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, December 15, 2008

Migration complete!

Hello all. This blog has been moved over to the WordPress platform. All posts from this location are now available at www.GenPlusUSA.com. If you are a subscriber, there should be no interruption in your delivery, however, if you haven't been getting your daily dose of Gen Plus, just head on over to the new and improved site (www.GenPlusUSA.com) and sign up again. There is a subscription field on the upper right of the webpage. See you there!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Listening to Barack Obama talk about transparency in this mornings news conference rang true with my own personal efforts at reinventing the Gen Plus website. Over the past few years I received so many questions about setting up a blog or a website and so I'm doing something a bit bizarre. I'm going to be transparent about how I build my new site. Rather than unveil the "finished" product with a grand launch, I'll invite you to watch the evolution of the site!

Although I blog on Blogger, I'll be setting up the website using WordPress and if you head over to www.genplususa.com, in fact, you'll see a blank WordPress template replacing the old site. Over the next few weeks and months, you'll hopefully learn as I build it. When I first started with my first website, the process was painful! There were no pre-built databases or shopping carts and my programmer, designer and I spent months on refining and building every aspect of the site. Now, of course, you can find most anything, so the learning curve is a lot less. If you have questions along the way, I'll answer them. If you want to try to build your own site, go for it!

But as a self-taught Boomer Blogger, if I can help you learn a thing or two along the way...why not? So, here is to transparency -- even if you don't understand what I'm doing right at this point.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BBC 96

This week's BBC is up and running at So Baby Boomer, hosted by the always wonderful, John Agno. Enjoy.

Reinvention is....what?

What a week. Unemployment numbers are up...way up (6.7%) some predictions see us heading up to as much as 8% unemployment. I'm sure the actual numbers are worse. There are so many 50 plus jobseekers who won't even show up on the actuarial studies -- people who have tried for so long to find work and may have even given up. Because I've been a steadfast advocate for the 50 plus jobseeker for almost 5 years now, I truly and honestly try to look at the trends and the news AND the forecasts to see how a Boomer or 50 plusser can try to get a leg up in the world of job search. And it is mighty hard.

Back in 2004 I decided to build a job board specifically for the 50 plus market (Gen Plus), which I did, and subsequently had thousands of 50 plus jobseekers searching my sight for 50 plus-friendly employers. I had several hundred (if not thousands) of jobs posted, mostly with national companies who had openings across the country. This was in the market of the past few years, where recruiting was becoming difficult as many of the Boomers started leaving the work force and a bit of a panic ensued, looking for qualified workers with some level of business or management skill. So, my job site catered to employers specifically looking for a Boomer/50 Plus jobseeker because of a need for those skills.

Fast forward to today. High unemployment, globally, companies are laying off thousands of workers, and those companies looking to staff up having the pick of the crop of unemployed talent. Which means that a job board search will give you very slim chances (in this climate) of getting a call to come in for an interview. On top of that, as an "expert" blogger (on AllExperts.com and at Eons.com), the through themes of unemployment challenges have become very specific -- i.e. finding a job is going to require going back to the basics of networking 101.

Because of that major shift (and one that I suspect will last for many years), I've decided to temporarily retire the Gen Plus job board and reinvent my site to reflect the current needs of jobseekers.

(That is NOT the same as this blog. THIS mouthpiece will continue to speak as long as you are interested in what I have to say!)

If you head over to www.genplususa.com as of next week, you'll see a placeholder while I get the new site up and running. I decided early on that if a plan was not going to benefit the Boomer/50 plus jobseeker, then I would not continue on that path. So, bear with me as I redirect my knowledge to be more helpful to the jobseeker. I'll let you know as soon as the new site is up and running.

If the climate changes again and there is a need to ressurrect the job bank, then I will, and gladly. To the thousands of jobseekers who have trusted their career search to me, thank you.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gen Plus Nominated for Award

It's always fun (and rewarding) to get a nomination in blogworld! So I'm very pleased to discover that my blog has been nominated on Divine Caroline! (See my new badge, visit Divine Caroline, and please vote for me! I'm very competitive and I appreciate the support.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What the Stock Market and my Menopause may have in Common!

If you are a male reader, don't be squeamish. Read on. For my female readers, especially those of you enduring never-ending hot flashes, you'll totally get it.

For some strange reason, I haven't found the stock market crash or the ensuing ups and downs of the exchanges, or even the imploding world economy, all that hard to relate to. None of it came as a surprise. Oddly, I have found that I relate to the volatile ups and downs that each new day brings. And last night (or through the night, shall we say), I finally figured out why.

Bear with me for another minute as I explain the menopausal process in MY skin. There are two major factors at play. One: my hormones are trying, with increasing fury, to force me to drop an egg in a last gasp at fertility. My hormones don't seem to realize that I've already had the child I'm going to have and have no plans on another. However, in this valiant attempt, every month, whether the menses arrives or not, my body puts me through torture as it tries to convince my tubes to produce and drop another egg. This creates hormonal surges which in turn reek havoc on my temperature regulators...meaning...hot flashes.

Two: Hand in hand with the hormonal fluctuations are mood swings, the likes of which I've never experienced in the past, and are absolutely, passionately horrific and have brought the worst out in me...actually worse than I could have thought possible. My general demeanor is calm, patient, infinitely kind and incredibly loving. This monster that strikes out from within is cranky, crabby, mean-spirited, angry and...yes...nasty. Just as the hot flashes surge, this nastiness, the other side of Janet, surfaces in full glory as my body tries to ovulate and then, crescendoes in a PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome)worthy of Hollywood.

The minute I get my period, my hormones immediately (as in within minutes) go back to normal and my true nature (or let's just say the one I'm more used to) comes back for another couple of weeks until the entire vicious cycle starts again. And may I add that you don't just hot flash for a day...no...it goes on for one or two weeks at a time...from when you "should" have ovulated, all the way through to when you "should" have had a period.

What no one tells you is that regardless of whether or not you have your period, your hormones will still cause the uproar...and riot and storm...until you no longer have eggs to potentially drop.

Which brings me to last night. For the last couple of weeks, the flashes have flashed again. Just last week, sitting at a friend's home, in the space of 30 minutes I put on and took off my sweater at least 4 or 5 times, wiped sweat off my brow and kept asking, "Is it hot in here???" Worst of all, is that when your internal temperature regulator is shot, you can get alternately very cold and very hot within minutes of each other...for hours, days, weeks at a time. (Aha...are you starting to see where I'm going with this?)

Last night was a killer night. It was about 65 in my house and when I went to sleep I was freezing. I put on a sweatshirt and socks over my summer PJs (shorts and T) and cuddled up under my covers. That was at 10 pm. 11 pm threw my covers off. 11:15 was freezing again and grabbed as much of the comforter as I could to warm up. Midnight? Boiling. Threw left leg out of the covers and arms up over my head. 1:30 am: FREEZING. Covered up again. 2:30 am: Sweat dripping down my forehead, ripped off the covers, the sweatshirt, but kept socks on. 4:00 am. Freezing once again. Put sweatshirt around me and covered up. 4:22 am: BOILING. Threw everything off except the shorts and T. Decided to call it an early day and grabbed my computer.

Covered up again and as the heat of the laptop caused, yet again, another flash, I realized that my volatility was strangely similar to the ups and downs of the STOCK MARKET. "Our economy is in the throes of MENOPAUSE!" was the big thought at 4:22 am. Of course. All the useless credit just like the eggs no longer worth anything. The readjustment of the economy to no more credit eggs is like a broken temperature regulator and the market is suffering hot flashes and cold sweats until it will rebalance at the other end. Unable to produce more offspring, but at least to make use of lessons learned...maybe?

It's 5:52, I'm suddenly cold and quite tired -- this surge is done for now. I'd say I'll be 3% up at day's end.