6 Key Supports to Have in Place for a Midlife Career Shift


A career change later in life is more common than you think.

Changing careers is more common than you might think. After a time, the excitement and novelty of a job, or even an entire industry, can wear off and we realize we need a change. Perhaps new management or protocol/procedures help to push us toward the decision. Maybe, changing careers (often during our mid-30s to early 50s) is about chasing a dream, old or new; and who needs a better reason than that? For one reason or another, a lot of people decide at some point along the way to shift careers. It can be an exciting and ultimately rewarding choice, but it’s important to make the proper preparations before taking the leap. Here are a few key supports to have in place before making a midlife career shift. 1. Be certain this is really what you want.

Just because midlife career changes are common, that doesn’t mean they’re easy. In fact, making this kind of huge change will take a lot of time and effort. So, make sure it’s what you really want to

21 Things You Should Do On Your First Day of Work

ployStart your new job on a proactive, not passive note

The first day at your new job may be among the most memorable — and perhaps stressful — of your career.

“Most of us remember our first days at every job because of the heightened pressure to impress,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.” “But you can reduce your anxiety by being as meticulous in planning your first day as you were in securing your new position.”

David Parnell, a legal consultant, communication coach, and author, says it’s easy, even tempting, to passively ride along with the “human resources tour that usually sets off the first day of employment.” There will be forms to fill out, videos to watch, people to meet, “and generally speaking, no real position-specific responsibilities,” he says. “But taking a passive versus proactive response would be a mistake. The first day sets the tone for the rest of your career with those who you’ll be interacting with.”

Here are 21 things you should do

When to Leave Your Dream Job

jobEight signs for when it’s time to move on

Leaving a good job–or looking for a new job at any time–is difficult. It’s especially difficult when you’re considering leaving your dream job. Most people spend years trying to find or land their dream job, so the concept of ever leaving one seems foreign. Yet there are legitimate reasons to leave a dream job. Here are a few of them:

The job gets repetitive. In one dream job a few years back, a few signature programs repeated annually. The first year was exhilarating. The second year was growth-oriented. In the third, we polished some details. By the fourth or fifth year, the programs were boring–not for our audience, but for us, the team that put it together. We had mastered the challenge, and it was starting to feel like busy work. The team needed to move on to give others the chance to put their marks on the programs.

You need to grow. This is always a legitimate reason to leave any job, and it’s valid in dream jobs as well. If you’ve mastered a job–any job–it may

Is training to be a holistic dentist a good career move?

Selection concept, man stands in front of the forked path.

Selection concept, man stands in front of the forked path.

There are so many factors to consider when you start to think about your career path; so many that it can sometimes be quite overwhelming. I mean, where do you start? Do you look at what you are good at, and try to think of some type of job that would allow you to do that day to day? Or do you look at what you enjoy doing, even if you are not that good at it, and try to start from there? Do you ask around and see what your friends are doing? Do you accept a lift up from a family member? Do you go to college and collect all that debt in the hope that it will lead you to a much better job than you could have got without that degree? And when do you have to make all of these life decisions by – is there a sell by date on your career?

Clearly there

5 Marketing Tips for Your Career

Everyone in today’s job market needs to have marketing skills. We all have personal brands and have to constantly position ourselves to get the type of work we want, whether that be as an employee or business owner. These days, if you don’t have a strong web presence and you’re not getting your name out there, no one will do it for you and you will miss opportunities. Here are some tips on how to stand out, get recognized for your abilities and build a strong career that you will be proud of:

1. Become the master of your domain.

The best way to become known is to have everyone recognize you as “the” expert in your field. When people know who you are and what value you bring to the table, it’s easier to land a job or get clients. It’s a whole lot better than cold calling or submitting a resume, too. You need to carve out your own niche so you can gain visibility and opportunities will follow. Choose a topic that you want to be known for and then pick a specific audience you want to be known to. That audience could be students in Boston or small tech companies

Motivating Employees: 3 Ideas That Just Might Work for You

I recently got interviewed by one of my employees who is looking to hone in on his career path. He’s a newly appointed manager and he wants to make sure he’s on the road to success. The topic: How do you motivate people? I was kind of blindsided by the topic because at first blush I don’t think I’m a great motivator. I’m pretty good at coming up with new ideas for our customers and I’m good at my discipline (marketing). But I never really thought of myself as the motivator until we started talking about how we motivate people at my email marketing company, VerticalResponse. After a few minutes of thought, I landed on three specifics about how I think we do a nice job with motivation:

  1. public recognition
  2. liking who you work for, what you do and where you work
  3. a willingness to be open and honest.

Motivation Through Attaboys

Public recognition can really go a long way. Whether it’s stopping by a team member’s desk to say thanks for staying late to fix a problem, a company-wide email recognizing a salesperson completing a great deal, or a personal handwritten note saying, “Great job on the TPS report,” people just want to know that they’re doing

How to Get Your Employees and Customers to Market for You

In their book No B.S. Grassroots Marketing, authors Dan S. Kennedy and Jeff Slutsky present local business owners, retailers, service providers, restaurateurs, and professional practice owners with a tactical grassroots marketing plan to help increase customer retention, generate greater referrals, and build a thriving business for the long-term.

Some of the best grassroots marketing tactics are comprised of ideas that can be done on site. The obvious advantage to these types of promotion is that you have total control over their implementation, since you are not promoting in conjunction with another merchant or organization.

Plus, anytime you can arrange a low-cost promotion that does not require you to leave your operation to implement it, you’ve met one critical condition of a No-B.S. Marketer solution with local level marketing: Your investment of your time is minimal.

Here are two easy-to-implement, on-site marketing tactics that use your best assets: your employees and your customers.

Employee Contest Solutions
The employee incentive contest is a fail-safe idea that can be done several times a year. It takes very little time to set up and almost always provides a super return. First, create certificates that have a strong offer on your product or service. This offer should be better than any standard coupon or discount

10 Small Business Marketing Ideas

There are so many small business marketing ideas, both online and off to help a new entrepreneur grow their business rapidly.  With so many small business advertising ideas you need to have a plan.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Ben Franklin

The following are 10 Ideas for a Small Business Marketing Plan:

Set up a Blog or Website

It’s critical for everyone to set up a website or blog regardless of what type of small business you have.  Technology has made it so easy today to have a decent website up rapidly and for virtually no cost.  If you’re uncomfortable trying to set one up yourself, jump over to Elance and you can have one put together for under $500.

Either way you’ll need to purchase a domain name. I recommend heading over toNameChk first and you can search for a domain name thats also available across the most popular social websites. This way you can have the same name used everywhere online.

Once you find a name you’ll use, head over to GoDaddy and purchase the domain name.  This is less than $10.

Next you need a web hosting account to make your site viewable across the web. Think of web hosting like your computer hard drive with your

Employee Training Ten Tips For Making It Really Effective

Whether you are a supervisor, a manager or a trainer, you have an interest in ensuring that training delivered to employees is effective. So often, employees return from the latest mandated training session and it’s back to “business as usual”. In many cases, the training is either irrelevant to the organization’s real needs or there is too little connection made between the training and the workplace.

In these instances, it matters not whether the training is superbly and professionally presented. The disconnect between the training and the workplace just spells wasted resources, mounting frustration and a growing cynicism about the benefits of training. You can turn around the wastage and worsening morale through following these ten pointers on getting the maximum impact from your training.

1. Make sure that the initial training needs analysis focuses first on what the learners will be required to do differently back in the workplace, and base the training content and exercises on this end objective. Many training programs concentrate solely on telling learners what they need to know, trying vainly to fill their heads with unimportant and irrelevant “infojunk”.

2. Ensure that the start of each training session alerts learners of the behavioral objectives of the

A CEO Shares His Best Advice For Getting Promoted Quickly When You’re In Your 20s

The working world can be a difficult place to navigate — especially for newcomers.

Landing a job is one thing, but figuring out how to prove yourself and get promoted in those first few years is an entirely different ball game.

The first hurdle for millennials is dispelling common misconceptions about their generation.

David Goldin, founder and CEO of Capify — the first alternative finance platform for small and medium-sized businesses in the US, UK, Australia and Canada — says more seasoned professionals tend to have some negative perceptions (most of which are misconceptions or generalizations) of millennials, such as: they aren’t motivated to do things on their own — they want everything to be done for them; they’re not effective communicators; they don’t want to be coached, mentored, or managed; and they don’t want to earn the promotion, they expect it to just be handed to them.

“The good news is, millennials are actually the most creative, entrepreneurial, and technologically savvy of all in the workforce,” Goldin says. “They can be a tremendous asset to any growing organization, as long as they understand how to overcome these perceptions and help their managers unlock their potential.”
Aside from working hard, here’s how to disprove

8 Things That Make You Look Like a Weirdo to Hiring Managers

Getting a job isn’t just about having strong qualifications. It’s also about being someone who hiring managers want to hire and work with every day. That means they’re paying attention to how you operate and whether you understand business norms at every stage of the hiring process, from the very first contact.

There are a few things some job candidates do that function as flashing neon signs of weirdness to employers. Here are eight of them:

  1. Sending flowers, candy or other gifts to the hiring manager. Some candidates still think this is a good way to stand out, but there’s probably no faster way to make a hiring manager uncomfortable. Ifyou’re not qualified for the job, sending a gift isn’t going to change that. And if you are qualified for the job, you’ve now made the interviewer uncomfortable by implying that you think your qualifications aren’t enough on their own, but that she might be swayed by some chocolate. It’s tacky and ineffective.
  2. Showing up without an appointment and asking to meet with the hiring manager. There’s a very small number of fields where this can be normal, but in the vast, vast majority of professional fields, it’s just not done.

18 Career Boosting Actions That Take 5 Minutes or Less

These quick fixes can expand your network, start your job search and increase your visibility online.

In case you don’t know where to start, this list of quick and easy ideas will get you on your way to building your brand, nurturing your network and re-energizing your career.

  1. Google yourself. Enter your name in quotation marks in Google’s search bar and see what comes up on the first page.
  2. Identify companies where you’d like to work. Take a quick assessment of top companies in your desired industry and make a list of the ones that sound interesting. This will serve as a list for future research and tracking the activities of these companies.
  3. Reconnect with former colleagues. Send a quick email to a former co-worker. This is a great time of year to wish people a happy New Year and touch base. If you send out a few each day over the next few weeks, the responses you receive won’t arrive at the same time, and you’ll have time to reply.
  4. Send an end-of-year email to your network. Along the same lines, sending an email to your closer friends and associates is a wonderful way to bring your network up to

4 Signs That You Are Ready to Quit Your Job

Feeling overworked, stressed out or bored may be hints that it’s time to find a new job.

Everyone has discouraging days in the office. Whether you’re feeling overworked, stressed out, fearful or bored, the bottom line is that most opportunities weren’t meant to last forever. No matter what stage you’re at in your career, each position comes with a life span that varies depending on the individual and the circumstances surrounding the work. Once you’ve reached the end of that ride, it’s time to start looking for your next career step if you want to avoid stagnating.

But determining whether it’s just a bad day or you’re really ready for a job change isn’t always easy. How do you know when it’s time to go, and what steps should you take once you’ve decided it’s time to move on? Start by learning to recognize four signs that you may be ready to quit your job.

1. You need more interesting problems to solve. When you first started your job, chances are that you faced many complex challenges and had plenty of new territory to tackle in order to stay engaged. Yet as you’ve mastered your turf, what used to seem exciting may have

How to Follow Your Dreams While Still Paying Your Bills

Younger Americans feel it’s harder to eke out a living today, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream.

Sixty-eight percent of younger Americans think they have a harder time starting out than previous generations, while 80 percent of older Americans agree that getting started today is harder than when they were at the same point of life, according to the 23rd Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, released earlier this month.

“Young people want the ‘American Dream’ of homeownership, career and financial security, though they’re working hard to achieve it on different paths compared to their parents and other generations,” says Troy Hawkes, field senior vice president of Allstate, in a press release for the poll. While it is encouraging to hear young Americans want to buck the trends, new graduates may want to proceed with caution.

Take off those rose-colored glasses. Seventy percent of younger Americans believe their personal financial situation will be better by this time next year, according to the Heartland Monitor poll. This optimism is admirable, but perhaps unrealistic. The best, and perhaps only, way to improve your financial situation is to secure a job. The reality is: You lack proof that you can perform in

Postgraduate employment tips to help get that job

It seems last year was the worst year to be a freshly minted university graduate since record-keeping began.

Within four months of completing their degrees, only seven in 10 graduates found themselves in full-time employment, and the stats don’t mention whether a full-time job flipping burgers counts.

The mortar boards we gaily tossed in the air in the quad came down with a heavy kerthunk as reality sank in — our prospects as graduates of Australia’s first-rate higher education system clearly aren’t what they used to be.

In the final year flurry of job applications, most of us don’t have time to ask why.

It seems to be a perfect storm of cuts to graduate recruitment, good jobs going to people with a few years of workforce experience already under their belts, and some graduates not being up to scratch.

Educational inflation means that degrees that would have opened doors in years gone by now don’t even get you a call back. Some firms demand a masters degree before they’ll even consider you for an unpaid internship.

Structural economic factors, such as the propensity of employers to hire, are out of graduates’ control, but universities could start by looking at whether their students really emerge

Ten Employee Training Tips

Well-trained employees are the key to your small business success. Studies have shown that the most successful, productive employees are those who have received extensive training. They’re the cream of the crop, often having the strongest stake in the company’s future.

In an ideal world, you would be able to hire people who already possess the exact skills your business needs. But in today’s competitive labor market, demand for skilled workers far exceeds supply.

That’s where training comes in. Not only does instruction arm your employees with needed professional or technical skills, but it also shows that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them with you into the company’s future. This helps keep workers motivated and involved.

To successfully launch an employee training program in your own company, follow these 10 helpful tips:

  1. Stress training as investment. The reason training is often considered optional at many companies is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it’s true that training can be costly up front, it’s a long-term investment in the growth and development of your human resources.
  2. Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to execute an employee training program, you should decide early

12 Things Successful People Do In the First Hour Of the Workday

The first hour of the workday is critical, since it can affect your productivity level and mindset for the rest of the day.

“Successful people understand the importance of having control over their mornings and know how to use that time wisely,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.” “These people are able to weed out the noise in their first hour and focus on what matters.”

Everyone has their unique method of prioritizing, she says. “But all successful people stay focused when they start their day, and with years of practice, they realize that many things can wait, and others cannot.”

Here are 12 things successful people do in the first hour of the workday:

They step back and reflect. Taylor says it’s important to take a moment to look at the big picture. “It’s easy to jump in and ‘just do it’ when you get to work, but successful people look at their larger goals in order to better prioritize.”

They strategize. Successful people take a few minutes at the start of their workday to think about where their career or business should

10 Tips for Successful Career Planning: An Activity for Job-Seekers of All Ages

Career planning is not an activity that should be done once — in high school or college — and then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers. Rather, career planning is an activity that is best done on a regular basis — especially given the data that the average worker will change careers (not jobs) multiple times over his or her lifetime. And it’s never too soon or too late to start your career planning.

Career planning is not a hard activity, not something to be dreaded or put off, but rather an activity that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals to achieve in your current career or plans for beginning a transition to a new career. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience.

Here, then, are 10 tips to help you achieve successful career planning.

1. Make Career Planning an Annual Event

Many of us have physicals, visit the eye doctor and dentist, and do a myriad of other things on an annual basis, so why not career planning? Find a day or weekend once a year — more often if you feel the need or if you’re planning a major career change — and schedule

8 Holiday Party Survival Secrets From An Employment Lawyer

How to party with colleagues without getting fired

You’re probably gearing up for the holiday party season, and maybe even the dread office holiday party. Every year, I have people contact me after the holidays when they are fired for something that happened during a party involving coworkers, customers, vendors, or other colleagues. They’re shocked (shocked!) that their years of service and great reviews didn’t keep them from being fired.

This year, I’d like to offer some tips, from an employment lawyer’s perspective, to help you survive holiday parties without getting fired.

Now, back to the column. Here are 8 tips to help you get through the holiday party season without being fired: 1. Drinking: First of all, if you are an alcoholic and can’t be sure you won’t drink if you attend, then don’t go. If your boss is insistent, you can ask for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act to be excused from attendance. If you do drink, limit yourself to two drinks tops, then switch to soda. I’m serious here. The number one way to get fired is to drink too much.

2. Dancing: Too many people are fired or disciplined for “inappropriate” dancing. What’s inappropriate? It’s in

Top 10 List Lessons From Letterman’s Retirement

David Letterman will end his legendary 33-year run as a late night talk-show host. Since making his retirement plans public last year, Letterman, 68 (how is that possible?!), has shared his thoughts about calling it quits with his guests as well as the media. In true Letterman fashion, the gap-toothed one’s comments have ranged from poignant to playful to irreverent.

After reading through Letterman’s interviews and watching his recent shows, I’ve realized that despite his great personal wealth, Dave’s retirement hopes and fears aren’t much different from the average person’s.

And so, to commemorate his final show, I compiled my own Top 10 list: Lessons From Letterman’s Retirement. I think you’ll do well to follow his lead before you sign off from your full-time job and head into retirement.

No. 10: Give your employer sufficient notice

Letterman announced his retirement more than a year in advance, which resulted in a smooth and orderly transition. It’ll be finalized when Stephen Colbert takes over as host in September.

Admittedly, a year’s notice is probably a bit much for most people. As I wrote in this Next Avenue post, The 5 Steps to Make a Retirement Announcement, “There are no hard and fast rules as to how much

15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Accept a Job in a New City

We’ve solicited readers to submit their most pressing career-related questions.

With the help of Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” we’ve answered the following: “I’ve been offered a job in another state. How do I decide if relocating is the right decision?”

“It would be great if all the best jobs were in your backyard, but sometimes the position you really want is hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away,” says Taylor. “Relocating can seem like a high-stakes proposition with too many unknowns. Even if you’re disenchanted with your current position, at least it’s the devil you know.”

You may also be comfortable with non-work related aspects of your life, like getting around town, familiarity with your neighborhood, proximity to friends and family — and your impending move may affect your partner or loved ones. “This is not a decision to take lightly,” says Taylor. “But the axiom, ‘no risk no reward’ rings true in the practice of job relocation.”

She says if you do your homework and can withstand a little adventure, “the results can be life-changing.”

So, if you’re considering such an option,