I had a networking coffee with a person today who was in transition.
He was much younger than me.
He expressed his concern that he was getting too old to get a job.
He still had kids in college. I told him that Ray Kroc started McDonald’s when he was 55. Don’t know if that quieted his mind.
Sure, I have heard about hiring biases for older folks which is totally true but you shouldn’t let your mind define your age or your journey. You can always turn your knowledge into a job by working for yourself. You only have to be comfortable with jumping off tall buildings without a parachute and hoping you catch one with check in it before you hit the ground.
Not for the faint of heart.
These days your digital presence defines if you have game and relevance because that is how you will be found first. You need to look current and contemporary when people find your profile. You also need to have thought leadership out there so people don’t think you are a dinosaur.
In the advertising business, the average age of employees is 34. I am a couple of years older than that. But my online presence is better than many 34 year olds. As a marketer you have to practice what you preach.
Your identity today is your online game even if you work in any vertical. Supply Chain, HR, even CFO. It is not about the fact that you have an MBA from an Ivy League school 20 years ago. Most young people don’t even have an MBA on their minds. They know that is just a way to rack up debt today.
Technology is changing every industry and if you know technology then you will be valuable no matter your age. There are 7500 Marketing Automation platforms out there. Nobody can be proficient as all of them. If you know how to do things that other people don’t in the room you will be valuable. All companies in a changing environment want translators that can use their knowledge to carry their company into the future.
But it’s difficult to get to the hiring table if you are stuck in the past.
So how strong is your digital engagement? Where is your blog writing about your thought leadership and capabilities in your field?
Somebody commented on one of my blogs the other day that most people he knows only update their LinkedIn profile when they are looking for a job. They rarely send out daily updates to keep them in front of people and show that they are smart.
Even if you are working, you live in the New Normal, you have to spend an hour a day acting as if you were looking for a job and marketing yourself. No time? You have to make the choice between your career and streaming on Netflix.
As Dylan Thomas said you have to rage rage against the dying of the light. Even if it seems bright for you today. You need to rage against the machine.
You need to have passion and keep learning to keep yourself young.
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