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My Medical Device Sales Career

50 Is NOT The New 40 When Looking For A Job; Face it With A Way To Change It!

I just responded to a Linkedin post by Tyson Winfrey that asked, "If 50 is the new 40, why is it hard to find a new job after 50?"  After I wrote my response on the chain, I thought, "Wait, been there and done that; maybe it is time to share my response and my story as my weekend Blog."  So let's start with 50 IS NOT THE NEW 40, but you can decide if 50 is just 50, just like 40 is just 40, or you fill in the blank with the number.  You see, the number does make a difference in the workplace and why do we kid ourselves? 

After all, we certainly know age makes a difference when you go to a nightclub that caters to the under 30 set and we come walking in at age 50 to get some action!  Sounds ridiculous right?  Well, maybe not to Hugh Hefner; but on a side note, he looks ridiculous doesn't he with those young babes?  OK, having a lot of money is a great leveler...well up to a point, even for Hugh lately.  Back to making this a career article!  Yes, there are leveler's in this business too for the older set, like working for the family business, but how many of us have parents with family businesses?  Exactly.

So the point is this, if you are handling each decade of age with the SAME MINDSET as you approached your career and job hunt back when you were 20 or 30, you probably will end up empty handed; just like that 50 year old going to that hot youthful nightclub to get some action!  You see, you need to find a better place to go that will appreciate that touch of grey at the temples and the wisdom that comes with it!  Gotta change your mindset and where you go to get lucky! 

So back to my response to the original question posed on my Linkedin Group: "If 50 is the new 40, why is it hard to find a new job after 50?"  This was my personal response:

I was one of those that depended upon a pay check until 2005.  I too realized that if I took another "JOB" I was at risk when I became older (like now) of losing it and would have a difficult time getting another job in my former occupation. I was fortunate to have found the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki (the first book), with no other income and a family of 5, I turned down a high paying directors job and started to learn how to bring in my own paycheck.

I too have taught my 3 children that they must learn how to create their own income vs. receiving income as you so appropriately mentioned.  I find that most over age 50 need to learn new skills AND if they lose their job realize that Baby Boomer now means old in the workplace of traditional jobs....get out and use all that wealth of experience to create your own incomes EVEN if you are fortunate enough to pick up another "JOB".  I constantly tell my career consults to start doing the skill gathering and income generation planning WHILE they have a JOB.  PLAN for IF or When they turn 50 or 55 or 60 etc. and face a job loss.

Baby Boomers are healthier and perhaps the popular chant "50 is the new 40" sounds good, but it is just not so when it comes to job seeking.  What I encourage my Baby Boomers to do is to get off the chant and start planning for the next 20 to 30 years of their life and career.  All that experience we have garnered over the years is a series of dots, as Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, learn how to CONNECT THE DOTS to your new career and possibly life.  Didn't see it?  I will share his speech here, I put it on my site last year well before his passing:

It certainly has an extra punch now with his recent passing.  

Now I ask you, "Have you taken the time to review the dots of your life thus far and the possibilities that they have mapped for you and your future?"  Note the word, "possibilities", because without the self reflection of your past experience and the possible value it could brings to others, you may never realize the bigger picture of what your life could be.  Perhaps the new chant should be, "make 50 be the new 50!" You don't want to lose or discount all those years of experience that a productive life brings, you just need to open yourself up to the new 50, a 50 that is not centered upon getting a Job as the ONLY dot left for you to attain.   

So to my Blog Followers of ALL ages, embrace your age and the new possibilities that have been created because of where you find yourself NOW.  If you find yourself at a place where you have accumulated a lot of life experience, then put yourself in a place to use it!  Be brave enough to realize you need to go somewhere else to get your action; make 50 be the NEW 50 so you can experience where life may take you.  It just may be the greatest experience of your lifetime and it is still ahead of you!


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Comment by Linda Hertz on October 26, 2011 at 8:49am
Comment by Linda Hertz on October 19, 2011 at 11:14am

Some Linkedin Commentary coming in from Healthcare IT Talent Hunt:


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