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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #32 on Gen Plus!

It's my turn to be the hostess with the mostest and it is my pleasure to bring you Blogging Boomers Carnival #32 -- an eclectic mix of the some of the best Boomers are blogging about on the web.

From I Remember JFK, do YOU remember when food was delivered on roller skates? Going to a drive-in for a meal of burgers and fries was fun for a Boomer kid in a whole lot of ways. First of all, a hamburger, fries, and a shake tasted like heaven. Second, eating in the car was a blast. And thirdly, your food was delivered by a cute teenaged girl on roller skates.
How much better could life get?

Many baby boomers like to reminisce about their favorite childhood toys. The Boomer Chronicles reminds us of this particular toy that rocked the world of many kids growing up in the 1960's. And for a inside look at the woman behind The Boomer Chronicles, check out LifeTwo’s exclusive tell-all interview with Rhea Becker.

That made me hungry! Fortunately, Your Drum brings Summer dishes that can be made relatively quickly and are delicious. Here are 101 Summer meals you can make in ten minutes.

But if you are stuck on carbs and fat, then the end may be nearer than you think. Better get ready. Death Bond is shorthand for a gentler term the financial industry prefers: life settlement-backed security. Whatever the name, it's an investing concept cooked up by Wall Street to fill a need of the aging Baby Boomer generation -- check it out at So Baby Boomer.

Ummm....and speaking of death...if you haven't yet heard about Oscar the Death Cat,
Contemporary Retirement reports on how one particular cat is playing the role of grim reaper in a nursing home...yikes.

But...if you are like me and want to stick around awhile, then aren't you always looking for an easy way to get a good workout? At Café Glam, the fashion blog for women 40+, Deborah and JoJami tell us about a new curved walking shoe that works wonders because it has the same effect on your muscles as walking on sand. These boots ARE made for walking.

At Gen Plus, our focus last week was on standing apart from the rest in job search. Read on to get a big business take on what 50 plus means to an employer.

Now this is definitely worth a read! When you turn 50, you start to think differently. No longer is the question "How old are you?" The Wastrel Show tell us that the new question is "How many years do I have left?"


Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Same-store" in job search for Boomers and 50 plussers?

In profit-driven, growth-focused corporate America, there are a few concepts that bring shivers of excitement to CEOs -- new business (acquisition), growth of existing business (retention) and the growth that new and old deliver. You may have heard the term "same-store" -- that refers to existing business.

In job search, especially at 50 plus, there is a certain corporate America bias to hiring the older worker. I like to think of it as an interpretation of the visual representation of the job seeker. Huh? Eh? What do I mean? Simple -- in hiring, the book IS judged by the cover. If you are a Gen Plusser -- a boomer or 50 plusser -- you are visibly older than a Gen Xer and Gen Yer. Looking older, creates a subliminal suggestion to the recruiter (especially in BIG business), that your contribution to the operation will fall in the category of "same-store". That means you'll add value only as running business as usual -- NOT bringing in the fresh blood and growth perception of acquisition (or a YOUNGER hire.)

Your strategy (and you need to have a strategic approach) must take into account your age and your approach MUST bring your "value-added" to the table. How will you add profitability to the company? What skill set do you offer that will bring fresh ideas and growth to the company's revenue (and/or bottom line?) How internet/web-savvy are you? What is your knowledge of the industry you are looking to work in? How can you take past successes and translate them into the new online relationship building market world? How do you break down new doors? Or ask for business, streamline procedures and expenses, make an operation more viable?

This contribution needs to be apparent in your resume, your cover letter, your "look", your approach, your conversation -- essentially, your personal brand. It does not matter if you are applying to big business or small business -- your value-added is key to overcoming your visible age.

If you aren't clear on how to brand yourself, there are a ton of branding articles in my Job search categories in the right sidebar. Here are a couple of links to some valuable articles. Let me know what YOU are doing to refresh and rebrand your own "book cover."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Education -- teachers in great demand!

In addition to running Gen Plus, I own/manage/moderate a group on Eons, Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus with over 825 members. One of the group members posted an interesting comment today, regarding teaching, that I want to share with this readership.

Substitute Teaching

"Good morning everyone...(you can always tell someone has been out of work for a while when their greeting is 'good morning' at 11:40AM.) I have seen many postings here that they have been through the wringer for more than a year - some, multiple years. At least a fair share have at least a bachelors' degree. I am looking at some independent contractor work - long story and perhaps/perhaps not going to pan out....but in the interim::::I am getting paperwork together to sign up for substitute teaching. Many school districts have a severe shortage of available subs. In the area I am living in, people signed up to sub tell me that they get called EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY DAY!!!So, thought I'd pass this along; a friend from church, who is full time, fully credentialed teacher, tells me that the districts are DESPERATE and have resorted to using minimally qualified people, so if your degree is old, knowledge waning, it appears you still have a shot at it. My friend also tells me that all the lesson plans are generally set up in advance for months at a time, so you are set to go - right through the door and earning a daily rate......GOOD LUCK FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DECIDE TO ATTEMPT THIS ROUTE... I will also keep you posted on my situation in re subbing... "


I've been hearing more and more about the real need for teachers, so check what the credentialing criteria is in your state...if you are in dire need of income, there may be students in dire need of your knowledge.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Peels, Botox, Hyperpigmentation...getting the inside scoop for Gen Plussers!

One of the greatest challenges of being 50 plus is facing...well...our faces. Yup. We are aging and, unfortunately, it shows. Millions of aging boomers spend billions of dollars in pursuit of a more youthful appearance and we are all looking for the newest, the better, the best result. Well, today, I was invited, by Revolution Health, to join a small group of bloggers to interview dermatologist Diane S. Berson, M.D., a highly-regarded professor and practitioner. Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, she also has a private dermatology practice in New York City and is offers a wealth of information.

Revolution Health (http://www.revolutionhealth.com) is the new health resource website founded by Steve Case, partly because of the difficulties he and his family faced during his brother’s battle with brain cancer.

The news conference call was, I have to admit, a lot of fun. I learned a ton (which, of course, I'll be sharing with you) AND it was recorded as a podcast. Here is the link to the podcast (you have to click on the grey Audio button), but there are a couple of pointers I wanted to share right away.

I had a few specific questions that I wanted addressed, and Dr. Berson gave great information. I'll be sharing information with you on dealing with hyperpigmentation (if you have "the mask" you'll want to be in the know), on what men are looking to correct or boost as they age, particularly for job search, and best protocols for daily skin health.

A couple of important pointers that I'll pass along right away.

1) Get a full body check by a dermatologist once a year. This is particularly important as we age due to so many years of sun damage and the dangers of skin cancer.

2) Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. The sun is one of the greatest contributors to premature aging. Your everyday regimen should include cleansing or toning with a salisylic acid-based product to cleanse your pores, application of a good, high SPF sunscreen, and a nightime application of a topical retinoid (for exfoliation). So cleanse, protect, exfoliate. Every day.

3) There is NO known, proven treatment for cellulite. Accept your cellulite. Accept your cellulite.

Stayed tuned. I'm sure I'll be writing more about Revolution Health in the coming months.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #31

Some great posts today, courtesy of the Blogging Boomers Carnival, hosted this week over at Contemporary Retirement. Get your fix of some of the most informative and entertaining Boomer blog posts of the week.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The value of understanding job boards

When you are looking for a job, you have to use a multi-pronged approach -- posting resumes, applying to jobs online, networking, setting your sites on specific companies and approaching them directly -- in other words, leaving no stone unturned, especially when facing the invisible wall at 50 plus.

It can be very difficult to identify with keywords OR with general search terms the types of jobs that match up with your skill set. I've received many emails from readers who can't decipher what job titles represent in today's marketplace. There are general job boards (like Monster, Careerbuilder, Craig's List), niched boards (like Dice, Gen Plus), and job feeders (like Indeed, Jobster, or Simply Hired) that gather online job postings from many boards and make them searchable in one place.

So, how to figure out where to spend your search efforts? I decided to do a bit of research in one place that I knew HR professionals frequented -- Linked In, a social network focused on employment.

Social networks (think My Space, Eons) are very interesting and ones that are focused on employment, of great interest to me. Sites like Linked In, have a fantastic forum (Answers) for asking and receiving information. As well, many Human Resource professionals and recruiters used Linked In as a means to broaden their own recruiting networks. What I found particularly interesting was their take on what each type of job board offered them.

Here, in a nutshell, is a very generalized industry opinion (from both jobseekers and recruiters) on the unique characteristics of the different job boards available to jobseekers and employers.

The most talked about boards are: Monster, Careerbuilder, Dice, Hotjobs, Net-Temps, Craigslist, Indeed, Simply Hired, together with internet sourcing to find candidates and social network boards (like Linked In) to make connections and get the word out. This is an interesting mix, because most of them are general boards and a couple are niche boards.

Monster is a solid general board but doesn't offer as much detail on candidate searches as some recruiters would prefer. Careerbuilder seems to be seen as better for engineering, manufacturing and clerical positions. Both have strong marketing campaigns and solid general databases (posted resumes and job postings). A few jobseekers have mentioned the irritating commission-only solicitation they get from both sites from insurance and financial planning companies, as well as by spam scammers through email.

DICE is much talked about -- it is technical niche board focused on IT positions. There is generally a great need for web-skilled staffing across the US and Canada and a marked shortage of qualified candidates. Tough for Gen Plussers, who may not have the skill set, but there is a lot of need in this market.

HotJobs is further down the list and seems to be a good backup board to search for resumes, although recruiters seem to prefer the search abilities on other boards. Jobseekers generally like Yahoo HotJobs.

Net-Temps is getting some talk, and Craig's List is still a strong hook for posting positions.

So, look for niche boards, check job postings, connect through social networking sites and make sure your resume is up -- on every board you can post on at no charge.

Monday, July 16, 2007

BBC 30 at I Remember JFK

The wonderful blog, I Remember JFK is this week's host for the Blogging Boomers Carnival #30. Head on over for a sampler of some of this week's best posts from Boomer bloggers!

Oprah, Revolution Health and a Sneak Peek for Gen Plus readers!

Cindy Samuels, of Revolution Health (and a Gen Plus reader!) passed along a sneak peek about something she thought might be really interesting to our readers. Revolution Health has joined forces with O, the Oprah Magazine as a sponsor of the O You! Conference on September 29 in Miami. Now, here's the peek (and the perk!)...to celebrate, Revolution Health is offering visitors to http://www.revolutionhealth.com/oprah/ a chance to win one of five trips for two to the conference in Miami.

The contest won’t be announced in the press until Monday but she is giving us the advance buzz.

The O You! conference is expected to draw several thousand women and will feature speakers including financial expert Suze Orman (LOVE her -- if you don't know who Suze is, then you need to right away), exercise physiologist Bob Greene (hmm...I wonder if he has seen our Gen Plus low impact fitness DVD...), life coach Martha Beck, heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, and others. Revolution Health, which is led by AOL founder Steve Case, is an official title sponsor of the event. If you've never visited Revolution Health, it is a great site with tons of fantastic, relevant health and medical info with a strong focus on women's issues and a commitment to improving access to healthcare information in the US.

Cindy passes along that entering the sweepstakes is easy (she's right --it is.) From the “O Guide” home page at http://www.revolutionhealth.com/oprah/, visitors can click on the contest form and sign up to enter. Each visitor is eligible to enter once per day. The first sweepstakes closes on July 21 (which is why I wanted to get this post out to you today) and there are four more sweepstakes after that.

Good luck! I hope our readers win ALL the trips! Let me know if you are a winner -- I'll be your stowaway!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A refreshing view of 50 plus

A kindred spirit has published a book focused on the period between mid-life and retirement and the challenges and opportunities facing our Gen Plus demographic. Marc Freedman has released Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life

For a one-two punch, combine his perspective with our e-workbook on strategic planning! Very excited to see that the 50 plus demographic is gathering momentum.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

An Immodest Proposal

Los Angeles guest writer, Corinne Copnick, shares thoughts she penned before Michael Moore stirred up the pot with "Sicko". In Sicko, Michael Moore took a couple of boat's worth of ailing people to Cuba for medical care (and it looks like he may be in trouble with the U.S. government now.) In this satirical (and I think really funny) look at the crumbling US health care system, we can look to the future...at least, Mexico has diplomatic relations with the U.S.

An Immodest Proposal
by Corinne Copnick

In the 19th century, satirist Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver’s Travels fame) suggested to the outraged English in his essay, A Modest Proposal, that Ireland’s famine could be alleviated if only the procreative Irish would eat their children. Given the abysmal breakdown in our present day U.S. health services (have you seen Sicko?), I am hereby making a similarly “politically incorrect” Immodest Proposal: to resolve the embarrassing and seemingly unstoppable problem America is facing with millions of undocumented, mainly Hispanic, workers on its hands. Undeniably, they are a drain on our health services. Congress can’t agree on what to do.

The Immodest Proposal: A Population Exchange

A give-and-take population exchange would both help our health system and ease our immigration headache: Let us give de facto recognition to the illegal workers. Eventually they will become citizens who pay taxes and thus reduce the burden on our health system. In return, a population transfer – history has witnessed lots of them -- will be put into effect: Millions of our most elderly and infirm citizens (whom our health system is also loathe to carry) will be transported free of charge to the sunny climes of Mexico -- where they can be treated by the excellent resources and inexpensive drugs of the Mexican health system.

Preposterous, you say? Where will a poor country like Mexico find the financial resources to build hospitals, nursing homes, and other needed facilities for millions of relocated elderly who may not have received their passports yet? Unnecessary, I say! This population will be transported to open air locales renowned as pleasant spots to visit, such as Rosarito Beach, just 20 miles south of California’s borders with Mexico. There, tended by caring Mexican doctors and nurses, our elderly will expose their arthritic limbs and aching joints to the healing air and nutrients brought by the caressing waves of the sea. They will consume health-giving veggies (like chopped cactus with onions and peppers and seaweed) along with a steady diet of fish and shellfish (healthier than red meat and easier on the cholesterol). This gustatory largesse will be totally at the cost of the Mexican government, gratuitously aided by the Latino drug cartels to improve their public image and show they are good corporate citizens. They will even throw in a little pain-relieving marijuana and cocaine – for medicinal purposes, of course.

U.S. relatives will be glad to visit their elderly kin in outdoor health spots like Rosarito Beach (or Acapulco or Cancun or Puerto Vallarta) rather than in the depressing environments of nursing homes. And since the elderly population is known to have a high rate of attrition, hopefully from natural causes in this health-giving atmosphere, the worrisome high cost of funerals can be alleviated. No cemetery plots or tack-on charges are involved. Residents of these beach communities will simply be placed reverently at the edge of the sea to be swept away by the tide, thereby enriching the ocean with the useful nutrients of the human body.

Also, since recent polls show that people respond to change best in slow increments, perhaps the elderly could be introduced to the concept of population transfer with assistance from our marketing community. Flashy brochures will feature free three-day inspection trips with all-you-can-eat buffets. Casinos (again courtesy of organized crime) that accept U.S. credit cards and reverse mortgages will line the seaside locales at one mile intervals so that the old folks don’t have to travel too far in the free beach carts. Plenty of nickel slot machines will be available. It will be fun, fun, fun -- just like Las Vegas -- to be transported to a health beach community in Mexico.

I am the first to admit that this proposal is in its initial stages and may have to be tweaked a little by Congress in a bi-partisan effort. However, at least, unlike Jonathan Swift, it does not propose that our legislators eat our mothers and fathers.

* * * *

Corinne Copnick, M.A., is a noted writer and performer who immigrated
legally to the U.S. She also admits – gasp! – to being elderly.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

BBC 28 -- Blogging Boomers just in time for ...

Canada Day and Independance Day. Two great celebrations in one week. And what better way to enjoy the fireworks and comraderie? By catching up with this week's Blogging Boomers Carnival #28, hosted this week at Life Two. Find out what some of the best Boomer bloggers have to say.

Gen Plus list

In the blog world, there is an "A" list -- of top 100 blogs (in terms of traffic and visibility) and a "Z" list that was put together to showcase 100 interesting, but not top traffic sites. The Z-list on Dosh Dosh, credits Mack Collier (A Viral Garden) with starting ‘The Z List‘ (the original list) in December 2006.

This concept has inspired and intrigued me, so I am putting together a Gen Plus list of 100 blogs/websites that focus on the 50 plus and Boomer demographics, which I'll publish once I'm satisfied with the all the links.

If you write about Boomers or 50 plus or focus on those markets and want to be considered for the link list, please send me your site name and url and a short description to wspiegel@genplususa.com If you are already on my favorites, you will be included.

The intention is to make 50 plus and Boomer readers aware of these interesting voices and drive traffic to those sites.