Being fired, laid off, or let go can be a very emotionally taxing and frustrating experience. Your self-confidence is wavering, you're not sure what you're going to do next, and you're not sure how you're ever going to bounce back (especially if you're late in your career). If you're currently unemployed after a layoff, this live event is for you.
It's completely normal to grieve for the loss of your job when you get laid off. But, as difficult as losing your job may seem right now, it can lead to something positive.
Everything happens for a reason. Getting laid off might give you the fresh start you didn't know you needed.
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Get back on your feet after a tough layoff
- Create an effective job search strategy that gets you results fast
- Stand out as a unique candidate and sell yourself to future employers
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, September 21st at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
Do you think age discrimination is affecting your job search? Do you feel like you are losing out to the competition because you're older? If so, you're not alone in this thinking, and I'm going to share with you some information that's going to help you overcome this challenge.
I have been getting a ton of questions lately on the subject of age discrimination, and I want to start by breaking a huge misconception—the fact that it's not technically age discrimination that you're experiencing. It's experience discrimination.
What Is Experience Discrimination?
What do I mean by that? Well, let me give you a little history. Right now there are about 40 million baby boomers in the workforce. These are people in their fifties, sixties, and beyond, and all of them have decided to stay in the workforce a lot longer than the generations before them.
The problem is that, over the last 10+ years, 70 million people from younger generations have also emerged and entered the workforce.
Millennials and Gen Z make up over half the workforce today, and many of them are now in their late twenties and early thirties. This means that they have enough years of experience to be relevant in the marketplace, and given the fact that they cost a lot less—and oftentimes have fewer bad habits and are more technologically savvy—more and more employers hire them over older, more seasoned, more experienced workers.
Again, it's not really age discrimination. It is a case of the law of supply and demand. If you think about the world of business, there is too much supply—too many seasoned workers—and not enough demand for their skill sets (even with low unemployment rates).
So, what do you do about this?
Well, first understand that this situation isn't only affecting baby boomers. Eventually, millennials are going to get impacted by this as well. This is due to what is called "globalization," and every single day the geographic and economic boundaries to getting affordable help are lowering around the world.
In fact, I was working with a client recently who told me how he could hire one PhD here in the U.S., or hire three PhDs for the same price in Europe. This trend is going to continue. Believe it or not, here in the U.S., we all live in the 1% in terms of income and opportunity when compared to the rest of the world.
So, start thinking about how you're going to change your strategy with respect to your career and your relevance in the marketplace. Again, it's a supply and demand concept. What you want to do is build a way where your skill sets and expertise are in less supply, so that you are higher in demand.
Now that you understand this whole concept, what you want to do is focus on the fact that you are no longer an employee. You are a business-of-one, and your job is to sell and market your services to employers.
For a business to stay in business, it has to stay relevant in the marketplace. And there are three specific things that we suggest people do in order to make that happen for themselves.
Step 1: Define Your Personal Brand
The first thing you have to do is define your personal brand.
You have to understand what you're the go-to person for, what your specialty is, and specifically what problems you solve/what pain point you alleviate. This is because employers can only hire you when you save or make them enough money. When you solve their problems, you alleviate their pains to justify the cost of hiring you.
So, it's on you to get very clear about what your value proposition is, and to do so I suggest that you take our free "career decoder" quiz. This is going to show you what your workplace personas are—the things that you like to do, the tasks that you like to accomplish, and how you like to deliver value in the workplace.
Understanding your workplace personas is the first step in building a very clear personal brand that will help people understand why they should hire you.
Step 2: Follow A Smart Career Strategy
The second step in the process is to follow a smart career strategy. Today, every job is temporary, and we know that school has taught us everything except how to manage our careers.
Now that the marketplace is always changing, you can't build a 5, 10, or 20-year career plan. You can really only do one or two years out at a time. Your career strategy has to be agile, but it has to be very succinct and focused at the same time.
So, at any given time, you should know exactly what you're trying to achieve, both in your career overall and specifically with regard to relevant skills that you're trying to grow and leverage.
What you don't want to do is plateau. Again, I've seen a lot of seasoned workers in their fifties and sixties who got to a certain level in their career and thought, "This is good enough; my skills are good enough." Meanwhile, the whole world around them was changing.
This kind of works like a bell curve. They go up, they plateau, and they start to go down. Now all of a sudden they're trying to get any job they can—but they've also outpriced themselves in the market.
So your job is to always keep focusing on growing your skills, and being able to tell the world specifically what you're doing to upskill every single year.
Step 3: Work On Your Career, Not Just "In" It
The third step is for you to work on your career as much as you work in it. The truth is that we can easily get caught up in the day-to-day aspects of our job and kind of grind through our week, our months, and our years without ever really thinking about the strategy of our career.
One of the biggest components of this is networking. These days, your network is your net worth. It's all about who you know.
There are tons of studies that show the best way to get your next job is through a networking connection. If you haven't checked out our video on this, we've got some great resources on networking that can really help you start to understand this—especially with regard to online networking tools like LinkedIn.
A lot of people don't understand that there are protocols that you need to follow in online networking that are very similar to offline or in-person networking. Unfortunately, people have been short-cutting these protocols and making some terrible, terrible mistakes in the process.
So, please make sure that you're digitally networking the right way—growing your network, nurturing your network, serving your network. This is the best way for you to have a healthy network, should something happen and you suddenly need to look for a new job. You'll be able to tap into your professional network without having to start from scratch.
No matter your age and experience level, building these skill sets and having these strategies in place is vital to a successful career. And it's especially important if you're trying to overcome experience discrimination.
Again, you are now a business-of-one, and you need to stay on top of these trends in order to stay relevant. Remember these tips and you'll successfully overcome age discrimination in your job search.
Need help staying relevant in today's job market?
I'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Power Hour Event Subscription! I look forward to answering all of your career questions in our next live event!
(NOTE: This message is laced with sarcasm to prove a point. Reader beware and enter at your own risk.)
One of my mentors taught me a very valuable lesson the hard way. He told me I had great ideas, and my sales approach was crap. He even sent me to “Sales Training” to get better at making my point.
I admit I was terrible. I have gotten better over the years and by making mistakes. One good idea after another thrown in the circular file until I learned an invaluable lesson from my mentor.
Executives only care about two things…
#1 – MONEY
#2 – MONEY!!!!
Money #1 – How Much Will This Cost Me?
One of the first questions after someone poses an idea to an executive is: "What will this cost?"
Money #1 is about how much outlay of cash, time, or effort this idea will cost me. Is this idea an investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars? Capital? Expense? How long will it take? Who needs to be involved?
Everything in business comes with a cost. If the executive decides to put effort into something, she needs to know what it will cost her. Do I need to change the schedule on another project making it late? Is she hiring someone to complete this project? Does she need to pay overtime? Invest cash? Take out a loan? Everything comes with a price tag.
When presenting your ideas to an executive, make sure you have these details ready at a macro level. Too much detail, you lose their interest. Not enough facts and you will be sent back to the drawing board. What is the right level of detail?
Each executive will have different motivations. See if you can identify them before the conversation and leverage their preferences. Going to a CFO with highly complicated technology will confuse him. Seeking financial support from the Director of Engineering without discussing the details? Good luck. Determine their preference and use it!
Money #2 – What Is The Revenue Or Cost Savings That Comes With This?
The second question: "How much can we make off this idea?" The corollary question: "What are the savings?"
Money #2 is more about what is in it for me. How much will we profit from this exercise? Will it increase revenue? Can it save me money elsewhere in the business? What do I get from my investment?
If an idea is simply for an idea's sake, you better have a flawless argument to get approval. Asking for money (#1) without stating what is in it for me (#2) is suicide. If you approached your mother for $100, would you simply get it? Sure, she’s Mom, and she loves you. Dad on the other hand wants a mowed lawn, clean garage, or something in return. (NOTE: This is a stereotype. See warning above.)
Executives need to know their investment will pay off. Some want immediate results, and others may be playing the long game of two to three years out. Either way, for their $100 today, they want something in return in the near future.
How can you save the business? Will the idea drive more revenue and improve cash flow? Is your production line 30% more efficient saving time and labor hours? Can we make and sell more widgets this month?
Approach your executive with some idea of what is in it for them. Show the way your idea can help meet (or exceed) their goals. If you ask for $100K, demonstrate the return of $200K, $300K, $500K, or more for the investment in your project.
Subjects like safety, risk mitigation, and even simply making a product right for the customer may not have hard dollars in return. Focus on cost avoidance when you cannot provide hard cash. Avoiding litigation and the lawyer fees associated to defend your product liability can be worth millions. Saving a person’s life is immeasurable. These costs are indirect, and they are potentially real.
In order to get Money #1 to begin your project, you must show how Money #2 pays itself back. Without it, your idea is nothing more than a dream.
Wrap It Up… This Is Costing Me!
I learned this lesson early in my career. As stated, my mentor saw potential in my new ideas. He knew I put a lot of effort into the concept and how it could help the business. I had opportunities to drive real change.
My presentation sucked. I spoke of the technical merits. I showed efficiency gains. I described in detail the plan of implementation. I knew generally what the “cash” costs were in the conversation. I could give him more detail than he needed.
In the end, he asked me what it would cost. I had the cash value of the idea, and I neglected the time and human capital. His second question: "How does this affect the bottom line (the return)?" I did not always have this level of detail.
Business is supposed to be simple. I sell something for a price (Money #2) while making it for a cost (Money #1). When #2 is greater than #1, business is good. If #2 does not exist and you continue to spend #1, your business will not last.
Approaching an executive with these two concepts well prepared will serve you well. In everyday negotiations with my team, I often ask, "How much effort will this take?" and "Why should we do this?" In a way, my mentor is perched on each of my shoulders (like the angel and devil) reminding me of two things…
MONEY and MONEY.
Go forth and sell your ideas better than I have in my past. Use the Money #1 and Money #2 tricks to your advantage. Get your paradigm-changing concepts implemented and improve your world!