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, 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