Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

50 Plus, Schmifty Plus. 100 is the new 70. 70 is the new 50.

Here is a question to Ask Wendy?

"I'm 57 and have been "laid off" from my sales job. It will be hard for me to get a new job in sales in my field, so I'm looking at other areas. But I'm wondering if retraining is even worthwhile? I already have skills and a track record in sales. So, isn't it a waste?"

Frank, NJ

Dear Frank,

There is nothing more bruising to the ego than being let go, regardless of how it is positioned. I can empathize with the challenge of finding a sales job at 57, especially if you are competing against much younger talent. Ray Kurzweil, author of "The Singularity is Near", a fascinating look at our aging society and thoughts and perceptions on where we are going in relation to age and technology.

Here are some "age" facts that Kruzweil shares on life expectancy:

In the Cromagnum era, average life expectancy was 18
In Ancient Egypt: 25
In Medieval Europe (1400): 30
In Europe and US in the 1800's: 37
In 1900 in the US: 48
And in 2002 in the US: 78

So, in my opinion, for many reasons (job search only being one of the reasons) it can certainly pays to take training. And if Kurzwiel's projections are right, we'll be living into our hundreds in this generation. So, what else are you going to do for the next young 20 - 30 years and presumably more?

And just to add more to the perspective, Monster.com founder, Jeff Taylor, is starting up Eons Inc. of Charlestown. And he is targeting the 50- to 100-year-old market.

So, as I see it, 50 is the new 30. 100 is the new 70. Go ahead. Retrain. You'll have the time to use your newly acquired skills.


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