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.

About Me

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Northridge, California, United States
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.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Thursday, December 28, 2006

OK 50 Plus...Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Just a few short days til '07 is here. So...what are your resolutions for the New Year? You tell me yours and I'll tell you mine.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A New Resource Targeted to Boomers...Just in Time, Too.

Ayayay. What to do? What to do? From shortbread cookies to latkes, cakes and chocolates, wine, champagne, egg nog... Oh I can go on and on and on. So much food, so little time to exercise it off! Well, aside from getting up and moving around to burn the calories, what other nifty resources are out there? General Mills has come up with a wonderful site with particular appeal to Boomers. EatBetterAmerica.com is a really easy-to-navigate site focused on fitness and nutrition. According to their publicist: "Eat Better America suggests diet and exercise tips for individuals concerned with heart health, diabetes, weight management and vitality. A recent addition to the site, “Healthify My Recipe,” allows registered users to submit their calorie-laden, diet-detrimental recipes for recipe makeover.”

I haven't tried the "Healthify My Recipe" for my Grandma's famous chocolate chip cookies yet, but that is next on my list. Oops. Gotta run. My mom just took out a batch of her heavenly sugar cookies out of the oven. I'll have to check out that recipe too.

Let me know what you think. General Mills is interested in your opinion on the site.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Blogging Boomers Carnival #3

To read this week’s installment of the BloggingBoomers Carnival, which is filled with great info specifically for baby boomers, head over to Man-o-pause.

After this week, the Carnival will be on a two-week hiatus due to the upcoming holidays. I'm Carnival host the week of January 15th, and we'll have a ton of relevant topics to get you started in 2007.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Feedblitz? Commenting? Help!

Bloggers LOVE to get comments, but the 50 plus demographic still prefers emailing to publishing comments. As well, I get emails from some of you who are frustrated trying to figure out how to make a comment from the feed you receive from Feedblitz. So to help you navigate the blog-comment world here's the easy 1-2-3. Email me at wspiegel@genplususa.com if you are still having problems after reading this post.

If you are a subscriber, that means you chose to get my articles via your email (either by subscribing on the blog or by taking out a membership at www.genplususa.com). The header tells you that the email is coming from Feedblitz. It's just like getting home delivery of the LA or NY Times...but via email.

You can't reply to the email to make a comment on the topic, just like you can't comment directly to your newspaper in your living room. Nor can you click into comments from the emailed article. You need to go to the source (i.e. the blog), so either click on the article TITLE to redirect to the blog, or go directly to the blogsite: http://genplus.blogspot.com to make a comment. Once at the home page for the article, you'll see a little line at the bottom that gives a number of comments. It looks like this:

Posted by Wendy, founder, Gen Plus at 11:14 AM 6 comments

Click on the link for comments (doesn't matter whether there are 0 comments or 100 comments) and write in the pop-up box. You'll be able to preview your comment before posting. You can post with your user name if you have one, as yourself, or anonymously. Because I moderate comments, you'll have to enter a special code (funny looking letters and numbers in a colored box) in order to post. I'll get a notification of the comment and provided that your comment isn't spam or offensive, I'll allow the post. Simple as that.

When you write something that catches someone else's imagination, there can be very interesting dialogue. I love when you email me, but other people would love to hear what you have to say as well. Now, go make yourself heard!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Chanukah Meets the Virtual Dreidel!

A very happy Chanukah to all my Jewish readers celebrating the Festival of Lights!

So who said it has to be all work and no play?

The Dreidel Game takes a new "spin" on things with an online version this popular holiday gambling game designed to keep kids entertained with pennies, candies or any item that can be used to create a "pot" of goodies.

Check out Judaism 101: Virtual Dreidel Game You start here by hitting the "ante up" button and the rules come up for you. Lots of fun.

If you want to play the traditional version, get yourself a dreidel (a four-sided spinning top with hebrew letters on each of the four sides). Each letter denotes an action. Everyone starts by putting a coin into the pot (or two or three or four coins...whatever you decide). Player 1 spins the dreidel. The letter that the top shows when it is down gives you the direction. Follow the direction and the next person takes a spin and follows their direction. Play stops when one person wins all them money...or if you've been using chocolate gelt (money)...it is eaten up!

I've taken the images of the Hebrew letters and their meanings from the Judaism 101 site. The letter shin means: Shtell (Put) You put a coin into the pot.

Letter: Gimmel Means: Ganz (All)You get all of the coins in the pot. All players must put a coin in the pot (ante up) to rebuild it.

Letter: Nun Means: Nichts (Nothing) You do not get any coins, but you do not lose any coins.

Letter: Heh Means: Halb (Half) You get half of the coins in the pot. If this leaves the pot empty, all players must put in a coin (ante up) to rebuild it.
Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No Surprises Here. Age discrimination most commonly felt between 50 and 55.

AECS, the Association of Executive Search Consultants, just published an article on the results of their survey on executives and age discrimination. Their poll of 294 responders, showed that most executives commonly begin to feel age discrimination 50 and 55.

In the US, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects applicants and employees 40 years of age and older from work and hiring related discrimination based on age. Well...that's good to know...

From the comments and emails I receive all the time, it is pretty clear that there are a lot of ways to downsize an older workforce without heading into the area of discrimination, which is very, very challenging to prove. The UK has just recently added a similar law regarding age discrimination and it will be interesting to see what impact this has on retention of the 50 plus workforce overseas.

What's your story?

Source: AESC Marketing

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blogging Boomers Carnival #2!

BloggingBoomers Carnival is a weekly collection of the top stories on the top blogs dedicated to baby boomer interests. The BloggingBoomers Carnival shows up each week at a different boomer blog. Carnival #2 is being hosted this week at The Boomer Chronicles, a wonderful blog written by Rhea, a Boston-based journalist. Check it out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Trendwatch -- hot industries for 2007

Just the other day I was listening to an broadcast report on the railroads. From what I understood (still searching corroboration for these figures) in the US, the Department of Transportation is anticipating about 5000 job openings.

Why is the railroad industry picking up? With gas prices ever higher, rail transport is becoming a more attractive option compared to trucking. "I've been working on the railroad" no longer has to mean pulling out the shovel and pickaxe. There are jobs in every sector -- from in-house lawyers, to administrators, to transport experts and engineers. And more importantly, they are looking to the 50 plus demographic to help fill positions.

The other industry worth watching is vessel transport. In 2006, ships ran almost 100% to capacity and research appears to be underway to construct even larger vessels to accomodate the PanAsian surge in import. Getting into the unions is a tough call, but there are a lot of support and management positions that are always needed to run any operation and as this sector of transport continues to expand, so will job openings.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Carnival is in Town!

I am very pleased to announce the launch of Blogging Boomers Carnival. What is a Carnival? It is a weekly collection (or "carnival") of the top stories on the top blogs dedicated to baby boomer interests. The Blogging Boomers carnival will show up each week at a different boomer blog. These are all really good blogs (I'm pleased to be one of them!)and if you take the opportunity to check each one out, you'll find great resources, stories, laughs and possibly...inspiration!

As far as any of us can tell, this is the only boomer-centric carnival in operation so it will be a great deal of fun to watch it develop. I've been experiencing a wee problem with the Blogger platform, so try to click here to link to the Carnival . If the link doesn't direct you, cut and paste this address into your browser address bar: http://lifetwo.com/production/node/20061130-blogging-boomers-carnival

If that doesn't work, head over to http://lifetwo.com and click on the link on the upper right corner titled Blogging Boomers Carnival.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So much to do and so little time!

What are your resolutions for 2007 and beyond? If you don't know what they are yet, don't you want to figure them out? And if you do know what they are, what plan do you have in place to achieve them?

Due to requests from many different cities and countries, I'm reworking my live course: "Keep Dreaming: Creating a Strategic Plan for the Rest of Your Life" for online use which will make it much more accessible for those of you outside of the major city centers. Release is set for the New Year or sooner.

The class consists of a small amount of strategic planning theory (enough to understand the task at hand!), followed by workbook exercises designed to help you focus and shape your plan, regardless of your objective.

Send me an email at wspiegel@genplususa.com if you'd like to beta test the new program at no charge. I've only got 3 slots left for beta-testers. The rest of you will be added to the wait list and an announcement and press release will be going out as soon as the program is available for purchase.

If you want to be added to the wait list for the live class, I'm currently scheduling classes in LA, NY/Boston and Chicago for late winter/early spring. The workshop will run as a full day program (10 am - 4 pm with a 1 hour lunch break) in each of these cities. Space is limited due to the highly interactive nature of the program, so make sure to indicate which city you are interested in.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks to YOU!

A very happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and an extended happy Thanksgiving to the many visitors and subscribers from all around the world. It is a very strange phenomenon -- to create a community solely through the internet -- and it is both challenging and wonderful. I want to give a moment of thanks to all of you who over the past couple of years have taken the time to read my thoughts and opinions on the world of 50 plus.

Why am I considered a "veteran" blogger in this relatively new venue? Because you have been reading what I have to say and visiting again and again. Why do so many consider me 50 plus "expert"? Because experience alone doesn't cut it...you like what I have to say and generally agree with my observations and opinions.

An extra thanks to all of you who have taken the time to email or post comments about issues that have touched you. There are many other bloggers and businesses who have given support to Gen Plus as this business grows and I couldn't be doing it without you, the credit you give me, or the links you generously include on your blogs and businesses.

There are also many of you who have more recently come over to my blog as a result of the online community (Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus) we're building together at eons. It is a tough world right now for any 50 plusser looking to stay gainfully employed. So I applaud you and thank you for being brave enough to bare your souls to a complete stranger.

A blog or online business is only as successful as the people who visit, subscribe, shop, complain, praise and support you. So, again, thank you and as I carve into that fantastic Turkey tomorrow, I guarantee that you are all sitting at my table, in spirit, with my friends and family.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Seratonins, Endorphins and Oxygen...Oh My!

It's all about the Oxygen. Ever wonder why the less active you become the more weight you gain even though you haven't changed your eating habits? It's because the less you move, the less oxygen you intake. The less oxygen circulating in your system, the less fuel increase your blood flow. That blood flow is what moves (gets rid of!) excess weight and fat. The reason yoga is so effective is that a primary focus of the discipline is on breathing. Big breaths...in and out, maximizing lung capacity. And when you increase physical activity, the activity that bulks up your muscles, the cardiovascular activity that forces you to take bigger breaths...well, that is increasing your oxygen intake.

Adding to this equation is that exercise (like sex!) increases your seratonin (neurotransmitter) and endorphin production. These are the chemicals in your makeup that make you feel good. Higher levels of seratonins and endorphins ALSO positively impact your ability to lose weight. Wow. So if you breathe more and feel great, you'll be more primed to lose weight.

So the next time you DON'T want to bend and stretch, or go for a walk, or decide whether or not to buy our new workout DVD just for 50 plus "Getting Started" (I know...a shameless plug, but it is a really good workout and a great holiday gift), just remember that it's all about increasing your oxygen intake. At the very least take a deep breath in for one, two, three, four, five....and out for one, two, three, four, five, six....

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Forget your Aches and Pains -- Workout for 50 Plus Hits the Market!

So you see Thanksgiving around the corner and holiday parties are just waiting around the corner and you are sitting there thinking..."Oh my. How am I EVER going to handle ANOTHER five pounds this year?"

Well, you are not going to. Because this year, you are going to do something for your mind AND for you body, and get in shape. To help you, I'm very pleased to point you in the direction of our brand new 50 plus workout DVD, "Getting Started".
Trainer Laura Spiegel has designed a full body workout for all you couch potatoes and next-yearers! No floor work. The routine is low impact and all exercises are done standing up. (Your knees will thank you, and yes, you WILL sweat.) Exercise modifications are shown so you can up the aerobic activity as you need. Laura's team are REAL people...not aerobic junkies. And if they can get through this workout, so can you!

At only $14.95 including shipping, how can you deny yourself? Click on the link (or the sidebar) and Get YOURSELF Started.

I promise...there ARE muscles under the fat! And a little bit of an endorphin surge will do wonders for your self-esteem. If you are looking for that unusual holiday gift for a Boomer or someone over 50, keep us in mind. They'll thank you!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Green, Red, Orange, Purple, Pills, Pills, Pills...

Has it hit you yet? Have you started taking pills? Pills for menopause, blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety? Well, it seems that as you approach fifty and plus, all that ails you can medically be controlled by pills. Pills at night, pills in the morning, pills on Saturday and Wednesday, but NOT on Sunday or Thursday...you get the idea.

And the older you get, the more pills you have to take. So first you started off with a baby aspirin at night, then you added in your DHEA in the morning, followed by your Stress Vitamins, Vitamin E, Airborne (so you don't get sick)...oh, and if you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, are low on iron or constipated...your first 2-4 pills of the day.

So, how many times have you awoken, stumbled into the kitchen for you cuppa coffee only to discover that you have no clue if you took your morning pill(s) or not? You don't want to take a double-dose, so you have to miss your morning and then you start the same routine over again at lunch or dinner or the next morning.

Well, here's a simple (really simple...as in hit yourself in the noggin for not having thought of this one yourself) solution from "Inpert Bert." At night, after you've taken your nighttime pills and before you go to bed, put your morning pills on your bathroom counter or kitchen counter. In the morning, if the pills are NOT there, then you know you took them. If they are, then you need to take them....and an extra cup of coffee!

Thanks "Inpert Bert"!

Monday, November 06, 2006



Sunday, October 22, 2006

Just as we age, our homes age, too.

Elinor Ginzler is a fountain of information and a delight to chat with. This AARP Livable Communities expert looks at aging challenges with enthusiasm. Her expertise? Ensuring that home living spaces function as livable communities that address needs across the age span. This includes home design, associated costs, mobility, and home modifications. In a recent AARP study, researchers found that over 85% of 50 plussers want to stay in their home whether retired or not. According to Elinor, “Most 50 plussers don’t want to move. The national myth is that you retire, sell your home and move. In fact less than 10% of the 60 plus population move!”

If you are part of the 85-90% that don’t want to move, then you need to recognize that, just as you are aging, your home is getting older, too. Like you, it may need a little fixing up.

To add to our generational challenges, if you are a young 50 plusser, there is a strong possibility that you have a parent in their early seventies to early eighties. A lot of you are nodding your heads. And if you have reached 65, you may have a parent in their eighties and nineties! (You thought your joints were creaking?) So 50 plus is multi-generational in age span alone.

And if you are a 50 plusser with a parent living with you (or visiting frequently), your home can pose unseen hazards that, with a few simple fixes, can become a safe haven for anyone. In Elinor’s view, “Why wouldn’t you want your house to meet the needs of older family members visiting you?” I have to agree. You may even have a young child or two in the house (not that uncommon – I have a seven year old! You may have grandkids) and need to make your living community child safe as well.

Some of Elinor’s top ten tips? When you read them, you’ll surely say, “That’s plain common sense!” Of course it is. But I challenge you to check YOUR house out and see how safe it is. For example, Elinor says:

Use brighter bulbs in all settings.

Well that is easy, simple…yet how many of you are squinting at the fine print in the dark? Or stubbing your toe on the suitcase you didn’t unpack after your last trip.

Install nightlights in all areas of night activity.

You probably had nightlights for your kids. Inexpensive, easy and very important to avoid midnight falls. Remember, the bigger the “kid,” the harder the fall.

To read all 10 safety tips, head to www.aarp.org/homedesign.

And to receive AARP’s new, free publication, Home Modification: Your Key to Comfort, Safety, and Independent Living, call 1-888-OUR-AARP and ask for publication number D18524. However, when I tried to order my copy, the switchboard was jammed up. So Elinor and the media folk at AARP have made it easier for us by sending a link
http://www.aarp.org/families/home_design/universaldesign/ that takes you to an online order form. If you install a nice, bright light above your reading chair, it’ll be an easy read.

Keep your sights on this blog for a forthcoming set of tips from AARP’s Elinor Ginzler on transport and driving at 50 plus.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Talking the talk 101. How the heck do I comment?

Oh my. I've been getting a few emails from distraught readers wanting to know why their comments aren't showing up.

If you are subscribing through Feedblitz, then you cannot reply to the "feed" email to you. In order to comment on a post, then you need to open the article on the blog (you can click on the title of the post and that will take you to the actual webpage on the blog), choose the underlined word comment at the bottom of the post and then enter your comments in the pop-up window. You'll be able to choose whether to use your blogger name (if you have one) or your name and website address (if you have one) or you can tick "Anonymous" and just leave your comments.

All comments are moderated. I don't allow a comment to go through until I've read it. This helps control spam on the site. That means that it may take up to 24 hours for your comment to post. So you don't have to submit it to me multiple times wondering why your comment didn't show up immediately under the post. If your post doesn't appear within 24 hours, assume that you may have submitted it incorrectly. Feel free to email me at wspiegel@genplususa.com and I'll ensure your comment gets on the correct posting.

Finally, this new format is part of the new Blogger template. As a result, if you have an older version of a blogger account, you will not be able to post on this site until you upgrade your account to your Google user information.

I'm no tech genius, but I hope that helps. Email me if you experience any more difficulties. And keep your eyes open -- wide open -- Sunday night. There is an interesting post on its way!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

BBC Brings Language to the Web. Hello. Bonjour. Hola. Hallo. Ciao. 你好 こんにちは

In the ultimately coolest move that the internet has to offer the traveller, the BBC brings Language Learning to a whole new level. For all you 50 plussers who are chomping at the bit to explore more of the world, check out their site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/ and test your skills in Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese and Portuguese...just to start.
Thinking of travelling to foreign climes...Spain, perhaps? Take the Fast Track route, where you take on a secret agent character, Jamie Blond, and practice your Spanish along the way to picking up clues.

Move over Italian for Dummies. I'm heading over to the centro storico in Verona, to meet up with my online friend Marta.

A lot of fun and it'll take some of the language fear out of your travel plans! Let me know what you think! (In any language.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hold on!

My mother is a 70 year old vibrant woman - really more of a 60-something in spirit and in ability. However, like many other seniors, if she's going to head out to the movies on a Saturday night, it will be to the early show -- like the 5 pm show -- to avoid the crowds. At the particular theater she went to this evening, with a girlfriend, there is a short flight of stairs to be navigated on the way out of the theater.

And as she was holding on to the bannister, tightly, to ensure she didn't wobble and pitch down to the next landing, she realized that a multitude of seniors were all holding on...right along with her. As she shared this realization with her friend and the two of them started giggling at the sight of all these "seniors hanging onto the bannisters for dear life", the woman behind her laughed aloud and said, "Holding on??? I've got the railing in a death grip! After sitting for two hours, my knees locked and I can barely move." Well, that got a chorus of laughs.

So here I sit, chuckling, thinking about hundreds of 60 and 70 plussers laughing their way down a flight of stairs, railing in death grip.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Failure? Not so sure about that.

I happened upon a broadcast radio essay yesterday and it was about failure. This particular writer preferred to celebrate failure over success because of the lessons and rewards that can only come through the struggle and learning through failing.

He talked about chefs who compare chopping wounds and other kitchen-related battle scars. The more scars (failures) the greater the evidence of learning through experience. We all know the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Well, is that so different from the learning through failure to find a job over 50?

Just think of what we learn. Instead of a few resume rejections, I hear from Jobseekers who send out hundreds of resumes and job applications with not ONE response. Instead of one or two interviews that turn into job offers, there are a dozen rejections just to start.

I am always affected by the many emails and stories that come my way every week. Stories about the struggles of 50 plus jobseekers actively seeking jobs with no success. In a couple of weeks, I'll tell you more about Marla (not her real name), an administrative assistant seeking work in the Midwest. I'll tell you about how she went back to school at 62 to hone her skill set and how she drives over an hour for each job interview. I'll give you the inside story on how her friends assure her of her inability to find employment and how even the ten temporary staffing agencies cannot find her one day of work. But I'll also share with you Marla's tenacious determination to find a job. And how the fact that she is willing to drive an hour each way to work and back every day, just for the privilege of working, will be an asset to her future unknown employer.

And I'll tell you how her inability to find a job...the skill set she has employed throughout her failure to secure employment, is the very essence of why someone will, in fact, decide to hire her.

Oh...and if you want to hire Marla, let me know. I can easily contact her...she tracked me down with detective-like skill!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Who's Time Has Come...

A wonderful concept from the folks at Campus Continuum. How would YOU, at 55 plus, like to be surrounded by young, bright, inquiring minds, on or near a vibrant university campus? Well, Campus Continuum, headed by Gerard Badler, thinks that a lot of 55 plussers will jump onto the lifelong learning trend and desire retirement in a university setting. Gerard explains: "We offer residential communities for life-long learners that are tightly integrated with academic host institutions."

Personally, I think it is a great idea. There are many studies that prove that an active mind retards aging and prolongs our ability to process. Continuing to learn forces our brains to make the vital connections required to keep them healthy. So, heck...doesn't it make terrific sense to live in an environment dedicated to just that? Below is part of a recent press release from CC. They are running a survey on their website about lifelong learning and living environments, so please hop on over there and give them your thoughts.

Baby Boomers Could Live on College Campuses -- Online Survey Now Underway …

(ISSUED AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2006) -- When you near retirement age, maybe you’d like to live on a college campus? Chances are you never even considered the idea!
“In 20 years, there will be 70 million people over age 65 in the U.S. and traditional retirement lifestyles could be radically different,” says Gerard Badler, head of Campus Continuum based in Newton, Mass. Badler is pioneering the concept of university-branded 55+ active adult communities that are “tightly integrated with their academic hosts.” His emphasis is on ‘active’ meaning residents are ‘young old’ who will add to the vitality of campus life.
A relatively new concept, there are only about 50 such communities across the U.S. But the idea is gaining popularity, says Badler who has spent the past few years cross-crossing the country, presenting the novel lifestyle idea to college administrators and boards from Maine to California.

To determine the level of interest and what colleges may be the best candidates, Badler has developed an online survey asking prospective residents to identify campuses on which they’d like to reside and to indicate preferred amenities (
www.campuscontinuum.com). Campus Continuum will use the data it collects to promote the development of communities around the country. To take the survey (no obligation; anonymous if you wish) go to the website and click on ‘Consumer Survey.’

Badler notes several advantages for seniors to live on or near a college campus:
· Exposure to classes, campus life: Research says mental activity may delay dementia
· Opportunity to take courses – close to home at reduced cost
· Brings back fond memories of carefree college days
· Opportunity to serve as teachers or mentors for students
· Access to cultural and sporting events, and often athletic, dining and healthcare facilities
· ‘Intergenerational excitement’ lacking in traditional retirement communities (all seniors)
· An easy ‘commute’ to wide range of campus events, as well as volunteer and paying jobs

Badler’s Campus Continuum is close to signing its first deal. “We’ll be breaking new ground in more ways than one,” he says.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Over 50 and Single? Take a few minutes for yourself!

Guest writer, Dee Frazier, Author of "Dating 101, Second, Third or Fourth Time Around" sends this article for our subscribers. And FYI, Dee has been featured on the Today Show as part of their “Finding Love After 40” series. She shares hundreds of tips, ideas, stories and antidotes to make the 45+ dating experience fabulous. Learn more through her website at www.theuniversityofdating.com. Let me know what you think!


by Dee Frazier

Are you wading around in the dating pool? Are you clueless of what the new rules are and bogged down with fear? Hesitating because the dating game has changed dramatically since you were in your 20s?

Sooner or later­ if you truly desire a relationship ­ you must jump in. Make a big splash. When you decide that you are ready to play the dating game, look at it as an adventure.

The grown-up dating game has never been more interesting and challenging. There are more players than ever before. Why? Because of higher divorce rates, longer life spans, and a greater tendency to never marry. This contributes to more single Americans than at any other time in our country's history.

The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that of the 97 million Americans who are 45 or older, almost 40 percent ­ 36.2 million­ are available singles. There is no shame in being single.

So here are five steps to cut through the confusion, eliminate the fear and re-define your experience of dating and being single as a journey of fun and learning that “It’s just a date – not the rest of your life.”

1. Pay attention to YOU

Learn what you need to be fulfilled as an individual. Focus on YOU! Think about how you are being when you are with yourself. Self inquire! Practice extreme self-care. Get buffed up!

Avoid gender bashing. If you have the state of mind that the opposite sex “did you wrong,” it will probably keep you immobilized and unable to have fun as a single person. Keep yourself from saying those things and eventually you will stop thinking them. One of the worst dates I have ever had was with a person who talked non-stop about how his ex-wife “took him to the cleaners.”

Unclutter your life. Realize that the clutter on the outside represents the clutter inside and that also means to get rid of the human vampires. Avoid contact with people who are energy drains.

Learn to say no. It's the first word you learned when you were two. Use it! It's your lifetime resource and you have the right to use it as you see fit, without comments from the peanut galley.

Take time for YOU. Time is short for all of us. Make a decision to set aside downtime that is just for you, even if you can only start with fifteen minutes a day.

2. Learn Self-acceptance.

Get off your own back! One of the good things about getting older is that you “have less to lose” and “much less to learn the hard way.” You won’t always do it right, but who cares. Confidence comes with self-acceptance. No more excuses about who you are and what you have done. Say: “I am here and I am glad and proud to be who I am.” Oh, by the way, being self-assured and self confident is very SEXY!

3. Learn to Flirt.

Effective flirting is simply a way to let people know that you noticed them and want to get to know them. Nothing more and nothing less. Keep it light and keep it fun. The most effective flirting always includes a smile and eye contact.

Flirting is a fun activity that everyone should engage in from time to time and thoroughly enjoy. When you take the fun out of flirting, it becomes a high-stress situation that has nothing to do with enjoying yourself. Keep it low pressure, just like dating. Flirting should be all fun and games.

4. Dump the excuses for not getting out.

  • Aren’t you sick of saying the same old thing anyway?
  • I’m too busy.
  • I am waiting for the right person.
  • The good ones are all married.
  • All men/women are jerks.
  • I can’t do this to the children.
  • They’re all losers.
  • It’s going to be a disaster.
  • I’m not ready.
  • No one will like me.
  • I’ve been hurt too many times before.

Get off the couch and into life. I know it’s not easy, but once you try, it becomes easier. You will be amazed at what you find out there . . . yourself! Let me be the first to tell you . . . you won’t always do it right. So WHAT!?

5. Be the date you want to have.

Be interested and interesting. Be honest about who you are. No date masks, be compassionate and LISTEN!

Smile and keep smiling. Laugh and keep laughing. Find things that are funny and that make you laugh, like books and movies. You won’t find a happy person unless you become happy first.

Unless you develop a strong sense of self, the people who show up for dates will be like you. You want light? BE the light!

Commit to living each day with an open heart, and to enjoy the second half of your life. Rethink and reexamine your former beliefs, and know that you can have a joyous and fulfilling life no matter where you are in the process and always remember:

“It’s just a date – not the rest of your life.”

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The most unusual gift.

Browsing through the National Archives (yes, I'm admitting to it...), I came upon the most unusual gift that President Nixon received.

How many of you remember the gift of two giant pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing? According to the archives, they were "perhaps the most unique gifts ever given to a president. The pandas were a Head of State gift from the People's Republic of China. They were given as a token of friendship in response to President Nixon's goodwill trip to China in 1972."

So, it got me thinking. Holidays are just ahead in a few short months. So, what was the most unusual gift YOU ever gave or received? If you are a hobbyist, what do you "hobby" that would make a great gift?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Where y'at?

In an attempt to do something good for my mind AND my body, I take a pilates/yoga class. The pilates strengthens the core and is fantastic for your body. The yoga gets out all the kinks and is wonderful for opening and centering your mind. Great combo.

Yesterday, in our class, just as we went into the final 5 minute relaxation (yes, you get to close your eyes and drift off for a little snooze after sweating like a pig for an hour), one of the cleaners forgot that we had a class going on. He was trying to find one of his coworkers. "Dave," he shouted, "Where y'at?" Really loud. Again and again and again. It was pretty funny. Kind of shook us out of our relaxation, but funny all the same. "Where y'at? WHERE Y'AT? HUH?"

We all want to feel connected whether in a big old building in the darkening evening or through the online communities that we are building across the world. I LOVE that so many people visit the blog from all over the world. Japan and China. Germany and Italy. South America, India, Canada. Of course, all over the US (often from towns I've never heard of.) So I'm asking you two questions today. Where were you born? And right now...Where y'at? To comment, click on the comment link below.

And ...if you've never commented on a blog before, give it a shot. It's fun. If you prefer email, e me at wspiegel@genplususa.com and I'll post your response for you.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pioneering, Re-engineering, Slogging Away!

Spherion is a renowned recruiting and staffing company that connects jobseekers with searching companies. They recently started their own blog and have a very nice section on 50 plus.

Of course, I'm a bit biased. In a recent post, they referred to me (and Jeff Taylor of Monster and now eons fame) as a trend pioneer in the 50 plus category. Well, that gave me a bit of a thrill. Then I thought about it. I've been blogging for close to two years now. I'm considered a veteran blogger by the online community, have many subscribers as well as many jobseeking members of Gen Plus...and I beat myself up every day that I haven't opened enough eyes yet to the plight of the 50 plus jobseeker. I literally feel like a pioneer -- NOW I know what the goldseekers felt as they made their way West and even worse...to Alaska.

In the bitterly cold hinterland of employment opportunities for 50-plussers, it is clear that right now, in 2006 (almost 2007) there are still very few employers are on the 50 plus recruiting bandwagon. It is shocking how few will advertise directly to our demographic for fear of "age discrimination" challenges if they interview and then don't hire.

Anyway, a Saturday night is never a good time for a rant, so I'll stop now. Take a look at the Spherion blog and go for a chuckle instead!

Too old to work, my foot!!

I run a group on eons called Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus. This is one of the posts this week, from Maddi which you can also find under the Ask Wendy label.

"Please allow me to vent here for a minute. Do employers not know we have bills to pay too? Do employers not know we are one of the best groups to hire from? ( we = baby-boomers.)
I'm just a high school grad, no college... but I've work in jobs that most don't want... nursing homes, fast-food, etc. I've not worked in about 3 yr's.... I have been looking for 3 yr's!, ( 1 yr solid, other 2 off and on.) and kept track of where I go, and when I went around to check on the apps.
Seems all anybody want's now are the kids. Are there any home-based jobs out there... legit.
Signed.... Too old work, too young to retire. (Maddi)"

Hi Maddi,

Because I've been writing for a long time, I get approached often by home-based business operators looking to tap into our demographic. So far, I've not come across one that I'd be able to attach my name to. The one career opportunity that does seem to come up more often is working as a caregiver. That is not a home-based business, but you do have more freedom than a straight 9 - 5'er. If anyone knows of home-based businesses they can recommend...we'd love to hear from you! Add your comments here or on the eons group and I'll make sure to get the word out.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

New Format

Hi all.

You'll notice a new format for the blog. Articles are now put into categories for easier reference. Trying to figure out the challenges in the Job Market? Click on Job Market Challenges under the category listings. Desperate for some Job Tips for the job you just found posted? Click on Job Search Tips.

I've been getting requests lately for research information from our demographic. You'll find surveys (and survey results) under...Surveys.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Call for Participants

Kathy Caprino in Westport, Connecticut, has asked us to spread the word. If you are a 35 - 55 year old woman, in a professional transition and want to speak out, read on. Please contact Kathy directly with any questions on this study. Her coordinates are at the bottom of this post.

Announcing a New National In-Depth Research Study:

Women Amidst and After Professional Crisis:
Finding New Meaning in Life and Work

In association with The Esteemed Woman Foundation

Are you a 35 to 55 year-old woman currently in a professional transition? Or have you navigated through professional crisis or transition in successful ways? Do you know of any women who are/have? If so, I'd love to hear from you!
Kathy Caprino, M.A., marriage and family therapist, personal and professional coach, and co-founder of Living in Harmony—The Center for Emotional Health, in association with The Esteemed Woman Foundation, is conducting a national in-depth research study with professional women age 35 to 55 who are currently experiencing, or have successfully transitioned beyond, a professional crisis or major turning point in their careers.

This study looks at women who have spent at least 10 years developing their mid- to high-level careers that by all standards would be considered “successful;” yet they’ve awakened to a crisis of meaning regarding their work and its role in their lives. Mid-life women who are re-assessing their careers in relation to issues around: the contribution they are making, meaningfulness, satisfaction, fulfillment, balancing personal and professional lives, and integrating newly-emerging longings, priorities, values, and needs, are all invited to participate.

The study’s target audience will resonate with the statement:
“I am a professional woman who wishes to work, but how I am working, and what I am working on is no longer working for me.”

The goal of this study is to collect and disseminate data on a wide range of psychological, cultural, and social constructs that will expand our current understanding of what contributes to these types of crises, how these crises differ in various cultures, and new alternatives, options, and approaches to navigate through them successfully.

If you believe you fit the above criteria and are interested in participating in this study (anonymously if you wish), or for more information, please contact Kathy Caprino at 203-226-6210, ext 3 or email her at caprinocoaching@yahoo.com.

For more information, please contact:Kathy Caprino, M.A.
Living in Harmony – The Center for Emotional Health
164 Kings Highway North
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 226-6210, ext. 3
Email: caprinocoaching@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Older Workers!

Oh my! I ran a search this morning on Cranky (the search engine on www.eons.com) for "older workers" to see what's new online in their search format and this is what came up in the sponsored links section.

Firing Older Workers?
How to properly terminate older workers not performing. EmployeeTerminationGuidebook.com

Well...if that doesn't get me all "fired" up...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Huh? Death Clock?

I enjoy a blog called Boomer Chronicles, and a couple of weeks ago followed the writer's (Rhea) link to the Boomer Death Clock.

I thought it was hysterical, but wasn't sure how others would feel. Well, today, a visitor to this blog, Jim L., passed along the link, I laughed...again...and so I can no longer resist. Gave me a chuckle...don't know about the rest of you...you'll be mortified, horrified, or overjoyed!

Boomer Chronicles
Death Clock

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Take your age. Halve it.

If you are 50, where were you at 25? If you are 60, where were you at 30? What was your dream? Where did you see your life taking you? Did you follow your path? Or did you follow a different path? If you were at half your age, would you make the same choices? And if you deviated from your path, are going to get back on that track in this next stage of your life or do you have a different dream now?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Change to feed provider

Important notice to Gen Plus subscribers.

We have changed our subscriber service from Bloglet to Feedblitz. For the next few weeks, you may receive double feeds as we phase out of Bloglet. You do not need to do anything as your subscription should automatically transfer over. However, if you are not receiving posts from the Gen Plus blog after this email and continue to hear my views on life, employment and love after 50, please head over to the blog (http://genplus.blogspot.com) and simply resubmit your email address through the Feedblitz subscription box on the right of the blog page.



Sunday, August 27, 2006

Gen Plus Shop welcomes new Pet Product!

Who needs cute little doggie bones? I'm proud to announce our latest addition to the Gen Plus Shop...Ugly Biscuits! And are they ugly? Well...in fact...yes, indeed, they are. Ugly, bumpy, lumpy...and so natural and doggie delicious that your pets will be begging you for more. In fact...you may find yourself tempted to try them out for a late night snack!

Very reasonably priced and 20% of the proceeds go to support charitable causes. Buy some and try some. Your animal will thank you!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Calling financial gurus...

InfoRxMed poses a tough question on my Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus group. I'm looking for resources to answer this dilemma. If you have expertise, please comment -- either here, on the Gen Plus blog (genplus.blogspot.com) or to the topic:


Here is the question:

Has anyone reached their 60s and had to take LTD/long-term disability? How did they manage thereafter. The plan I have awards me about $82,500 free of Federal and local State tax. I do also have 401K & IRA investments but would prefer not touching them for about 5 years so as to allow them to grow and get nearer to that amount the gurus say I should have saved at 63 y/o ( but didn't.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


There are job opportunities in Homeland Security. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I had the unfortunate luck to be in the middle of our country last Friday, just one day after the terror alert, wondering how safe it would be for me to actually board a plane and head back to life in sunny California. Always one to look for the glass half full, I took a scan of all the additional TSA staff. I'd say about 60% were over 50 years. And then, today, in a news broadcast (Money 101), host Bob McCormick and Nico Melendez (Pacific Region head of TSA) discussed how the TSA is expanding their screening program called "suspicious passenger observation" while the tech lab in NJ tests new explosive-detecting machines.

"It is 5 years after Sept 11, but it is still only 5 years after Sept 11th," said Melendez.

And that caused some ringing in my head -- because he was right. It is only 5 years and homeland security just isn't where it needs to be, especially in the arena of trained, dedicated screeners (2000 staff alone at LAX with 50 - 100 quitting or leaving each month AND a shortfall of about 400 staff so far this year.)

Then LAWA (the LAX news site) headlined today: MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA OPENS NEW RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING CENTERAT LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. This is the first one in the nation and badly needed in LA, where the population is so dense. A local center is expected to shorten new staff training time by about six months. AND the TSA in LA is looking to fill 50 - 100 new positions every month to the end of the year just to catch up...never mind the shortfall (attrition is one of the largest problems facing TSA right now.) SO, I calculated quickly...4 months to the end of the year x 100 positions = 400 jobs at 60% (of 50 plussers) = 240 potential new jobs for those over 50 just in 2006.

The bottom line: If I lived in an area where TSA was hiring...and I needed a job...I'd head over there.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New group just for Boomers and 50 Plus

The long-awaited Eons (by Monster entrepreneur Jeff Taylor) has launched. This online community is catering to the 50 - 100 year old crowd (yes...that's us!) It's a touch challenging to figure your way through on the first go around, but worth the visit. As traffic increases, I suspect that some of the navigational challenges will be cleared up. But there are so few online communities for 50 plus (this is one of them!) that it is wonderful to see this one go live.

I've started a group on Eons, Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus. The user interface is easy. Membership is climbing fast and furious (LOTS of great comments) and I think you'll see many of the issues you face echoed by the posts in the group. Visit the site, sign up for your free Eons membership and comment away. http://community.eons.com/groups/group/careers-for-boomers-and-50-plus

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ten years to shortfall job crisis

In an article this week in the Washington Post, columnist Steven Barr explores the challenges the government is facing as millions of Boomers retire over the next ten years.

Workforce shortages, national emergency shortfalls, and pension challenges are just a few of the pressing concerns that the Federal government is taking very seriously, looking at a range of options to keep skilled employees in the workplace.

FEMA, part-time options, and critical skills needs are all covered very nicely in this article. For more, click here: Mounting Retirement Worries

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Where are the jobs for 50 plus? You can take this one to Print!

I always have my eyes and ears wide open, listening and looking for trends or connections. A few things became very clear in Southern California over the past week.

The first glimpse of a connection started with the record heat temperatures in California over the past week. As a result, the media has been filled with stories of many of the challenges and tragedies due to the weeklong wave of triple digit temperatures. Today, I heard an interview with Ron Deaton, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. And while discussing the telephone staffing shortage that was a result of the unexpected power outages on Saturday in LA, it became quite evident that DWP is having a hiring crisis for specific skills-based positions. I didn't sense that these positions were necessarily in the customer service division that the reporter was homing in on, but Mr. Deaton did say that DWP was finding it a bit challenging to find the right staff with the right qualifications to fill certain positions.

The second glimpse was when a colleague, who is applying for citizenship to the US, had to go to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) for electronic fingerprinting. She arrived at 11:30 for a 1:30 pm appointment and had to wait nearly two hours, outside in the sizzling heat due to the long lines of other appointment holders. When she finally did get inside for the five minutes that it took to process her prints, she asked the technician why it was taking so long to be serviced. The answer? There is, apparently, a shortage of trained fingerprint technicians.

So, how is that possible when you, if you are over fifty, have been looking for work for 6 months with not a single prospect in sight? Well, if I were you....I'd take a look at my local department of water and power websites. See what positions they have open. If I had a skill set they are looking for...I'd apply. And I'd keep my eyes glued to opportunities with the Department of Homeland Security. (Heck, I might learn how to fingerprint!) And I'd also look for anywhere that service is falling down, because when a company cannot keep customer service to a high level that is almost surely evidence of problems that are happening at different levels within the company. Often it is a staffing shortage, or high turnover that cause the stress on the organization. Poor customer service? Check out the company's open positions. They might be very happy to meet you.

And it is just starting. The wave of unfillable positions at a skilled level is just coming on us now...and particularly with Gen Y job-hopping as an already accepted trait of the demographic, it is just a matter of time before recruiters start seeking you out, desperate for someone who will remain loyal to a position for longer than a year.

And, if you haven't posted your resume on
Gen Plus yet, make sure to do so today. Make certain you can be seen when a recruiter is looking for you.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Your vote counts!

You'll notice a nifty new tool at the right of the screen. It is an online voting booth! Thank you to those of you who responded to my question in yesterday's post. You've got me on fire! Since your interest is apparent, I've temporarily added a voting station here on Gen Plus. Click on the link and tell it like it is. And if you have something extra to say, please feel free to email me. I write back to everyone and I really do love hearing from you...it always re-ignites my commitment to 50 plus. If you have other questions you'd like to see stats on, let me know and if they are relevant to our visitors, I'd be happy to add it to the voting booth!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

How long is too long?

The older you are, the longer it can take to get a job. In 2004, AARP reported that it took workers 55 and older 25.8 weeks to find a job, compared to 18.9 weeks for younger worker. By 2012 almost 20% of the U.S. workforce will be 55 or over. It is two years later. If you are over 50, how long did it take you to find your current job, or how long have you been searching for a new job? If you are under 50, I'd like to hear from you, too. Either post a comment or feel free to email me. If I get enough information from you to report a statistic or change of trend, I will.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Deal of the Day?

The Gen Plus Shop page is about to undergo an expansion, so keep an eye out for some terrific Boomer and 50-plus friendly products in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, we've found another great resource -- Senior Shop. I realize that many of you are not technically in the "senior" category...but I've got to say...some of these products are outstanding and the price breaks on the "Deals of the Day" are very, very good. You'll always be able to get a quick link to the "Deal of the Day" from our site, so it is worth a check every day! Why? Well, I'm still a bit below my beloved demographic (50 plus) -- but at 47, I've got to tell you...I can no longer read the fine print without reading glasses. That became official this year. And I can no longer ignore the hot flashes and night sweats. Oh...and I can no longer go out for a late dinner without needing two days to recover and a night full of Tums to boot!

So, I was pretty excited by some of these products. I'll proudly admit that I can no longer see the hairs on my chin without the aid of reading glasses and a magnifying mirror -- ergo my delight with today's "Deal of the Day" -- a 5X mag mirror! Ha. I'm giggling my way to the checkout window!!

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Starting a new career…at 50 plus

Sometimes it is more what is NOT said, than what IS said. That is certainly true with the 50 plussers. The first thing that I discovered when starting this company was that 50 plussers didn’t want to acknowledge the term “50 Plus”. Boomers is fine. Mature is OK. But 50 Plus? A definite no-no. Unfortunately I always "calls ‘em as I sees ‘em", and since Gen Plus is specifically for those over 50, then this demographic – you – are most likely…50 Plus.

Once I got that out of the way, I wanted to see what 50 plussers wanted to know. And in the past year, the searches that have brought my site to visitors have included anything from “dating after 50” to “finding employment at 50 plus” to “hiring managers” to “retail resume” to “active living for 50 plus” and many, many more search queries.

But in the past few months, there has been a frequency on a search term that is unusual: “Starting a new career at 50 plus” and “Finding a new career path at 50 plus” and “Making a new start at over 50”. Basically the same query in different forms and all with one commonality. The word “new”. And that is what has occupied my thoughts for the past few days. New.

If you are a subscriber then you’ve read many of my articles on personal branding, repositioning, tactics and strategies for finding a job at 50 plus. (If you aren’t a subscriber, simply type in your email on the right hand side of this screen and you’ll be automatically subscribed…you can unsubscribe at any time.)

So I'm not a big fan of the word “new” in this context, because you have likely followed a strong career path for many, many years. In reality, at 50 plus, you are looking to reposition your skill set. You are marketing yourself to opportunities in companies that are strapped for management experience, loyalty, skilled workers. You are bringing your strengths to the market and really, looking for ways to make the market notice you. A correct mind set is half the solution to finding employment at 50 plus. And in my opinion, THE correct mind set is one of positioning and not of finding something new. The only thing new is the advantage that you bring to the company that hires you. Phew. Got that off my chest!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


To all our American friends, visitors and members, Happy July 4th! To our Canadian visitors, a belated Happy Canada Day!

And to all of you who visit regularly from around the world, from the UK, Australia, South Africa, Italy, France, India, Uruguay, Korea, China, Japan, the Netherlands (I'll stop now...), what a wonderful time of the year for some restful reflection on how you will set up your future come the rush of fall.

What I love about the concept of Independence Day is the celebration of freedom and choice of direction and destiny. One of the reasons that the United States is an exciting country to grow in is because there is a true belief that each person can manifest, if not master, their direction in life. And what rings so true for 50 plussers, is that we all are embarking on an uncharted path -- there have never been so many people entering this age group en masse ever before in history. And as Boomers reinvented their 20's, 30's and 40's, so too will we redefine and reinvent our 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond.

But how does that help you now? If you are in a financial slump due to job loss, and having trouble finding work in the summer slowdown, one great strategy is to register with all temp agencies. Many companies need temps to help cover summer vacations and maternity leaves. Often these positions will lead to a permanent (regular) hire. So if the job boards are leaving you feeling a bit discouraged right now, pluck up your spirits, get into the independent swing of things and temp your way to your next iteration.

And what is coming up over the summer for Gen Plus? Watch for the release of our fitness DVD, designed just for the 50 plus demographic (head over to our shop page if you wish to pre-order) and keep an eye out for our (top secret!) first e-book -- just the remedy for getting on track with your strategy for your 50's and 60's!

Happy BBQ'ing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Monday, Monday

Quick tips for all the 50 Plus Jobseekers out there.

1. The number one day for job search is Monday. (You'd think that people would search NOT on work hours...but interestingly, weekends are the slowest times! So...Jobseekers are searching for new jobs while working for their current employers. Ouch.)

Most companies schedule their jobs to post on Mondays. Typically, someone on a serious job search, will note all new job postings that appear on Mondays and will have submitted their interest within the first three days of the new posting.

HR professionals expect a deluge of applications within those three days. Our site works a little differently, because when you search on Gen Plus, you are usually directed to the career site for the hiring company. Once you hit their site, you can often customize how to look for jobs depending upon how they have their internal search engine set up.

2. There are two solid strategies in job search. Look for:

  • Jobs posted within the past three days on the companies home site (if they have a career page) regardless of where you found the job listed. Make sure your cover letter and resume help you stand out in a crowd -- you are competing with all the active Jobseekers;
  • Jobs posted within the past month. If a job is still listed within the month, that means that no qualified candidates were found. Don't ignore old postings, as many Jobseekers do. An HR professional will look at your resume, even if the posting is old. The position is still open and they will often have incentives based on the time it takes to fill the position. For an old posting, ensure that your cover letter and resume are tailored to the job posting so that a frustrated HR professional (when a job has been open for a month, yes...the HR professional will be frustrated) takes the time to notice you.

3. Keep current. Don't wait to act on new postings. Anytime you see a new posting that fits your search, get that resume in immediately while the HR professional is really on fire to fill. No one will hold a job waiting for you to decide whether or not you should or shouldn't apply. Once a good candidate is found, a hire will generally be swift. If you submit your resume and have not heard anything for two weeks, assume you are out of the running. Your resume will generally not be kept on file, so if you see a position come up that is relevant to your skill set at the same company, re-apply.

And you'll find newest postings...on Mondays.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Help. I'm 50 Plus. I've fallen and I can't get up!

When you run an internet-based business, one that is focused on a specific niche, like the 50 plus or Boomer market, you discover another world. It is the world of questions.

Because the internet is search engine driven, people, like you, find sites, like mine, by looking for information. And in the 50 plus demographic, often the information that you seek, is really a question. In our case, we see the same question repeated over and over again in many different ways.

How do I...

  • make a career switch after fifty?
  • start a career at fifty?
  • find possibilities for a jobseeker after 50?
  • discover job postings for 50 plus?
  • find work as a writer, lawyer, accountant, teacher, marketer, etc., etc. after 50?
  • reinvent myself in the job market?
  • deal with turning 50?

And the emails I receive so often speak of the despair and insecurity that lies behind the question. Even though the net is such a vast, vast territory, 50 plussers who blog and create sites dedicated to 50 plus are relatively few. So I see increasing numbers of 50 plussers seeking us out...searching for answers to the job market problems that no one foresaw.

My commitment to the strength and success of those 50 plus looking to stay in the job market remains steady. Within the next month, I'll have some new materials to offer (and some fun and needed products in the shop!)

Summer is almost here for all my North American, European and Asian friends (and winter for my visitors from down under, of course.) Summer is a time to celebrate spring's renewal and take a vacation from the stressors of the day and to shed some sunlight on the despair -- there are many 50 plussers looking for new jobs, new careers, additional income.

The reason I have listed so many of the search keywords that pop up is because no one wants to believe that they are alone in their challenge. You are not alone.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The financial challenge ahead -- for echo boomers

In my daily life, I'm in contact with many age groups -- seniors, boomers, Gen X's and Gen Y's (or echo boomers). And while I dedicate my energies to the concerns of those over 50 years, I am captivated and intrigued by the 20- (and almost 30-) something Gen Y'ers. These children of Boomers and have grown up with the spirited resolution of their Boomer parents and a solid foundation in the middle class.

Where Boomers were fighting against the restraints of the 50's and living free love and free protest, Gen Y'ers are anti-establishment in their attachment to technology, ie., they i-pod, myspace, pda, notebook, and text their way from job to job, iteration to iteration. They invent and re-invent themselves on a whim, at the turn of a dime. They are easily bored and quite rightfully frustrated by the slower thinking speed of those of us born used to seconds and minutes, rather than nanoseconds and gigabytes.

They expect to get paid and paid well for their world savvy and they also expect to move up the ladder quickly. We are seeing school principals in NY, in their 30's replacing the current crop of retirees. We are also seeing financially concerned 50 plussers start to take out reverse mortgages on their homes to supplement their income and cover looming medical costs.

At the same time, their children, Gen Y are seeing the financial support they have grown used to from their consumer-driven Boomer parents...dwindle. But the future is mighty scary and I'm now seeing (and reading letters to the editor) young adults in their twenties, trying to figure out how they will handle the very shaky financial future they see ahead. As one writer put it very well in the NY Times:

If parents' income cannot cover their own medical costs, then this financial support of their children, and their children's children, will abruptly stop.

I am a twentysomething, and my husband and I have maintained our financial independence through graduate school; and now that we have a child, we have little hope of owning a home because we value living close to our parents.
One of the few chances of owning a home was the possibility of inheriting our parents' home. But I guess our parents' houses will probably be sold off by the bank.
The question is, Who will be able to afford them once the baby boom generation's wealth is gone?

Lara Triona Felton, Calif., April 25, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Calling all Inventors, Designers, Creators!

Do you have a product relevant to a 50 plusser? If so, we want to know about it. Our shop section focuses on getting the word out about products that you have invented, produce or represent, and want distributed. So, if you dabble in jewelry, sew, knit, fiddle, create, innovate, produce, represent, we want to know about it.

If you have products related to travel, aging (gracefully, of course), fashion, business, cooking, home products, grandchildren, pets or cars...we may have a spot for you by our campfire! And if you have a product that can open the tops of glass jars with ease, then we know a few people who want to know about it pronto!

Send a description of your product, why you think a 50-plusser would want to buy it, and a digital pic to shop@genplususa.com and we'll get back to you in a flash.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Italy, Life and Entrepreneurship

I have just returned from my first trip to Italy (and this will not be my last, I assure you). Italy is an unusual country. There is bountiful, abundant history textured by gorgeous art and stunning architecture, which gives you both a step back in time and a truly "living" country. But the true richness of Italy lies in its people. I am certain that the reason that anyone who has been to this gorgeous country returns over and over again is due to the warmth of the Italian culture. There is a sense of family so that you are embraced into the hearts of Italians. Welcoming, warm, balanced. Although the fast-pace of the west creeps into Italy little by little, for the most part, most stores and restaurants still shut down for the mid-day break. People return to their homes, have lunch with their families and then return to tie up business for the day.

Unlike the American culture, which seizes every opportunity to gain property and money, the Italian culture seizes every opportunity to embrace life. And that is a big win. And also...what is causing a major economic challenge. With the weak American dollar against the Euro, Italy is hard hit in its tourism revenue. And even Americans visiting are spending far less than in past years. Even though European tourists still flock to Italy, the loss of the US dollar has affected the pocketbooks of the Italian population terribly. On top of the bad economy, there is political strife at the highest levels of government and within this conflict, a clear challenge. Entrepreneurship is barely limping along in Italy. There are very few new mom and pop shops. Very few small owner operators starting up new ventures. And with no zip, no zing, no zeal for pursuit of the unknown and the promising, the Italians are facing a crisis of despair over their futures.

As one lovely gentleman said to me, "Yes, Signora, Italia is a beautiful place for a tourist to visit...but to live? Ah no. The life is too hard. The job market is impossible."

So, what happens is that with no entrepreneurs, there is very little job creation and very little turnover of existing staff. Which means no job-hopping opportunities. So many Italians are "stuck" in their jobs...possibly for life. And to kick that one up a notch, the Italian Baby Boomer generation is also just starting to look at bleak retirement prospects and little chance of continuing employment after retirement...and few opportunites for those 50 and older.

A gorgeous, gorgeous country, with beautiful people and a scary lining for 50 plussers sitting underneath the political cloud.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Disconnected and discombobulated

Aye, so here is the rub, as our good friend Bill would have said. We have a creeping Catch-22 on the horizon...or is it the elephant in the room?

It is already accepted by economists and sociologists that there will be a depletion of experienced managers to an unprecedented degree in the coming decade as millions of Boomers willingly or "unwillingly" retire. The willingly is less of the problem for the Boomers and more of the problem for recruiters and employers.

But in the "unwillingly" lies a complex dilemna of monumental proportions. Because of labor laws that were written to protect a growing work force decades ago, it is now impossible for an employee to both draw pension and work for the same company at the same time. By law, when an employee reaches the accepted age of retirement for that pension plan, they must start drawing from it. At the same time, they must no longer be employed by the holder of the pension fund.

What that has caused already and will cause to become epidemic, is that older workers will have to no choice but to retire from their current employers in order to draw pension and then either work for them on contract as independants, or, in a scarier model, work for competitors who would be able to hire them on as regular employees, or in an even scarier scenario, be cut from the workforce entirely taking their much needed savvy and experience with them...with no younger replacements in sight. And in the scariest model, not allow those workers who need to continue to work for income to remain in the workplace.

The problem is already here and in five years will start to become a workforce pandemic as Boomers start to turn 65 at a rate of one every eight minutes. That elephant is sure taking up a lot of space in the room. Wonder when legislators will really notice and take the immediate measures badly needed to bring law up to date with social advancement? When a mouse enters the room?