Is Social Media a Black Hole in (my)Space?

This 50-week blog project is a ’community of career advice’  for 50 “career-transitioners” who are over 50 years old.  

Please pardon my multiple day absence from this blog–it is due to MY OWN career dilemma.  Since this blog offers community career advice for 50+ Year-olds, I select MYSELF as this week’s subject.    

In my new book, Laid Off & Loving It For 2010, I tell job seekers and small business promoters to consider, based on their goals, a wide social media footprint. This is because few of us know which social media platform holds the highest number of intended “targets.” Therefore, casting a wide net can be wise, at least until you get a feel for the “right” tool.  

I was AWOL (not AOL) on this blog for several days because of my time spent with  several social media tools. The subtitle of my book is “Rebuilding Your Career or Small Business With Social Media’s Help.”  Because of that I basically HAVE TO be exposed on several fronts in order to be credible.  But therein lies the rub:  


Like many of you who want to improve your public profiles and networks “out there,” I have a family, a job, outside activities, and only a limited number of waking hours to glare at an unforgiving computer. But in the last month I have completed:

I am notbragging about getting all that done. A smarter, faster person could have done all that much quicker and better than I did. Many have. I been working on these projects for months. I simply list those accomplishments because I recently confirmed what a black hole social media can be.  My previous social media efforts were more insidious. This time it was a huge, all-encompassing sprint.  

If you plan to really crunch hard with Social Media, be prepared for lots of “chair time.”  If you plan to have 1,000 twitter followers or a FaceBook family of 400, or a LinkedIn profile of 500+, get ready to ignore other things in your life.  I did. 

Fortunately I have an understanding family that supports the launch of my new book. Mymain sacrifice has been on the health front. I have skipped a lot of exercise to accomplish the above results…with some “heavy” consequences. 

So what are yourgoals for Social Media? If you are just going to jab at Social Media for a few minutes each week, I contend it won’t do much for you. On the other hand, if you are going to pound away on Twitter or FaceBook , etc. for 30 hours a week, you’ll likely be giving up something else in life. 

You read of my “weighty” dilemma caused by high use of social media. This blog serves as a community career forum, so please share your ideas for people like me. What advice do you have for Social Media junkies who “need” to be out there at an “above average” level, but may be spending too much time on it? 

  • Do you know some shortcuts that will save time while maximizing these new and seductive tools?  
  • Do you know people who are worshiping way too much at the altar of Social Media?
  • Do you know of someone who has been fired for excessive or improper use of social media tools at work? That’s the  antithesis of how social media can help a career!

What advice do you have for them (us)? 

…And yes, I know…45 mintues a day on the treadmill!


America’s Job Coach



7 Mistakes Job-Seekers Over 50 Make

This 50-week project is a ’community of career advice’  for 50 ”career-transitioners” who are over 50 years old.  

Here’s a link to an excellent external blog post about problems typically faced by people who read this blog, “The 50 Over 50 Project.”

Some of these items are old news but some others are worthy of your consideration.  After reading them, consider commenting back  here as to which of these mistakes YOU have made!  America’s Job Coach will happily share some potential “antidotes” to those missteps.

Here’s the link:    7 Mistakes Job-Seekers Over 50 Make

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Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

WWAD (What would Alice do?)?

This 50-week project is a ’community of career advice’  for 50 ”career-transitioners” who are over 50 years old.  


In an earlier post, I described Alice who was a mother of young children. She had no work history but wanted to get out of the house and make money.  She wasn’t over 50 years old but I needed a subject to discuss for this blog.  I asked you, the “Free Career Advice Community” (as you are now being called) to advise her. 

One reader said he’d helped his own wife focus on building her strengths to polish up her dated resume. That is exactly what the attendees at “Alice’s” career seminar suggested. They liked her outgoing personality, native English (as in England) accent, and her drive.   

With no other “marketable” skills, she decided to build on what she knew: Tea Parties!  When I saw how her classmates responded to Alice’s unique background and her personality, we all recommended that she TEACH this unique “skill set.” 

That career development seminar was being hosted by Metropolitan Community College’s (Omaha, Nebraska) Non-Credit division. In addition to offering college credit and degrees, many community colleges offer many NON-credit courses.  Most simply need a “life skills” credential to teach–not a Masters, bachelor, or even associate degree. 

Metro offers almost anything from Animal grooming to Zig Ziglar-like selling skills. Many community colleges are open to non-credit instructors who offer something new. 

Well, the college apparently had few other instructors competing for the tea party space. Alice’s new venture began!  

I heard she went on have a very popular run of courses. Making, serving, and hosting tea parties against the backdrop of English ettiquette was rare, interesting, and well received. Alice had a profit outlet based on her knowledge! 

Working through colleges is great because THEY provide the facility, send course list catalogues to every snail mailbox in three urban counties, handle the registration process, take payment from students, etc. All Alice did was bring her supplies (students paid for these), turn on her charm, teach the content, and cash her checks.

I wish I’d stayed in better touch with her because her courses went so well she opened an English Tea Shop just for tea parties. I saw it and it was in a quaint little spot. The problem with owning/running a typical restaurant is the many hours required for success. Well, Alice’s shop was open mostly by appointment only for special groups and parties. Brilliant! 

Her shop is now closed and I don’t know why.  But, I imagine Alice’s courses and shop were a positive outlet for a person who previously thought she had no sellable skills. “Alice,” are you out there? I’d like to keep in touch!

How does this relate to YOUR situation? Do you have something you can teach? Can teaching raise you profile of a hobby-level or committed business you want to build? Can you do something part-time on the side? 

I bet you have some “hidden” skills that may in fact be worth something to other people or other businesses. What are they?

We’d love to hear about your imagined starts, your real starts and stops, your barriers, and/or your successes etc. right here.  It IS Sunday–the day for submitting your stories for advice from this Free Career Advice Community. 

Share your reactions to Alice and tell your story here…


PS: My profile is improving…I’d be honored to link in with YOU at  Just type “America’s Job Coach” in the SEARCH bar and click on “Add America’s Job Coach as a Connection.” Its so easy, even a job coach can do it!

Also, my brand new, one-stop-shop career enhancement book is now available online!


Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

She built on her strengths!

This 50-week project is a ‘community of career advice’  for 50 “career-transitioners” who are over 50 years old.  

Reply:   As Mr.W. points out in his response to Alice’s career problem, it IS wise to think FIRST about “what you are selling.” 

Mr. W. apparently did a great job helping his spouse to first identify what she had to sell to potential employers. Too many resumes look like job descriptions that simply list the duties and the timeline those duties were performed.

But Mr. W. helped his wife to focus on her strengths–especially strengths she didn’t know she even had!  Two heads are better than one for this kind of exercise. I hope we get to hear how her job search is coming…

Too many people simply throw themselves “out there” to the job market, hoping that marketplace will somehow define them.  I have worked inside Human Resource departments and know firsthand that they just don’t have time to play “match up” with resumes and positions. 

If a resume comes in which is vague or not clearly matching a specific position, a candidate is already behind her compeitiors.  The “move forward” stack is populated by resumes which clearly identify a candidate’s strengths and how those strengths match said open position.

This weekend I’ll reveal what Alice did with the strengths that her support group helped her to identify. If any readers have some more ideas about how Alice can turn her strengths into income, please have at it!

Two heads are better than one!


Published in: on September 19, 2009 at 3:40 am  Leave a Comment  

How to get an income despite having no previous skills or work history.

I’ll call her Alice…

This blog is aimed at providing “collective” (not just my career coaching), ideas of other readers in a forum setting.  Being it has just launched and hasn’t had time to “populate” itself with and , I’ll pull some information about a former seminar student from “the old days.” No, she wasn’t over 50 but hey, we need some fodder to get started here, right? 

I’ll call her Alice.  She was an immigrant to the USA and had married a local sales rep type here. She had gotten married (and quickly pregnant) about five years before attending my course called “Profit and Grow From What You Know.”

Alice became frustrated. Her husband was growing distant and absent now that he and Alice had two young children. He responded to the “tightening noose of fatherhood” by playing more and more golf on the weekends “with clients.” 

Alice felt isolated. Not being from this area, she had few friends of her own and made few friends through her husband. He was however a good provider, income-wise. 

But that alone didn’t appease Alice’s interest for some form of adult stimulation. She had been a very social creature and was highly popular and well connected in her native England. Not so in Nebraska.

During the seminar’s forum, Alice lamented that she had little time to work outside the home due to her kids. More problematic though was her lack of workplace experience. Getting a job which paid enough for to cover day care expenses for the two young children had proven difficult. 

The other women in the course however, saw a way out. They told Alice that she did have some assets which might gain her some external stimulation as well as some possible income.

The classmates told Alice she had the following assets:

A. An outgoing, likeable personality

B. A very proper and unique British accent

C. A deep understanding of British customs–especially tea parties and formal British entertaining

So Readers, I won’t spoil the ending. Instead, here is the assignment: 

Reread Alice’s dilemma and strengths above and offer your own career advice based on her situation, goals and assets (via this blog’s comment box). PLEASE OFFER YOUR OWN career advice for her. What would you recommend she do to reach her goals and build on her strengths?

Just add your thoughts under comments and I’ll keep the dialog moving forward for “Alice.”  Have fun with your advice…There are no wrong answers! 


Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 1:56 am  Comments (2)  

The 50 Over 50 Project

As we reflect today about 9/11, we are all brought back to remembering just what we were doing at the moment of the attacks. And we also reflect on  the “Pre 9/11 USA” and the “Post 9/11 USA.” 

Before the attacks, the nation was winding down from a somewhat “happy place.” The economic climate was just starting to head downward. The  recent burst of the  “dot com bubble” was starting to be felt, but “The Roaring 90’s” were still a fresh, positive memory. There were cracks in the workplace wall, but the it was still standing.  

After 9/11 we were shocked, rattled, distrustful, and suspicious.  Employers  froze and began robust layoffs.  Innocence was also lost due to distrust of firms like Enron, WorldCom and others. The tragic events of the 9/11 directly affected millions of Americans who had no relationship to the dead (other than our shared citizenship).  The paradigm of job security and endless prosperity collapsed.    

But, America’s citizens are a resilient lot. And today isn’t only about looking back. As long as we never forget, I think it is OK to look ahead and learn from the past. 

Since this is an employment-related blog, I ask am asking you what  has changed for you or your vocation over the past 8 years?  How did this tradgey affect your career? What is different about your work, “Pre-verses-Post?”  Consider sharing your story…    

Never Forgetting,


PS: Check out Labor Day’s first post to this blog to learn about the mission of The 50 Over 50 Project.

Inaugural Post

You have just discovered a new place to learn tricks and secrets to your ‘more splendid’ vocational situation!  Its Labor Day  2009 and I just launched this new blog called… 

“The 50 Over 50 Project.” 

Over the next 50 weeks the world and I will offer free job coaching and advice to 50 people who are over 50 years old, and, who are in some form of career predicament.  

Why is this only for 50+ and 60+ somethings?  Because career predicaments traditionally hit this age group the hardest — in any economy! 

These secrets to your success are NOT from me, America’s Job Coach. These secrets instead are the wisdom of “the cloud” or  “the collective.” 

For nearly twenty years the attendees of my career-improvement seminars said their favorite part of the course was its group forums.

That’s where attendees collectively brainstorm  solutions for each others’ career problems. Well, that forum has now gone global via this blog!

The goal of this project is to guide people who have lived at least five decades into a better vocational place, however they define that. Their work situation may involve boredom, burnout, unemployment, under-employment, a desire to start their own venture, career restlessness, or simple livelihood unhappiness.    

By Monday of each week, workers ranging from executives, to doctors, to laborers will submit their career predicament (anonymously) IN 100 WORDS OR LESS to the blog. By Thursday night, I will have chosen a respondee from the submissions and offer my humble advice. Then, the collective blog readers can chime in to help!    

 I am not a lawyer, a shrink, a counselor, a CPA, and make no business offerings here (nor should you). If you need those services, seek a competent professional person to help you. This is just a friendly forum launched on a day which Celebrates Labor.

The irony is that today more people are unemployed than have been for 30 years.  So, let’s see if we as a group can help fix that!  Consider sharing your career quandary, or offer your solutions for the 50 Over 50.

I look forward to your profound participation in The 50 Over 50 Project and hope to see some of you jump into the action…  


America’s Job Coach


Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 7:09 am  Comments (2)  
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