Embrace Possibility: Midlife Career “Rules” Are Wrong and Don’t Apply

Few would argue that the way we work and the way we look for work has changed substantially over the past few years.

Professionals are more frequently alternating between being a corporate employee, freelancing, consulting, starting a business, or building a job portfolio.

One of the things that makes my services a little different is that I can help professionals in any of these transitions. I also can help clients think through their options, create clarity and confidence, find focus, and move forward.

(Or they can do some of this themselves by working through the exercises in my eBook.)

I‘m strapping on my armor and getting ready to tilt windmills – and any other obstacles you think are in your way.

Over the next few months, I will be publishing many articles, poking sacred cows, and showing that you have possibilities in midlife or any point in your life – even after catastrophic life events.

Yes, it’s likely to upset people.

Yes, it’s likely to unearth angry internet trolls.

And yes, I have to do it anyway.

Here is what I have seen personally with my clients and with myself:

  • You’re not too old; it’s not too late
  • You can start a business at any age, if you want to
  • You can leave your business and go back to corporate (entrepreneur to employee is a specialty of mine)
  • Your internal game may be the real problem, not your gray hair
  • Your mind’s stories may be factually correct but completely unhelpful
  • You may not need to stress about retiring by a certain age
  • You might not even WANT to retire (I did a TEDx talk about this)

And here’s a #truthbomb for you: Stressing about retiring is contributing to our mass anxiety and depression.

I have some good insights into why this is, how we can change the way we work and the world of work, and what YOU can do to embrace career possibility in your life.

See? This is going to be B I G.

Put on your seatbelts, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But nothing great comes easily.

In Praise of “Pearl Jobs” or the Value of Extreme Irritation

out of the fireOften the work experiences that are the most frustrating and irritating yield the most value over the long term.

While you’re in the thick of it, you may not be able to think about anything except your extreme aggravation, but I would like to suggest that you adopt a different perspective.

My second job was a pearl job. I was the assistant to the managing partner of a technical analysis software boutique. We originally had a DOS-based product, and later one of the first Windows-based charting software products for traders, hedge funds, and money managers.

This was bleeding-edge technology at the time, believe it or not. (And yes, I am that old.)

This job stretched me in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. I went from not being able to type at all (I paid a friend to type my college papers) and having never interacted with a PC to installing software, troubleshooting problems on the phone and at client sites, preparing for annual audits – and SO much more. Continue reading

Television Interview on Nctv17 with Catherine Morgan

Catherine Morgan on TVI was so excited to have my Television debut in July on the Career Center show. Kimberly White of the Community Career Center in Naperville interviewed me.

We talked about Liftoff After Layoff, and dove into the stages of grief and how they relate to job loss.

It’s so cool to walk onto a TV set – the cameras and teleprompter and lights. We had a great time.

You can watch the 13-minute segment below. I’m up first.

Nominated for Rule Breaker Award 2016

Rule Breaker 2016I was excited about being nominated for a Rule Breaker Award last year, but THIS year, I am a shoe-in because I have turned the revenue model for career transition coaching on its head.

I am the only person I know who works primarily on contingency. Here’s how it works: I get a $100/month retainer (because I deserve a few bottles of wine), and when my client lands a great opportunity, I get a bonus of 5% of their first year’s gross salary.

I love this because there is no doubt that my goals and my client’s are aligned. We are in a true win-win partnership.

When I tell this to prospective clients, they get it immediately. My sales process has become incredibly easy. Now, I just need to ensure that the clients I take on are willing to do the work.

The voting hasn’t started yet. I’ll let you know when it does. I truly am breaking the rules.

I can almost taste the fried catfish in New Orleans this summer when the awards are given out 🙂

From Entrepreneur to Employee: Interviewed for Entrepreneur.com

Catherine Morgan speakingCarol Roth interviewed me for Entrepreneur Magazine’s blog about how to transition from entrepreneur to employee. I have had a lot of success getting professionals back to corporate after being business owners. I’m getting great feedback on this article!

You can check out “How to Transition Back to Employee After Being an Entrepreneur” here.

We’re So Confident We’ll Work on Contingency

Finishing FirstThis post was published initially on LinkedIn Pulse.

Sometimes one conversation changes everything. When a prospect told me that they had signed an exclusivity agreement with their executive coach, I felt very uncomfortable. Why did their coach feel the need to handcuff clients like that? Didn’t the coach’s results keep clients?

And then I wondered if I should consider having a clause like that. Had clients left me to work with other coaches? In five years, I don’t know of one. So, no, I probably don’t need a clause like that.

And then I had a series of other conversations with prospective clients who told me about writing B I G checks to their coaches, and not getting one inquiry or lead from all that investment.

It made my heart hurt. Continue reading

Speaking at TEDx Heartland Community College May 30, 2015

TEDx Heartland Community CollegeThis is B I G news. I will be giving my first TEDx talk on May 30, 2015. I am thrilled and honored to join the elite group of TEDx speakers.

The overall conference theme is “Sustainability.” I will be talking about the importance of sustaining your personal energy to fuel your professional success.

The event will be held at Heartland Community College in Normal, IL. More information and tickets are available here. 

Here is how the organizers described it:

Sustainability – how do we Sustain the Ability to do what we do? Is the way we do things able to continue? The core notion of Sustainability goes beyond the Environment, encompassing the Personal, Economic, Technological, Health, Social, and Cultural realms of life.
~ TEDxHeartlandCommunityCollege

More information and tickets are available here.

From LinkedIn Pulse: The 3 R’s of Employability

sparkI don’t write a lot about career transition here, although I probably should. I have been posting my best information on LinkedIn Pulse. Why? More people see it and comment on it, and my ideal prospects are looking for that kind of help on LinkedIn.

That said, this post is worth publishing both places. It contains some of my best ideas for successfully navigating our fluid world of work.

No doubt, the world of work has changed. Here’s how you can make this change work for you. Below is the full post:  Continue reading

Why I Never Want to Retire

Boat on BeachI frequently blurt out that I never want to retire. Clients, friends, and family are appalled by the energy with which I say it.

I honestly can’t imagine anything more boring – or more likely to send me into immediate depression.

This quote brilliantly states why:


I, for one, cannot dream of retiring. Not now or ever. Retire? The word is alien and the idea inconceivable to me. I don’t believe in retirement for anyone in my type of work, not while the spirit remains. My work is my life. I cannot think of one without the other. To “retire” means to me to begin to die. The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age. Each day I am reborn. Each day I must begin again. ~ Pablo Casals, Legendary Cellist

Continue reading