I am a quote junky. Quotes provide me with inspiration, provoke my thinking and get my day off to a great start. I read this one by Eckhart Tolle which motivated me to write today’s blog.
”Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your “here and now” intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”
Many of my clients bemoan the fact that they are 50+ and don’t know what to do with their lives next and feel like the golden years are not what they thought it would be as they look at another 30-40 years of life.
Tolle’s three options, can be applied to encore career seekers:
1. Remove yourself from the situation. It’s a little tough to turn back the chronological clock on age. What’s intolerable and makes us unhappy, is the negative mindset around age. Memory and eyesight are going, energy is lagging, lack of appreciation, age discrimination, and medical issues. Removing yourself from the “situation” of negative thinking about this encore stage of life is the first step to take. Instead, be grateful for a longer life and what you can do with it. Focus on the positives of being 50+. You have survived. You possess unique talents and skill that can be used. Engage in possibility thinking. Take time to make a list of your top reasons why it is great to be in the encore stage of life. Revisit the list often to keep the positivity going.
2. Change it. This option is all about morphing into a new life. Finances often play heavily in choices. Take the time to analyze the budget. What is the bare minimum you can earn and live comfortably. Maybe it is time to downsize. I often advise clients to start living on their “skinnied” down budget at least one year before they are going to make a change in careers. That will be a good test to see if you can make it work for you. If not, then it means you need to earn more. If you want to go back to school to pursue a new profession- enroll. Just take a few classes while you are gainfully employed! If you want more flexibility in your career – ask your current employer. If you want a new career – start researching before you leave your job and work with a coach. If you want to just kick back and relax – enjoy!
3. Accept it totally. The cycle of change follows the SARA model. Shock, anger, recognition and acceptance. Change is not easy and acceptance is often a bumpy road as we navigate the first three stages of SARA. The sooner you get to acceptance, the more comfortable you will be to move boldly into the change that is needed. Accept that 30-40 more years of life is a gift. It is a time to “do over”. But, this time you have the wisdom you didn’t have in your youth. It can be a time of retooling, renewal, and reinvention.
Tolle encourages us to ponder: ”Wherever you are, be there totally”. How can you do that beginning today?
I wanted to share this story from a client with you regarding networking – and when it doesn’t pay off. We always hear from career coaches that networking is THE way to land a job. Then clients will come to us saying they met with someone and nothing came out of it. Others will tell us (client Christina in Chicago said this last week) that their meeting was awkward and it seemed pointless. This can happen and … it doesn’t mean that networking doesn’t pay off. It’s a game of numbers everyone, you have to put yourself out there as much as possible, just like sales and get a certain number of “no’s” before you get a “yes.” Here’s the story:
“The quick update is that I’m continuing to network and had lunch with the HR guy from Spanx this week. Nothing really there, but glad I hooked up with him. In the meanwhile, I raised my hand for a new piece of business we were pitching and we won the biz. It looks like I’ll be working on this over the course of the next 6 mos or so, and I’m thrilled. Lots of good stuff going on!” -Anna in Atlanta
Anna’s networking meeting didn’t pay off.
I had this happen to me. I spoke at an event that was a bust in terms of gaining business. No one signed up for coaching afterwards and although the event was well attended, it wasn’t a financial success. But – the director for the Mercer EMBA program heard about me through the marketing of the event and contacted me about coaching their students. We’ve been working with them for 4 years, one of our largest contracts as a company so far. So you never know if or when networking will pay off. It might not be immediately and it might not be a direct correlation, but it still is the best use of your time in your job search…
Remember the childhood game you played called gossip? The first person whispers a secret in the ear of the person next to them, who then repeats what they heard to the next person, until everyone has heard the secret. By the time the whisper reaches the last person, the original message is totally distorted and everyone has a good laugh!
What happens when you play gossip at work with the secret that you’re looking for another job? You tell your closest friend at work, who of course tells the cubicle-sharing co-worker, who wants to make conversation with the cute new hire, who doesn’t know anything about anybody and tells the boss. In the end, nobody is laughing, and least of all you!
If you’re looking for another job, consider the consequences of telling anyone with whom you work. If the gossip gets to someone in authority, would your workload change, enlarge, or diminish? Might your boss ask to talk to you? Could you have negative repercussions?
Gossip has its place as an old-fashioned game of fun, but telling coworkers that you’re looking for another job and hoping they’ll keep your secret, is just too risky. If you want to tell someone, tell your family, friends outside of work, your career coach, minister, or psychic reader – but not anyone at work. When you’re tempted to play the old-fashioned game of gossip at work by revealing your own secret, remind yourself of the equally applicable old-fashioned saying: It’s better to be safe than sorry.
I had the pleasure of meeting Juliet Denise, a franchise consultant with FranNet, for coffee recently. The process that FranNet takes their clients through to determine if owning a franchise is the right path for them, and how to find the right fit, is wonderful. They truly take the time to understand their clients to match them with the right type of business. Here’s an excerpt from the article and a link to read more…
Hallie Crawford, Atlanta Career Coach
Entrepreneur Creates Family Business in Electronic Restoration Services
Ralph Martin opened Electronic Restoration Services (ERS) of Metro Atlanta in July 2013. Since opening, Martin’s technology and data recovery business has helped customers in both commercial and residential markets restore their electronic property. From working with large corporate companies to small, start-up businesses, Martin’s expertise is derived from more than 30 years experience in consumer marketing and sales.
His decision to open ERS was largely influenced by its scalable business model and ability to fit his personal and professional goals. Having a unique competitive advantage and close proximity to his home and family ultimately drew him to the ERS franchise.
“At this point in my career, I wanted to be the sole owner of a business-to-business company – one that was expandable and had an already established model,” said Martin.
I’ve had several clients in the past few weeks mention they’ve thought about being an entrepreneur. But they don’t know if they have what it takes to be a business owner. I have found that many people say this. Owning your own business sounds glamorous. Working from home, having a flexible schedule, being a part of something you have grown and nurtured can sound so appealing. And, it’s a decision you don’t want to rush into. Several things I suggest to clients to help them think it through is:
1) Talk to other business owners about what’s it’s really like to have their own gig. What are the pros but also what are the cons. What don’t they enjoy about being an entrepreneur?
2) Read Small Business for Dummies. One of my clients Joanne in TN read it voraciously to help understand how to start her own business. And learned in the process that the topics they covered did not intimidate her, so she felt more comfortable.
And 3) Make your own list of pros and cons about running your own organization based on what you’ve learned. Have a friend or family member look through the list with you. Having an objective eye can help you see things you may have overlooked.
I hope this is helpful to you. Our next post is written by a franchise consulting firm. Owning a franchise is one great way to start your own business, with a little less risk and effort in some ways…
Hallie Crawford, Career Coach
A smart ending sentence to include in your cover letter to apply for a job is: I will call you in a few days to ensure you received this letter. What makes this sentence smart is that you proactively give yourself a reason to call your prospective employer. Mark your calendar for about three days after sending your cover letter and resume, then, rather than waiting for the employer to call you, you call the employer. While your identifiable reason for calling is to ask if the employer received your letter, while you’re on the phone, you can also ask if you are being considered for the position and if so, ask what to expect as the next step.
Being proactive is desirable, but beware – you can overstep the line in being proactive. Where does the line begin and end in being proactive? Calling once to reach your prospective employer is proactive. Calling the same employer ten times a week after already leaving multiple messages is crossing the line. Oh, there is one other major way to identify if you’re crossing the line in the eyes of the prospective employer: being proactive is desirable and being a pest is just plain annoying.
Enhance your chances of getting a job – be proactive but avoid being a pest!
I am excited to be featured in this article on wewomen.com regarding the top habits for career success. Keep in mind everyone, that these can vary according to your role, industry and company. I encourage you to think about specifically for what you do – what would make you most successful.
Use these tips as a starting point and narrow yours down for your job. Think about your daily recurring tasks, your schedule and your peak performance times, as well as your boss and your role within your organization.
Improving your current position is one way to move closer to your dream job. Sometimes we are closer than we think!
P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.
Two things we wanted to point out:
1) Take a risk in the right direction: He talks about taking risks to pursue a dream, which we all know is required. We’ve heard it before. But he adds to this by talking about taking risk in the right direction. He was offered a job in Boston that he felt unqualified for (a risk). His other choice was to move to NY to pursue acting (another risk, but one that would move him further along towards his dream of being an actor in some ways.) Ask yourself-which risk is the right one? Which one will move me further towards my dream but not hang me out to dry and be too big of a risk? At the time he could figure out a way to live in NYC for a bit, he was young and single.
2) A simple thing to remember – don’t do what makes you happy, do what makes you great: I think along the way to pursuing a dream, including our dream job, there are things we’ll have to do to make it happen that don’t make us happy. But we have to do them in order to move forward. It’s the blood, sweat and tears part of achieving your goal that is almost always required – but worth it in the end.
P.S. Be sure to check out our LinkedIn Consulting Program where you can learn how to effectively leverage your LinkedIn account for your job search and ongoing professional development.