2017 Boom Conference – Lessons for the Unemployed and Under-Employed

2017 Boom - ah workshop 2

On May 18, 120 people 45+ attended the 2017 Boom Conference to identify how they can earn more income using what they already know. Through the expert workshops and engaging panel presentations, attendees left with high expectations, armed with a truckload of useful tools, strategies and tactics. But unlike other conferences, the Roadmap for a Successful Conference, created by TKC Incorporated, led participants in a process to focus the lessons learn into personal, actionable steps, thus ensuring success.

Here are some of the most important conference take aways for persons who are unemployed and under-employed.

  • “It’s impossible to live 45+ years without having something of value to offer in the marketplace,” Angela Heath repeated her mantra to the audience several times.  “Your last employer purchased your talents and skills, so if you can’t find a job, sell those same talents and skills on your own!”
  • Yes, you can offer your skills, talents, hobbies and expertise to the market. However, not all money making ideas are valid — meaning not all ideas will generate a profit. During the Market Validation session, participants explored a six-part process to validate their concepts without wasting a lot of time, effort or money.  In summary: research your concept, create a minimally-viable product, test it, revise it, sell it, and scale it. The biggest insight was to sell your concept first before you completely build it out.
  • People you know, especially family and friends, may not be the best judges of whether your business concept is a go. Remember, the concept is not valid until the check clears the bank. In other words, getting sales is proof that you have designed a potentially viable money-making concept.
  • Networking is a skill everyone needs. Whether you are looking for a traditional job, exploring temporary contract work, or starting a business, networking is how most opportunities in the marketplace present themselves.  Yes, despite your decades of valuable experience, who you know is often still more important than what you know.
  • Don’t have money to start a business? Who said you need money to make money; that’s not always true. Bartering and online gig work may be your answer.  Bartering is an age old concept that still works today.  Find someone with the skills you need to start your business but you can’t afford to pay for.  Offer them a talent that you have in exchange.  Both parties win.  You may also want to check out some online gig work platforms such as http://www.upwork.com and http://www.freelancer.com. You can bid on jobs and pay for the connection after you make money.
  • Sell people what they want right now.  Once you know what you want to offer to the market place, find the people who are already looking for what you have to sell.  Talk to them; sell to them. That’s why you see plumbers lurking around the plumbing aisle at hardware stores. Look for your customers online and off line.  Go where they are.  
  • Don’t start from scratch. The best leads are behind you. Go back to previous work places and connect with the people who really liked you and thought your work was awesome. Let them know you are looking for a job and in the meantime, you are looking for contract work or you are starting a business. Often they will offer useful suggestions and make some connections for you.
  • Finally, make a definite ask. Never ask a question that can be answered yes or no.  Frame your “ask” so people have to give some real thought to their response.  Instead of saying, “Can you use my help?” say “How can I help you?” Instead of saying, “Do you know of someone who is looking for my product/service?” say  “Who do you know that needs my product/service?”

The bottom line is – you can earn income on your own. In fact, you can make money while you continue to look for a job. Your options are limitless. Let me show you how. Start by exploring how your talent, skills and passions can help you earn income on your own. Continue reading

Fired: Now What?


Have you been laid-off or fired after age 45? If not you, then 9 out of 10 chances you know someone who has had this experience.  I have recently coached three baby boomers who have been faced with unemployment and I thought sharing the advice I offered might be helpful to others.

Devastation! Anger! Embarrassed! These are words my clients used to describe their situation.  One literally pulled the covers over her head, unwilling to be moved. Another cried for nine straight days. The other client was so angry that it took him far to long to get past the anger and negativity, but finally, he made the transition. Here was my advice.

  1. Apply for Unemployment – If you are eligible, you will want to do this right away.  Often there is a delay in the processing of applications so the sooner you complete the process, the sooner you can access benefits.
  2. 30 Days of Self Pity – Select the number of days you feel you need to stew in your feelings. 30 days, however, is your limit.  During this time, talk about it, call names, sleep all day, eat too much or do whatever you want. Once you complete your days of self pity, make a plan to move on.
  3. Let it Go and Forgive- You must get passed the boss who was unfair and the co-worker who threw you under the bus.  It’s over now and time to move on. I have seen these dark days turn into sunshine when you turn your attention toward the future. Remember forgiveness is more about being free than freeing the person who did you wrong.
  4. Decide to be Positive – Although it is easier said than done; yes, you can control your moods with a decision.  No matter what, you must know that you will find another job or maybe start a successful business. Employers and clients can sense confidence and a positive attitude right away; it is very attractive.
  5. Tell Everyone You Know – It is amazing how we are all connected.  By telling others that you are looking for opportunities, you open the flood gates of possibilities.  Person A may know someone who’s cousin plays golf with the husband of the woman you need to meet.
  6. Identify Lessons Learned – Pain is a powerful teacher.  Ask yourself if you could do anything differently at work? How can you prepare so that this never happens again? What were the aspects of your job that you loved and what do you want to avoid in the future?
  7. Identify Your Core Skills and Attributes – You can use these to make money while you look for a job. Use the Baby Boomer Income Generator Assessment to help you. Understanding your value and your possibilities will help you as you begin your job search.
  8. Consult with a Career Counselor – Find someone who has experience working with seasoned workers. Use their tips about sprucing up your appearance and eliminating dates from your resume.
  9. Join a Job Seekers Group – These groups are springing up all across the country and can help you sharpen your resume, practice interviewing skills and help you develop a compelling career story.
  10.  Have Some Fun – Looking for a job typically isn’t a fun activity.  However, you must keep your spirits up and the motivation high. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.  Got the resume polished, treat yourself to breakfast; applied for seven positions this week, take a hike in the woods; contacted the Small Business Administration to explore starting a business, go see a fun movie.  It is important to recognize and celebrate every little victory to help keep you moving forward.