As the career landscape continues to change it’s good idea to keep the following concepts in mind to keep change in perspective:
- Multiple careers are now the norm. It used to be that the job you took right out of college was the job you kept your entire working life. Those days are long gone but the longing for career comfort continues. We all wish that we could get a job and never worry about being laid off. We all want to shed the anxiety of a continuous job search. Today’s reality provides no job security. The more self-reliant we become the better. The more responsibility we take for our career well being the more successful we’ll be.
- Free agency is here to stay. The free agency concept was championed by Dan Pink in his best selling book “Free Agent Nation”. Free agents work for themselves where they want and when they want. They are well paid contract professionals who understand how to brand and market themselves online as well as in person. Free agency works very well for the baby boomer generation because it gives us the freedom and flexibility to continue to contribute on our terms. Please note: free agency demands discipline and time management. It also keeps your innovative juices flowing because you are always on the outlook for new opportunities and ways to monetize projects.
- Retirement will be a “semi” thing. The concept of retirement is being reinvented daily as those of us over sixty-five discover that we can’t or don’t want to retire from business. We are rejecting the old model of rocking chairs and retirement villages. Trending indicates that Americans are continuing to work well into our seventies and eighties. What types of work will be done by these workers? Again, the opportunity to fill the gaps for project work and everyday “stuff” that organizations need to get done and don’t have the fulltime staff to complete. The key to succeeding at the new model is to embrace all generations in the workplace. Each generation has strong skill sets that compliment the others. Written, verbal skills, and common sense experience are very much needed. It continues to be very important that baby boomers in particular package themselves as valuable resources who are very willing to work for and with younger generations. We don’t have all the answers. We do have hard-won experience, the ability to read people quickly and the maturity to admit when we’re wrong. We need the other generations to teach us and help us adjust to the new work models.
- Personal branding will help you stay marketable and visible. Personal branding is simply living up to your self perception. Decide how you want to be seen in the workplace and life and live your values. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can make a huge difference when establishing your brand online. I want to stress that personal branding is not BOASTING. Personal branding is a process of demonstrating how you can help others. It is an education method used to engage your target audience.
- Strong networks are more essential than ever. I can not stress this point enough. Please don’t let your network die no matter what. Developing and maintaining a dynamic network takes work and commitment, but it’s well worth it! Letting your contacts know that you are available to help them is also important. It establishes you as a resource not someone who only contacts people when you need something. Find out what people are interested in and be on the lookout for articles, etc. we can share.