Baby Boomer Talent & the American Dream

Baby Boomer Talent & the American Dream

Baby Boomer Talent & the American Dream

I’ll be delivering a Webinar on the topic of Baby Boomer Talent & the American Dream on Thursday, June 14th at noon eastern time.

The Webinar is being hosted by RetirementJobs.com and is sponsored by Kaplan University.

It is a no-cost event that is open to everyone.

For additional information and to register, please click here.

I hope to see you there!

The Time for Starting is Now

A recent study by Bellevue University found that sixty percent of Americans “have given some thought or a lot of thought to going back to school.” With all due respect, what are they waiting for? Whether they’re looking for a new job or trying to improve their performance in the job they already have, the pathway to success is education. So, the time for starting is now, and once begun, there is no time for stopping.

The pace of growth in knowledge and new skills has accelerated rapidly in the last five years. For example:

  • In a single year – 2008 – we humans created four terabytes of new information. That’s four followed by twenty zeros worth of new knowledge, more than was created in the previous 5,000 years of human history.
  • If you start college today in a technical field, by the time you reach your junior year, half of what you learned your freshman year will be obsolete.
  • Our situation today is like standing by the train tracks as a high speed express whizzes by. That train represents all of the new knowledge, ideas, practices and procedures now being created in the American workplace. It gives us only two choices: we can either leap on the train or watch it pass us by. We can get on board and have our careers propelled forward to higher levels of opportunity and success or we can stay where we are and fall further and further behind.

    Now, I understand that some will say experience makes up for a lack of state-of-the-art expertise. That might have been the case when change was slow, but today, it’s not. From an employer’s perspective, experience now means knowing how things used to get done … not the best way to do them. So, experience bolstered by up-to-date knowledge is an unbeatable combination, but experience in and of itself is no advantage at all.

    Similarly, some will say that a recent college degree is all you need to get your career launched. That might have been true a couple of years ago; today, it isn’t. A survey by the Associated Press found that 53.6 percent of all recent college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed. Certainly, that’s a reflection of the sputtering economy, but it also says that graduation is not the end of your education, but is instead its beginning.

    A New Job Market & Workplace

    We’ve now entered a period in American history unlike any before it. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. This new age will put opportunity back into the land that invented it. It has the potential to increase both the paycheck and the satisfaction we bring home from our work. To take full advantage of the upside, however, we will have to adopt a number of different attributes. And, chief among them is our approach to learning.

    I’m not talking about life-long learning but rather, about continuous learning. Given the pace and scope of advancements in knowledge, we now have to be in school all of the time. Regardless of our profession, craft or trade, our seniority or years of experience, our graduation date or degree and whether we are employed or not, we must re-imagine ourselves as a “work-in-progress” and keep making progress in our personal development all of the time.

    I realize that’s a difficult proposition for many to accept. It represents a huge change from what we’ve known and come to rely on. Whether we’ve been in the workforce for twenty years or twenty minutes, it is dramatically different from the way a successful career has traditionally been shaped and implemented in this country. Nevertheless, it is what is, and I believe it’s better to know the harder truth than the easier fairy tale.

    So, the time is now to get back in school. We have a number of sources from which to pick, including academic institutions, professional societies and commercial training companies, but we must stop thinking about it and start going about making it happen. We have to develop the habit of continuous learning in three key areas:

  • our profession, craft or trade – the core expertise on which our career is based;
  • ancillary skills – capabilities that will enable us to use our core expertise in a greater range of workplace situations (e.g., the ability to speak a second language or use new piece of hardware or software);
  • and

  • career self-management – the ability to give ourselves a meaningful and rewarding experience in the one-third of our lives we will spend at work.
  • We must reset our sights and stop trying to survive in today’s new economy and instead focus on prospering. The key to achieving that goal is learning – acquiring the knowledge to stay at the state-of-the-art in our field, expand the range of skills we can bring to work, and manage our careers to a meaningful and rewarding conclusion. So, let’s seize the moment and make it happen.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    Visit me at Weddles.com

    Your Excerpt from A Multitude of Hope

    A Multitude of Hope is Peter Weddle’s new novel about what’s happening to the American Dream.

    It’s a tale of three out-of-work Baby Boomers and a secret online group of workplace activists who are practicing “economic disobedience” against the vulture capitalists in the American economy.

    Ripped right from today’s headlines, the book engulfs you in a no-holds barred war between a self-styled monarchy of greed-is-good investors and a virtual colony of revolutionaries using the Web to even the score. Part edge-of-your-seat thriller and part exploration of modern American culture, this is one novel you won’t want to miss.

    To read a free excerpt, click here.

    Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites

    The American Staffing Association was kind enough to call me the “Zagat” of the online employment industry. And, just as Tim and Nina Zagat used their classic guides to identify the best restaurants, I have published a guide to the best employment sites on the Web.

    Called Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web, it’s my pick of the top job boards, career portals and professional networking sites on the Internet.

    Every site is profiled with a complete consumer’s guide to its features, services and resources. That way, you can shop smart and pick the sites that will work best for you.

    While admitting to some bias, I think Job Nation is the single best way to use the Internet to find a new or better job. And, it retails for just $14.95.

    Get the book at Amazon.com or at Weddles.com. But, wherever you get it, don’t delay. Get Job Nation today.

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for working adults of all ages.

    The book explores the secret to authentic living. It uses fiction (the fable) and self-discovery (an integrated guide) to help you find your own true self – the unique person you are meant to be.

    Like that other famous fable, Who Moved My Cheese?, Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a small book with a big message. It will intrigue and entertain you and give you plenty to think about.

    A great book for career changers, soon-to-be and recent college graduates, people reentering the workforce after a long absence and anyone looking for more fulfillment in their work.

    Click here to get the book at Amazon.com.

    Or, click here to get the book, signed by me, at Weddles.com.