My Second-Act Career is Dedicated to Helping You Build Yours
Career transition gets tricky over fifty
I found this out the hard way when my startup collapsed after the tech bubble burst in 2001. Suddenly, I had no clear path forward. The jobs, connections, and opportunities that had been open to me in my thirties and forties weren’t there anymore.
This was a wake-up call.
I had never imagined that I would ever be in this kind of position.
I started out my career as a movie fan and storyteller who wanted to learn how movies got made. I rose through the ranks as a Hollywood studio executive and producer. Even though entertainment is a volatile industry, I was able to learn how to overcome the many ups and downs that I experienced.
I half-joke about how through the many jobs I had and projects I worked on in "the biz," I was fired 39% of the time.
Losing A Job Is Never Easy, but getting fired is not shameful
While we were raised to think of getting fired as something shameful - something that you try to live down - I talk about my own track record this way because I think it's time we remove the stigma around losing a job. Today especially, and for older workers in particular, we need to understand that business is more volatile than ever.
Just because you stopped being the right fit for that job doesn't make you a bad person or a failure.
Learning how to recover from setbacks and turn them into subsequent successes taught me a lot about how to rebuild my confidence, define my value, and develop a supportive network.
Making My Mid-Career Transition
After my startup went bust, I decided to go back to school to earn a Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology – a branch of behavioral psychology that focuses on self-responsibility and self-forgiveness as pathways to healing and change. I didn't think that I wanted to become a psychologist but I hoped to learn more about myself, what my strengths and weaknesses were, and what lessons I needed to learn to move forward.
Now, fifteen years later, as a career coach, author, and speaker, my mission is to support professionals over fifty to redefine, build and sustain second-act careers beyond traditional retirement. I’ve created a more personal-growth approach to career development, vs the traditional HR skills-based paradigm - starting with the notion that your ideal second-act career is already inside you.
Coaching the Second-Act Career
In my coaching and training practice, I work with professionals across a wide range of skill sets and industries, both individually and in groups.
My psychology degree coupled with my own career recovery skills have given me a unique perspective that most HR-based coaches and counselors will never have.
The methodology I developed helps people successfully navigate the uncertain career pathways, ageism, and obstacles that most of us are facing in this latter phase of our careers.
For me, the key is to focus inward first
Don't try to figure out what jobs "out there" you can fit yourself into. Instead, develop your own focus based on the real value you provide. Craft the right message, and then attract people to you who need what you offer.
Appreciate and acknowledge yourself for who you are, what you've accomplished, and what your strengths are. At the end of the day, you know yourself better than any psychological assessment test (yet another box they will try to fit you into).
Look at how and where you can apply what you do best to perform a truly useful function or solution - whether as an employee or as a consultant.
My book, "Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50," outlines 5 steps and 23 strategies to successfully recover from losing a job, strategize a re-entry into the workforce, or develop a plan to start a new business.
The book launched on CBS This Morning in 2017 as an Amazon best-seller, and has continued to sell steadily since then, supporting thousands of people in planning and manifesting their second-act careers.
That year, I was also honored to be named as an "Influencer on Aging" by PBS/Next Avenue.
View My Courses on Linkedin Learning
Here's are links to my three LinkedIn Learning courses:
- Managing Someone Older Than You
- Connecting With Your Millennial Manager
- Managing Multiple Generations
These best practices are designed to help us navigate the multi-generational workforce, and build successful collaborative relationships and understanding between all four generations in today's workforce.
View The TEDx Talk That Launched My Practice
Face it: retirement is over. Only a few people can afford it (or will be able to afford it), and few people actually want to slow down or stop working at 65. But our society and economy don't yet understand that keeping people in the workforce is both a valuable asset to employers, as well as a necessary driver of overall economic sustainability.
In this 15-minute presentation, I outline the five-step process that is the foundation of my career coaching methodology.