Episode 6: Lisa Answers Listener Questions

This is the next episode of “Ask Lisa,” the focus of the show every second week of the month, when I answer listeners’ career transition questions.

The topics range from how to use your age as an asset for your career instead of a hinderance, why many employers ghost you after you apply for a role that seems like a good fit, how to stay motivated and positive when in a prolonged job search, and how to handle it in terms of what to do with your days when you and your spouse are retiring at the same time.

KKNW producer Eric and I also exchange reactions to these questions and I share the week’s “Reignition Recommendation,” a tip of the week for mid-late career transitions regardless of your age.

Show Notes:

[00:25] Welcome to Reigniting You™ where we talk all things career transition for those age 40+. Excited to be with all of you today and as usual, our producer, Eric.

[00:55] With this being the second week of the month, it’s time for our “Ask Lisa” episode where I’ll be answering listeners’ career transition questions as best I can.

[3:05] First question from Jennifer – How do I use my age as a tool and not a hinderance in my career?

[3:27] Embody the confidence that you can succeed and that you’re the best fit for the opportunities in front of you. What are times/examples of accomplishments and achievements – behaviors you used and what you did as stories to help boost confidence and share in situations. What is your self-talk around age that could be self-sabotage and perpetuates ageist stereotypes? Emphasize how what you do helped organizations achieve results and outcomes – through mentoring and training new leaders? Solving complex problems? Recruiting new talent? Providing steady leadership? Developing or streamlining new systems or processes?

[8:48] Next question from Randy – why don’t organizations get back to job applicants or respond when a job description is right up someone’s alley?

[9:08] Though frustrating, impossible to know what’s going on behind closed doors unless you have an “in” with the organization or hiring manager. Often, it’s because of the volume of applications – could be 1,000+ pre-COVID. About 50+ could survive the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) filter; about 10+ get phone screens; about 3+ get in-person interviews. Make sure résumé is compatible with ATS – no important information in the header, correct file format, use common section headers, customize for key words. Best to get referred by someone – 10X greater success if a contact gets your info. in front of a hiring manager or recruiter.

[11:29] Eric shares his experience with getting jobs – been a mix of applying both with and without knowing someone with the organization.

[12:35] Been a mix for Lisa too – been opposite of what you’d think – applied online and got corporate jobs without having a contact but knew someone for jobs at smaller organizations.

[13:06] Eric emphasizes there are guidelines to follow too – can’t just assume that because you know somebody doesn’t mean that’s an “in” – have to still follow all of the steps of applying.

[13:44] Lisa – do what you can to get in front of the decision makers and at the same time know that you will need to follow that process; you never know what’s going to happen so you might as well go for it.

[16:47] Next question from a fellow Lisa in Seattle – Been struggling lately with staying motivated and positive after losing her job and nothing clicking for her. How can I avoid getting too depressed?

[17:33] Watch negative self-talk – script running in your head. Ask yourself a question to engage your brain in a way that’s productive – What’s something I can do right now that could give me some forward momentum? Who do I know who could broker an introduction for me? What’s a free webinar or class I can take to boost my skills? Set reasonable goals – break into smaller tasks so you’ve got some momentum. Physical exercise is great – get blood pumping, clear our head. Could join online networking groups – is there a Meet Up group of interest? Digesting content that’s positive helps too.

[19:50] Final question from Paula – She and her husband are both considering retiring at the same time – concerned about how they’ll not drive each other crazy. What do you suggest?

[20:21] Have an open conversation – we can be overly optimistic and assume things will work out without us taking concrete, actionable steps to affect our outcomes. Avoid just focusing on current job – what can you map out in terms of how you’ll spend your time, especially after the “honeymoon” phase? Use the “pillars of life” needs as a starting place (social, physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, occupational) – how are we going to get each of those needs satisfied? Social connection is key to our overall health and longevity.

[23:52] Eric shares what helps him stay motivated and positive – following creative endeavors – music – spending time and energy into that can relieve tension of other commitments – self-care.

[25:00] Lisa – can explore different avenues – what do you see or hear of that could turn into an interest? Do those activities that you enjoy.

[26:19] Reminder for listeners to email or leave a voicemail at 360-436-6496 to ask their career transition questions for the second week of December.

[26:45] “Reignition Recommendation” for the week – avoid comparing yourself to other people.

[27:37] Join us next Wednesday at 3:00 when my guest will be Sue Mintz of Retirementhood as we talk about the benefits of the non-financial aspects of retirement planning. Thanks for joining us and talk to you next week on Reigniting You™!

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