Notes from My Breakfast Meeting with "The Old Man"
I arrived for the breakfast meeting today 2 minutes late and looked a little tired. He said I need to be more punctual and to always exude confidence - put a bounce in my step.
I have a good educational background (but not great, no Ph.D. from MIT). At our age education is unimportant anyway.
I have good level of experience (but not great, I haven't saved my employer $10 million).
Age is against us - anyone over 50 needs to consider the "age factor", and compensate for it. I need to develop relationships with company presidents and VPs, and with older workers there.
Anyone under 40 doesn't understand your worth, will likely consider you a threat because you have more experience than they do. Interviewing with any HR person or the hiring manager under 40 is usually a waste of time.
Never admit you can't do anything. You can always take a week before starting, read a book on the subject ( ___ for Dummies), and know it "well enough" until you get some on the job experience with it.
Build a network of at least 100 people that you can call whenever you need help or advice. Don't think of this as just a part of your job search strategy, but as a life long support group. Have 2 - 3 people serve as your Board of Directors to give you frequent, honest feedback.
Decide if you have enough savings, etc that you can survive until age 62 (when you can get early social security). If so, you are free to do what you want to do. You don't have to think only in terms of getting the next 9 to 5 job. You are free to think more in terms of "what do I really want to do".
People value highly paid people. Don't be afraid to charge $100 per hour or more for consulting work if you can bring that much value to your customer. If you charge less, people will think you are worth less.
Expect only 1 in 10 contacts to be a connection that helps you get where you want to go. Don't be discouraged by the rejection from the other 9. That's just the way it is.
Read books - especially biographies of businessmen and politicians, historical events, etc. You will see these people made many mistakes in the way they handled people and situations. This will give your more confidence to try things that might not work, and give you more ideas that might work - and you won't feel so bad when you fail too.
Enjoy being "unemployed" - you now have the freedom to have breakfast with friends whenever you want, to decide how hard to work, what hours to work, etc.
Find some hobbies that you enjoy and that can help you relax. You need to relax.
Enjoy your relatives - kids, grandkids, spouse, siblings, parents, etc. Take the time to talk with them.
Don't be afraid to take chances. You don't want to be 85 and on your deathbed wishing you had taken more risks, tried different paths, etc. It will be too late then.
Last Updated 12/12/00 09:30 PM
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