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

Monday, January 29, 2007

BBC. BBC? That would be Blogging Boomers Carnival 7 that is...

It's here! Click on the link to check out Blogging Boomers Carnival #7, hosted this week on So Baby Boomer. Jam-packed full of thoughtful Boomer goodies to get your week flying.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New feature

To make it a bit easier to navigate through the archived articles, you'll see a new tool on the right sidebar...yes...a google search box. You can search the web or the Gen Plus blog for a little extra help on making your way through the categories. Make sure to toggle the button for Gen Plus if you want to find a past article on the blog.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #6

Head over to The Rearview Mirror for this week's schmorgasbord of everything Boomer and 50 Plus with Blogging Boomers Carnival #6 . From the "Joy of Cooking" to Playboy Bunnies to reverse mortgages. This group has you covered.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Shameless plugger...sockpuppet...me?

I had an eye-opening blog experience today. Always on the lookout for anything 50-plus that catches my eye (especially as related to job search for 50 plussers), I have a tendency to wax enthusiastically about some of the resources and products I find out in cyberville.

At the same time, because the blog is popular, I get approached fairly often by advertisers, publicists and marketers, who would like a plug on my blog. It is very rare that I bring a product to your attention and I've always been very careful to let you know when someone has forwarded their info for you, so that there can be no mistake.

I also share my personal opinions and comments on resources or concepts and they have nothing to do with any external request or marketing influence. What I DIDN'T realize is that some of my enthusiastic personal endorsements and opinions come across to you, my faithful reader, as paid marketing plugs.

I'm a veteran blogger -- you'd think I'd know this, but, you could have knocked me over with a feather today, when I discovered I had been called out as an Internet sockpuppet! (But a fab one at that, thank goodness!) It was on a site completely unrelated to 50 plus, but still...

Misconceptions have been cleared up through some good online communication with the writer, but going forward, I'll be clearer about what things are my opinions vs. when I'm putting a product, survey or plug out for your consideration.

My enthusiasm has sideswiped the power of the word! A great lesson about communication today.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How the heck can you catch a recruiter's attention?

Here is some great inside info for jobseekers looking to get noticed by recruiters:

FORTY-ONE per cent of recruiters say jobseekers can best attract their attention by engaging in regular social interactions, taking out membership in business or trade associations, attending conferences and seminars, and getting involved with alumni organizations.

For executives, the best way to attract recruiters’ attention is to:

  • Work for a highly regarded company 36%
  • Proactively develop recruiter relationships 29%
  • Be the highest performer in a department 20%
  • 42 per cent of recruiters said cultural fit gives an executive the biggest edge as a job candidate, but educational background came in last at just 1 per cent.

Source: Korn/Ferry International

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Who?

Alrightie, then. We are in the first quarter of 2007. Budgets have been set for the year. Resolutions written. Plans underway. So, I want to know. A slew of Boomers turned 60 in 2006. Among the famous: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Cher, Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton.

Who is turning 60 this quarter? And who of the first wave of 60 year old boomers are becoming a 60-something in 2007? First of all, happy birthday. Secondly, where are you right now? What are you doing? Working? Retired? In a job or second-career hunt? What are your dreams for this coming year? Your challenges?

And just to get you started, here a few of the celebs that are about to turn 60: Dr. Laura (Schlessinger), Andrea Martin, Jill Eikenberry, Farrah Fawcett (can you believe it?), Dan Quayle, David Ladd...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Multi-generational living. Bring it on.

I received a note the other day from a reader who was distressed at where she found herself in her mid-fifties. After caring for her mother and depleting her financial resources, she wound up moving herself and her mum in with her daughter and husband. Never having thought she'd be in a situation of such dependency has been a shocking and eye-opening experience for her.

When I grew up in the 60's and 70's, it never, ever occured to me (perhaps naively?) that I might some day live in a city far away from my parents. As an adult, I came across country and settled in Los Angeles. My mother eventually moved in with me. In our case, it felt very right. I now have a multi-generational household. My daughter benefits from the wisdom of my mother. My mother feels useful and I gain a perspective I might never have gained on my own.

I remember growing up in a neighborhood where grandparents lived with their children. Don't you? Who ever expected that so many people would have to go it alone? What I am seeing, very clearly, is a resurgence in multi-generational living developing out of sheer need. AARP addressed it in their recent interview with me. And there is no question that more and more parents are having to move in with their children due to financial constraints. The woman who wrote me is one of many. I hear stories like this all the time and in most cases, the one security they had counted on, their home, has been sold or financed to support this uncertain financial future. No one should ever have to go through the anguish of finding themselves without a cent to their name and not a job in sight.

I, the eternal optimist, want to grab for the positive side -- we have a great opportunity in this big, big village to recapture the wisdom of the elders.

I find my mother wise. She considers herself a "young old". I enjoy our political discussions, her views on books and films, her take on the world at large and in microcosm. So, what rule says that I should give up that privilege in search of total career-centric independance?

If I cannot afford to support myself when I become an "old old", then I sure as heck hope that my years of wisdom will come in handy in securing me that extra bedroom in my career-oriented kid's house while I watch over her seven-year old, just as my mom does for me.

The Blogging Boomers Carnival #5

Our weekly roundup of what is interesting in the world of Boomers hits the ground running over at Contemporary Retirement.

To read The Blogging Boomers Carnival #5 just give a click and go!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cass Brown, the world is going to miss you.

A great man, and my friend, Cass Brown, died earlier this week after a very long and challenging few years living with cancer. Cass started a blog several years ago, called Cancergiggles, shortly after surviving his EDD (Estimated Death Date) and went on to write one of the funniest, most joyful, authentic web diaries (blog) on the internet. He had over 675,000 visitors to his blog, self-published a book, and was set for republication by a respected publisher. His sharp British wit and compelling story caught the attention of BBC television and numerous publications.

But more than anything, he was a true heart. He had great love for his wife and children and stayed living as long as he could for his daughter.

He believed in finding the humor in everything and gave strength and courage to thousands and thousands of visitors over the course of his years of writing. I met Cass online and we forged a cyber-friendship and an instant connection. He gave me insight and a view of life that I had never really focused on before and we shared many laughs, including my one failed (very failed) attempt at a Skype phone call with him, but at least he brought me into the "age of blog".

Cass, wherever you are, your dear, dear family, people the world over, your visitors from all of the seven continents, all of us, will miss you dearly. I hope you find a way to send a chuckle on back to us here. Thank you for bringing the heart of cancer to the forefront of so many people's minds and conversations. And I'm so happy that you made it to 2007.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #4 -- Happy New Year!

We hope you've been enjoying the additional insights, laughs and resources that you've been experiencing with our Blogging Boomers Carnival. I'm this week's host, so to start off the New Year in style, here is what you can expect to find this week!

Some great info on Small Business Retirement Planning. Did you knowt that a small business owner's gender may affect his or her retirement planning?

An interesting post about the Law of Attraction . Doesn't it seem like a good idea to attract the things you want in life, rather than a whole load of the things you don't want? Inquiring minds want to know!

For some fun...it’s nostalgia time again, kids! See if you remember any of
these vintage 1960s games and toys.

From Life Two, our very own Middle Age Quiz: What doesn't shrink as people age?

And for a change of pace...how about the new mid-life crisis...at 25?

A lovely reflection on Gifts Received, and if you need to take a nap...then yoga might just be the thing!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Demotivated or what?

Because I'm a little odd (so my family and friends tell me) I decided to take on a new tactic for 2007. I'm going to become demotivated.

Throughout 2006 through various conferences I heard many motivational speakers do their best to hep up and hype up the crowd. Reach for the highest highs. Climb the Mount Everest of your dreams. Lots of great words, but I was always left with the nagging feeling that I still needed more tangibles than re-energization. So this morning I thought I'd see what Google had to tell me about motivational speakers. I got 1,390,000 references for motivational speaker. That's a lot of business in making people get up off their chairs and take some action.

But, being the contrary sort that I am, I "googled" (the new term for "search") "demotivational speaker" thinking that might be a good theme for the start of 2007. Well, there were almost 12,000 references for demotivational speaker. Most of them were promoting taking more free time. Kinda cute and while not as robust a business as motivating people, still...12,000 hits ain't too shabby. It got me thinking -- at 50 plus, we either have lots of undesired free time, or too little time for anything at all. So I'm going to aim for the more free time. Cell phone free, email free, phone free, TV free...possibly people-free. I'll let you know how I do.

But right now, gotta run. Got email to catch up on, plans to set in motion for '07, a dog to walk, a kid to feed, weight to lose...