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, August 2, 2011

MidLife Jobs in Unexpected Places

Never Say Never

There are certain things in life that I promised myself to never do, like the first time I saw someone bungee jump off a bridge. My first thought was not me—EVER.  In the 1980s when I lived in California, people were walking over hot coals to prove some mind over matter theory.  Again, I watched and knew I wanted no part of that. Once I got out of there, I knew I would never see that group of people again. EVER.

Then there were those things I was so sure of and over time my feelings changed—like promising to never eat sushi again after food poisoning from a bad batch. It took some time. Actually it took a decade, but one night I was tempted by the most delicious California Roll, and…well the rest is history. But, I digress.

Would you? Could you? Go back to an employer you worked for before. They call them Boomerang Jobs. Similar to Boomerang (Adult) Children that leave home and then come back to live with their parents. Boomerang Jobs are companies you worked for at one time and then years pass—even a decade--- and you go back. When you shut that door and left you said, “I’ll never work here again!” Never say Never and I’ll tell you why.

Industries are shrinking and as the companies consolidate, you could find yourself working for the company you thought you left.  It happened to a friend of mine. After a long career, a new President/CEO brought in his own management team. My friend saw the writing on the wall. The new people would keep him from making the career moves he had planned. As the CEO’s trusted VPs were hired in from their previous company; they brought in their own Director-level people. So my friend quit and went to work for a competitor. Less than two years later, the very same management team took over his new company where he was now a Director-level employee. He was laid off—and kept his same functional job, and changed industries.

Sometimes the situation changes at a company and you want to go back. There could be a shift in leadership, a new product line is introduced or an expansion. The company you worked for could change dramatically in a few years and they may welcome you back. Depending on your previous role with that employer, they may need you for your specialized skill. You may have deep organizational knowledge that could be used in a different area of the company than your worked previously. I have one friend who worked in a technical area of an organization and after a decade of global experience with an unrelated company returned to her former employer in the finance department. So, when you are in a job search, look no further than your resume for leads. You are sure to still find a contact person there or a former colleague who can give you some insight.

Remember one career management tip when you are re-hired. Avoid comparisons between “the good old days at the company” and now. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift that’s why they call it, the present.”---Alice Morse Earle


  1. Very interesting. I guess the saying is true " never say never."

  2. Many large companies have a do not rehire coding in their personnel tracking systems. If you were terminated with cause, filed a lawsuit, tried to start a union, you are probably coded as do not rehire. No one is going to tell you. I don't think you should keep trying to go back to a former company if you are constantly rejected or don't hear from them. You may be coded in their system as a do not rehire.

  3. I work for a doctor's office that I worked in about 7 years ago. It is so much better now! The staff including 2 of the doctors has changed and it is so much less drama. It is a job that is familiar in many ways but in other ways it is like a new place.

  4. Great advice. It's another form of the essential ingrediant - networking, networking, networking.

  5. You made some good points and I agree with your suggestions. I had never heard the term "boomerang jobs" before, bit I have a friend who I guess would fit your description of being part of the "boomerang job" experience. Great article!

  6. Once I'm done with a job, there's no going back. May be good for some people, but not for me.

  7. Sage advice. A recycled worker can have new insights under new management.

    Myrna Greenhut