Archives for meetup

Executives: Downgrading your career? Consider…

Will your former executive title keep you from landing jobs with less responsibility?

 

Shelf Road Climbing by AMagill on Flickr

Shelf Road Climbing by AMagill on Flickr

In my winter newsletter one of the myths that I asked you to leave in 2013 was that you can accelerate your job transition by pursuing positions with requirements beneath your qualifications. (Subscribe below to receive our newsletter). The truth is…

  

…you can likely prolong your transition and create challenges that need not exist.

 

For some executives, however the pressure, travel, and hours of an executive position are no longer viable for their well-being. Genuinely, they would like to take a step back and just be a cog in the machine and maintain some value to a company, or for monetary reasons they must continue to work. In either case, they are not be ready to hang their hat and be put out to pasture, which does seem like a morbid way of looking at retirement. There are certainly better ways to look at retirement. However, people derive a lot of their self-worth from their job. It can be very difficult to define yourself after the prospect of any future potential career growth is eliminated. You might have good reasons to take the position that is beneath your qualifications, but you will face the same challenges in landing these jobs as the individuals who are pursuing jobs beneath their qualifications because I think it’s the faster way to get hired. Either of these types of candidates are huge potential risks for the employer.

 

Yes, age discrimination does happen, and many people assume that it has to do mostly with health care costs or the risk of short or long-term disability or a company doesn’t want to pay top dollar for experience when they can hire someone young and cheap.  Often, there is a lot more to it than that. Besides the fact that great companies want to give new employees positions that enable them to grow, the morale of a company can be depleted when you have a senior professional reporting to a more junior professional. You may expect that you will be okay with this, but too often senior folks do find themselves at odds with a supervisor they perceive as making rookie mistakes. Let’s face it; your years of experience certainly taught you things that this junior person has yet to learn. How do you NOT voice your opinion and can you possibly accept the wrong decision of your supervisor? This is another stressor in and of itself.

 

From a risk perspective, if an employer has been down that road before and experienced the repercussions of reverse generational reporting firsthand, they will be hard-pressed to be convinced that the reward is worth the risk, though it is possible. To do this, however, your brand and every encounter that you have has to consistently ooze humility. We all know that actions speak louder than words, so what is more humble than volunteering? Volunteering to help out a young company, not strategically, but with the administrative, customer service and execution details that sometimes get overlooked when a company is small and has few resources, is way to prove that you can simply do rather than lead, if in fact you can.

If, however, you have spent the majority of your career honing your leadership skills, it can be difficult to stifle. In fact, it can be so against the grain of your being that it, too, can cause more stress than it alleviates. You may want to consider lending your leadership or business acumen through an SBA, venture capital or startup incubation program instead where you are not accountable for results, but, rather, can enjoy being the impetus for a young company’s success. This, too, has a caveat that many consultants and coaches have to broach – when the client doesn’t follow through. You may be so accustomed to making things happen that it can be difficult to be compassionate to a young leader who has not yet found a way to change old habits, put in the effort, and deliver results. In fact, it can be frustrating.

 

A mistake people often make when they want to downgrade their careers is underestimating the amount of stress associated with a job. People often turn to retail or customer service positions, which really can require a lot of conflict resolution.  Stress is inherent in conflict. Sometimes they land in companies with high attrition, where stress is part of the culture. Another mistake is forgetting how under-appreciated these jobs can be. When you are the top, you are visible and your accomplishments are lauded. At the bottom, you can be practically invisible, and that can be a hard difference to reconcile.

 

At this time I really should introduce you to a new way of looking at stress as helpful. Kelly McGonigal, a Ted speaker and psychologist, has made a confession in a recent TED talk. She admitted that she might have been causing more harm than good by making stress the enemy. As it turns out, the belief that stress is harmful is more harmful than stress itself. She shares a way to look at stress that can save or prolong your life. This actually could mean that you can continue to work in the same capacity of your professional experience and talents, but with a more helpful, healthful perspective. It also suggests that extending compassion and comfort to others will make you healthier. So, perhaps if you were hesitant to end your career because of the self-worth you derived from your work, you can find new ways to be of service to others.

 

If you really need or want retire your brain but not your whole self, data entry, assembly line and inventory jobs still exist. It’s best for your well-being to be around things you love and enjoy. Look for companies aligned with your hobbies and interests in your favorite local trade magazine or niche publication. Check out what meetups exist to mingle among people who share your interests and can point you to companies associated with them. Of course, you can search trusty Google and enter the name of your town + the interest. Those sponsored ads are good for something!  Also, there are some niche recruiting firms that specialize in baby boomer placement. One such local (Philly) organization is The Carney Group. And, now more than ever before, there are legitimate remote, work-at-home positions where you can make your own hours.

 

Nothing you decide you want is wrong. That being said, we sometimes decide we want something without fully evaluating the reality of it. Hopefully with this insight you can make a fully educated decision that leads to greater fulfillment and quality of life, whether you chose to make this decision now or conditions outside of your control necessitated it.

 

Top 5 Secret Weapons in Mission-driven Careering

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

“You may be right. I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

~ Billy Joel

 

The fall is coming, and that means that my freedom will soon be limited. Soon my husband’s busy work season and his swim season will start simultaneously, leaving me once again to feel like a single work-at-home mom of two spunky toddlers. While most parents enjoy the freedom that they gain when their kids return to school, I will be readjusting, adapting and experimenting with new regimens that enable me to fulfill my personal and professional missions while enjoying some sanity with my new time restrictions.

My missions?

#1 – Watch my kids grow up.  Be there while they are little. Witness all of their “firsts.” Be the one that raises them.

#2 – Revolutionize job seeking into Epic Careering.  Empower one million people to discover, pursue and promote their passions and achieve their ideal quality of life.

#3 – Reduce the time and distance between talent and the companies that need it. Optimize productivity for organizations in the process, so that they can expand and create even more jobs – 1 million of them, as a goal.

#4 – I guess I also want a clean, orderly house and office, but I’ll settle for sanitary at a minimum.

 

This is pretty crazy, right? It’s certainly unreasonable to think that I could have it all.  Well, you can call me unreasonable. I’ve been called many things – tenacious, an idealist, a dreamer. You’re all right! I do believe that I can have it all. It requires a lot of expansion (which is code for inner conflict.) But know that if I’m asking you to take a leap of faith in your dreams and fill crevices of time with activities and resources that move you toward that, I am damn sure going to be doing it myself.

What may surprise you are my secret weapons for achieving all of this.

  1. Meetup.com
  2. Brain training
  3. Overdrive media console
  4. Social media
  5. My team

I have referred before to brain training, and I can tell you that meditation and hypnotherapy are also part of my regular routine. I will share more about these in a future blog.

This week, to take full advantage of the time that I have, I filled up my evenings with activities, events, and opportunities for learning and networking. Want to know what that looks like?

Here’s a peak:

 

Monday –

My client call in the evening was postponed, so I spent time reaching out to other thought leaders on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Simultaneously, I listened to an e-book on Overdrive Media Console that I downloaded from my local library – The Most Successful Small Business in the World, by Michael Gerber (author of the e-Myth.) I am learning how to multiply my business by 10,000 to achieve mission #2.  I also listened to this while driving to and from events and preparing meals.

 

Tuesday –

I had a mommy meetup at 6, and met two other work-at-home moms. I thought everyone in the meetup worked a 9-5, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that we could trade sentiments and tips about working from home and addressing some usual toddler behavior. My girls and I made a couple new friends. Then at 8 I attended a webinar on “Accelerated Goal Achievement” by John Assaraf (brain training) while getting my kids to bed. Even while my neighbor stopped by for some goodnight hugs from my girls, I learned how to confront the fears that stand to hold me back in missions #2 and #3. Then I worked on a cover letter for a friend and client who believes that this one particular company is the place that he can achieve Epic Careering.  Send him your most positive thoughts for a prompt, enthusiastic reply.

 

Wednesday –

I attended a webinar while playing with my niece and nephew and daughters in the pool, “Profiting from the Positive,” sponsored by Peoplefluent. I learned about this from a LinkedIn HR group. It was probably more appropriate for those in a larger corporate environment, but I got some great insight on how I can use positive psychology to provide my intern with the most beneficial feedback to conclude her summer internship and how I can elicit optimized performance from my clients as well. I finished that cover letter, updated a résumé, and flew home to get dressed for a meetup. Though I was late, I wouldn’t miss Gloria Bell speak at AWeber on “Building Business One Story at a Time.” I may have found the speaker I was seeking for my social media sub-group (hopefully, if Gloria is interested – fingers crossed) and I became aware of a greater opportunity in my social media outreach to connect with my audience in a more profound and powerful way.  Too, boot, I caught up with one contact I knew from another networking group, DIG. I learned so much more about what he does for small businesses. I may just have some leads for him. I also met another gentleman who shares my passion for non-toxic home products. If we hadn’t stayed late to chat, I might have only learned about his association with a bakery I used to live near and frequent (pre-gluten-free days.)

 

Tonight, though I would love it if I could meet with my client and attend the DIG monthly meeting, I can only meet with my new client, but I am so grateful to be able to do so.

I left a lot of my daytime activities out because, well, you don’t have all day to read this. My intern did spend a day with me at home to see how it get’s done, as well as what sometimes doesn’t get done, like laundry and dishes. I thought it would give her some insight as to how time can be optimized and how some challenges (not all – I mean they are kids who have accidents and make messes) to time management can be overcome.

You don’t have to be a lunatic like me. Your missions may be much more reasonable. Still, my secret weapons can do just as much for you, so take a little time to define your missions (if you haven’t already) and explore how my secret weapons can help you.

Teaching people the tidbits, nuggets and diamonds of wisdom that I gather through these resources and activities is what drives the services and products that we offer.  I am always looking for ways to be valuable to you, and I hope you know that you can let me know if there is something that we can do additionally.

 

What are your secret weapons?

 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

~ Henry Ford