Had a breakthrough conversations today with a friend who I admire and appreciate. This particular friend is about five years older than me. He is in that place where a lot of us boomers are now which is WTF!?! Here I am at this age and something different has got to happen really quickly or I’m not going to be living very well in my old age. What I realized when I looked over his resume is that he’s got a great combination of skills from two very separate careers that can be merged and dovetailed beautifully into a new career. He’s also in the place of opportunity that a lot of us boomers are in but often don’t see and that is he has lots of experience and wisdom and self-realization but he’s got to actively participate in either discovering a position for himself or creating a position for himself. In other words, no one is going to just hand him a job because he wants/needs it.
Here are some of the suggestions I gave him:
1.) Invest in getting his resume revamped and brought up to this part of the century. If you’re reading this blog then more than likely you know what this means.
2.) Treat his mind as if it was a dog that he was obedience training while he looks for a job.. What we learn in obedience training is that dogs like to know what their job is and so your brain is no different. Instead of allowing it to fill up your thoughts and time with negative unhelpful comments about finding a job, give it a research project. Find 4 companies in the city (in this case it was Austin) that you’d like to live in and find out what the company does, what their philosophy is and who the heck you know that you can find out more information about the company from.
3.) Once you’ve identified at least four places that you’d like to work, look at your experience and skills and find at least four things that you have done that would benefit where you’d like to work so that you can talk about this and have positive energy around it when you are in your interview. Pay attention to the language that the company uses to explain who they are and use that same language to explain who you are and what you’ve done.
4.) Understand what you’ve done well enough that you can give four examples of things you’ve done in your career that you were passionate about and enjoyed. Finding a job definitely will feel like it is about you but really, it is about them. Every company right now is being inundated with people who are desperate for work. Set yourself apart from the rest by showing that you are interested in what the company does, you understand what they do and you know how you can help them do what they can do. Better yet, find ways that you can punch up what they do a notch or two.
5.) While you are looking for a job/career let the editor/mom voice/dad voice/peer voice in your brain take a vacation. So long, Sayonara, arrivederchi . Tell that voice that you really appreciate it but right now you can handle this (looking for a job without its input). Acknowledge that you understand the voice is just trying to help you but for it to take a break right now and you’ll do this job search thing on your own.
6.) Even if you are talking with friends who you know care about you in the job search process, if you think they can possibly help you find a job or create a position than whatever you do don’t whine! Tell them how they can help you. Your friends will want to help you but you’ve got to be clear about what you need from them and you have to be very focused on what you want. For example you may tell them that you are looking for a job/contract/position that allows you to use xxx skill because here is something that you’ve done in your last job for the company you worked at with that skill. Be specific.
7.) This job hunt stuff is world class training on all aspects of yourself so treat it as such and respect the process. Keep your mind clear and focused, keep your body fed with healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, get some exercise. IF you’ve done any kind of work in your life learning how to change your way of thinking, implement that work now. So, you may end up with little sticky notes with affirming phrases all over your house, car and office…okay…worse things could be seen.
8.) Find ways to help others just because you can. I know this may sound really counter intuitive, but it works. Right now I’m blogging daily (this is blog #205, I’m researching, investigating, scheduling, producing and interviewing guests on blog talk radio and I’m co-producing a talk show that is going to go digitally and be televised soon and I am not being paid one red cent right now for any of this. I’m doing it because it is helping others, it is allowing me to express my creativity and it is honing my skills. My intention is that these things that I am doing now will create future money making paths for income in my future. It helps me also to not feel desperate in between those contracts and clients who pay me because I feel like I am making a contribution.
9.) Be grateful for what you have right now and where you are at. For whatever reason you are where you are through a series of choices that you have made. Look at your life and appreciate the good choices that you have made and have some empathy for yourself in those choices that you would do have done differently then if you had known what you know now. Recognize and comprehend how you got where you are now so that you don’t keep doing what you’ve always done that you don’t want to do any longer.
10.) If life really is just a great play with the Divine as our great Director, what part are you here to play?
I’m holding out with the idea that we Baby Boomers are not done yet by a long shot. There are all kinds of articles out there right now about how self-centered, self-indulgent and otherwise ME we have been and perhaps that is true to a point but man I sure do know a lot of people with incredible minds, hearts and spirits out there who still have it in them to make a difference. Who knows, maybe the 11th hour will be our finest hour?
Who are you and what special gift have you brought to share with the world?