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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Are you a Recruiter? Kelly Scientific may be looking for you!

I'd like to take an opportunity to feature one of our employers, Kelly Scientific Resources. Midwest Regional Recruiting Manager, Steve Brainard, has posted 4 positions of particular interest to any of you who are recruiters living in Tampa, Kansas City, St. Louis, or Minneapolis.

Being a Kelly girl (as I once was and no, I'm not in the pic) isn't what it used to be. When I was a Kelly Girl, I had never used a computer before. I walked into the office and the recruiter set me up on a Word 4.0 tutorial. I did really well (or so I thought) and off they sent me on my first job. Not to bore you with all the details, but I had not been shown HOW to turn the computer ON. I also didn't know how to save a file to any destination other than the C: drive. I didn't even know what I didn't know! Yup -- never found the document I'd spent the entire day on. Manager was not too happy. We can leave that story behind.
Fast forward to the 21st century and you'll experience a very different type of recruiting and a range and depth of positions that might surprise you. You can take a detailed look at the job posting through logging in on Gen Plus (if you haven't joined, then you can set up your free membership right away.) You can apply online, via email or give Steve a call. He'd love to hear from Gen Plussers. Make sure to tell him Wendy from Gen Plus sent you.
P.S. And, while I became a bit unglued over not knowing how to turn the darn computer on on that first day (which I never forgot about and am now really, really good turning my computer on and off and on again!), I did love being a Kelly Girl with my folders and my papers and my timesheets at the ready! Never hurts to give it a try.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #36

"Tra la la!" as Captain Underpants would say. (If you have young kids or young grandchildren, then you probably know the Captain. If not, a funny, creative series for kids by Dav Pilkey.)

"Tra la la!" It is time for the Blogging Boomer Carnival -- this week the latest and greatest in boomer info is hosted at The Boomer Chronicles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Are they stupid, or what?"

The other day, enjoying dinner with a 50 plus physicist (I'll call him Jim) from JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories), we started to discuss the challenges of the 50 plus jobseeker finding employment. He was a bit stunned. Why, he wanted to know, would an employer be stupid enough NOT to hire a 50 plusser? (Well, that started quite the conversation!) In his line of work, he actually sought out the more mature worker -- for several reasons:

  1. Huge gain in terms of training time. The experience of the mature worker reduces the amount of time it takes to get a new hire up and running.
  2. Experience. The mature worker can actually make decisions - generally good ones-- based on a sound workplace background, which results in fewer costly mistakes.
  3. Longevity. With the costs of continually retraining new staff resulting in both lost time and revenues, a mature worker is more likely to stick around if they are satisfied with their compensation, company culture and benefits. Career path is not necessarily the all important carrot dangling from the stick.
  4. Value of time spent equals value-added. The younger worker may be willing to put in a 12 hour day, but will not necessarily produce the results that a more mature worker would produce in a much shorter time. According to Jim, if a mature worker can come to a conclusion in twenty minutes that a "green" worker would need a day to figure out, then "who cares how much time they put into the job? They get results!"

Jim and I spent some time talking about the challenges I'm finding in getting some employers to willingly declare themselves 50 plus friendly by posting their jobs on the Gen Plus job board. Jim's final comment ... "Are they stupid...or what?? I go out of my way to hire mature workers." There is no question that the tide is slowly turning as more and more companies are starting to look out of their narrow channels of employee search, so it gives me great hope when Jim is willing to boldly cross the invisible line.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #35

If you've not yet enjoyed the ramblings of the intrepid writers in the Blogging Boomers Carnival, head on over to this week's host blog, Cafe Glam, for some of the best Boomer musings on the web.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Wisdom of Experience

My father is 76. It really bothers him that he is heading into the last leg of this journey and cannot fully share the years and years of knowledge that he has with us, his kids, and with the rest of the world. He'd like to find a way to dump his brain into his kids. At 76 he can look at most any problem and see a solution -- more often than not, he'll have experienced a similar situation in the past and learned from having chosen a correct or incorrect path. What is frustrating is that he wants to pass that knowledge along to us while we are in the process of learning through our own experiencing.

I look at my own young child and realize there are many, many areas where she will not embrace my wisdom through experience because she will be learning through her own mistakes and trials. But, if I'm anything like my dad, it too, will irk me no end.

In 2003-04, there was a huge strike where first Von's (and ultimately Ralph's and Albertson's) 70,000 employees stayed off the job for endless months trying to make a deal surrounding wages and medical insurance. As the strike went on, brinkmanship and national financial leverage, against a shaky union strategy turned into the stalemate that wouldn't end. I remember that early on in the strike, my father tried to contact anyone at Ralph's management or on the mediation team with his solution (as a business owner, he became well known for his skilled negotation abilities, particularly with unions.) He felt that he could bring the two sides together quickly with a two-tiered program and he laid it out for me at the time. His plan was similar to the plan that was eventually accepted, but with a long term implementation program to keep employee morale up and production high.

In the news today, coverage followed the possible next strike by the same union group. Now, several years later, the union is upset about the tiered system. I called dad on the road this morning to tell him of this development. "But of course they'll strike again!" he blurted. "They didn't put the implementation strategy into place." If he'd been there at the time, who knows what his experience could have brought to this table.

Also in the news is the shocking revelation that Countrywide may have to go bankrupt due to the lack of ready cash for short-term needs. Of course, talking to dad about this latest development, he had a quick fix and a long term fix ready to discuss (I'm not a finance expert, but honestly, it sounded pretty good to me!)

This was a few minutes of a snapshot of a 76 year old retired businessman/consultant. It makes one take another look at the many 50 plus, 60 plus, 70 plus and 80 plussers who are the elders of our society. What is different in this society is that wisdom of experience is not really sought after.

Then, of course, I make the leap to the employment landscape and how it affects Gen Plussers (because doesn't it always go back to what you need?)

Right now, today, tonight, there are 60,000 Countrywide employees trying to figure out how to abandon ship before it sinks and get a new job. Which means that there will still be oodles and oodles of open positions that Countrywide will need to have filled throughout any bankruptcy protection, government bail-out, or restructure. So if I were 50 plus and looking for a job....I'd be setting my sights on Countrywide and applying to them like crazy...as of today.

Now that might just be a bit of wisdom of experience right there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who moved MY cheese?

It is one thing to have to find a new job at over 50...but to relocate AND find a new job can be particularly challenging. One reader on my Eons group, Careers for Boomers and 50 Plus, posed this tough challenge:

Keep on Working!

I am relocating to Northern California with my spouse, who was recently promoted by her company. We are moving to the Bay Area in September 07'.I have been a successful business development/ sales manager for many years. I will be seeking new employment in this area. I am concentrating on the renewable energy/solar energy industry. Can anyone offer me any leads on known positions or companies that I may meet with.Thank you very much for your assistance.


Dear Jeff,

That was a challenge -- new city, green industry, no leads. I am a big believer in playing web detective. What that means is that I can find almost any information I want as long as I sleuth long enough and ask enough questions to the Google or Yahoo search engines. I looked up "renewable energy/solar energy industry, Northern CAlifornia" and got a slew of fantastic resources.

Understand that whenever you are niched, it may be harder to find the specific jobs -- make sure to post your resume on niche boards. In addition to Monster, Careerbuilder, Gen Plus, post on Dice and search on Simply Hired and Indeed (both catch most of the online listings on their sites). New niche boards pop up every day, so look for energy or green job boards. Also do a search for recruiters specializing in your skill set and NorCal. Keep us posted.

There is an Energy Web Directory on the California Energy Commission website. They list many renewable energy/solar energy companies on their site. Here is the link

Hope that gets you started.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #34

The always delightful (and slightly wacky!) Your Drum is this week's host for the Blogging Boomers Carnival. See how a creative boomer can take the topic of rosacea and cover the range of the human condition in one fell swoop!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Strategic Planning with a 50-Plus Edge

I can't believe it. Summer is almost over. Every year, come September, I get into "school" mode. That means I get an urge to learn something new. Something about the pencils and notebooks on sale in the "Back-to-School" marketing season just makes me long for white eraser, a few retractable pencils and a new 3 subject notebook!

If you aren't sure what to focus on, here is a look at our workbook, "Keep Dreaming: Creating a Strategic Plan for the Rest of Your Life". This thought-provoking (and hopefully not too scary) e-workbook will do just what it says...give you insight into what type of strategy you need to focus on in order to move in the right direction for the next stage of your life.

The course (put together by yours truly) brings together the concepts behind strategic business planning to your life plan! Using proven business and marketing strategies in this electronic workbook, you will be able to develop as comprehensive a strategic plan as you need for moving into the next phase of your life.

I've taken the best of what I've learned in my over 15 years as a corporate executive, managing hundreds of people, creating mult-million dollar budgets, creating and executing strategic and marketing plans for significant operations in both the US and Canada, and re-shaped it, in a very user-friendly way, to help you achieve your personal strategies, targets and goals.

The program incorporates easy-to-understand worksheets and forms, that will help you identify objectives, hit your goals and measure results. And you'll end up with a written plan and a developed approach to achieving success for your future.

No computer skills are necessary - other than you being able to click through to order the e-workbook, and then to download and print out the 50 plus pages. I've kept the price very reasonable at $14.99. Why? Because I really want you to take control of your destiny and the only way to do that is to create it. It doesn't matter what type of person you are, what resources you have, or where you live. All that matters is that you have a dream and you just aren't sure how to get there. Do you remember the movie "Field of Dreams"? "Build it and they will come." That was the promise. Let me help you build it.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Blogging Boomers Carnival #33 -- a veritable variety pack!

This week's Blogging Boomers host is Life Two. Head on over for our collection of posts, ranging from colonoscopies (!) to fears of marital affairs. Our intrepid group of bloggers keep bringing their interests, observations and best finds to our readership.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Where the jobs are? Looking at some signs for 50 plus.

The US department of Labor just released the latest unemployment figures -- holding at about 4.6%. Not much to look at in the big picture, but I like to look at the report and see if there are any continuing/ongoing/new trends. I've linked to the report above for anyone who would like to read it directly.

Here are the points of interest for Gen Plussers. Of this 4.6% of unemployed, 1.3 million have been unemployed 27 weeks or longer. There are almost 370,000 discouraged workers in July. Discouraged workers are defined as those not currently looking for work specifically because they believed no jobs were available for them. This reflects posts and comments on my Careers group on Eons, emails I receive, and other general comments on this blog.

Healthcare continues to climb as a major industry with job openings -- over the year, health care employment has expanded by 377,000 and the trend continues to climb.

Not reflected in this report, but, sadly, breaking our hearts at the same time, the tragedy in Minnesota, brought a huge spotlight on American bridge infrastructure.

Reflecting that, at Gen Plus, we're seeing employers show an increased interest in finding engineers and those with communications experience and healthcare/allied health disciplines.

Billions of dollars may have to be spent on shoring up our infrastructure -- from engineering to healthcare -- and the money will be an issue, but the bigger issue is where will the skilled people-power come from? It is going to have to come from our demographic. The experience that is going to be needed is not currently available in sufficient numbers in the younger workforce.

I've been commenting on several industries for several months and this continues to give support to needs in engineering, transportation (rail, road and air infrastructures are all aging as well), healthcare and communication (field, technical, corporate).

If you have any expertise or skill in areas that could be helpful to these industries, now is the time to rework your resume to highlight those specific skills and get yourself posted -- on Gen Plus and on other free job boards.