learn to embrace creative destruction, as it’s not going away. If anything, it’s going to accelerate.

[23:15] The Career Pivot Community website has become a valuable resource for about 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[23:27] 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.

[23:43] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[24:07] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[24:28] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Patti Temple Rocks, author of I’m Not Done: It's Time to Talk About Ageism in the Workplace, a great book on ageism.

[24:38] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[24:43] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-123.

[24:57] 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.

Apr 8, 2019

Susan is Marc’s co-author for the Repurpose Your Career books. Susan Lahey is a freelance writer who is driven to taking on new challenges, whether they’re writing about the nature of meaning, the scary adventure of changing your career, or truly death-defying acts like jumping out of airplanes and parenting. Marc was her first real Austin client.

 

Listen in for an update, where Susan discusses her upcoming move to Portugal.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:09] Marc welcomes you to Episode 122 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:40] 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.
[1:58] Regular listeners probably have noticed Marc has stopped talking about the next edition of the Repurpose Your Career book. Between last week’s episode about the Miller’s trip back to Austin and starting the resident visa process and this week’s episode, it is evident that the Millers have gotten busy but are getting back on track.

[2:23] Marc’s current plan is to release the third edition of the book in September of this year (2019). He will continue to release preview chapters starting in a couple of weeks.

[2:35] Next week, Marc will read one of the pre-release chapters of the next edition. Stay tuned!

[2:42] This week, Marc will share an Encore Episode of Episode 54, where he interviewed Susan Lahey, who is the co-author on the Repurpose Your Career books. Marc shares Susan’s bio.

[3:33] Marc is excited to present this episode. Susan is a freelance writer and a lot of the listeners want to become freelance writers.
[3:55] Susan is always tempted to stay home with her adult children and watch Netflix, paint, and hide out from everyone. So she makes herself go do stuff, instead. She just got a tattoo that says “Life is Short” to remind herself to push past whatever fears and barriers she has.

[5:12] Susan was a newspaper reporter for the beginning of her career, at the Kansas City Star, from age 17 through college and as her first job out of school. After several years she got a job as an associate editor of a business lifestyle magazine in KC. She left there to raise a family, freelancing from home.

[5:57] At age 42, Susan was divorced. She took the children and moved to an off-the-grid house in New Mexico, taking what work she could get. The Taos News wanted her as a freelancer but didn’t move on it.

[6:58] She started working as a community liaison for an EPA technical assistance group for a Superfund project. That was tough since she did not speak Spanish and was new to the community. She also did substitute teaching. She was broke.

[7:29] Susan and her children volunteered at a food pantry for the food. Finally, she got on as a freelancer with the Taos News, for maybe $100 an article.

[8:19] Taos was challenging in being far behind the times. Susan was out of touch with the times as a freelancer. She wanted to give her children a better opportunity.

[9:41] After a trip to Europe they were motivated to change their lives. Austin had “a similar vibe” to Taos, a University, and a lot of intellectual capital. Susan rented an apartment and drove the family to Austin to start over. She sold the house in Taos for “five dollars.”

[11:02] At first in Austin, she wrote eHow articles but that was unsatisfying for her. Susan met Marc and attended networking events. She met Jenny Magic. Susan learned how to market herself online with blogs and web content and how to network. Susan used EMDR psychotherapy to help her overcome the fear and stress of networking.

[15:38] Creatives are typically introverted so selling themselves as “a creative” is really hard for them. Confidence is essential for approaching clients.

[17:31] Marc was Susan’s first major client. Then she got some blogs. Through a contact recommended by Marc, she started writing articles for a tech news startup, Silicon Hills News, and finally got paid reasonably. Susan has covered SXSW for the last six years and she went to Thailand and Norway to see their technologies.

[19:41] Susan got an article in Wired and is hoping to write more for them. She had also written a profile for bootstrap guru Bijoy Goswami, who works people through the psychological risks and fears of starting your own business.

[20:14] Bijoy introduced Susan to his best friend, Danny Gutknecht, and Susan worked with him on one book and other writings. They will write more. Most of her work is with Danny. When Susan has 'bandwidth,' she looks for freelance work online (at GlassDoor and MediaBistro) and she networks.

[21:20] Susan mentors and one woman she mentored hooked her up with a gig of writing for Zendesk. She still does journalism.

[21:45] Susan was an old-school journalism person. Her idea of journalism came from All the President’s Men. Her sister was a journalist. She never imagined journalism wouldn’t be there for her. Most of her friends who were journalists are out of jobs. Journalism is dying. Journalism can’t find a business model that works today.

[22:41] Susan never imagined she would be a tech writer or a business writer, and she is so glad she pursued both of those because that’s the direction the world is going. She never thought she would get to travel the world for tech writing.

[23:31] When Susan was asked to find her ‘why’ she had never thought about it. She realized that she loved writing about people who were doing scary, brave things. She uses Marc as an example. When he started his business, it was scary new for him, but also, scary new for the job pivoters he is helping. Her children encouraged her career.

[24:46] For the most part, Susan’s career pivot has turned out amazingly. She’s definitely not rich, but she’s supporting herself, doing what she loves. It fuels her as well as paying her. Ninety-nine percent of what Susan writes fits that category.

[25:11] Marc is proud of Susan. In spite of her hard times, she has survived. Her three great children have gone to college on full scholarships, and are doing well. Her oldest is teaching English in Tangier, as Susan continues to enjoy her career.

[25:54] People tell Susan she’s brave but they have no idea how hard she has to work to be brave. She’s sometimes afraid but she just makes herself do things. She recommends people examine why they act a certain way or go in a certain direction. They need to examine their self-limiting ideas. People need to steer their own ship. [27:24] Susan hopes to move to Morocco in the next year or so. Marc mentions his plans to move to Ajijic, Mexico. Marc thanks Susan for telling her story.

[29:04] Marc welcomes Susan back after the interview for an update on her career since this episode was recorded.

[29:16] Susan is now planning to move to Portugal. She just got back from there. She was planning to move to Morocco, originally, but her son cautioned her that as long as she doesn’t understand Arabic, she would not be safe in the street culture.

[29:45] She started looking at other options, such as Portugal, that have a visa for self-employed people who make a moderate living. The Netherlands has a similar visa. Susan settled on Portugal because the Netherlands is cold and expensive and Portugal is warm and cheap.

[30:10] Everyone Susan mentioned it to told her Portugal is so beautiful she wouldn’t believe it. She wanted to apply for the visa before visiting but she needed an actual lease on an apartment and a tax number before that was possible. Rather than hire someone to do that, she went herself, to set things up. That was a really good idea.

[30:57] When Susan’s youngest graduated from college she felt free to do what she has always wanted to do — move to Europe. Until she moves, she and her son have moved in with her daughter. They all get along really well.

[31:56] Susan’s youngest son will go to Portugal with her on a visit, to check it out. He might also move to Portugal. Susan’s daughter just went with her on her recent trip, and she loves it!

[32:28] Because Susan is single the prospect of being an empty-nester was terrifying to her. For the last twenty-something years her purpose had been to raise her three children. Now she has to find out what is important for her. She doesn't want to fill time taking spin classes or doing Soduko. She has always wanted to travel.

[33:27] She decided she needed to find a place where she could live and see the world more inexpensively. It’s hard and expensive to get around the world from the U.S.

[33:54] Susan has talked to several of her clients and told them her plans. Since she works remotely with most people, anyway, no one was concerned. Susan has never met some of her clients in person. While she might work with some Portuguese companies, it is simpler to just keep working with her U.S. clients.

[34:37] Susan has “sort of” figured out the technology she needs. She got an apartment, and a SIM card, so she now has a Portuguese phone number. She almost made an illegal and costly mistake with an apartment contract.

[35:15] She ended up hiring an advisor or consultant who took her to the local tax office for a tax number, to the bank for a bank account, and recommended a fantastic real estate agent, who hustles. The agent took Susan to several different apartments.

[36:38] Susan was considering two apartments. Both the owners backed out because Susan was not from Portugal and didn’t have a co-signer. Her agent found her another apartment but Susan is waiting for the contract. Every contract is drawn up by a lawyer; they don’t have boilerplate contracts for apartments. Each contract is bilingual.

[37:37] On Facebook, Susan was looking at a group for the area. Fabiola, Susan’s real estate agent, who will live in the same neighborhood, had put a post on the group talking about what internet provider she would use. Susan believes she will go with the same provider.

[37:53] If nothing else, Susan will go to a café for the internet.

[38:00] Marc is very proud of Susan for having made this leap. Marc comments that in Mexico, ‘mañana’ does not mean tomorrow; it means not today.

[38:14] Susan thanks Marc for all the help getting ready to go. She finds Portugal to be very chill and relaxed. Someone there told her she should move there. Susan felt she could really do this. She loves Portugal. It’s stunningly beautiful, the food is very good, and everything is affordable. People are insanely nice. It’s going to be great!

[39:18] Marc thanks Susan for giving us an update on her experiences. Susan appreciates how supportive Marc has been while she has been preparing to go. Marc says he talked Susan off the ledge before she went.

[39:42] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Susan has done a lot of research on her move. Marc was afraid she would move to Portugal without ever visiting there.

[39:55] In Episode 119, Marc interviewed Queen Michele, who moved to the North Shore of Lake Chapala without having ever visited. Queen did a ton of research and even walked around the town using Google Maps’ Street View feature.

[40:13] Marc “talked Susan off the ledge” before she went, and she’s doing quite well.

[40:20] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members in the Beta phase of this project. They have crossed the 50-member threshold! Marc is recruiting new members for the next cohort in a few weeks.

[40:33] 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.

[40:48] Those who are in these initial cohorts set the direction of this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[41:12] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[41:33] Please come back next week, when Marc will read a chapter from the next edition of Repurpose Your Career.

[41:39] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[41:43] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-122.

[41:56] 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.

Apr 1, 2019

In this episode, Marc covers the events of the Millers’ trip back to Austin where they stayed with an old friend, Marc’s presentation to an association of his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop, getting rid of old stuff, connecting with old friends, and stocking up for the trip back to Ajijic. Marc covers the steps to getting resident visas, crossing the border, and meeting with their attorney in Mexico to get their paperwork processed.

Listen in to this fascinating episode for insight into becoming an expat with U.S. ties.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:12] Marc welcomes you to Episode 121 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:41] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:02] Next week, Marc will share an Encore Episode where he interviews Susan Lahey, who is the co-author on the Repurpose Your Career books. He is trying to get Susan to speak to us about her move to Portugal. That’s where Susan is, as Marc records this episode.

[2:26] This week, Marc will be discussing their trip back to Austin, his experiences in Austin, their return trip and the start of the Resident Visa process, first in the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo, and then back in Ajijic. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.

[2:44] Marc had a variety of reasons to return to Austin at this time. In the first week in March, Marc was speaking at the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange, an association. The speaking gig was booked long in advance of the Millers’ move to Ajijic. Marc also needed to get the car inspected and the registration renewed.

[3:28] The Millers also were still emptying their storage room, which was costing almost $80 a month. On this trip they gave a king-sized bed to a friend.

[3:52] They had planned to start the visa process at the Consulate of Mexico in Austin in December but they had run out of time. So, they are stopping at the Consulate of Mexico in Laredo, on the way back to Ajijic from this trip.

[4:16] On this trip, Mrs. Miller got to visit her parents while Marc did the income taxes.

[4:32] The Millers left Ajijic on February 29 and drove to Matehuala the first day. It was a nice six-and-a-half-hour drive on toll roads and a few small roads. They stayed at the Las Palmas Midway Inn, where expats stay as they travel. It is an old pet-friendly motor inn. They stayed in a more renovated room that was quite nice, for $61 for the night.

[5:19] They left about 7:30 a.m., expecting a seven-hour trip to Laredo. It turned into a 12-hour day. Road construction added an hour. A security checkpoint backed up traffic for miles as they looked at every truck. There are 10 trucks for every car on the road.

[5:59] Next, there was a power line draped over the highway. The power company, CFE, fixed it after an hour-and-a-half. Marc is happy they were near the front of the line.

[6:40] They arrived at Laredo at about 4:30 p.m. and processed through the banjercito for the temporary import permit for their car. Their $400 was refunded to their credit card (in spite of the Millers’ having changed card numbers because of a compromised card). Then it took an hour-and-a-half to cross the Laredo International Bridge Number 1.

[7:31] The Millers got to the hotel in Laredo at about 7 p.m. They were pretty exhausted. It was a very, very long day with lots of sitting in traffic. It’s something you have to get used to. If not for the delays, they could have made the trip in one 12-hour drive from Ajijic to Laredo. But delays are expected.

[8:04] The Millers checked into the La Quinta at the Laredo airport, which they like better than the one near the border. They had a nice dinner and the next morning headed off for Nacogdoches in East Texas. Mrs. Miller visited her parents there. Stephen F. Austin State University is the primary employer, besides the lumber industry.

[8:41] Friday and Saturday, Marc hung around the hotel and did his income taxes. Being near the main road, what Marc first noticed was the massive amount of noise. Marc was no longer used to road noise and constant mechanical environmental noise.

[9:57] Marc read in the Guadalajara Reporter that Mexicans don’t understand about Americans why we control the temperature year-round in our cars. That is not the practice in Mexico.

[10:25] Sunday morning, the Millers headed for Austin. They stayed with an old family friend, Donna, in the neighborhood where they had lived for 28 years. She let them use an extra bedroom, where they stayed for about two weeks.

[10:57] The old neighborhood was where the Millers had lived, in a house built in 1959 or 1960, until they moved to a condo near downtown in 2010. Marc noticed immediately the amount of gentrification that had occurred in the neighborhood.
[11:22] The Millers walked two miles to Upper Crust Bakery and saw that 20 to 30% of the homes had been demolished and replaced with “McMansions” or were drastically added onto. In 1978, when Marc moved to Austin, it was the cheapest housing market in the country. Now, it is one of the most expensive. The change has been dramatic.

[12:04] The second thing Marc noticed was everytime he wanted to do much of  anything, he had to get in the car and drive. There was a Fresh Plus a mile-and-a-half away. Marc walked one day to Top Notch, a 1950s hamburger place, which was in a movie. It blew Marc away that everything is designed around the car, not around people.

[12:47] He remembered that from his bicycling days. He used to lust after Downtown Portland, which was designed around people, not around cars. But this is Texas. Even the old neighborhoods, cars are necessary.
[13:08] In Ajijic, in the last three months they have used the car three times. Twice, it was to get a 40-lb. package of kitty litter they didn’t want to carry on the bus. It was a mind-shift not to need the car. Austin’s public transportation is problematic. Most of the people who used it have left the area from gentrification.

[14:05] 130 people move to Austin every day and the school system has lost enrollment six years in a row, primarily because people with children can no longer afford to live in Austin, so they are moving East, out of town.

[14:26] Marc doesn’t like what his town was turning into. It was also during the week of SXSW, which consumes the central city, with 40-50,000 people visiting. SXSW is now mostly “hipster’ visitors. Locals stay away from SXSW.

[15:03] Marc recently saw photos posted on Facebook of Austin downtown in 2010 and 2017 and it has changed — which is one reason why it has gotten so expensive, and one reason why it has driven the Millers out.

[15:25] Marc drove up to Lakeway and gave the Multi-Generational Workplace talk that he shared on this podcast in Episode 111 and Episode 112. This event was a presentation for hospital administrators in rural counties.

[15:46] That left the rest of the visit for the Millers to get their stuff done. They got the car registered and inspected and bought Mrs. Miller’s food supplements, which filled the car. They also got their bicycles serviced and ready to go — except for the pedals on Mrs. Miller’s bike, left in storage, so Marc ordered new pedals from Amazon.com.mx!

[16:26] The Millers filled the rest of their time reconnecting with as many people as they could. They got rid of stuff from storage and started re-packing the car. Marc shared pictures of the packed car on Facebook. They ended up with about 13 milk carton crates filled with supplements and clothes.

[17:08] They left some stuff behind to pick up in October and end their rental of their storage room.

[17:21] The Millers drove back to Laredo on Sunday evening and had appointments at the Laredo Mexican Consulate Monday morning to apply for Mexican resident visas. They needed two passport pictures for each of them, filled out applications, 12 months worth of bank statements or investment statements to show adequate assets.

[18:01] You must show that you’ve had over $100K in assets over the last 12 months or $2,400 a month in pension income or Social Security for a permanent visa. For a temporary visa, you must show $20K in assets or $1,200 a month in pension income. The Millers both qualified.

[18:34] Mrs. Miller applied for a permanent resident visa and Marc applied for a temporary resident visa. The car is in Marc’s name, and you cannot bring a car into Mexico on a permanent resident visa.

[18:56] Their appointments were for 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. Mrs. Miller got in about 9:40. Marc got in about 10:30. They were out by 11:15. They were at the Mexican Consulate a couple of blocks from the border. It was fairly easy.

[19:20] The Millers chose to do it in Laredo, instead of at the Mexican Consulate in Austin, is that in Laredo they do lots and lots of these visa applications and they are not very “picky.”

[19:38] The Millers have a neighbor, John, in Ajijic, who had applied through the Consulate of Mexico in Dallas. He had to return to the consulate six times. The Laredo consulate runs like clockwork. They get people in and out. It’s a very, very busy place.

[19:59] The next morning, the car packed to the gills, the Millers crossed the bridge to Mexico at about 7:00 a.m. Marc drove into the “nothing to declare line.” They looked at the car and looked very quickly in back, saw a bunch of milk crates and the bicycles and they said, “Go.”

[20:30] However, if they had seen the supplements in the milk crates, or the cat food on the top of the car, they would have charged duty on these items. Marc had an inventory of the food supplements, so they were prepared, if asked.

[20:49] The Millers next drove to the immigration office where they processed their passports. Interestingly, Marc unknowingly dropped his passport in the parking lot. He didn’t have it when he went into the office, so he ran out. A young Mexican gentleman picked it up and handed it to him. Marc wiped the sweat off his brow and thanked him.

[21:23] Passport in hand, Marc went into the immigration office and processed through. Once they have processed their visas, they have 30 days to complete, so Immigration approved them for 30 days. They also got their Temporary Import Permit for the car for 30 days. They crossed the border and drove to Matehuala.

[21:59] They could not get a reservation at their regular hotel. The Las Palmas Midway Inn was full! Instead, they found the Hotel Casa Real Matehuala. The reviews on Hotels.com were mediocre. They checked in around 3:00 p.m. It was not a “dump.” It was old and worn, but clean. They each had one frayed towel, no washcloths.

[22:44] There were two beds and two bathrooms! It was right across the street from Walmart, so they did a little shopping there. Then they ate dinner at their favorite restaurant in town, at the Las Palmas.

[23:05] Then people started streaming into their hotel. Marc says they looked to be people traveling for work, in industrial service trucks. Marc says their hotel absolutely filled to the gills by midnight. It was noisy, but clean. It was $50 for the night.

[23:45] The next morning, the Millers did not rush to get out. They got to Ajijic about 3:00 p.m. It was a fairly easy drive and they ran into no problems. There’s only one short section of about 10 miles that’s not on toll roads. Each day, the Millers spent about $35 to $40 in tolls.

[24:11] When the Millers got home, Marc immediately contacted their lawyer for an appointment. The lawyer told them the sooner the better. They needed 15K Pesos, or about $700. The bank was closed when they needed the money, so Marc pulled money from the credit union and from the bank through ATMs and got enough.

[24:56] On Friday, the Millers went to the law office, processed and filled out all the forms, and learned they needed pictures made, both front view and side view. They did that on Saturday. The pictures had to be from a studio and they were 150 Pesos for each set. That came to 300 Pesos or about $15 for both of them to get pictures.

[25:27] The attorney was able to send all the paperwork to the immigration office and had their passports back to them by 3:00 p.m. The immigration office should get back with them in about two weeks when they will go and get fingerprinted.

[25:58] One of the things Marc noticed in returning to Ajijic was that he did not like living in Austin anymore. He did not like the noise. He did not like having to drive everywhere. The mass transit is not acceptable to him. He does not like the packaged food. Marc and his wife are eating all fresh food in Ajijic, and he is down to 170 pounds at 6'4".

[26:48] It was a very stark contrast, being back in Austin, and it was not the city that he remembered.

[26:55] Marc hopes this gives you a good feel for the process. By the time this episode is published, the Millers should be very close to having their resident visas. Please read Marc’s fascinating blog post of March 25 on banking abroad to understand the issues of accessing your money in another country.

[27:25] Marc hopes you enjoyed that episode. The Millers have spent nine of the last 12 months in Mexico. Their current plan calls for them to return to Austin by car in October. Marc will likely fly to New Jersey for a high school reunion, and possibly some audience meetups. Marc has a huge following in the NY Metropolitan area.
[27:52] In 2020 the Millers will likely return to the U.S., sell the car, and either go carless or purchase a Mexican-plated car. Marc’s attitudes about money, environment, and the culture he desires have changed a lot, in the last 12 months.

[28:09] Listen to Marc’s interview with Queen Michele in Episode 119 to hear her similar story of how she has been transformed from leaving the U.S. and moving to the North Shore of Lake Chapala.

[28:23] Marc thanks you for listening to this episode.

[28:26] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members in the Beta phase of this project. They have crossed the 50-member threshold! Marc will be recruiting new members for the next cohort in a few weeks.

[28:41] 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.

[28:55] This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[29:12] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[29:34] Please come back next week, when Susan Lahey, the co-author of the Repurpose Your Career books tells her story of going from a journalist to a freelance writer. This is an encore episode with an update on her move to Portugal.

[29:48] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[29:52] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-121.

[30:00] 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.

Mar 25, 2019

In this episode, Marc catches up with return guest John Tarnoff, author of the book, Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50. John lives in Los Angeles, California and is a recovering movie studio executive. John spent about 35 years in the entertainment business, starting out in the 1970s as a literary agent and then a producer and studio production executive for companies like MGM, Orion Pictures, De Laurentiis Entertainment, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures (now Sony), and a few others. He produced films for about 15 years before hearing the siren song of technology in the early 90s, when multimedia was springing up. John produced a handful of CD-ROM games, which were new and fun at the time. John went into business with a partner who had an idea for a new technology marrying artificial intelligence with behavioral animation to create interactive, conversational online animated characters. The conversations would occur by text through the keyboard. They had the system working over dial-up internet and got a huge deal with Sprint for a customer service character for their website. That was in 2001, as the tech startup bubble burst. John’s company fell into the hole, along with everybody else. Their Sprint deal went South and their investors pulled out. His partner told him, “I guess the future’s gone out of style.” At midlife, John was at a crossroads.

Listen in to this fascinating episode to hear how John aligned with his future by reinventing himself as an educator and trainer.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:17] Marc welcomes you to Episode 120 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:48] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:08] Next week, Marc will be discussing the Millers’ next steps in becoming expats in Mexico, regarding banking and their initiation to the resident visa process in Mexico.

[2:21] This week, Marc interviews John Tarnoff, author of Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50. Marc interviewed John in Episode 19 but wanted to do an update with him.

[2:33] John introduces himself to the listeners, at Marc’s invitation.

[6:11] After the tech bubble burst and John’s company failed, he was 49 years old, had no idea what he was going to do next, and was not interested in going back to the same Hollywood jobs where he had started.

[6:30] John didn’t think anyone was going to hire him into those same jobs. So, he “bet the farm” on a reinvention. He remortgaged his house for the last time to build himself enough runway to figure out his future.

[6:49] John went back to school to earn a counseling psychology degree because he wanted to learn more about himself, what made him tick, and how to interact better with others. He supposed that in the process he would figure out something to do.

[7:15] That was a dark time for John. In one of his classes, he learned of someone getting a dream job with ideal conditions and he thought, “Great. Miracles are for other people. They’re not for me.”

[8:00] John did not foresee that nine months later he would be working for Dreamworks Animation at two-and-a-half times his former executive salary, doing work that was really aligned with where he wanted to go.

[8:48] Dreamworks was transitioning from a traditional animation studio to a computer-generated animation studio. John knew the CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, from his Hollywood years. He was clearly a visionary. He had put the company together with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen after being fired from Disney in 1994.

[9:30] Dreamworks had become very successful with Shrek. People John knew there encouraged him to join them. There were no open jobs, so he started networking. That taught him that when you come into a group of people, bringing your most heartfelt, authentic, inquisitive, and service-oriented “game,” you start getting into conversations.

[10:15] If the alignment is there between yourself and their thoughts and needs, then there is the beginning of an opportunity. That’s what happened for John.

[10:33] This was a company that was very innovative, at the intersection of creativity and technology, and it was in line with the work John had been doing in his startup. They saw that and in June of 2003, John was in Jeffrey’s office making a deal to work there. It was his best Hollywood job. He stayed through 2009.

[11:14] That job completely set John up for the work he is doing today.

[11:18] When John had worked earlier in Hollywood, he had looked forward to a time when he could educate and help people. He is an “organization freak” and he likes to see how things get laid out, and how people’s minds work. Whenever he had an opportunity to tell a class of students about the work he was doing, he jumped to do it.

[12:05] That defined his role at Dreamworks. When he interviewed, he wanted to know what they were doing about future generations, for training and development. They hadn’t given that much thought. It was not a core driver for them.

[12:29] After John had been at Dreamworks for about a year, they began to realize that their human capital needed some “recharge” and that they had to expand their thinking about where they were getting their talent. Their talent was not coming from the traditional sources.

[12:48] Many of the specialists and department heads determined they needed to “grow their own.” They turned to John and, based on his interest in education, asked him to build a program. That’s what he did, with a school outreach program and an internal virtual university.

[13:16] This changed his role from a production troubleshooter to being totally embedded in the outreach program. They started with seven schools in 2004. By the end of 2009, they had over 40 schools in the network. It was quite a culture change.

[13:51] In the wake of the recession, Dreamworks was seeing the need to batten down the hatches, and they started focusing on monetizing their existing IP and pulling back from their school outreach. John parted ways with Dreamworks. It was amicable and they kept inviting him to their parties! To this day, he and Jeffrey are on good terms.

[14:58] The Dreamworks job was a phenomenally positive experience, and it helped John make this transition full-time into education and training. The following year, John started a position at Carnegie Mellon University. John says, timing is everything, but you have to set yourself up to be a target when the timing is right.

[15:28] In 2010, Carnegie Mellon had set up a very innovative program in Los Angeles with cross-disciplinary initiatives for kind of an MBA for how the entertainment business works. Entertainment is a very unique business. The program is for people on the business side of film, TV, video games, and music.

[16:33] They were looking for someone to round out their Los Angeles management team. They wanted someone with industry background who could balance the more academically-oriented full-time program director. John partnered with that person and they grew the program quite successfully over the last nine years.

[17:11] It has been a great anchor position for John while he has gone on to do “a bunch of other stuff” in a portfolio career.

[17:32] John considers a portfolio career to be very relevant to people in their late career stages, in their 50s and older, who are trying to figure out how they will keep working and what they are going to do. It’s not going to look like the first 20 or 30 years of their career.

[18:01] John is 67. He will keep working as long as he wants to and as long as he needs to. Most Boomers are skating a very interesting line between longevity and bank account. When the retirement pension system was first set up in the 1860s it was set at 65 as an age by which most factory workers were either dead or not many years from it.

[19:11] As longevity has grown over the last 100 years, pensions have grown increasingly difficult for corporations. All guaranteed defined benefit programs are affected by extended lifespans of the participants. We are in a real retirement crisis.

[19:44] If you are 65 today, you have at least a 25% chance of living to 90. Every year you live longer than 65 increases your chances of living to 90 or beyond. The average retirement age is 62. If you live until 90, one-third of your life will be spent “in retirement.” Must of us don’t want to spend 30 years queuing up for sundown specials.

[20:33] The Boomer Generation wants to stay more engaged. That doesn’t mean working nine to five. We are going to continue to stay engaged in the work that we love to do. What we want to do might be different from what we did in our 30s and 40s.

[20:56] We are going to need to keep earning money because the average retirement account if you have one, is about $100K. That’s not going to last you 20 or 30 years. A lot of people are downsizing intelligently and looking at ways to stretch their dollars.

[21:43] We need to think about ways to supplement the income we already have from Social Security and our savings because there are going to be unpredictable things that happen. Healthcare is a big item, as well as family issues and logistical questions. We have to be better prepared, financially, for this extended period of life and engagement.

[22:14] John’s portfolio after Dreamworks includes his consulting work at the intersection of education, technology, and entertainment. For the first few years, he was consulting with industry companies, trade associations, and schools around the future of talent search, curriculum, and skills.
[22:59] In 2012, John was asked to present a TEDx talk and the topic was Transformation. As he had been reading up on all the issues the Boomer Generation had had, coming out of the recession, around retirement, savings, and getting jobs, he asked, if we’re living longer and nobody wants to hire us, what are we going to do?

[23:53] John realized, we’re going to have to take responsibility, somehow, for this. If we do, then what does that look like? That’s when he came up with the idea of five career reinvention steps. That became his TEDx talk. After that, people kept asking John what he was going to do with that — does he coach? John said, sure, of course, he coaches!

[24:24] So John started working with people around some of these questions and to implement the five steps to reinvention.

[24:37] The five steps are: 1) Reframe your idea about who you are and what you can do, 2) Listen and understand how the world has changed, 3) Reconcile the past; don’t bring your sad baggage into meetings, 4) Express these new ideas about what you could do, and 5) Network. Understand who can do what, and what you can do for them.

[26:16] Most importantly, you’ve got to always be giving in your networking activities. Build the relationships necessary to put you in front of the people who can benefit from what you have to offer. You don’t build a network by sending out resumes, because no one is going to read them.

[26:37] Marc says one of the key pieces is that you are never going to do this alone. Marc’s own business coach taught him to understand the things that he needs to leave behind. A lot of things you’ve done in your career, you don’t want to do anymore, regardless of how good you were at it.

[27:21] John sees a lot of clients that have difficulty giving up the social cohort they’ve gathered after working 20 years with the same people and then being let go from the job. People find it hard to let go of that job. Even if they were downsized, they want to go back. It’s very important to be able to reconcile the past to envision your future.

[28:30] Marc had encouraged John to finish his book. So John has a book, he’s coaching, and he works at Carnegie Mellon. What else does John want to be doing in five years?
[28:50] John wants to continue on his current path. His coaching has evolved from one-on-one to small groups, to larger groups, and now, with UCLA Anderson School of Management, coaching groups of 20 alumni online, on Zoom, who are going through career transitions. John is coaching them as a group with his five-step process.

[29:33] Some of them are returning to work after an absence. Some have been let go. Some are contemplating making a move. There are all sorts of interesting permutations along the idea of transitions.

[29:49] John seems to be following an arc of reaching more and more people with this methodology. This year, he is working on putting this all into an online course, which will go through five steps, 23 strategies, and six key skills, and give people the opportunity to pursue a self-guided course with some group mastermind interaction with John.

[30:41] Marc talks about his group membership site and makes some observations about the cost of one-on-one coaching. The people he really wanted to work with couldn’t afford it. The group model allows for greater flexibility. Marc can do it from Mexico.

[31:19] One of the common themes of folks in Marc’s online community is that everybody wants freedom. They want to work when they want to work, how hard they want to work and choose what they want to work on. Their ideas about that have changed over their careers.

[31:51] John says Boomers are becoming more like the Millennials. Marc says to listen to your feelings and see what you are telling yourself about what you want to do. Most of us acted in roles and got paid to play those roles. If we did them long enough, we started believing we were those roles.

[32:29] When Marc hit his 50s, it became exhausting for him to stay in character.

[32:42] John will probably still be in California in five years. He has an urban homestead with his love. They have a coop with 20 chickens, vegetables, and a great spot of land under the mountains. It’s a gorgeous day, there. He doesn’t see moving before his early 70s.

[33:43] John hopes to continue working with Carnegie Mellon. It’s a great time for kids to be entering the entertainment industry. He likes to work with Boomers, too. He says it’s a great opportunity to be working on both ends of the career spectrum, young people starting their career and older people taking what may be their final career steps.

[34:42] Marc talks about a panel he sat on in October 2017, including a man from New Zealand — where college graduates usually move away from the island — whose job was to help companies retain their older workers. The man commented to Marc, “If you want to work into your 70s, you need to plan that in your 50s.”

[35:17] Your work between your 50s and your 70s will probably not be a full-time job, and it will probably be a collection of things or a portfolio. That’s the key piece. Marc has several members of the online community who have their heads wrapped around the fact that they’re not doing just one thing.

[35:45] They may work harder than they used to, doing stuff they enjoy. They are not necessarily working for a single employer on a set schedule.

[36:08] John suggests for listeners first to read his book, Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50. That will give them a clear idea of whether they are aligned with John’s thinking.
[36:40] You can reach John through his website, JohnTarnoff.com, follow him on Twitter @JohnTarnoff, or on Facebook, @JohnTarnoffCoach. He loves interacting with people and helping them get in the right direction.

[37:30] Marc thanks John for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[37:40] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. As it turned out, they never were able to meet in Austin when Marc and John were both there. Austin was hectic and congested with 50K visitors to SXSW Interactive Week.

[38:09] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for more than 50 members in the Beta phase of this project. They have crossed the 50-member threshold! Marc will be recruiting new members for the next cohort in a few weeks.

[38:24] 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.

[38:37] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[39:01] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[39:20] Please come back next week, when Marc will discuss the Millers’ next steps in becoming expats.

[39:25] Marc is recording today’s intro and outro segments in Matehuala, Mexico, on their way back. The next day they will be driving into Ajijic after a three-week trip to Austin and back.

[39:47] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[39:50] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-120.

[39:57] 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.

Mar 18, 2019

In this episode, Marc interviews Queen Michele, author of the book, Considerations: A Guide For Moving Abroad. Queen was raised in Detroit, Michigan. In the first half of life, Queen became a schoolteacher, teaching second grade in a Catholic school. She then taught into the Detroit Public School System and was in administration for a while. She married and had two children. In 2002, she was an administrator for a startup charter school. She had started with the school but they did not renew her contract. She had been divorced for a couple of years. She moved to Las Vegas when it was booming. She went to teach there and also have some sunshine in her life. She lived in Vegas raising her children for 11 years. When her daughter was a freshman at the University of Reno and Queen was 50, she had a paradigm shift. Listen to this remarkable episode.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:03] Marc welcomes you to Episode 119 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:34] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[1:54] Next week, Marc will be interviewing John Tarnoff, author of Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50. Marc interviewed John in Episode 19 but wanted to do an update with him.

[2:08] This week Marc has a very special interview with Queen Michele. Queen is a former schoolteacher and administrator who chucked it all in her mid-fifties to move to the North Shore of Lake Chapala and has now written a book called Considerations: A Guide For Moving Abroad.

[2:30] Marc introduces Queen and welcomes her to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Queen shares her biography, from Detroit to Las Vegas and more. At age 50, when Queen’s children were in college, her cousin in Atlanta asked her to come down.

[5:17] Queen moved to Atlanta and taught there for a couple of years. After 27 years in education, she was burnt out. She retired with a reduced pension at age 52. She started fun jobs to supplement her pension. She drove for Uber, she rented her home for Airbnb. She was a secret shopper and a merchandiser.

[6:50] Queen took a remote job with a software company critiquing curriculum lessons and uploading them to the cloud. Her favorite gig was as a shuttle driver for a transportation company that serviced the railroad, taking engineers and conductors to and from their train in the railyard.

[7:19] It got to the point when she realized she would always have to work to supplement her pension, and it might not always be fun.

[7:58] That’s when Queen ran across an article in International Living on the 10 best places to retire. Queen read the article and started researching those 10 best places. One resonated very strongly with her: the Lake Chapala area in Jalisco, Mexico.

[8:28] The area had three attractions for Queen: the Spring-like climate, considered the “third-most perfect weather in the world”, the cost of living compared to her pension, and the vibrant expat community. In her research, Queen came across The Lake Chapala Society that appeared to be laying out the red carpet for expats.

[10:00] Queen began her research. She first joined Facebook groups affiliated with the area. She was attracted to the Ajijic Hiking group and Everything Lake Chapala. Then there was a foodies group and a group on where you can find dependable drivers, a Moving to Mexico group and a Moving to Mexico By Yourself group.

[10:38] There were so many different Facebook groups. She started joining the groups and following the questions, which were the same kinds of questions Queen was asking. Questions about visas, healthcare, and transportation. When questions were answered, Queen would take those leads and research the questions, herself.

[11:09] She asked Google “How do I get a visa to move to Mexico?”. She asked what are the types of visas. From that research, she developed a binder separated in categories of transportation, visa, healthcare, rentals. The research became all-consuming for Queen.

[11:35] Through that, the decision was made, “I’m moving to Mexico.” Queen had never been to Mexico, except for a four-day cruise to a tourist area in Ensenada. So the research was really important to her.
[12:08] She planned to do a Focus on Mexico visit for a few days to learn more about the area and answer her questions. She considered teaching English as a second language with a TESOL license. A program would allow her to live with a host family and take a four-week course to begin teaching.

[13:40] As Queen continued to research different aspects of the Focus on Mexico and TESOL programs, she was finding enough information on her own that she wouldn’t need a paid program to get set up. She found that didn’t want to teach, anymore.

[14:09] That decision led Queen to come to Mexico, trusting that what she had researched and planned for would fall in place for her. She researched, prepared, and planned for a year. Besides the research, Queen had to plan for the downsizing of her current life. She learned it would be too much trouble for her to bring a car to Mexico.

[15:23] Queen took the year to downsize, sell her car, and close her accounts with other preparations for moving. The car would be too expensive to nationalize in Mexico, so she sold it before she moved.

[16:10] Marc emphasizes that when you move to Mexico, get rid of all your stuff. Queen found it very freeing to downsize her possessions. She sold her car to her neighbors two weeks before she moved.

[16:42] Queen learned through the Facebook groups what it was that she would need in Mexico that she couldn’t purchase there. Queen traveled to Mexico with just two pieces of luggage, three medium boxes, and three storage bins in different sizes. Whatever wasn’t packed, Queen let go.

[17:25] Queen stepped foot on Mexican soil at the Guadalajara Airport on December 1, 2017. She had already housing arranged online — a cozy one bed, one bath condo in a small town right off Lake Chapala, San Antonio Tlayacapan, between Ajijic and Chapala. It is on the paved road that runs around the lake. Short bus rides are 7 pesos ($.35).

[19:57] A lot of people come without cars so they walk or use the bus or taxi.

[20:21] Queen started visualizing her new life in Mexico months before she arrived. She had activities she wanted to do, including hiking, volunteering at the dog rescue and at the theater. She wanted to spend time writing. She had her first day planned out from the time she landed to her dinner, at Adelita’s. She had seen the menu on Facebook.

[22:18] Things aligned for Queen as she set her intentions and had visualizations, down to every event unfolding almost perfectly. She did have some hiccups, but they worked out. At the airport, Manuel, a man she had contacted on Facebook months earlier about transportation, was waiting to give Queen a ride instead of letting her take a cab.

[24:05] Manuel drove Queen into San Antonio where her landlord met her with a key, showed her to the apartment, accepted the rent, gave her a hug, and left. Queen unpacked a few things and headed off to dinner. Queen knew exactly where Adelita’s was. She had spent hours on Google Street View going up and down the streets.

[24:53] Queen knew from Google Street View how to walk to Adelita’s, and so she did. She cannot describe the feeling she had, having arrived and walked to dinner as she had planned out. She did fall once on the cobblestones on the way!

[25:37] Queen bounced back up, dusted herself off and continued to Adelita’s, sat at the bar and ordered what she had intended on ordering, and met her first expat friend. They were both from Atlanta!

[26:11] The area is almost like a college town. Nobody knows anybody, but everybody is so helpful. Queen says she has met more friends in San Antonio than she did in her Atlanta neighborhood. She arrived December 1st; February 5th was her 55th birthday. She had a birthday party on the rooftop of a bar with 30 of her closest friends.

[27:25] Queen had connected with the Ajijic Hiking Club, which is very well organized on a shoestring budget. She started hiking two weeks after arriving. She knew where and when to show up. Queen describes the trouble she had keeping up with people 15 years older than she was. This was her first hike but she was inspired by it.

[28:40] On the hikes, Queen met fascinating people from all over the world. It’s a great organizations. Half of her birthday party friends were from the hiking group. Others were people she had met at restaurants and bus stops. One of her hiking friends had suggested she take Yoga, so she did.

[29:23] Queen feels like part of the community. She says you will find the most friendly, helpful people with smiles on their faces. Queen began waking up from the first day with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. Besides hiking and Yoga, she started writing.

[29:49] Queen says her book was birthed during the very first year of arriving. After getting so much help from websites, she became a person answering questions on those sites for others. Through those questions and answers, Considerations was born.

[30:38] The book has 10 chapters, each chapter being a consideration, based on Queen’s experience. She doesn’t tell anyone how to do it. She tells what she did and what worked for her as a single, middle-aged, African-American female. The number of African-Americans Marc has met in the area, he can count on one or two hands.

[31:13] The book was easy for Queen to write. It explains the things she did, on her own, to move. She suggests considering visas, downsizing, healthcare, finances.

[31:55] Queen receives $1,100 each month and that is her only income. Her rent is $500. With good budgeting, she lives a very comfortable life on the remaining $600 a month. She buys from the open market and lives like a local.

[33:15] Marc says, if you want to live like an American, you can. You will pay for it. He is helping a couple with Tangerine Travel. One had food allergies and Celiac problems. When she got to Mexico, it all disappeared. Marc saw an article that blamed Roundup for autoimmune food problems. Mexican local farmers do not use Roundup.

[34:11] Queen mentions that she lost 40 pounds and has kept it off since her lifestyle changed. Living like a local has made a difference. Queen buys vegetables, fruits, shrimp, chicken, salad vegetables. She makes shrimp salads, grilled chicken salads, shrimp pasta, chicken pasta. She makes small meals that last quite a bit.

[35:31] Queen shops at the Market in Ajijic. Marc goes to the Market in Chapala. Marc shares a story about buying a pineapple from a walkup abarrotes (grocer’s shop) just down the street, for his morning smoothie. What cost him $1.50 might have cost $8.00 at Whole Foods.

[37:17] Queen didn’t expect all the self-discovery that came from moving to Mexico. It took her to higher states of consciousness than she ever thought she would have. She is blissful and happy. The spiritual aspect of personal growth is available in various platforms. Queen is involved in some amazing communities that help her grow.

[38:40] Queen has learned a lot of Spanish words. She is working on stringing them into a conversation. She knows she needs practice.

[39:11] Marc is using Rocket Spanish and will become an affiliate. He is picking up conversational phrases. He talks about chatting with a haircutter in Spanish. Marc talks about the Ajijic Art Walk. Three quarters of the artists were gringos, who picked up their art after arriving. Half of them learned from YouTube lessons. Others took classes.

[41:14] Queen talks about the many musicians, artists, poets, and writers who have come to Lake Chapala in this next phase of their lives and are rediscovering the arts. Queen attributes it to the energy and the vibration that resonates with the spirit. You catch that frequency and you ride it.

[41:53] Queen looks forward to writing articles and short stories about her journey as it relates to higher states of consciousness that she is experiencing in San Antonio. That’s what she is learning and that’s what she would like to write about.

[42:32] Marc thanks Ashton for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[42:38] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc suspects Queen will find  something in the next year that will fulfill her and bring in some money!

[42:52] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[43:06] 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.

[43:20] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[43:43] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[44:04] Please come back next week, when Marc will have a great discussion with John Tarnoff.

[44:10] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[44:15] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-119.

[44:24] 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.

Mar 11, 2019

In this episode, Marc interviews Ashton Applewhite. Author and activist Ashton Applewhite has been recognized by The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks and speaks widely at venues that range from the United Nations to the TED main stage. Ashton has written for Harper’s, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and is the voice of Yo! Is This Ageist? The author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton is a leading spokesperson for the movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:11] Marc welcomes you to Episode 118 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:43] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:05] Next week, Marc will have a special interview with Queen Michele. Queen is a former schoolteacher and administrator who chucked it all in her mid-fifties to move to the North Shore of Lake Chapala and has now written a book called Considerations: A Guide For Moving Abroad, by Queen D. Michele.

[2:19] This week, Marc is interviewing Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

[2:30] Marc introduces Ashton and welcomes her to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[3:29] Ashton believes short bios are always best. Marc loves her book, This Chair Rocks. Marc is writing a series on ageism and a lot of it comes from Ashton’s book.

[3:45] Ashton self-published her book three years ago, and sold it last year to a new division of MacMillan, which is bringing it out on their inaugural list on March 5. Ashton started thinking and writing on aging about 12 years ago because she was afraid of getting old, although she didn’t recognize it at the time.

[4:17] Ashton started interviewing older people who work and researching longevity. She learned “in about 30 seconds” that most of her ideas about what it would be like to be old were wrong.

[4:35] Ashton shares some facts about aging. When she started her research, 4% of Americans over 65 were in nursing homes. In the last decade, that has dropped to 2.5%.

[5:13] Older people, in general, have better rates of mental health than the young or the middle-aged and are better at dealing with negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and fear. The awareness that time is short does not fill older people with dread. They are less afraid of dying.

[5:45] Ashton was surprised by the U-curve of happiness. People are happiest at the beginnings and ends of their life. The psychological underpinnings are that children live in the moment because that’s what they know, and the oldest do it because they are aware that time is running out, so they cherish the moment and appreciate things more.

[6:13] There are exceptions. Ashton was very skeptical of these findings at first, thinking they interviewed only happy people. It turns out that the U-curve of happiness is independent of culture, health, wealth, or marital status. It is a function of how aging itself affects the healthy brain.

[6:50] Ashton started to feel a lot better about getting older and she became obsessed with why so few people know these things.

[7:00] Marc reminds listeners that Jonathan Rauch, the author of The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50, was a guest on Episode 78 of this podcast.

[7:11] Ashton expands the dictionary definition of ageism. We are being ageist any time we come to an assumption about a person or a group of people on the basis of how old we think they are. That they are “too old” or “too young” for whatever the assumption involves. Ageism cuts both ways and younger people experience a lot of it.

[7:58] People think ageism is “an old-person problem.” Older people bear the brunt of ageism in the U.S. Not so much in Mexico, where Marc lives. The U.S. is a deeply youth-obsessed society fueled by our popular culture.

[8:19] Ageism affects young and old. If you bridle at your boss being much younger than you, that’s ageism.

[8:35] When you are ageist, you are discriminating against your future self. All prejudice is based on what sociologists call “othering” — seeing a group of people as other than ourselves. It could be another sports team. It could be other religion. It could be other nationality. The weird thing about ageism is that the other is your own future, aging self.

[9:11] Ageism is rooted in denial. We pretend that we will not age — as if that would be a good thing.

[9:46] Marc listened to Ashton’s TED talk and admits that he is an ageist! Ashton says we are all ageist because our culture has trained us to be ageist. Ashton says the first step in confronting bias is knowing that you have it. Everyone has prejudice. What we can do, if we want to, is become aware of our bias and not use it to guide our actions.

[10:29] You can’t challenge bias, unless you are aware of it. Once you start to see ageism in yourself, that opens your eyes to seeing it in the culture around us — in magazines, on TV, and in conversations. You will see this is a widely shared issue that requires collective action and that we can do something about it if we come together.

[11:07] Marc has noted that he uses the phrase CRS (can’t remember stuff). The moment can be funny but the discrimination it engenders is not funny, nor is the way it affects our own perception of ourselves in society when we never think to challenge those values but internalize them.

[12:22] When you start seeing “the first sign of dementia” as you turn a certain age, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, all too easily. As these negative stereotypes become more potentially relevant, we tend to act as though they were true. That is really bad for us in every aspect of our lives.

[12:58] Marc belongs to a hiking club with seventy-year-olds; Marc finds them to be positive role models. Ashton says it is important to remember that most of us will not be outliers. Most of us will end up in the middle — still able to do the things we really love doing, even if we do them differently than we did at age 20. Sex is a perfect example.

[14:52] It’s important not to have a vision of “aging well” that consists only of the extremely active and the extremely healthy. Some part of our body is going to fall apart; not all of it. Some parts of our brain are likely to work less well. 20% of the population escapes cognitive decline, entirely.

[15:17] We set ourselves an impossible standard by telling ourselves, “I have to keep hiking that mountain as fast as so-and-so.” A lot of people don’t have access to the gyms and the healthy habits. Acknowledge that we all age in different ways, at different rates and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

[15:52] The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College published a blog article “Careers Become Dicey After Age 50”. Marc says the audience for this podcast is seeing ageism in the workplace. How do you eliminate ageism in the workplace?

[16:25] Looking at the culture as a whole, diverse workplaces are here to stay. Diversity makes companies more profitable and better to work at. Let’s put age on the list as a criterion for diversity. It is blindingly obvious that it belongs there, but nobody thinks of it.

[17:05] If everyone is the same age in your workplace, question it. What is the reason used to justify it? It is not true that older workers are expensive, less creative, or less reliable. Older workers are slower at physical tasks but they hurt themselves less often. Older workers make fewer mistakes, so it’s a wash.

[17:49] Research shows that, especially in creative industries, mixed-age groups are the most effective. There are intergenerational initiatives springing up in workplaces all over. Chip Conley wrote Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, which is all about mentoring.

[18:11] Chip went to work at Airbnb in his fifties and realized he had digital intelligence to learn from younger people while they had emotional intelligence to learn from the older people.

[18:24] Marc Freedman wrote How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations, by Marc Freedman. The title means we live forever if we contribute to the younger generations and those contributions live on after we are gone.

[18:41] Marc Freedman’s book talks of intergenerational housing, programming, educational issues, where people of all ages support each other, learn from each other, and tap into what each age group has to offer.

[18:59] Marc notes that the multi-generational family is incredibly common in Mexico and it’s refreshing to see. Marc sees women carrying their grandchildren as they walk.

[19:28] In much of the developed world it used to be the same and then industrialization and urbanization promoted institutions that made age important in a way it hadn’t been. We also started living a lot longer and “old folks” homes cropped up. Schools began to be divided into ages. Nursery schools were created.

[19:53] When you divide groups of people, segregation makes room for discrimination and prejudice.

[20:07] Marc talks about the young white male culture of the tech industry. The Austin Business Journal called it a real problem. Technology Review ran an article shining a light on it a couple of years ago. It has received more attention because it became a problem for people at the top of the food chain -- educated, white men in their 30s.

[20:50] Ashton says the quote that burned into her brain was a guy who went to a dermatologist for Botox, hair plugs, or both because he had a key interview and he said “I can’t look like I have a wife, and a mortgage, and two little kids.”

[21:08] What does it say about our society that being a husband and father with financial obligations disqualifies you for employment? Think about the personal consequences of being told that the thing you spent decades getting really good at disqualifies you to continue to apply what you know.

[21:39] Marc says we live in very strange times. Ashton refers back to the women’s movement that started as a grassroots movement, decades ago, that forced women to recognize that they were not at fault for the biases against them. It was a widely shared problem that required collective action.

[22:23] We will not change things for older people for the better, unless we challenge the prevailing narrative that to age is to fail. Each one of us who is interested in it needs to become an ambassador for that message.

[22:53] Marc says that the happiness U-curve is true in his life, comparing his 60s to his 40s. Ashton doesn’t know anyone in their later years that wants to actually be any younger than they are. Jonathan Rauch’s book is coming out in paperback and he interviewed Ashton for the foreword about the social and political context of ageism.

[23:46] Ashton makes some final points. She knows not everyone is an activist. One of the best arguments for an anti-ageism campaign is its benefits as a public health initiative. Attitudes toward aging affect how our minds and bodies function. People who equate aging with decline, dismay, and despair, live an average of 7.5 years less long.

[24:53] They don’t walk as fast. They are more likely to develop dementia than people with more realistic attitudes toward aging. Look around you at the evidence of the kind of lives old people are living, despite being surrounded by these messages.

[25:21] You will be less likely to develop dementia, even if you have the gene that predisposes you to the disease. Rates of Alzheimer's are declining fast. No one knows that because only the alarmists’ side of the picture gets covered in the media.

[25:44] There are more cases of Alzheimer’s because there are more aging people in the population and age remains the leading risk factor but the odds of anyone listening to this podcast getting dementia have gotten lower in the last few decades and people are getting diagnosed at later ages. Let’s tell both sides of the story.

[26:14] Ashton has been “thinking out loud” about all this in blog form at ThisChairRocks.com/blog. The blogs are searchable by topic, including sources for the facts. It’s all there, available for free.

[26:40] Consciousness raising was the tool that catalyzed the women’s movement. Look for the downloadable pamphlet “Who Me, Ageist: How to Start a Consciousness-raising Group” in the blog resources. Ashton urges listeners to download the pamphlet and think about convening a group, ideally of mixed ages, backgrounds, and colors.

[27:26] Everyone ages. Everyone faces compound layers of discrimination. If we want the movement against ageism to lift all boats, we also need to address all the other “-isms” that make it hard to grow old the way we would like.

[27:47] Marc thanks Ashton for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[27:58] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Ashton has been an inspiration to many (including Marc) who are involved in the battle against ageism.

[28:07] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[28:19] 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.

[28:34] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[28:58] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[29:25] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Queen Michele.

[29:29] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[29:33] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-118.

[29:41] 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.

Mar 4, 2019

In this episode, Marc interviews Chris Farrell, a senior economics contributor for Marketplace, American Public Media’s nationally syndicated public radio programs. Chris is economics commentator for Minnesota Public Radio and an award-winning journalist. Chris is a regular contributor to PBS’s Next Avenue, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, Kiplinger’s, and other publications. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Marc welcomes you to Episode 117 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[1:43] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:05] Next week, Marc will be interviewing Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

[2:15] This week, Marc is interviewing Chris Farrell, author of Purpose and a Paycheck: Finding Meaning, Money, and Happiness in the Second Half of Life.

[2:28] Marc introduces Chris and welcomes him to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[3:10] Marc loves Chris’s previous book, Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life and is very much looking forward to the new book. Chris explains the motivation behind his new book. He wants to reshape society’s view of the aging population.

[4:54] Marc agrees that we are aging very differently than our parents did. A lot of folks are now dealing with their parents and their kids. It’s a different world.

[5:20] We have very powerful stereotypes about the stages of life. What strikes Chris is that people lose their jobs or quit their jobs all the time. You may have kids and parents in your care. Even if your kids are launched, you’re always a parent.

[6:01] So we have this simple idea of how life evolves. Chris says, life is just a lot of ups, downs, twists, and turns and part of this rethinking of aging is just being much more realistic. If you are caregiving in your twenties for a baby, you’ll also be caregiving in your fifties for your aging parents.

[6:29] In Marc’s online community, there are a bunch of people in their late 60s, primarily guys, who still have kids in college, mainly because the Vietnam War era draft made people delay getting married and having kids. This means they have obligations to worry about that younger Boomers don’t have.

[7:18] Chris shares stories from the chapter, “The Myth of Creative Decline.” He had seen Matisse at MoMA. He says Matisse was at the height of his creativity between the ages of 74 and 84. Bruce Springsteen is still performing and writing new songs in his 60s.

[8:35] We’re beginning to realize that aging artists and performers are not just reliving their glory days, but creating new works of merit. The closer you look into the artistic community, you see so many people building on their experience and connecting their dots. Research shows we retain creativity in our own fields through our senior years.

[9:34] It’s fundamentally wrong to think creative abilities go away in the 60s and 70s.

[9:59] Marc tells of a recent experience in Ajijic. They recently had an art walk with 90 artists. Three-quarters of them were expats from Canada and the U.S. Almost all of them took up art in their 60s. Marc was blown away. There were paintings and other media. Many of the artists had learned their art from YouTube videos.

[10:48] Some took classes. Some went and studied with masters. They were able to do this in their 60s and 70s.

[11:01] There is a stereotype that people, as they age, do not adjust to new technology. The Boomer generation has worked with the IBM Selectric, word processors, PCs, mobile phones, iPads, Facebook, YouTube. Boomers are not resistant to technology if it is worth learning for them.

[12:22] Marc also notes that expats are by nature risk-takers, which extends to all areas of life including technology.

[12:48] Why are Boomers ideally suited to be entrepreneurs? His definition of entrepreneur includes self-employed. Chris notes that people in their 60s and 70s are better-educated than previous generations. Technology has really lowered the cost of starting a business. The office is your home or an inexpensive co-sharing workspace.

[14:20] Now, to start a business, you don’t drain your 401(k) or risk your retirement savings. (Don’t do that.) People are starting bootstrap businesses and marketing online.

[14:53] Chris mentions a story from Keith Richards’s autobiography, Life. When the Rolling Stones taped in London in the 1960s, studio time was so expensive that they recorded for half-an-hour. That was what they could afford. Today, for $2,000, somebody can have a beautiful studio in their garage.

[15:24] Entrepreneurship/self-employment, with the artisan/lifestyle economy, finding yourself an artisan/craft niche, is really exciting. It doesn’t take a lot of risk and it tends to allow for meaning, having fun, enjoyment, and a paycheck.

[15:49] Marc explains his recording setup in his closet in Mexico, padded with a sheet, a $60 microphone plugged into his MacBook Air, recording on Piezo for Mac for $19, and editing using Audacity, which is free. Ten years ago, this would not have been possible at this price.

[16:47] Young people are entering the tech industry on a shoestring. They want to build their first product, sell it, and go on to the next thing. Chris also notes that Boomer parents are going into business with their Millennial and Gen-X children. The parents have the experience and capital, and the children have savvy and hustle.

[18:27] Eventually the younger generation will inherit the business. Marc has had clients who have talked about this. The relationships Boomers have with their children is different than the relationships Boomers had with their parents. Marc tells an anecdote on his co-author Susan Lahey and her children.

[19:55] Chris says the multi-generational workplace is really underestimated. There is a consulting industry now, discrediting the benefits of four generations in one workspace. Chris objects to that.

[20:23] IBM did some good research surveying four generations. They found the generations shared a lot of values. All people want autonomy to exercise creativity. They want to be a valued member of a team and be treated with respect. They would like opportunities for advancement. Life experiences are different but not work values.

[21:22] The experienced worker brings an ability to connect the dots and tends to be calmer in a crisis and more deliberate when things are tense. There are crises in every organization. The younger ones bring energy, knowledge, and skill to the team but they don’t have that well of experience to draw on.

[22:06] When you bring the older and younger worker together it’s a very productive unit. The experienced worker also transfers intangible knowledge about process and procedure, that would never be written down in the organizational book.

[22:39] Marc recalls teaching at IBM 20 years ago about problem determination. He knew that if you have seen a problem in the same area before, you will solve it faster the next time. You can’t fake experience. You can’t speed it up. You just have to get it.

[23:04] Experience doesn’t mean you’re stuck in your ways. Or clinging to how it was down before. It’s about being able to connect the dots between what you’ve seen before and what is the situation now. The younger people are bringing new twists to the table — something to try a little differently.

[23:33] Multi-generational teams should be encouraged. Chris would like to see more organizations doing that.

[23:42] Marc is running a multi-generational workplace workshop in March, and you can listen to it in these three episodes: 111, 112, and 113. The generations echo back and forth in their behaviors. We either do as our parents told us or the exact opposite of it.

[24:20] Chris gives great examples in his book but there are barriers. Marc puts health insurance before age 65 at the top of the list, which was why he moved to Mexico. Social Security is next. What has to change in the U.S.?

[24:43] The Affordable Care Act was trying to address the needs of the most vulnerable population from 50 to 65. Medicare at 65 solves the problem for older people. Medicaid helps lower-income people.

[24:59] If you lose your job after 50, you may find a new job, but it may be at a small business that doesn’t offer health insurance.

[25:44] Chris is frustrated that instead of trying to correct the flaws in the ACA, it is tied up in Congressional battles. Chris would like to see it repaired.

[26:55] Marc and his wife spent $25,000 in 2017 on health insurance and healthcare and didn’t reach their deductible. Marc could afford it but wasn’t pleased. Now they are in Mexico. Mrs. Miller is a retired RN and she has been thrilled with the healthcare she has received from multiple care providers. All told, she spent $150 without insurance.

[27:35] Chris asserts that we do not have the best healthcare system in the world.

[27:50] What will it take to fix Social Security? Chris says it is more manageable than healthcare. Healthcare has so many problems that somebody is going to have to pay to fix.

[28:59] Chris says Social Security is “America’s retirement plan.” What we’re going to do is raise taxes to pay for it. Too many people are dependent on it. Congress should shore up the finances of Social Security and eventually, they will. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, 80% of Americans want Social Security to be strong; we need to fix it.

[30:06] Existing 401(k)s are not effective for most Americans.

[30:41] We underestimate the importance of time. Today, a two-income couple is working about 25% more than our peers did in 1968. There is also pressure to keep up with technology, eat healthy, exercise, floss, and have a social life, and manage your money smartly over the next 30 years, and manage your healthcare until age 65.

[31:40] The average person can’t do it all and manage their retirement savings. Chris says, for most people, it makes no sense to do it themselves.

[31:55] Marc tells about doing his income taxes for 2017, digging through the insurance portal for information, and he was super confused — and he’s a really smart guy! What does the average person do?

[32:36] What about folks who can’t be entrepreneurs? Chris calls entrepreneurs the leading edge of social change. Not everybody is an entrepreneur. The bulk of Boomers are going for part-time work, flexible jobs, encore careers, not-for-profit jobs, education, social services, and other services.

[33:48] The question is, “What do I want to do next?” It will take experimentation to figure it out. Don’t think of yourself as a job title or an occupation. What are your skills and what can you really do? Chris tells a case study of a teacher skilled at dealing with different constituencies. She became involved in an economic development committee.

[35:08] Marc asks about a woman from Chris’s podcast who got certified by a quilting company as a teacher to teach quilting around the country. The ROI numbers worked out to do it. She can travel the country at her will for an income.

[37:11] Marc sees from his online community that everyone need their horizon broadened. There are incredible new possibilities.

[37:22] Chris has two final points. Have the attitude that this moment of life — whether in your 50s, 60s, or 70s — is a moment of opportunity. Be engaged. Find something that gives you meaning and money; purpose and a paycheck. That is an exciting venture. Write your own narrative, not the way the dominant society would write it for you.

[38:11] On the practical level, what’s really important to exploit these opportunities is to know your most valuable asset — it’s the network of people that you’ve met over the years. Tap into it to broaden your horizons. They know you. What do they think you should be doing?

[38:56] When you figure out what it is you want to do next, you’ll find that someone in your network is going to make the introduction that gets you that job or that opportunity that you’d like to explore.

[39:20] You may email Chris at CFarrell@gmail.com and get his book on Amazon or at Target.

[39:58] Marc thanks Chris for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[40:05] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc always enjoys talking with Chris as he is an evangelist for those of us in the second half of life.

[40:14] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc is forming a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[40:26] You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[40:34] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release version of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[40:47] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[40:59] 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.

[41:13] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it’s a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[41:37] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[42:00] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

[42:09] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[42:14] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-117.

[42:23] 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.

Feb 25, 2019

In this episode, Susan Joyce of Job-Hunt.org joins Marc Miller to read and respond to listener questions. They discuss building your online reputation, marketing your content boldly, pigeonholing, and pivoting. Marc hopes you enjoy this fascinating episode.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:43] Marc welcomes you to Episode 116 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings you 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. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you, free of charge.

[2:12] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:33] Next week, Marc will interview Chris Farrell, author of Purpose and a Paycheck

[2:39] This week is a Question and Answer episode where Marc joins forces with Susan Joyce of Job-Hunt.org, one of the premier job search and career resources on the internet.

[2:57] Marc welcomes Susan to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[3:11] Marc and Susan will answer some really interesting questions for you. First, Susan introduces herself. Susan has been doing Job-Hunt for 20 years. She started after she was laid off with thousands of others from a very large company. Web technology was new, but Susan had already worked with it at the company.

[3:41] Susan started working to help people learn to apply the technology for job search, ever since. Susan was previously a guest on the podcast in Episode 105.

[3:54] Q1: I am 61 and have been unemployed for almost two years. I pick up a consulting gig here and there. We’re in a part of Ohio that’s not doing well. We plan to move to North Carolina. My wife and I have been networking there but nothing has come from it.

[4:21] I have a consumer packaged goods and business operations background with startups and big companies. I’m looking at buying a business because I am convinced that getting full-time employment is not possible. What advice do you have for me?

[4:37] A1: Susan says this is not an uncommon question. She tells the listener to Google himself. There could be something negative online, even if it’s about someone else with the same name. Susan shares anecdotes about sharing a name with a notorious figure. Add your initial or middle name to your business card to differentiate.

[7:09] Marc tells people that when they Google their name, if nothing comes up, that’s not good, either. Marc encourages people to build their own online reputation by producing content. Susan points out that recruiters will research candidates online. Provide solid evidence of what you do and who you are.

[8:24] If you don’t have good content that you’ve put out there on purpose, what they find is information aggregator listings of data collected from public records. If you have a LinkedIn profile, Google usually puts it in the first page of search results, unless you’re a movie star.

[8:52] There are probably hundreds of organizations that collect information from public documents and combine it with what they find on Facebook, which has the birthday. If you’re trying to downplay your age, it won’t help to be too private. Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile.

[10:23] Q2: I have been reluctant to publish anything under my own name online because I’m scared of being criticized. I am moving into a very niche area of business analytics where I have a background but no real recent experience. Everyone is telling me I should publish some of my own work but that terrifies me? Advice?

[10:51] A2: Susan says you’ve got to publish. This person should get some feedback from colleagues before publishing, and then put it out there. You have to have proof that you know what you claim you know. 80% of recruiters will do the research and if they don’t find something that supports what you claim, they don’t believe it.

[11:37] That means, what you claim has to be published with the same name that you use on your job applications and your resume. Some people call themselves William on their resume but they’re Bill on their LinkedIn profile. So they make it harder for recruiters to connect those dots.

[12:03] The job market’s getting tight enough that recruiters are going to try harder to connect the dots but if they have a lot of applicants, they aren’t going to. Use the right name and make it clear that you know what you know.

[12:20] This person should do some volunteering or some contracting to gain some experience — something she can add to her social presence that demonstrates that she knows what she says she knows and that she’s right about it.

[12:37] Marc tells people, “Show me you know your stuff, don’t tell me you know your stuff.” Go out and make a presentation and get someone to shoot it on their iPhone. Pick snippets and pieces to put up on YouTube. Take the presentation itself and publish it on Slideshare, which is owned by LinkedIn.

[13:20] Marc suggest getting online and doing your presentation like there’s someone there and record it. Do a webinar with no audience and record it. Put that on YouTube. You can edit it before you put it up to make sure you sound good.

[13:59] Q3: I’m over 60 and was laid off over a year ago and have been looking with no luck. I have done so many things in my career I do not want to pigeonhole myself into looking for just one thing. This is not working. What advice do you have for me?

[14:20] A3: Susan tells job seekers that pigeon holes are where the jobs are, now. If you don’t pigeonhole yourself, you’re going to have a very long, difficult job search. Employers are looking for proof that you know what you know. It’s much better to claim the thing that you’re best at and enjoy the most, and make that visible.

[15:07] If you’re not focused on one thing, with a good personal brand, recruiters are going to think you don’t know much about anything. Pick the field you like the best and market yourself as the person you can do that job very well and you will get a job. It’s taking him so long because he’s not pigeonholed.

[17:12] The keywords are so important. Susan has an MBA in MIS, from when it was a hot term. Now IT is the current keyword for that field. No one searches for MIS jobs. Keep your keywords up-to-date so you can be found. Marketing yourself as an MIS expert isn’t going to get you anywhere, now.

[17:58] Marc spent a lot of his career in Training. Now the current keyword term is Learning and Development. Marc has adjusted the Training titles in his LinkedIn profile to Learning and Development. (But, hopefully, he never has to look for a job again.)

[18:40] Q4: I’ve been in the finance banking industry for my entire career. The profession has gone from where you met with clients and worked with them to solve problems to one where everything is done online and it’s now about pushing through loans to meet tight deadlines.

[18:58] I want to move into HR and I’m working on some credentials, but I make too much money in my current position. How do I get someone at my current company to take me seriously in wanting to make this change?

[19:14] A4: Susan recommends she contact somebody in HR and see if she can do an informational interview. What are they looking for? What would they need for her to prove that she really is serious about HR? Susan strongly suspects she will take a big salary hit, going from sales to HR.

[19:39] If she is OK with that, talk to someone in HR or at another similar company in HR, or go to an HR organization’s meeting. Get to know the people. Buy someone dinner and see if they will spend some time sharing information about how to transition from what she’s doing into HR.

[20:20] People in HR are typically pretty helpful people, and she may end up with a mentor or two that will help her make the transition. Of course, she has to continue the credentialing and finish them.

[20:46] She should do some volunteering, or get a gig, four hours a week helping some organization with HR and build up the experience so she’ll have something to put on her LinkedIn profile and on her resume. Susan says to start transitioning the LinkedIn profile carefully to the new field.

[21:16] People who want to buy from her now may not be excited to learn that her greatest area of expertise is HR but when they talk with her they’ll probably know that she knows what she’s talking about in her current field.

[21:31] Marc stresses that in making transitions like this that you’ll never do it alone. In his career changes, they all have been half-step career moves. He had one foot in the old world, one foot in the new world, and there was always someone who took him across. He never did it alone and it was usually not a massive shift.

[22:04] If you’re an engineer and you want to be a pastry chef, you’re not going to make it in one fell swoop. You’ve really got to get out of your own head and talk to people, and find out the reality. Don’t suffer from Make Stuff Up (MSU) Disorder.

[22:36] We all make assumptions. You don’t know what they’re looking for unless you go talk to them. Don’t assume there’s nothing bad attached to your name online. It’s surprising to Susan how often she does a search on an unusual name to find there are 10 other profiles with the same name.

[23:45] Marc knows a Mark Miller who writes on ageism and the Boomer demographic. He just wrote a book named Jolt. Sometimes they get mistaken for each other. Marc plans to have him on the podcast in the next six months.

[24:47] Marc thanks Susan for helping him answer these questions.

[25:03] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc is looking for other experts to help him answer questions in addition to Mark Anthony Dyson and Susan Joyce.

[25:14] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc is forming a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[25:27] You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[25:34] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release version of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[25:47] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently recruiting new members for the next cohort.

[25:59] 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.

[26:13] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[26:34] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[26:50] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Chris Farrell, author of Purpose and a Paycheck.

[26:57] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[27:01] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-116.

[27:10] 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.

Feb 18, 2019

In this episode, Marc interviews Valerie Friesen from Blue Angel Solutions. Valerie is an early-stage Baby Boomer who moved with her husband to Mexico from Canada during the Great Recession with intentions to teach English, on the side. She now has a very successful business providing health insurance solutions to expats in Mexico. Marc hopes you enjoy this fascinating episode.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:33] Marc welcomes you to Episode 115 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. CareerPivot.com brings you this podcast; it is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[2:01] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[2:23] Marc is not completely sure at this time what next week’s episode will be. He is scheduled to record a Question and Answer episode with Susan Joyce of Job-Hunt.org fame, but Marc also has appointments with Chris Farrell, author of Purpose and a Paycheck, and previous podcast guest, John Tarnoff. You’ll see which one, next week.

[3:03] This week, Marc interviews Valerie Friesen from Blue Angel Solutions. Marc reads her bio by way of introduction.
[3:32] Marc welcomes you to the podcast and presents Valerie Friesen. Marc bought his health insurance from Valerie after three recommendations from other clients.

[3:54] Valerie is a first-stage Baby Boomer. Blue Angel Solutions is a boutique health insurance brokerage with relationships with several insurance companies. That gives an opportunity for new and returning customers. She tells how she chose the name.

[5:08] Valerie and her husband moved to Ajijic from Canada in late 2009. They came partly for the climate, at the tail end of the 2008 economic meltdown. Their careers were impacted in Canada and on the advice of a relative who had been to Mexico, they decided to move.

[6:34] They checked out the possibilities and within six months they had divested themselves from their careers, home, and investment properties. Then they moved.

[6:52] Valerie had worked at two banks and through the banks, she had offered disability and health insurance to her banking clients. She had also taught English as a Second Language much earlier in her career and she had liked it, so she planned to teach again in Ajijic, Mexico. She enrolled in a fast-track program for accreditation in Guadalajara.

[7:40] Valerie passed the accreditation class, but then her husband saw a newspaper ad for insurance sales and he asked her to check it out. She started at a full-service insurance agency. That’s how she got started in health insurance in Mexico.

[9:00] Unfortunately, the founder of the agency passed away and things changed. Her husband encouraged her to move on. In five months, she launched Blue Angel Solutions, in November 2012.

[9:40] Valerie’s vision for Blue Angel Solutions was not to be the largest agency but to be the best in responsiveness to clients — current and prospective. Everyone shows up on time, answers the phone, answers emails and is respectful. She holds her insurance providers to the same standard of service.

[11:03] Valerie’s initial clients were fellow expats from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Primarily from Canada and the U.S. Their ages generally ranged from 62 to 67. That was the age of people retiring at that time.

[11:53] The bell curve has widened now. Her current prospects and clients range from age 38 to age 80. Some have children in college in the U.S. and teens at International Schools in Mexico.

[13:40] One of the reasons people are moving to Mexico is that technology allows them to do business around the world from home. In Ajijic, the cost of living is less and the community is great, and the environment is attractive.

[14:33] Marc has worked around the world, in 40 different countries. He can adapt to any culture. Mrs. Miller has not. When Marc first looked at moving, he asked a Chapala area Facebook group for recommendations for endocrinologists for his wife. He got 28 responses in 48 hours.

[15:18] Valerie compares the area to a college town. Everyone is new. Everyone is helpful. The norm is to pay it forward.

[15:55] How did it turn out differently for Valerie than she expected? She had expected to teach English as a Second Language. She got a contract to teach for one year in the a.m. in Jocotepec, while she worked at the insurance agency in the p.m. After a year, she knew it would burn her out so she continued in the insurance area.

[16:45] Valerie’s typical day is to rise early, do some reading, make some supplier phone calls, and look at the day’s schedule. She and her husband walk the dogs. She comes to the office at 10:00 when it opens. She has a receptionist who opens if she is not yet there.

[18:01] Valerie’s workday is a number of appointments, her primary method of doing business. On Monday mornings, she deals with the inevitable Monday walk-ins. That way, everybody is happy. Valerie compares business to the three parts of a golf swing — the setup, the swing itself, and the follow-through.

[20:22] Valerie runs her business like a consulting business. She always provides a personal orientation to the product for her customers.

[21:01] Marc comments on the personal orientation he and his wife received when they bought a policy.

[21:25] Valerie works to 5:30 of 6:00 to do “cleanup” although the official hours are 10:00 to 4:00.

[21:50] Valerie had no expectations about how much she would earn in insurance. With her good listening skills, good initiative, and commitment to excellence, she believed she would be successful.

[22:28] Valerie continues to work because she wants to work.

[22:40] Marc shares a story of meeting two elderly women at Tacos Frida in Ajijic who were thrilled with all the activities in the area. Marc told them he does not want activities; he wants purpose. Valerie agrees. Neither have any plans to retire.

[23:23] Valerie will mentor someone to take over her business. She separates herself as an entity from the business. She wishes to leave a legacy of her business.

[24:06] Valerie will never sell 100% of her business. She will find someone to run it for her. She will work fewer hours and be more mobile. In her business, she has the opportunity to experience and evaluate the aging process better than most people. She says it is sad that people used to retire and then pass within two years.

[26:09] On January 1, 1960, the visionary Del Webb opened up Sun City Arizona with five model homes and a strip mall. He had 10,000 cars lined up to visit. At that time, most of them were smokers and would not live long.

[26:46] Today, for a married couple, age 65, the odds of one of you living to 100 are enormous. Valerie’s receptionist has two aunties — 104 and 102 — who take care of themselves.

[27:20] People are living longer than they expected. There are a lot of economic refugees in Ajijic. They can live a good life on their Social Security.

[27:50] Marc thanks Valerie for sharing her story and asks her for some final words of advice for the listeners.

[28:04] Valerie knew when she arrived that she would live it and she would be successful in any endeavor. At age 21 after University, she had served overseas in the Canadian equivalent of Peace Corps. She had learned to be self-reliant in a third-world country. She had learned flexibility, respect for cultures, and a sense of humor.

[29:24] Valerie knew she had those qualities. She advises you to chill out and have a great time. This is no dress rehearsal; this is it.

[29:48] From 200 to 2004 Marc spent a lot of time in mainland China, where he learned the more he ‘understood’ the Chinese people, the less he understood them. It’s similar in Mexico. The U.S. perception of Mexico is not correct. In Austin, in the last two years, there was a SWAT team set up within 100 yards of his house. In Ajijic, he is safe.

[31:02] Valerie says, “Que sera, sera!” Marc thanks Valerie for the interview.

[31:14] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc has several more interviews like this one lined up to introduce you to the many possibilities of working outside the U.S.

[31:24] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback. Marc has already released the opening chapter to the release team.

[31:41] You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[31:50] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release version of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[32:03] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on this podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months. Marc has been delayed by his move to Mexico. Susan has been delayed by moving to Portugal.

[32:32] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently soliciting members for the next cohort.

[32:42] 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.

[32:58] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[33:21] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[33:41] Please come back next week, when Marc will likely be answering questions with Susan Joyce — subject to change.

[33:48] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[33:52] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-115.

[34:06] 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.

Feb 11, 2019

In this episode, Marc and Karen discuss her book. Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count.

 

Karen is a veteran connector, editor, and communicator and has worked in and around Silicon Valley long enough to have appeared in Wired 1.4. Even before that, she wrote one of the very first guides to what was called the World Wide Web. Now it’s an amusing relic of a more innocent time.

 

As a corporate writer, she has developed stories, styles, and cadences for Google, Twitter, and many startups. As an early ‘Googler,’ she joined when there were 500 employees. She left nine years later when there were 50,000. She has been in a fair share of war rooms and fire drills and has crafted scores of posts covering products, pivots, shake ups, corporate apologies, and company culture. More recently, she advised a range of companies that want a strategy or a reality check on their messages and the content they produce.

 

Sometimes, friends introduce her as someone who “knows everybody.” Not exactly true but usually, she does know who everyone is. That may be her secret power, along with common sense. She can see around corners and ask questions that matter, all in order to help get to the next steps and real solutions for teams, companies, and individuals.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:05] Marc welcomes you to Episode 114 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. CareerPivot.com brings you this podcast; it is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[1:35] 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 can reach, the more he can help.

[1:57] Next week, in Episode 115, Marc will interview Valerie Friesen from Blue Angel Solutions. Valerie is an early-stage Baby Boomer who moved with her husband to Mexico from Canada during the Great Recession, intending to teach English. She now has a successful business providing health insurance solutions to expats in Mexico.

[2:27] This week, Marc interviews Karen Wickre, the author of Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count. Marc reads her bio by way of introduction.

[4:09] Marc welcomes Karen to the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Karen emphasizes the word “connector” from her bio; her ability to connect people is one of the reasons she wrote her book.

[4:37] Karen is considered a social introvert. She likes meeting with people, but she has to avoid overscheduling. She needs time to regroup at home.

[5:50] The difference between introverts and extroverts is in how they energize. Introverts energize in quiet spaces; extroverts energize from other people.

[6:27] Chapter 1 of Karen’s book is “Unleashing the Introvert’s Secret Power.” Karen’s theory is that introverts have the three qualities that help make connections that matter. The first quality is listening (not just waiting for your turn to talk). Introverts don’t want to reveal too much until they feel safe.

[7:41] Karen cites interviewer Terry Gross, saying “There’s no better question than ‘Tell me about yourself,’” when you’re getting acquainted with someone.

[7:58] The second quality is the power of being a good observer of the scene and of how a person you are meeting presents themselves. Are they nervous, are they proud of their accomplishments, what’s their style? Do they talk about their family a lot? Being observant of things and of behaviors is very helpful for understanding your audience.

[8:57] The third quality is curiosity. Be curious about people, their stories, and where they come from. Karen often tells anonymous stories that help people relate to the experiences of others.

[9:43] These three qualities — listening, observing, and curiosity — are qualities introverts are likely to have and that people need, to make good connections.

[9:56] Marc refers to Thom Singer of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast. Thom’s observation about introverts is that they know how to listen. Marc always recommends introverts to have a set of questions to use to find something that you have in common.

[10:25] Karen is on a nonprofit board and she recently did an exercise with them to go off in pairs and take five minutes to find what they had in common.

[10:41] When Marc was living in Austin, he would start conversations by asking “How did you get to Austin?” People always had a story and they wanted to tell it.

[11:02] Karen says keeping in “loose touch” is making occasional contact with people to whom you are connected in some fashion online. Send a link with “I saw this and thought of you. Hope you’re doing well. (Let’s catch up soon.)” You can do this on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or text. It doesn’t require an immediate response.

[13:25] It’s simply to say, “We’re both still out there and I’m thinking of you.” You might set aside a few minutes a day to make these loose touches. Marc refers to this as cultivating your network.

[14:36] How should you reach out to your network? First, understand how they want to be touched. If you’re not connected on a platform, email may work. Marc notes that Baby Boomers are still getting used to texting people. Marc prefers a text to a phone call from an unknown number.

[15:37] Karen calls email the killer app. Karen suggests using it when you don’t know who prefers what platform. She uses it in a three-step process to introduce one person to another. Send it to one, ask concisely, with details, for permission to introduce the other, wait for the response, and, if positive, make the connection in a new chain.

[19:45] Marc advises that when you make an introduction, always make what you are asking for simple. He gives an example from emailing a connection at Capital Metro, where he asked, “Who can she talk to?” for information about working there. All his contact had to do was forward the email to the right person.

[20:34] People often don’t ask for what they want, or they are not clear enough. Karen suggests asking, “If not you, is there someone else you can connect us with?”

[21:17] Marc advises job seekers to send connection requests to recruiters, asking “Are you the right recruiter for this position? And if not, could you direct me to them?”

[21:45] What is the next killer app after email? Karen suggests LinkedIn, used for a simple connection, and then pivoting to email.

[23:17] Marc asks as an introvert, why he would need to network for his job search. Karen advises on the parameters of proper networking. It is a one-to-one connection with people who have leads and information for you, related to your question. It’s not a mass outreach but connecting to a few people who are, in part, experts on your need.

[25:33] Your quest is to find selected people who have relevant information for you, get introductions to them, and follow up with some kind of exchange or conversation as needed. Karen advises how to tout your qualities without bragging.

[27:00] Most of us Boomers got our jobs from other people. A lot of the people who pulled us along are no longer in power or are retired or dead. So, we need to build relationships with younger people. Marc sees LinkedIn as a database to find people he should network with before he needs a job.

[28:05] Karen says the point of her book is to have informal, low-pressure outreach with people and connections all the time. When you actually need it, it is less daunting if you’ve already been cultivating your network. Karen shares a case study of a woman who had let her network go, over the years and now needs a new one.

[29:03] Marc paraphrases Scott Ingram, “Networking doesn’t occur at networking events. It occurs afterward.” Karen tells people that getting the business card at an event is all about the follow-up. Karen gives people processes and strategies to try. Do what works for you.

[30:41] Karen gives her final suggestions: LinkedIn gives canned language for making a connection Don’t rely on that. Use your own language. Make your own explanation of why you want to connect with them. Tell what you have in common or connections you share with them. Be specific about your need and your quest. Personalize.

[32:05] It’s when it’s kind of vague and unstated and unclear, that it’s really hard to move ahead in any direction. Karen might wait a good long while to respond to a generic connection request. She may not reject it, but she lets it sit. She has a hundred or so that she will not do anything with unless they come up with a reason she should.

[33:22] Marc refers to a conversation on this that he had with podcast host Mark Anthony Dyson, a frequent guest. Mark and Marc take different approaches. Marc will accept it, and respond back, “I accepted your connection, [first name]. How did you find me?” About 75% will respond. If they are selling services, he cuts them off.

[34:27] Marc really, really enjoyed Karen’s book. See the link to it above. You can also connect to Karen on Karenwickre.com or @KVox on Twitter and KarenWickre on LinkedIn. Marc thanks Karen for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[35:43] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[35:56] You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[36:04] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[36:20] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on this podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.

[36:40] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc will be soliciting members for the next cohort, shortly.

[36:56] 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.

[37:12] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[37:36] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[38:01] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Valerie Friesen, owner of Blue Angel Solutions, in Mexico.

[38:11] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[38:15] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-114.

[38:24] 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.

Feb 4, 2019

In this episode, Marc covers Gen X and Gen Y, the events and technologies that shaped them, the differences between them, and why we need to adapt our method of communication to them.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:29] Marc welcomes you to Episode 113 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. CareerPivot.com brings you this podcast; it is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[2:01] 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 friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The more people Marc can reach, the more he can help.

[2:23] Next week, Marc will have an interview with Karen Wickre, the author of Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count.

[2:36] In this week’s podcast, Marc completes a short series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop. Marc will deliver this workshop on March 7th at the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange and it was suggested to him to get this on the podcast.

[2:50] If you have not listened to the first two episodes in this series, Marc suggests that you stop this podcast and listen to the first two episodes, first. Those are episodes 111 and 112.

[3:02] Find the handouts that accompany this episode at Careerpivot.com/Multigen.

[3:18] Marc welcomes you to Part 3 of the Multi-generational Workplace podcast episodes. In this episode, Marc will finish up with Generation X and Generation Y.

[3:40] There were a set of changes that occurred in the mid-1960s that set up all the problems we are having today with immigration and the changes to the racial makeup of the work population.

[4:14] In 1964, the Bracero Program for agricultural workers was ended. It was started in 1942 to provide men to work in agriculture while American men were at war. As the war ended and men came back, a couple of things happened. The G.I. Bill provided college for many; others, after seeing the world, didn’t want to return to work on a farm.

[5:38] Corporations and farms that hired migrants housed them in poor conditions and paid them poorly. Because of this abuse, the government ended the Bracero Program in 1964. The need for agricultural workers didn’t end. Until 9/11, 90% of undocumented or illegal migrant workers were men. After 9/11, the U.S. tightened the border.

[6:30] With the border tightened, it was no longer easy to cross the border back and forth. So the men brought their families across with them and stayed. Our policy at the border is still on apprehending single men, as opposed to families.

[7:09] The 1965 Immigration Act also played a role. Because the Silent Generation was so small, there was a great need to allow more educated people to enter the U.S. We went from a quota system to a family-based system, targeted toward educated Asians.

[7:45] In 2017, when Marc’s wife went into the hospital, she saw seven doctors in one day. One of them was Caucasian. Six were Asian of Generation X. This demographic shift is largely due to the changes in immigration policy.

[8:17] In 1965, the pill was introduced. The pill had dramatic effects on Generation X and forced divorce rates up in the Silent Generation. It changed the dynamics of our population. Worldwide, the more education women have, the fewer children they have, and the later they have them.

[8:54] With Generation X, birth rates are at an all-time low. There will be fewer people alive in the workforce to pay their Social Security benefits.

[9:17] Generation X is a tiny generation, primarily due to the fact that their parents, the Silent Generation, was a very small generation, and due to the pill. Birth rates after the introduction of the pill were not very high.

[9:47] Many people of the ages of Generation X do not categorize themselves as being Generation X. Why not? Mainly because there were no catalyzing events as they grew, to bring them together as a group. It was a time of peace and general prosperity. The Challenger explosion and the Persian Gulf War didn’t change anything for them.

[10:42] Generation X is the generation that has the least amount of group identification.

[10:53] What was the technology that affected Generation X the most? Marc suggests you pause the podcast and think about it.

[11:09] Home computers — like the Apple II and the IBM PC — came out. Computer technology had a tremendous impact on Generation X.

[11:46] How did Generation X communicate after they left home? Marc suggests you pause the podcast and think about it.

[12:00] This is the first generation who had electronic communication, including email, and chat networks, like CompuServe and Prodigy services. They still use the phone but they started the shift back to written communications.

[12:32] The Greatest Generation wrote letters. The Silent Generation were the first to use long-distance calling. Baby Boomers like to talk. As we move through Generation X, the communication goes back to written.

[12:55] How did Generation X research the question, “What is the capital of Madagascar?” Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think about it.

[13:10] Generation X still had to go home and might use a paper encyclopedia, or more likely look it up on Encarta CD or online, using their PC. This is the first generation that had access to online or computerized information.

[13:40] This generation has not yet produced a president. There were three Generation X candidates in 2016. Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think which candidates were from Generation X.

[14:13] Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, and Marco Rubio were all Generation X candidates. What did they have in common? They all come from immigrant parents.

[14:29] Besides being small, Generation X is the least Caucasian generation and the most immigrant population generation, up to this point.

[15:24] The demographics of Generation X and Generation Y shift dramatically. Who are their parents? The Silent Generation, and to a lesser extent, Baby Boomers. In an echo effect, Generation X has very low divorce rates — because they don’t get married or they get married much later.

[16:08] Half of Generation X grew up in single-parent homes. Their parents divorced like crazy and this generation doesn’t want to go through that again. Many people you know between 35 and early-to-mid fifties will be from a single-parent household.

[16:37] Generation X has children much later. This will show up in Generation Z, the children of most Gen Xers, which Marc will have to add into this workshop presentation.

[16:55] Generation Y, or Millennials, were born between 1982 to 2000. The most impactful event was 9/11. They don’t remember travel when it was easy. The 9/11 disaster threw a lot of instability into their lives. The Great Recession also greatly affected this generation. Marc’s son graduated from college in 2006 and got a job.

[18:10] Those who graduated from college in between 2007 and 2012 were greatly harmed by the Great Recession. They could not find good jobs.

[18:26] What technology affected Generation Y? Marc invites you to pause the podcast and consider.

[18:40] The smartphone and personal communications are the technologies that most affected Generation Y. As a junior in high school, Marc’s son had a cell phone with a 60-minute plan. In college, before Wi-Fi, Marc’s son could take a cable and plug in his laptop anywhere on campus to access the Internet through Ethernet.

[19:20] Generation Y was the first generation that was completely connected. Gen Y are used to having instantaneous communications and access to information.

[19:40] Marc recently updated a blog post on “The Ubiquitous Access to Information and a Generational Rift. Generation Y doesn’t have to memorize anything, and because of ubiquitous access to information, they may not pay attention.

[20:04] When Generation Y left home, how did they communicate? Marc invites you to pause the podcast and consider.

[20:18] They text! It’s a kind of written communication. If you want to communicate with a Millennial, text them. They won’t answer the phone or listen to your voice message. Don’t leave them voicemail! Marc also prefers to receive texts, because people get to the point with fewer words.

[21:20] Text is a kind of written communication, but texting actually hurts the Millennials because their writing skills are not all that good. Marc has a friend that used to teach in the PR department at Texas State. Marc pointed some nonprofit organizations there to have some communications done, but the quality of the writing was bad.

[22:11] In email communications among Millennials, spelling errors are common.

[22:18] How did Generation Y research the question, “What is the capital of Madagascar?” Marc invites you to pause the podcast and think about it.

[22:30] Easy — when Gen Y researches, they Google it! Marc refers again to his blog post. The lack of memorization skills hurts Gen Y if they are in customer service, where they need to know people’s names, or if they don’t remember incidents that could teach them things. It’s a very different world today.

[23:04] This group was raised to be good team players. Baby Boomers were raised to be strong individuals. We raised our children to play well on a team. They are not necessarily good in isolation. Everything they did in school was around groups. They are “pack animals.” They like collaboration. They like to be involved in work decisions.

[24:12] They do not like when a decision affecting them comes out from behind a door. They want to know, at least, the process and to be informed. Why? Because that’s what we told them. We Baby Boomers are their parents. They are the opposite of us and we made them that way. Everyone got a blue ribbon/trophy!

[24:53] Millennials created Facebook. This generation is the opposite of us. We look at them like they are us, but they are not. Marc refers you to an infographic in his handout on how Millennials perceive themselves and how HR professionals perceive Millennials. Marc describes the big differences in perception.

[26:06] Most Millennials are not tech savvy. They are great consumers of technology,

[26:27] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Marc hopes you have a better understanding of the cultural and demographic shifts that are occurring and why. His workshop mantra is: “If I want you to listen to me, I have to adapt to you — not the other way around.” In workplace communications, we all have to adapt to one another.

[26:58] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[27:12] Marc has already released the first chapter to the release team and he is working on releasing the second chapter. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[27:27] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[27:41] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on this podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.

[28:02] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for the almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc will be soliciting members in the coming weeks for the next cohort.

[28:19] 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.

[28:35] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with group coaching and special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[28:59] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[29:29] Please come back next week, when Marc will interview Karen Wickre, the author of Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count.

[29:41] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[29:45] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-113.

[29:54] 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.

Jan 28, 2019

In this episode, Marc covers the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, and the Baby Boom Generation in America, from the events and technologies that shaped them, to the life choices they made.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Marc welcomes you to Episode 112 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[1:42] 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 friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The more people Marc can reach, the more he can help.

[2:07] In this week’s podcast, Marc will continue a short series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop. Marc will deliver this workshop on March 7th at the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange and it was suggested to him that he might want to make a podcast series of it.

[2:23] Last week, Marc published a blog post, “The Ubiquitous Access to Information and a Generational Rift,” based on the idea that how people obtain information is changing rapidly.

[2:42] When doctors are trained, memorization of medical information has decreased because it is so readily available. Marc learned this from the Dean of the University of Texas Medical School at a breakfast club. The roomful of Baby Boomers showed shocked faces.

[3:09] Because things are readily available, we don’t memorize anymore and we don’t have to. That scares most Baby Boomers.

[3:19] If you did not listen to Part 1 of this series, Marc suggests you go back and listen to that, first. In this episode, Marc will cover the Greatest, the Silent, and the Baby Boomer Generations in this episode. Next week, Marc will cover Gen X and Gen Y — why they don’t necessarily get along and why we sometimes misinterpret them.

[3:43] Marc welcomes you to the second installment of “The Multi-generational Workplace — ‘Why can’t we all get along?’” In the workshop, March shows five flipcharts, one for each generation. Each flipchart has areas for events, technology, communications, learning, and how we research “What is the capital Madagascar?”

[4:22] Each flipchart talks about our parents (of Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y) and which presidents came from each generation.

[4:37] The Greatest Generation are those born from 1900 to 1924. Every single male of this generation served in the military or in public service. You might pause the podcast to consider what events catalyzed this generation.

[5:24] WWII and the Great Depression completely galvanized this generation. As a result, they believed in big government and they saved money ‘like crazy,’ Marc’s father graduated from college in ’42 and enlisted in the Army. Marc joked that his father wasn’t frugal, he was cheap.

[6:12] You might pause the podcast and ponder what technologies affected this generation.

[6:28] This generation was all about transportation. They were the first to have automobiles, and the U.S. Interstate Highway system was created after WWII.

[7:01] When this generation left home, how did they communicate back with their families? You might pause the podcast and consider it.

[7:25] This generation wrote letters. Written communication was the foundation of this generation. They wrote by hand in cursive. Do not hand a letter in cursive to a Millennial. They may not be able to read it!

[7:59] Marc will show there has been a transformation between generations from written to audio and back to a form of written communications.

[8:21] How did this generation research the question, “What is the capital of Madagascar?” How did they learn? You might pause your podcast and think about it.

[8:37] The encyclopedia? World Book did not become prevalent until the 1950s. This generation very likely had to go to the library and find an atlas or a globe. They did not have information that was readily available in their homes. They had to go somewhere to go find the answer.

[9:34] The Greatest Generation or G.I. Generation produced every president from JFK all the way to George Bush, Sr. The Greatest Generation has had their fingerprints on almost everything for 40 to 50 years.

[10:13] The Silent Generation or Traditional Generation was born from 1925 to 1945. What events do you think affected this generation? You might pause the podcast to consider.

[10:35] The events that affected this generation are WWII and the JFK assassination. The assassination was a real shocker. Marc remembers Dallas at the time of the assassination.

[11:41] What technology affected and galvanized this generation? You might pause the podcast to think about it.

[12:01] There were two very significant technologies. The first was the telephone and the second was “the pill.” The pill had a massive effect on this generation through birth control. Divorce rates soared among this generation, which is why so many of Generation X ended up being latchkey kids growing up in households of divorce.

[13:01] This was the first generation where we had telephones. They still wrote letters, but calling was a step to auditory communications from a distance.

[13:47] How did this generation research the capital of Madagascar? They still probably had to go to the library. Encyclopedias did not become prevalent until the Baby Boomers.

[14:38] The Silent Generation has produced zero presidents. They’ve had some candidates, most recently, John McCain. We very likely will not have a president from the Silent Generation.

[15:23] Because the Silent Generation was so small, they have not had the impact, politically, that the Greatest Generation has had, or that Baby Boomers have had. Generation X is also a small generation.

[15:46] Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964. What events affected this generation? You might pause the podcast to think about it? Jot down some ideas.

[16:20] Two critical events galvanized Baby Boomers. One was Vietnam. Marc has seen television newscasts from that period at the U.S. History Museum. The ramp up into the Vietnam War was fast. Marc contrasts it with the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.

[17:21] Watergate was the second event that affected the Baby Boom Generation. Both these events made us very distrustful of big government. If you were born from 1946 to 1955, you were probably affected by Vietnam. If you were born 1956 to 1964, you were affected more by Watergate.

[18:01] Marc remembers in the summer of 1972 watching the Watergate Hearings daily after his work shift at the Howard Johnson's. Early Boomers affected by Vietnam, delayed marriage and stayed in college. Some Boomers in their 60s still have kids in college.

[19:12] Late Boomers, 1961 on, had children at a younger age, have little memory of Vietnam, and in their 50s, have children in college.

[19:46] You might pause the podcast and think about what technology most affected the Baby Boomer Generation.

[20:10] Baby Boomers were the first to have televisions. Mass marketing was first applied to the Boomer Generation. Marc remembers seeing The Flintstones in 1962, which was mainly sponsored then by Winston Cigarettes!

[21:04] The next technology came in 1969. You might pause the podcast and consider what it was.

[21:19] In 1969, Visa was introduced. Boomers were the first generation to have easy access to credit. Marc remembers a Barney Miller episode where a detective was telling a young drug dealer that he would never have one thing — credit!

[21:56] Boomers were the first generation to be the targets of advertising, with ready credit to purchase new things. This is an echo effect from our parents, who saved money like crazy. We spent money.

[22:24] When Boomers left home, how did we communicate? You might pause the podcast and think on this.

[22:34] Boomers were the first generation to have prevalent long-distance phone calls. College students would give their parents two rings on the phone and hang up. Their parents would call them back and pay for the long distance. Also, we used collect phone calls. Boomers were a very auditory generation.

[23:10] Marc tells his Millennial colleagues, “If you have a Baby Boomer boss, and you want them to listen to you, you need to go talk to them.”

[23:27] How did Baby Boomers research the capital of Madagascar? You might pause the podcast and ponder this.

[23:39] A lot of us had World Book or Encyclopedia Britannica at home. We could easily research at home and get new information with annual updates. It opened up the world to us. Information was rapidly becoming more accessible.

[24:18] Who were our parents? To a large extent, our parents were The Greatest Generation. They saved money and believed in Big Government. They believed in “playing it safe.” We Baby Boomers spend money like crazy and we don’t trust government.

[24:49] Marc did as his parents told him to. He graduated from college and went to work for IBM, a big company. Marc was raised to be an employee and work for a father-like company that would take care of him. Others did differently than their parents advised.

[25:21] Marc never served in the military; most Baby Boomers did not, especially if they were college-educated. Marc did a workshop for a national staffing company and he asked 150 Boomers (110 of whom were males) how many served in Vietnam. Three hands went up. They had volunteered.

[25:55] The Vietnam Draft, besides taking citizens, took Green Card holders. Minorities and the poor made up a huge percentage of Vietnam War draftees. Marc learned that those who had the highest casualty rate in Vietnam were college-educated volunteers because they went to fight. Most draftees were not sent to fight.

[27:02] The U.S. presidents from Bill Clinton through Donald Trump, has been a Baby Boomer. The next president may also be a Baby Boomer. We will see. Next week, Marc will discuss Generation X Candidates. They don’t look or behave like us.

[27:41] In next week’s episode, Marc will cover Gen X and spend a fair amount of time talking about Gen Y (The Millennials). How they view themselves is very different from how Boomers view them. The Millennials are the opposite of the Baby Boomers and we made them that way.

[28:12] Marc hopes you enjoyed this episode. Next week, Marc will dig into Gen X and Gen Y. He will show why they likely don’t get along, and why we Baby Boomers misperceive Gen Y. They are our kids!

[28:30] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[28:43] Marc has already released the opening chapter to the release team. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[28:59] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of the chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[29:14] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on this podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.

[29:33] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for the almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc will soon be soliciting members for the next cohort.

[29:51] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, so Marc can interview you, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[30:05] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[30:31] Marc invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.com/in/mrmiller. Just include in the connection request that you heard Marc on this podcast. You can look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[30:59] Please come back next week, when Marc will be covering Gen X and Gen Y.

[31:06] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[31:10] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-112.

[31:19] 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, Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jan 21, 2019

In this episode, Marc lays out the framework for the next episode or two, and gives a description of each adult generation in America, and their places in today’s workplace.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:04] Marc welcomes you to Episode 111 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[2:33] If you are enjoying this podcast, please share it with other like-minded souls. The more people Marc can reach, the more he can help. Subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, or any of the other apps that supply podcasts. Share it on social media or just tell your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

[2:54] In this week’s podcast, Marc will start a short series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace Workshop. Marc will deliver this workshop on March 7th for the Texas Hospital Insurance Exchange. Marc has been updating and republishing his blog series on the multi-generational workplace, first published in 2012 or 2013.

[3:31] The premise is that each generation, from The Greatest Generation all the way through Gen Y, has some shared characteristics, based on when they grew up. These generations are not homogeneous; they vary.

[3:43] Marc will take you through why each generation does what they do. Marc will introduce a concept called “Generational Echo Effects.” As we grow up and leave home, we tend to do one of two things: we either do what our parents told us to do or the exact opposite. So, we ping-pong our behaviors between generations. Listen for examples!

[4:15] Marc introduces the Multi-generational Workplace “Why Can’t We Just Get Along?” Workshop. Please find handouts at CareerPivot.com/Multigen. The handouts are optional; there is a useful chart Marc will use — the U.S. birth rate per thousand.

[4:52] There are five generations in the workplace today. Marc will describe each generation in multiple ways: events they experienced or didn’t experience, their technology, how they communicate, how they learn, who were their parents, and which presidents came from each generation.

[5:41] As an example of a generational difference, Marc asks ‘How did we research the question, ‘What’s the capital of Madagascar?’”

[5:48] Marc will look at the parents of each generation and the presidents that came from each generation.

[6:04] The Greatest Generation (G.I. Generation), born between 1900 and 1924, were the parents of Baby Boomers. The Greatest Generation has their fingerprints all over big business. Many of the mission and value statements of the biggest companies, such as Ford, GM, and IBM, were created by the Greatest Generation, or even earlier.

[6:44] Marc will take you through some highlights from the U.S. birth rate chart of how each generation is really very different.

[6:55] The Greatest Generation, was a very large generation. Birth rates up to that time were very high. The Greatest Generation was over 90% White. The Silent Generation, born from 1925 to 1945, is a very small generation because birth rates plummeted during the Great Depression and World War II.

[7:39] The small size of the Silent Generation has an echo effect on their children’s generation, which is mostly Gen X. The Silent Generation (also 90%-plus White) had very high levels of alcoholism and of divorce. This is also echoed in Gen X.

[8:02] Then come Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964. This was a very large generation. This generation is about 80% White, due to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated quotas that favored Northern European immigrants, and the end of the Bracero Program for agricultural workers, in 1964.

[9:08] The Bracero Program was ended because of abuse by business. At the end of the program, however, many of the workers did not return to Mexico.

[9:41] Baby Boomers are shifting, with a lot of Asians having joined them since 1965.

[9:51] The next generation is Gen X, a very small generation. Their parents, the Silent Generation was a very small generation. Gen X is also small because of a technology change in 1965. Marc will cover that change later. Gen X is about 65% White.

[10:30] Gen Y (The Millennials) is a big generation because they are the children of the Baby Boomers.

[10:41] The Silent Generation was about 50 million people. Baby Boomers were 79 million. Gen X born here is about 45 to 55 million; the Census Bureau shows Gen X as 75 to 80 million, with immigration. Gen Y is a very large generation at 80 million-plus. Gen Y is about 50% White. In border states, it is under 50% White.

[11:24] Donald Trump, at the beginning of the Baby Boom generation grew up under very different conditions than Gen Y. Gen Z will be the first generation where Whites are a minority.

[11:54] Marc steps through the five generations. The Greatest Generation largely grew up through the Depression. Every male of this generation probably served in the military or some type of public service in WWII. They understood deprivation. They believed in big government.
[12:39] This generation knew how to save. They largely created what we had in the post-WWII boom.

[12:54] The Silent or Traditionalist Generation, born between 1925 and 1945, is a very small generation. Birth rates plummeted during that time. The name “Silent Generation” came from a 1951 Time Magazine article saying they were very quiet. However, stepping into the late 1950s, they raised their voices.

[13:33] Favorite Rock and Roll stars of the 1950s and 1960s include Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, who all came from the Silent Generation. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Bobby Kennedy, and civil rights activists came from the Silent Generation. Vietnam War protests were led by the Silent Generation.

[14:23] The Silent generation produced no presidents. Every president from JFK to George Bush Sr. was of the Greatest Generation. The Silent Generation had a very high level of alcoholism and a very high level of divorce. A technology change, called “the pill,” which came out in the 1960s, caused divorce rates to soar.

[15:04] This generation didn’t look like the G.I. Generation. It was a very small group.

[15:17] Next come the Baby Boomers or those of us in the second half of life. Our generation is very, very large and we changed everything because of our size. As we exit the workforce, we don’t like leaving. We are used to being in control. We are the opposite of our parents.

[15:52] Our parents, the Greatest Generation, liked big government. Our generation, the Baby Boomers, after Vietnam and Watergate, do not trust government at all. Our parents saved money. Our generation spent money. There was a very important technology change in 1969 that Marc will cover later.

[16:32] Gen X, born from 1965 to 1982, had a relatively peaceful time growing up. There was no Vietnam or Watergate to protest. There were no catalytic events that brought them together, and they often don’t identify with a generation. This generation is very small. They are the opposite of their parents.

[17:35] Their parents had a very high rate of divorce; Gen X has a very low divorce rate. Why? Because they don’t get married. Half of this generation grew up in single-parent households. They were the latchkey kids. This was due to a technology change in 1965 that Marc will cover later.

[18:11] This generation looks very different from Baby Boomers, is very small, and mostly delay marriage or do not marry because their parents were divorced and they don’t want to go through the same thing.

[19:11] Gen Y or the Millennials, born between 1983 and 2000 (approximately), largely are connected electronically. Marc uses his son, born in 1984, as an example. When he went to college in 2002, he was given a laptop. There was no Wifi, but with a cable, he could walk around the University of Dayton campus and plug in anywhere.

[19:47] When he was in middle school, doing research on Bob Dole vs. Bill Clinton, Marc helped him research and they found everything online. This is a generation that has grown up connected. This will be even more true with Gen Z. Gen Y wasn’t required to memorize everything.

[20:22] Gen Y learns things starkly differently than Baby Boomers. Marc gives an example of researching. A Gen Y person doesn’t remember the facts they “Google” because they don’t have to. Marc does because he learned to remember things. In school, Marc had to memorize state capitals. Kids today just look them up.

[21:45] By the way, that really annoys Baby Boomers!

[21:49] Those are the five generations in the workplace, today. By 2025, Gen Y will be the majority. Baby Boomers and Gen X will be the minority. Today, Baby Boomers and Gen Y are equally split, while Gen X is the smallest group. There aren’t enough Gen Xers to fill Baby Boomers’ shoes.

[22:28] Marc hopes this has given you a good framework for where he is going in the next one or two episodes of the Repurpose your Career podcast. He will explain how each generation is different, how they are the same, and why they are the way they are.

[22:53] In Marc’s Communications blog post, Marc said, if he wants someone to listen to him, he has to adapt to them. For many Boomers, when they deal with “these kids,” the Gen Y, Boomers don’t want to adapt. Boomers want Gen Y to behave like them. They don’t — because that’s the way we made them!

[23:31] Please look for next week’s episode, where Marc will cover the Greatest, the Silent, and maybe the Baby Boom Generations. Marc thanks you for listening to this episode and he hopes you enjoyed it. The following week Marc will cover Gen X and Gen Y — why they likely do not get along and why Boomers misperceive Gen Y.

[24:04] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[24:17] Marc has already released the opening chapter to the release team. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[24:30] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[24:46] Marc and Susan are adding about eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on the podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months.

[25:06] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is currently soliciting members for the next cohort.

[25:17] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, so Marc can interview you, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[25:31] Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[25:55] Marc shares an example of what happens in the community. One of the members was offered a lower-level position at a company where she was applying for a different job. She asked for opinions and four or five members shared applicable experiences and advice with her.

[26:23] 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.

[26:46] Please come back next week, when Marc will continue in this series, discussing the Greatest, Silent, and Baby Boomer Generations.

[26:56] Marc thanks you for listening to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[27:00] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-111.

[27:07] 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, Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jan 14, 2019

In this episode, Marc describes some of the realities of creating this weekly podcast and what it will take to keep it going strong. Marc reveals the results of the 2018 Repurpose Your Career Podcast Listener Survey and the ideas you have given him for going forward, this year. Marc introduces the concept of listener contributions to support the expenses of the show and gives an outline of changes happening now and coming up on the podcast and also on the Career Pivot Blog. Please listen in for the exciting news.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:42] Marc welcomes you to Episode 110 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Career Pivot brings this podcast to you. CareerPivot.com is one of the very few websites dedicated to those of us in the second half of life and our careers. Please take a moment to check out the blog and the other resources delivered to you free of charge.

[2:10] 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 friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

[2:25] In next week’s podcast, Marc will start a series of episodes based on his Multi-generational Workplace workshop. Marc has been updating and republishing his blog series on the multi-generational workplace, first published in 2012.

[2:40] The blog series has proven to be quite popular. Mark Anthony Dyson, a repeat guest on this podcast, suggested to Marc that he use the material in a podcast series. The premise is that each generation, from The Greatest Generation all the way through Gen Y, has some shared characteristics, based on when they grew up.

[3:06] Marc will take you through why each generation does what they do. Marc will also introduce a concept called “Generational Echo Effects.” As we grow up and leave home, we tend to do one of two things: we either do as our parents told us to do or the exact opposite. So, we ping-pong our behaviors between generations. Listen for examples!

[3:35] Marc has a variety of guest experts and pivoters lined up for the coming months. Marc will also be answering your questions with a variety of guest experts over the coming months.

[3:47] This week, Marc will take you through the 2018 Repurpose Your Career podcast listener survey and discuss how Career Pivot will evolve in the coming year. Last week, Marc announced the Career Pivot Blog Survey. If you are a reader of the Career Pivot blog, Marc encourages you to take a moment and take that survey.

[4:12] Marc is also publishing the changes planned for this year for the blog.

[4:21] Marc welcomes you to the 2018 Repurpose Your Career Podcast Survey Results Review.

[4:34] Close to 60 people took the survey, which is double the number for the 2017 survey. First, Marc thanks everyone who took the survey. It has been interesting but not very surprising.

[4:57] Q1: Male vs. Female. On the website, there are slightly more females than males. 55% of the survey respondents were male and 45% were female.

[5:19] Q2: Age. A few were in the 18 to 34 range. Almost 40% 45 to 54. Over 40% were 55 to 64. The ‘sweet spot’ for this podcast, as expected, is in the 45 to 65 age range. That knowledge is helpful for potential sponsors.

[5:57] Q3: Where are you in your career? 30% to 35% are unemployed, for a variety of different reasons. A similar number are working. No one who took the survey answered, “I’m retired, living the dream.” Marc thought that was interesting.

[6:27] Marc uses these questions whenever he starts a webinar to get a good idea of the participants. As he would expect, the majority of listeners are employed, but there is always a healthy subset of podcast listeners who are unemployed.

[6:44] Q4: Where are you located? 90% are in North America. The rest are scattered, including some from Asia, Africa, and South America.

[6:59] Q5: How long have you been listening? Almost 30% have been listening less than one month. (Marc was very interested in those who started listening and went offline to take the survey.) 20% have been listening for over a year. Everyone else was scattered pretty evenly between 1-3 mos., 4-6 mos., 7-9 mos., and 10-12 mos.

[7:40] The podcast was getting about 500 downloads a week until May. In the May edition of the AARP Magazine, AARP featured this podcast. There were almost 10K downloads in May, and it has landed at about 5-6K a month or about 1,500 a week. That is a dramatic increase, which is why Marc hoped for a larger survey than in 2017.

[8:23] Q6: How often do you listen? About 30% say they listen every week. Marc thanks you! 35% to 40% say they select the podcasts for listening. 10% say they binge-listen. Then there are a wide variety of listening patterns selected under “Other.”

[8:55] Q7: What is your favorite type of episode? — Expert Interview, Job Pivoter, the “Can You Repurpose Your Career? series”, Q&A Mailbag, or Marc’s Expat Experience? 40% answered “Job Pivoter.” Then it is almost neck-and-neck between “Expert Interview” and “Marc’s Expat Experience.” That surprised Marc!

[9:39] Marc started with a couple of episodes on his expat experience based on a couple of articles he wrote for FlexJobs on “How to Move Overseas and Take Your Job with You.” When Mar and his wife were in Ajijic last summer, four podcast listeners visited them. The episodes sparked a lot of interest.

[10:02] The remaining answers were “Q&A Mailbag” and the “Can You Repurpose Your Career? series.” Marc has received a lot of positive feedback on the Repurpose Your Career series because people identify. Marc will probably do one in the middle of this year, solicited from a listener who is interested in doing it.

[10:31] Marc is going to make some changes in 2019, and he will cover his plans after the survey results review.

[10:39] Q8: Do you read the show notes? Marc spends a fair amount of money doing the show notes. He pays to have them done. Much to Marc’s surprise, 55% of the survey respondents say they read the show notes. A significant number said they read the notes for the links. Marc says around the podcast industry, links are what most want.

[11:12] Some answered that they read the show notes to find the timestamps for the portions that interest them the most, instead of listening to the whole podcast. Marc found that interesting.

[11:29] Q9: Would you be willing to contribute a small amount per episode on Patreon, to sponsor the Repurpose Your Career podcast? It costs Marc about $100 per episode to produce this. That includes show notes, audio enhancements and editing, the hosting service, Marc’s VA who maintains the podcast on the website, etc.

[12:08] So, Marc is looking at asking for a contribution that might be $1 or $2 per episode. A number of people answered they were unemployed and would not contribute. Two-thirds of the people are employed and about one-third of them said they are willing to contribute.

[12:29] Marc would like to know what you would like to get in return for a contribution. Marc invites you to give him input. Please email Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com and he will schedule a time for you to chat and give him input.

[12:57] Marc writes about his on this week’s blog post at CareerPivot.com. Marc is making a number of changes because he is shifting the business. Marc is changing how he is running his business and he is reducing costs. Some people suggested Marc should seek sponsorships.

[13:36] Marc has talked to folks who do sponsorships. While the podcast is doing really well, Marc needs five to eight times the current number of downloads before sponsors will talk to him, so that is a consideration for the future.

[14:04] Another choice Marc has is to change the frequency to an episode every other week.

[14:14] Marc has added a podcast menu feature at CareerPivot.com/podcasts to group podcasts by category. The categories of podcasts are Interviews with Career Experts, Career Pivot Interviews, Question and Answers, Becoming an Expat, Repurpose Your Career Audiobook, Repurpose Your Career Series (Juan and Sara), and Other Topics.

[14:58] Marc is making the Career Pivot website easier to navigate.

[15:06] For this year, Marc is looking at finances and what to do differently in the year.
[15:16] Marc will continue to bring in experts, including Karen Wicker, author of Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert's Guide to Making Connections That Count, and author Chris Farrell, who is writing a book on purpose and passion, and a variety of other people to help you.

[15:37] Marc is looking for people who have made successful career pivots. If you know of someone who would like to tell their story, Marc would be really interested to talk to them. He has one lined up now, for next month, who has written a book about moving from being a lawyer to making chocolate.

[16:07] Marc will also bring back some of the past pivoters, as he did with Elizabeth Rabaey, and play the original episode, with a short interview at the end for an update.

[16:22] Marc will continue to bring back Mark Anthony Dyson to assist Marc with the Q&A episodes, but will also invite other people, including past guest Susan Joyce of Job-Hunt.org and others.

[16:47] If you have a question you would like answered on this podcast, please submit it to Podcast@CareerPivot.com.

[16:57] Marc will also keep you updated, probably once a quarter, on his expat experience. Marc and his wife are full-time now in Ajijic, Mexico. They survived Christmas and New Year’s, which are big deals in Mexico, and they love their fireworks!

[17:21] If you are really interested, find and friend Marc on Facebook, and you will see a lot of his pictures from his experiences. They will probably go into a blog post in the first quarter of the year.

[17:41] Marc will release the next edition of Repurpose Your Career in the middle of 2019. He is still looking for people who can be on the release team. You can go to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam, and get a copy of the first chapter which Marc sent out last week. Marc and Susan are rewriting a number of chapters and adding new chapters.

[18:23] Marc will be doing one more Repurpose Your Career series, taking a person through an evaluation, probably in June or July, and may do one later in the year.

[18:39] The one thing Marc needs to do with this podcast is to keep it viable by reducing costs and bringing in some money. If you’re interested in helping with that, please give Marc some feedback by emailing Marc at Podcast@CareerPivot.com to set up a chat.

[19:07] Marc hopes you have a good idea of how this podcast will continue to grow this year. Marc thanks everyone who has supported this podcast and made this possible. Marc gives a big shout-out to his production team at Podfly.net, and Stephanie Brodt, Marc’s fearless Virtual Assistant and everybody else who has given Marc feedback.

[19:36] Marc thanks you very much for listening to this episode and he hopes you enjoyed it. Marc thanks everyone who took the survey. It was a joy to see the feedback.

[19:55] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc has formed a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[20:07] By the time this podcast episode is published, Marc will have released the first chapter to the release team. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[20:23] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is for you to provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released. Marc will make the e-book available for $.99 so you can purchase it and provide a ‘verified review.’

[20:53] Marc and Susan are adding eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on the podcast and to the team every four to six weeks in the coming months. Marc will also be asking the group if they want to form a Facebook group.

[21:26] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc wrote about this in this week’s blog post. Marc is now recruiting members for the next cohort.

[21:47] If you are interested in the endeavor and would like to be put on the waiting list, so Marc can interview you, please go to CareerPivot.com/Community. When you sign up you’ll receive information about the community as it evolves.

[22:04] Marc’s plan is to make the community live and open to the world in the second half of 2019. Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with special content. More importantly, it will be a community where you can seek help.

[22:37] This week in the community, Marc has Bree Reynolds coming in from FlexJobs.com to tell members how to maximize their efforts on the FlexJobs website. Go to CareerPivot.com/Community to learn more.

[23:01] 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.

[23:34] Please come back next week, when Marc will be starting the Multi-generational Workplace series of two or three episodes. Marc is going back to Central Texas in early March, to run the workshop for a medical insurance group. The podcast series will be based on this workshop.

[24:04] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-110.

[24:13] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates to 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, Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

Jan 7, 2019

Elizabeth White is an author and aging solutions advocate for older adults facing uncertain work and financial insecurity. Most recently, she served as a special advisor to the Executive Director of Senior Service America. Before joining SSA, she was the Chief Operating Officer of a mid-size nonprofit focused on improving economic conditions in Africa. She is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded and led a chain of decorative home stores in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. She began her career in international development at the World Bank. Ms. White earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master’s in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University, and a BS in Political Science from Oberlin College. A self-described Army brat, she grew up in various countries in Europe and North Africa. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her daughter and grandson. Elizabeth has a compelling story to tell that will resonate with many of you.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:04] Marc welcomes you to Episode 109 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. 2018 was a year of disruption and clarification for Marc personally and regarding where he wants to take his business and this podcast. Marc will be making some changes to Career Pivot and to the Repurpose Your Career podcast in the very near future.

[1:43] In next week’s podcast, Marc will review the results of the 2018 Repurpose Your Career Podcast Survey and the changes he will be making. Almost 60 people provided their input. Marc says thank you. That is double the number of participants over the previous year. The downloads have also doubled or tripled.

[2:04] This week, after this episode is published, Marc will publish a Career Pivot blog reader survey and discuss how Career Pivot will evolve in the coming year. If you actively read the Career Pivot blog, please take a moment and take the survey.

[2:21] Marc is recording this intro on New Year’s Day, 2019. Marc and his wife have permanently relocated to Ajijic, Mexico. Their Austin condo has been rented. The Millers have greatly simplified their lives and drastically reduced their expenses, all while improving their mental and physical health.

[2:48] Looking forward 18 months ago, this is not what the Millers would have expected. Marc will share more on that, next week.

[3:00] This week, Marc has a great interview with Elizabeth White, author of Fifty-Five, Underemployed, and Faking Normal: Your Guide to a Better Life. Marc shares her bio.

[4:24] Marc will be publishing two separate book reviews of Elizabeth’s book in the coming weeks, written by two members of the Career Pivot Community. One, to be published on January 7, almost simultaneously with the podcast and the other will publish in a few weeks. The book’s official release date is January 8, 2019.

[4:49] Marc especially loved Elizabeth White’s story about her relationship with Elijah, and how that relationship gave her perspective. Marc hopes you will enjoy this interview and pick up a copy of her book.

[5:04] Marc welcomes Elizabeth White to the podcast and invites her to share her compelling story.

[5:24] No one aspires to be the poster child for ‘Broke and Near-broke Boulevard.’ Elizabeth landed there, as many people do, through an event. For some it could be job loss, medical diagnosis, divorce, or something that sets a ‘before-X’ and ‘after-X’ mark in your life.

[6:18] During the Great Recession, Elizabeth lost two really good consultancies within six months. Elizabeth was in her mid-fifties with a great employment and education background, but her phone never rang. She used to have a network that would let her hear about jobs before they posted but most of her network was retired.

[7:30] Elizabeth wrote an essay describing what it felt like to land there, going from choice of careers to downward mobility. Weeks turned into months and months turned into years where she was getting little, short assignments, but nothing near earning what she was accustomed to earn.

[8:08] Elizabeth started to notice that friends were going through the same experience and they talked with each other. The essay she wrote talked about what it was like to be part of the ‘formerly’ and ‘used to be.’ Elizabeth sent it around and it made its way onto the PBS Facebook page. Within three days it had 11K likes and 1K comments.

[8:46] The comments were from people saying, this is my story, my husband's story or my daughter’s story. How come we’re not having this conversation? Elizabeth read every comment and she was astonished at the universal reach of her story.

[9:08] Elizabeth had the background to look at the data. She was shocked at the magnitude of the retirement income crisis. We’re not talking about it. People sent her long emails messages with story after story of older people who felt like they had done everything right, got jettisoned from the workforce, and could not get back in.

[10:05] Elizabeth met with some people who were in the D.C. area or were passing through. Some became friends. Elizabeth started to look more into what was happening to people. She couldn’t find the book that she wanted to read. She didn’t want a dense, scholarly tome but a story from somebody who was having this lived experience.

[10:44] Elizabeth wrote her book in the model of standing at her back fence, talking to her neighbor about what it means to land here. She understood that the cavalry was not coming and there would be no big rescue to address these millions of people who landed there.

[11:14] The median savings for near-retirees 55 to 64 is $15,000. The middle 40% of earners in that category have $60,000 saved. People talk about the longevity bonus, which is that people in good health in their early 60s have easily another 20 years of life. $15K to $60K doesn’t stretch to cover for 20 years.

[12:10] Economist Teresa Ghilarducci says 40% of middle-class near-retirees are looking at poverty and near-poverty conditions in old age. These are not irresponsible ‘bad apples’ who’ve landed here. These are not the marginalized, chronic poor. These are people who are OK and are now looking at downward mobility.

[12:59] Boomers do not have pensions. Boomers are in an ‘I don’t want you’ job market. Boomers are looking at escalating costs in housing and healthcare and facing $1.5 trillion in education debt.

[13:24] So, why is all the conversation around retirement ‘happy talk’? We hear cool reinvention stories when the truth is that millions of people are trying to figure out how they are going to make ends connect to support themselves over the next 20 years.

[14:03] Marc came up with ‘career pivot’ because you don’t go from being an engineer to a pastry chef. You make incremental changes. Marc formed his online community for everyone who feels alone in their circumstances. Boomers were raised not to talk about employment. When they graduated, if they couldn’t get a job, they were ‘screwups.’

[14:51] Elizabeth talks about ‘resilience circles’ as she mentions in her book. What saved her, during the worst part of it, was having a small group of people she could tell the truth to, and not fake normal. She had one friend with whom she would trade $300 back and forth when she or her friend had the need.

[15:39] Elizabeth and her friend would play a game of ‘top this,’ comparing their money woes. The worst tale of woe won. Elizabeth appreciated having someone to listen to her difficulties. A group started meeting, not only to share stories but also to share information about community and agency resources.

[17:04] A resilience circle helps you not to be alone. When you face burdens alone, you’ll get ‘full up’ of emotion. If you don’t have a circle to share it with first, that emotion will leak out of you in a job interview or a meeting about an opportunity and the person interviewing you will sense there is something there that they don’t want on their team.

[18:01] The resilience circle allows you to vent and get some of your frustration and upset out of your system so you don’t leak it where it’s not appropriate to leak it.

[18:21] Elizabeth suggests that if you are not comfortable announcing to your friendship circle that you are in this situation, look for a nearby library that could work with you to organize a community resilience circle. Or see if your church has a group that is getting out of debt, or setting financial goals together.

[19:37] Elizabeth says, you’re going to have some bad days. You’re going to feel despair. You’re going to have some people that you thought were going to help you, not help you and it’s going to rock you.

[20:01] When you’ve lost confidence, you’ll need someone to remind you who you are, what you know, and what you can bring. You’re not going to always be able to pull that out of yourself. In this period, when you are without a map and without a net, you are going to need old-school community.

[20:47] Elizabeth has some great stories. She talks about her story of Elijah that she included in the book. She had coffee with him the day of this interview. She had seen him for years around town. He is always barefoot, except for flip-flops he wears when he goes into shops. He always wears cut-off jeans.

[22:01] Elizabeth wanted to know his story. In a park she found him and they started a conversation. Elijah suggested they get together and Elizabeth was intrigued. She suggested The Potter’s House. What Elizabeth liked was his freedom from striving. He heard Elizabeth’s story about her rough stretch and gave her a ‘soft place to land.’

[23:52] Elizabeth and Elijah started meeting regularly. Elijah could ‘go off the grid’ in his ideas. Elizabeth will say, “Elijah, I can’t go with you there,’ and he accepts that. Mostly, he’s right there with her.

[24:47] In a rough period, Elizabeth needed to borrow from him. She was telling her situation and he told her he was in a position to help. She borrowed $2,500, feeling a combination of gratitude and shame. Looking at him, he was not a guy who could help.

[25:29] Her shame came from realizing that for most of her life, she had been in a position where she could help. She thought of the people she had looked at without seeing, such as a friend eating at a restaurant with her, not being able to afford more than a soup and a starter, putting $7 of gas in their SUV or going without a haircut.

[26:35] Elizabeth thought of the times she could have easily picked up their meal and didn’t offer.

[26:46] Elijah has Veteran’s benefits and he is not homeless but he lives very modestly and spends no money on clothes. He came to her mother’s family Christmas dinner in Bermuda shorts, a shirt, and sandals. He was welcomed there. Elizabeth meets him for a couple of hours close to once a month or six weeks.

[29:07] Marc suggests that Elijah is one of the people who doesn’t judge Elizabeth and she doesn’t judge him. Marc talks about Making Stuff Up disorder. Elizabeth felt ‘seen,’ not for her credentials or her successes but for herself.

[30:15] Elizabeth shares about the holiday season where there are expectations about things you would do, or donate to, or how much a dinner with friends will cost. It can be a minefield. It is exhausting to evaluate everything against its affordability. She visited a friend recently and they just sat together for six hours. She fell asleep on her couch.

[32:00] Elizabeth had a green apple and her friend had some nut spread and a bottle of wine and they shared it and watched a movie. It was comforting for them to know each other’s ‘walk she’s on.’ Elizabeth has a few friends who are ‘right here’ where she is. They have become an extended resilience circle.

[32:35] Every now and then you will not be included in something because everyone knows you cannot afford it. She doesn’t have words to describe how that feels. You don’t feel sorry for yourself and you don’t want them to feel sorry for you. Elizabeth lost her mother this year, so she is a little more sensitive to things.
[34:27] Maybe you used to be able to cover an ice cream cone for your grandchild or take them to a movie but now you have to ask your son or daughter to pay for it; maybe you cannot help with your mother’s nursing home expenses. The ‘money piece’ is harder during the holiday season.

[35:08] Marc frustrates people who want to know what to get him for Christmas. Nothing — he is done accumulating stuff! In moving to Mexico he just got rid of all of it! His self-worth is not related to the stuff he has.

[35:44] In the second half of Elizabeth’s book she talks a lot about different ways of living in the second half of life, from health to living arrangements, to living more affordably into our nineties. Marc asks Elizabeth to share some thoughts.

[36:08] While Elizabeth was writing, a friend, doing her hair, told her the book better not be a talkathon! She told her to include information and resources. Elizabeth wanted to make sure that this book was chock-a-block full of resources.

[36:39] The biggest expenditure for most of us, after healthcare, is housing. After housing, many people can ‘extreme coupon it’ the rest of the way. So Elizabeth covers housing options, from tiny houses, co-housing, other shared housing, multi-generational housing, to moving to Mexico where they could live on their Social Security income.

[37:45] Choosing housing is a process of determining your space needs. Can you keep up your current home or is it time to consider other options? A lot of Boomers are living by themselves and are isolated. Maybe, to make ends meet, more of us are going to have to start thinking about living together.

[38:57] Elizabeth has included a lot of resources about home sharing, including security checks and credit checks.

[39:55] In some ways, the book wrote itself. It was her conversations with lots of people who have landed where she’s landed, and how they improvised and figured it out. They shared their experiences of flourishing and floundering. Boomers are the first generation that will live this long lifespan, both healthy and active.

[40:36] There are no rules, role models, or roadmaps, yet for how to make the money stretch. There are no policies or supportive networks, yet. We are figuring this out as we go along. What can we learn from each other? The government’s not doing a lot.

[40:56] How are we, who are living this, making this work on housing, on income, on how we navigate with our friends and family?

[41:08] Marc says, you are not going to do this alone. You are not alone. Yes, we are making this stuff up as we go along. We’re improvising.

[41:25] Marc just finished reading Elizabeth’s book and there are some great stories in it. It officially comes out on January 8, 2019. It will be available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Elizabeth’s contact information is in the back of the book. She likes to hear from people. Also, reach Elizabeth at FakingNormal@Yahoo.com.

[42:33] Through this writing process, Elizabeth has made some very good friends who reached out to her. Elizabeth has formed ‘a family’ and she wants you to form a family of support, as well. This book is a tool to help you do that.

[43:07] Marc thanks Elizabeth for being on the Repurpose Your Career podcast. Marc hopes you will consider getting her book and also passing it along to a friend.

[43:31] Susan Lahey and Marc are working on the next edition of Repurpose Your Career, and Marc is looking for your help. Marc is forming a release team of readers who will get access to pre-release chapters of the book to provide feedback.

[43:45] By the time this podcast episode is published, Marc will have released the first chapter to the release team. You can be part of this team by going to CareerPivot.com/RYCTeam where you can sign up.

[44:03] When you sign up, you’ll receive the pre-release versions of chapters when they become available. What Marc asks in return is that you provide feedback and be prepared to write a review on Amazon.com when the book is released.

[44:17] Marc and Susan are adding around eight new chapters to the book and re-writing several others. Marc will release a new pre-release chapter on the podcast and to the team every few months.

[44:34] The CareerPivot.com/Community website has become a valuable resource for almost 50 members who are participating in the Beta phase of this project. Marc is now recruiting members for the next cohort.

[44:46] 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. Those in the initial cohorts will get to set the direction for this endeavor. This is a paid membership community with special content.

[45:19] 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 also look for Career Pivot on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @CareerPivot on Twitter.

[45:48] Please come back next week, when Marc will review the podcast listeners’ survey and what he will be changing in the coming year.

[46:01] You will find the show notes for this episode at CareerPivot.com/episode-109.

[46:09] Please hop over to CareerPivot.com and subscribe to get updates to this podcast and all the other happenings at Career Pivot. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and Stitcher, the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, Overcast app, or the Spotify app.

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