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, 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.