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. She gained functional experience in a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 20 years. 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 more thought than 20 years ago. Unexpected changes in life force us to consider the future. 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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Five September Career Tips

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler weather, dining al fresco wearing a sweater and the kaleidoscope of colors courtesy of the trees in Indiana. Even though it isn’t officially here yet, here are a few autumn career housekeeping reminders. I recently read an article that said people spend more time planning their summer vacations than they do their careers. You can change that.
If you are currently working:
(1)   Review your performance appraisal from last year. Are you happy with your performance assessment for 2010? Are you likely to be assessed the same or higher for 2011? Schedule time in September for a face-to-face meeting with whoever writes your review. What is their perception of your work this year? Let them know you want to improve your rating. It shows two things: (1) that you are planning for the future & (2) that you care about your appraisal. One of the issue workers in their 50s and 60s face is managers begin to think you are less engaged because you are thinking of retirement.
(2)  It’s Employee Benefit Time! It is a time of year near and dear to my heart from years of working with my team to have a smooth annual benefit enrollment. From the employee perspective, that pesky information is staring you in the face AGAIN. I can tell you from experience, you never truly appreciate your company-paid employee benefits until you don’t have any. Take the time to look at the package from the benefits department and call the 800# if you have questions. Paying attention to your benefit choices and options can put more money in your packet (and who doesn’t need more $$)? Benefits like your Flexible Spending Account and Child Care Accounts cannot roll over from year-to-year and have to be updated annually. So think about 2012— need new glasses? Daycare having a tuition increase? Wisdom teeth out for those older kids?
(3)  Since you are already in benefit mode, it is probably a good idea to check the website of your 401(k) or 403(b) provider. Yes, it is (pick one) SCARY, DEPRESSING, HORRIFYING,  USELESS, but it is a part of your retirement nest egg. During my years in the employee benefits world, our 401(k) provider recommended employees increase their contributions at merit increase (aka, raise) time, so it would be a less noticeable in your pay. I know some companies are delaying or freezing merit increases, but if you still do receive one, it is good advice.
For the Job-Seekers:
(1)   October is the perfect month to find seasonal employment. If you are looking for a full-time job and you have been out of the job market a long time, what do you have to lose? I highly recommend working during the holiday season. There are so many positives to earning money, even if it is minimal. Working gets you out with new people (aka-networking), forces you to put on your happy face and it could lead to something full-time. Employers seem more open to mature workers for seasonal jobs. I understand if you are receiving unemployment benefits that you cannot compromise your benefits with a holiday job. If you are among the long-term unemployed not receiving benefits anyway---retail outlets, shipping services like UPS and Federal Express, entertainment venues, catering companies and call centers generally need more people during the October-January timeframe.
(2)  Job Searchers take heart. 2012 budgets are being created as you read this. And your new job? It is in the budget. Now is the time to position your self for the headcount being added for 2012. Your perfect job is out there.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Expert Career Advice for Labor Day 2011

We move into the Labor Day holiday with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting unemployment remained at 9.1% during August 2011.

Here’s a number you rarely hear reported:

153.6 million

That’s the number of people in the U.S. Labor Force going to work everyday.

So whether you are looking for a job or attempting to maintain the career you have, I’ve asked four experts to weigh-in with one tip to take you to TOP of your career or job search.


From Peggy McKee— Owner of a medical sales recruiting agency based in Dallas, TX

The one tip is that the JOB SEARCH is a sales process.
When you treat is like a sale, you will be much more successful.

Contact Peggy via LinkedIn or Peggy McKee - Owner/Recruiter. PHCConsulting.com (888.263.5688 ext. 100)

From Michael Scott— Chief Career Officer at Career Velocity LLC in Denver.

My tip for experienced job seekers and career changers is: "The best way to access job opportunities is by tapping into your circle of influence, (friends, family, colleagues and other).... people that know, like and trust you and are willing to advocate for your success."

Contact Michael@ Career Velocity, LLC,
1624 Market Street, #202, Denver, CO 80202
or via LinkedIn

From Anne Akridge- President, Interview Owl, Tampa, FL
"If you are 40+ it's safe to say you probably have at least 20+ years of
professional experience.  When it comes to writing your resume, make sure
you only include detailed experience through the last 15-20 years.  Anything
beyond might not serve you well if a more junior recruiter or HR person is
sorting resumes.  They typically feel comfortable seeing 1990 - 2011 in
experience.  Once you get into the 1980's they may unfortunately see that
experience as irrelevant since it's not in today's economic market.  When
detailing your college degrees, enter your degree, college, city/state -
leave off the year.  This will make you relevant to today's market,
highlighting your most recent experience"


From Vanessa Taylor— Talent Development Consultant, Allentown, PA area

Employers are not only looking for who can do the job but also who will be highly motivated to excel in the role and who will have the competencies to grow with the business.  Often, employers question whether more experienced workers are set in their ways, interested in continually learning and growing or if they have the flexibility and stamina to excel in the role and future roles. It is critical that more senior job seekers demonstrate success using key competencies such as leadership, business acumen, learning agility, action orientation, and the motivation to add value through achieving results.

Contact Vanessa@   vandike@aol.com or via LinkedIn

Enjoy your Labor Day long weekend for our U.S. readers.