About Me

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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Re-Inventing Your Mid-Life Career

While you are at work, do you ever think "is this all there is?" Do you wonder if you could perform the job you have right now until you retire in 10 –15-20-25 years?
After a week off pursuing work-life balance, I was reading the July 4 issue of Fortune Magazine with the title, “Reinvent Your Career!” As I flipped through the pages of More magazine's July/August issue, their feature article was, “Give Your Career Some Oxygen.” Since Oprah left her talk show after 25 years, the media has focused a lot on mid-life career reinvention. We might not all go out and start a television network, but it is worth considering your next career moves before you have to make it.

There is almost a perfect storm of volatility in our 401(k) accounts, an economy refusing to recover and minimal job creation. What does that grim picture mean to you and me? It means we may be working a little longer than planned. And the jobs we have today— there’s no guarantee they will be there tomorrow. There’s no guarantee the company will be there tomorrow! Remember: TWA? MCI? Sharper Image? Circuit City? Gottschalks? Mervyns? Pontiac? or Wickes Furniture? Who could have thought Montgomery Wards, ATA Airlines or Enron would not exist today?

Here 5 quick thoughts that can help you generate some ideas about how to re-invent your own career if you choose to or if you are forced to:

(1) What is it about my job that I love? Is it a transferable skill another company or industry will value?

 (2) If my job ended today-who are the 10 people I would or could contact immediately to get the word out on my behalf? When was the last time I connected with them? Collaborate. Communicate. Share. Network.

(3) What is my hobby or past time I enjoy and is there a way to “monetize” it while I am still working? Monetize= my new favorite word, it means “generate income from it”

(4) Is there a new skill I can learn or improve on during my current job that will make me more marketable in the future? Marketable to your current company or to other businesses or industries?   (preferably eligible for tuition reimbursement).

(5) What are the companies hiring people in their late 40s? 50s? 60s? What types of jobs do they have available for people in these age ranges? Could you work for a smaller company?

So we need to keep this idea of Reinvention in our minds. I know so many of you have done it, and I hope you will share your stories in the comments section. Don’t be shy—you can do it anonymously.


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  2. Brenda,
    All of the idea of reinventing yourself is good but my problem is when do I have time to do this? Most of the people who have reinvented their careers did it while in transition after losing their jobs. Between my work and family spending my weekends coaching my daughter's soccer, I don't have the luxury of thinking about what I would do next. Lot of good info here though I will send people to the site.

  3. I agree that time is the big problem, but I had this happen to me last year. After a management change I was one of the survivors. The new maangement kept me around and I thought I was okay. I was given a new title still at the director level with no additional pay and what was left of my staff was reassigned to someone brought in with the new maangement. My wife thought I should start looking around for a new opportunities when I lost my staff. 18 months into it my new position was eliminated. I was angry and felt duped, used and misled. I won't call my friends that were laid off because I never returned their calls when they were looking. Forty-six years old and feeling like my career is over.I've been unemployed almost 6 months now.