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.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Combining a Paycheck with Your Passion

Monday Morning Pep Talk

The nonprofit sector may offer experienced workers a second career combining passion, social interaction and a continued income. The thought of “doing well by doing good” may not have been a possibility early in a career, however the idea of finding work with meaning is often of high importance choosing a second career. According to the Urban Institute, from 2001 to 2011 nonprofit jobs grew 25% while new jobs in the for-profit sector rose half of one percent.

As mature workers consider moving from for-profit organizations to nonprofit work, here are three major misconceptions to be aware of when making the career change to a nonprofit:

Myth #1: Working in a nonprofit is less complicated than corporate employment. The reality is that nonprofits have the same complexities and organizational structures as corporations. Nonprofits have the additional burden of constant fundraising and the transparency required to donors insuring their contributions are primarily directed to programs supporting their mission. Nonprofits also require the same infrastructure of any corporation including information technology, human resources, accounting, legal services, communication strategists, purchasing and project management along with a dependence on volunteers. 

Myth #2: Nonprofit employees spend all their time focused on their cause. The reality is while a nonprofit is not focused on shareholders and stock prices, the organization needs a revenue stream to maintain their programs and services. Fundraising and funding again becomes a focus. Whether the revenue stream comes from the government, businesses, individuals in the community or a mix of these sources, time is required to build and maintain relationships with funders. There are fundraising events to plan, grants to be written and after action reports due explaining to donors how their gifts were utilized.  In the nonprofit setting employees wear many hats, so “that’s not my job” is not an appropriate response.

Myth #3: Everyone working for nonprofits is “nice”.  As a donor, board member or volunteer people see nonprofit employees at their best. Many employees in the nonprofit sector are passionate, mission-driven individuals focused on their cause, however, all people have their flaws and that’s true in the nonprofit arena as well as corporate America. Work stress and burnout from difficult co-workers, office politics, a poor work environment or negligent leadership happens at nonprofits just like any other organization. The same skill sets used to manage challenging relationships in earlier jobs will help in the nonprofit environment.

Before making the switch from the for-profit world to the nonprofit sector, do your homework to insure the organization you plan to join is legitimate and a good steward of donor contributions. This can be done by consulting resources including www.guidestar.org, or the Better Business Bureau Charity List or Charitynavigator.org.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Job Burnout: Your Co-worker's Problem

Monday Morning Pep Talk

It’s the elephant in the room. 

After nearly a decade of layoffs, mergers/acquisitions, constant corporate change and cutbacks, threats of unemployment and volatile 401(k) values putting retirements at risk; is it any wonder that some of your co-workers are experiencing burnout?

The medical profession is ripe for career burnout and  the incidence is well-documented in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Archive of Internal Medicine and other professional journals. What about the employees of companies outside the medical field? 

Mayo Clinic offers these questions your co-worker can ask themselves:

  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, backaches or other physical complaints?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply feel?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started once you arrive? 
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you lack the the the energy to be consistently productive? 
  • Have your sleep habits or appetite changed? 

There are many factors that contribute to job burnout. It is a root cause of declining employee engagement, declining productivity and increased health care costs human resources is trying to reverse in the workplace. Corporate America didn’t need the 2010 Gallup study by Harter to tell them lower job satisfaction foreshadowed decreasing bottom-line performance. Back then Gallup estimate $300 Billion annually lost to employee disengagement.
In the past three years, one of the most consistently viewed blog post I have written is about losing self-confidence as one ages in the workforce.


Experienced workers face a host of challenges and this includes pressures at home to compound doing more with less at work. So this week, practice patience, tolerance and being human to your colleagues. Help is available confidentially through Employee Assistance Plans, health care professionals and through your trusted support network. Take some time to enjoy yourself over the next 168 hours!

Check Out: 
Positivity by Barbara L. Frederickson, Ph.D.
Flourish by Martin E. P. Seligman