I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 30 years, and believe that I can lead a group to define their brand, execute promotions that increase brand equity, buy mass media as efficiently as it can be done, write and implement a marketing plan, so why am I not working? I thought I might find a clue if I looked critically at the job postings to find what could possibly be eliminating me. You may notice your missing link if you scrutinize postings in your own field, but for me it was that I cannot respond to their request for various internet marketing skills. I’m not convinced every company knows why they need someone with these skills, and what will this person do. “Let that person figure out what should be done!” is probably what they’re saying,at least in some cases. I believe companies are terrified and mesmerized at the same time about all the magic on the internet. “We will go out of business if we don’t market on the internet!” Whether that is true or not, I had to admit the possibility that I’m being overlooked as a serious candidate because I cannot do internet marketing. Having these skills would update me and reposition my resume, and all my other skills no one gives me credit for would suddenly have relevance, now packaged together with Internet Marketing for today’s marketing challenges. The thought of going back to school at this point is overwhelming, but the only way to travel is forward. You’ve heard that standing still is moving backwards. Suck it up and find somewhere to learn the piece that will bring you up to date with the rest of your qualifications. It’s a better idea than starting over in a completely new field at the bottom of the ladder. Look at yourself closely and see if a tune up will do instead of a new engine replacement. Let me know if it helps your approach.
My retirement fund I’ve saved forever just isn’t enough in case I live a long life. I’ve got to work. I was laid off my last marketing job, sending me to the online job sites, which, for those who are new to searching for employment, will be a rude awakening from the way we used to do it. But you have to get acquainted, because grabbing the Sunday Classified has gone the way of the horse and buggy. You find a site like Monster or Career Builder and put in some key words for a search, or for a couple searches encompassing your skills. I was thrilled to find I could request companies within 5 miles of my house, because the hour-long, sit-in-one-place commutes I used to not think twice about are unacceptable to my arthritis now. Anyone relate? So a list of job postings appear. Right off the bat, I eliminate “In search of Road Warrior”, which is Job Speak for, “Pal, half your life will be spent shlepping luggage on a plane and in strange hotel rooms.” Also a skip is “Far western suburbs”. How’d that get in there? Pass on “Are you a hunter?” That’s a cold-call job, and they’re not paying you to think. You finally find something you’ll do and you apply the only permissible way (Online!) with your application and a Cover Letter, and now the fun begins. Job Seekers used to get at least a form letter thanking them, and good luck, etc., but now? You are lucky to get an automated response confirming receipt, but most often you get nothing. Nothing! And “No phone calls!” if you thought you might try to get a personal edge that way. No feedback, no way to improve, no identifying what you may have said that sank you….you’re doing the Job App Walk!
Are you a Baby Boomer? Do you have friends with retirement funds, pensions, trust funds, in other words, they have a source of income so they can stop working? I’m not that person. If you aren’t either, I’m hoping you’ll find this blog to be an exchange of ideas, observations, maybe a helpful hint you haven’t gotten somewhere else, and a gathering place for those over 55 (ahem…)to make sense of the world we never imagined we’d be living in. Are you out there?