Do You Look Good Enough to Hire?

A newspaper story recently told how 50-somethings and 60-somethings were going under the knife, etc. in order to look better as they competed for jobs with folks who didn’t have droopy eyelids or crooked, stained teeth.

There have likely been hundreds of studies about how attractiveness can contribute to your marketability and/or promotability. Similar stories and studies exist about taller people. But what do you think?

Will a 62-year-old suddenly wrest a potential job away from a 39-year-old because the 62-year-old suddenly looks like he is only 52? Will the smile of a 59-year-old who is fresh out of braces be better equipped to land a job than say, your typical 34-year-old?

You are right…there are too many variables to consider and make blanket statements. Perhaps the 39-year-old above was slightly overweight, very average looking, but had a more well-defined technical skill to peddle to a potential employer.

Maybe the 34-year-old above lost out to the 59-year-old because the older woman has 20 more years of industry contacts, thus helping her land the sales manager job.

Who knows? So, why are people, according to the article, doing all these cosmetic procedures? In a word: Packaging.

In my extensive career of hiring and placing people though, it is never just one thing that makes a person hireable or not hireable. They may be the best geek in the world for a techie job but the other techies who would have to work with him decided the guy is an arrogant jerk who they don’t want to spend most of their waking hours with.

Maybe someone is a smooth, good-looking, well-connected, persuasive, sales type person but they are just too disorganized to manage or build a territory.

In summary, it takes the total package. So if you want to do something to your physical presence in order to help you compete out there, go for it!

Just be sure you don’t have “blind sides” which sabotage your newly white, straight teeth or firm eyelids. Perhaps your forehead is now wrinkle-free but you resume shows you were the class treasurer of the your senior class of 1969. Not helpful when you compete for jobs with people who are your kids’ ages!

Think “total package” my friends. How does your total package look?

America’s Job Coach talks about packaging and first impressions in the YouTube video called “The Twittervator Speech.” The TwitterVator Speech is a blend of your Unique Selling Proposition, an elevator pitch, and a social media tool status update bar. Learn more about YOURS here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN7n0X8PzgI . Good common sense!

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The Dow is at 10,000…Who Cares?

The 50 Over 50 Project is a ”Community of Career Advice”     for 50 folks over age 50 who are in a career transition.  

Summarize YOUR career dilemma in a comment below to gain job hunt pointers from this blog community. 

So the Dow Jones Industrial Average got over the psychological barrier of 10,000 points last week. I wonder if it will go to 11,000 this week?  Probably not. But do people care?

Well, I do care actually. And the investments of millions of people as well as the well-being of millions of companies across this great land do care.  So why the headline above? 

Last weekend, Seth Rogan of the Weekend Update skit on the perennial  Saturday Night Live TV show perhaps summarized the feeling of millions: Rogan mentioned how the Dow broke 10,000 and how 15 million unemployed people at home, in their pajamas in the middle of the day, who were eating Twinkies, cheered with delight. 

That isn’t a perfect quote but you get the idea. The talk is that the recession will end and the recovery will occur sometime in the next month to the next two years (it depends upon who you listen to).  I don’t know who to believe but Seth was right: Recovery or not, too many people are still stuck unemployed or underemployed and know the NBC TV schedule way too well.

If the Dow goes to 20,000 and there are still 6 people for every 1 open job out there, the unemployed just won’t care what the stock market looks like. Granted jobs are always a lagging indicator during a recovery because firms want to be sure things are improving before they add to their payrolls again. 

And the most strategic unemployed people WILL care about the stock market and the recovery. Because we attract what we expect into our life. And if we stay negative, we’ll keep getting negative. 

How about you? Do you think the economy is picking up out there and that there are more jobs now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has reached this level? Or do you feel stuck on main street despite Wall Street’s success?

Share your thoughts below and keep the faith!

Paul M.

America’s Job Coach  

Do As I Say, Not As I Do…

OK, OK… I am guilty! 

This community forum is about my facilitation of helpful career advice from cyberspace. The advice is from and for people who are in some form of transition as they enter and go through their fifties.   But here is the problem:

I have failed you!

I have found that the older people get, the more they like routine. We all have those older relatives who want to know two weeks ahead of time what time a dinner event is scheduled for. That way they can mentally prepare for it days in advance and be ready two hours ahead of actual event. 

While I obviously don’t think people in their 50’s and 60’s are OLD, I do realize that CONSISTENCY matters. I don’t know if the elasticity and suppleness of youth is gone by ones’ fifth decade or what it is, but people like routine as they progress in their lives.  Yes, I can show you some anal retentive 22 year  olds as well, but you know what I mean.

Routine matters. Routine matters when you are building a career, a family a fortune, or just about anything. Yes, we can “luck into” something good in those categories on occasion, but with regard to job hunting or career transitioning, the value of “routine” is high. 

I won’t repeat the often told tales of how Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or many well-known, high profile sports, cultural or business performers have reached their achievement levels due to nearly obsessive levels of drill, repetition and routine. 

But I have failed you, dear blog readers, due to MY lack of routine. You haven’t known when to check back in on this blog because you don’t know when the new stuff is going to be posted.  And with all the noise on the internet, you are unlikely to come back if you don’t know when to do so. 

I have been inconsistent because I too often waited for a juicy, success story of some formerly laid off person.  They may be in dialog with me via this blog or directly with me through  www.americasjobcoach.com. Or, I also hesitated when  “Suzie” was asking me about resume guidance and I waited to tell her story until it was complete. 

No more. I will not make you keep wondering and waiting for these tidbits. Even if the stories are not complete, I’ll throw out relevant, confidential career dilemmas so you the reader can comment on them and hopefully add your helpful comments to this career advice community. 

I will do a better job of “communing” with and communicating to this advice community. No more long pauses between posts while waiting for the other shoe to drop. No more hesitation for “perfect” content before throwing out some relevant stuff. People who need your advice so I will give you the chance to give it. 

YOU can keep this community helpful, relevant, entertaining and inspirational by offering your stories or the stories of people you know who succeeded (or didn’t). I can talk about how Brett Favre was laid off and loving it but I’d rather hear about how your neighbor got cut after 24 years with a Fortune 500 company and then started her own successful consulting company (like the woman did in Laid Off & Loving It For 2010.

I will strive to be more consistent and routine with my content posts here. You’ll see SOMETHING new and relevant almost every day.

Thanks for your loyal following and thanks also for your input and comments which will only make this community more vibrant. 

And speaking of dinner plans, it is time me to execute mine!  

Career Transition hint for today:  Be CONSISTENT in your job hunt efforts. Don’t fluctuate despite discouragement.  More about that later next week…

Layoffs Denied in Omaha, Nebraska?

  

The 50 Over 50 Project is a “community of career coaching” for 50 people over the age of 50 over a 50-week period.

 

Yesterday in Omaha, Nebraska a hi-tech company did a round of layoffs. While people getting the axe is far from new news these days, this firm had a history of fast growth, steady employment, and long tenure.  So this event is a shock to our community and an even bigger shock to those who were cut. Some of those layoff victims fit the demographical focus of this blog–they were over 50. Many had been with their firm for a long, long time. 

Their pressing question then is:  

What does a long-term employee, who is on the older side, who may have a narrow skill set for their local market, who maybe hasn’t kept up with newer technology, and who has above average earnings, DO NOW

The answers are many so we’ll address things over the next several posts. 

The first thing which might help these laid off Omaha folks is to realize their situation has some similarities to cancer. I have been very close to cancer’s worst impact so I am not trivializing it. And, I admit few people DIE from being laid off. So what is the similarity? It is this: How victims react.     

Here are the “Stages of Grief,” from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ book, “On Death and Dying:”

  • Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
  • Anger (why is this happening to me?)
  • Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
  • Depression (I don’t care anymore)
  • Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)

Do you see how these grief-related steps have heavy overlap for a person who has just been laid off and is nearly frightened to death? 

If you do, tell others who might benefit about these steps so they can start their process of “vocational healing.”

I’ve been laid off many times and have interviewed or led seminars with hundreds of others who have also been cut. So, our next few posts will explore this “teachable moment” we have right here in River City. Circle the wagons with your laid off neighbors or friends and we’ll work through these phases together…

As always, PLEASE offer your thoughts to keep this a “community of career advice.”

Paul David Madsen
Author: Laid Off & Loving It For 2010