Author Archive

  • Nudging Neurons

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    “How to Train the Aging Brain,” A fascinating article in The New York Times, deconstructs the myth that old brains can no longer grow and learn.

    Researchers note, “The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can.”

    Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s super sleuth, had it right when he said,”It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely.”

    Positive news indeed for “gray matter,” and yet another arrow in our quiver to help pierce that daunting age-bias barrier.

  • Pause Before You Pounce!

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    Proactive pauses are vital as you gear up to retool and redefine your working life. Big changes require big thoughts. Before you pounce on a new position or even a new direction, pause to assess your strengths, reflect on where you have been and investigate new options.

    Don’t know much about pausing??? You may want to check out this new book,

    The Power of Pause: How to be more effective in a demanding, 24/7 world, by Nancy Guilmartin. The author explores how executives can hit the pause button — from a second to days — in their overscheduled lives to interrupt automatic reactions, mobilize curiosity and produce more effective solutions to their challenges. She teaches the readers how to increase their communication intelligence (CQ) by providing strategies and language to identify and manage the demands on their attention. Readers learn how to become aware of their (and others’) filters which can cause misinterpretations, regain self-control and recognize choices.

    The Power of Pause process shows readers how to:

    • Suspend the urge to react, allowing for better choices
    • Have a productive conversation while disagreeing
    • Discover what you didn’t know you didn’t know
  • Do Boomers have a competitive edge in today’s job market?

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    You bet we do! We just need to sell our age advantage. We have more professional and life experience and we have more successes and failures under our belts than your average 20, 30 and 40-year old.

    That being said, age bias thrives. Some view our gray hair and liver spots as blemishes, but – in reality – they are badges of valor for valiant campaigns waged.

    Finding a job for anyone is a full-time job – for those 60+ it means  researching, thinking, networking 24-7.  We need to redefine our experience, translate or retool our skills, and perhaps retrain. In short, we need to rebrand ourselves to meet the market’s need and expectations.

    Tired of hearing “60 is the new 50 or 50 is the new 40?” That’s a fine way to define our stamina and intellectual prowess but it’s not much help when we post a resume which broadcasts the fact that we graduated 30–40 years ago. If we get past that resume dead-end, we need to gear up for the interview. The interviewer must see us as a viable asset and not as their parent or grandparent.

    Speaking of resumes, every word counts. In fact every size letter counts. Never submit a resume in anything larger than a 12pt font; it’s a clear signal you might be visually impaired. And, if you’re visually impaired, who knows what else might be fading…  brain cells, creaky joints maybe???

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve not found many resources online or other­wise offering tips or tools for finding and securing a good job for savvy seniors with buckets of experience. Be clear – we’re talking about paying jobs. There are many volunteer jobs but some of us still need to pay rent or a mortgage or be totally frivolous and take a holiday now and then.

    So, it’s time to circle the Conestogas, or as Russell Crowe instructed his fellow gladiators, “form a circle and put up your shields.” We can learn from each other: how to survive a headhunter’s gauntlet and how to find and land the job we want. I’ll be posting all manner of practical tips, tools and resources here, and I hope you will chime in with your experiences and nuggets of wisdom.

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