I worked for just over a decade in Washington, DC at the national headquarters of AARP where I developed an awareness about employment challenges for older workers (people age 40 and beyond) that I share here today with you. AARP switched their marketing focus to appeal to people born from 1946 through 1964, which was a departure from the initial AARP target audience of people born during or before the Second World War. This marketing change was so AARP could remain relevant at least from 2011 through 2029, the span of years that the baby boom generation hits age 65.
Whether AARP is the best organization to benefit you as an older worker (versus a retired person) is not the focus of my commentary here today. But, it is true that AARP consistently has tried to socialize how people today can try to cope with workplace age discrimination.
The marketing phrase that stands out for me is this one: “Age is just a number and life is what you make it.” Various versions of that sentiment found their way into AARP marketing over many years since the mid-1990s. There is some logical truth in that phrase, of course. However, in the real world, how many birthdays you’ve reached has much more significance than being “just a number” for you.
Experiencing age discrimination in the workplace (either while attempting to get hired, or, on the job, itself) in the United States happens to be what’s “normal” for most people. Some career paths, of course, are exceptions to this cultural norm. But, most of us have already learned painful lessons from our experiences with workplace age discrimination.
I work as a professional life coach and business improvement coach. On the personal coaching side, I mentor people who are older workers to reinvent and restart as the preferred way to fight back against workplace age discrimination. The methods I use are proprietary, but I can describe here how this works.
Very few people are born with a built-in skill to use their mind always for their own good and prosperity. So, I teach people that skill to augment what’s already in their set of skills. What happens after my coaching, consulting and mentoring is a person becomes confidently skilled at using their mind in proven ways that lead to their own good and prosperity. There is no magic or medications and nothing to take. Anyone with a mind that works can attain this newly-acquired skill.
Older workers know that age discrimination is reality. No marketing campaigns from any organization can diminish this. Age discrimination will not go away for you in the workplace if you attempt to “appear younger” by coloring your hair. White hair looks cool. You can fight back against such workplace discrimination by learning how you can use your mind to succeed personally and professionally and leave your competitors behind.
Reinventing and restarting yourself at any age is neither simple nor painless. But, not reinventing or restarting yourself may lead to you remaining stuck in life. Don’t let that happen.
I’m pleased to announce that as of May 2017, Amazon.com is the exclusive place where you can find both the paperback book version and the Kindle eBook version of KHJ, Los Angeles: Boss Radio Forever. Visit Amazon.com.
Both these versions are identical (except for a few formatting differences.) If you prefer to hold a paperback book about KHJ and Boss Radio in your hands, you’re in luck. Or, if you’d rather have this same exact book on your Kindle, there’s good news for you as well.
Visit Amazon.com to learn more about these May 2017 publications of KHJ, Los Angeles: Boss Radio Forever.
Commentary and Advice by Woody Goulart
You only need a website today if you want to prove to others that you exist. If you are happy to remain in obscurity, you can get along just fine without having your own website.
Individuals, small and medium-size businesses, and nonprofits need a complete, yet affordable, selection of professional and customized services to enable them to win over their particular target audience with online marketing. Usually this means paying today’s high prices for professional services to get your own website. That is just a waste. And so unnecessary.
Nearly half of small and medium-sized businesses or nonprofits do not yet have their own website. One thing that I tell people today may sound shocking: You need to have a website if you want to have street credibility today in the business world. Your personal brand depends on having a website.
I firmly believe in this need to have a website after working since 1996 using the Internet for business. If you are someone who really does not want to have your own website, please read this one page and give me a chance to change your thinking.
I can help you if you start with an acceptance that yes, you need a website if you really want credibility today in marketing your business to your target audience.
Basic Rule of Business
Once you understand the need to have your own website, you need help with strategic marketing and personal branding online. The basic rule of business that I use can be explained using an ocean metaphor: You need to swim in the same waters as your potential customers.
You get the idea. The truth is: To do business today involving seeking and attracting potential customers, you need to bring what you are offering to your customers where they are.
The other simple reality is that having your own website is essential proof that you are savvy enough to use today’s contemporary tools of communication in the digital realm and online. You don’t want to be considered irrelevant or outmoded.
Today, the use of the Internet for business is roughly 20 years old. Websites today differ greatly from how websites worked back in the 1990s when the Internet was new.
The major difference is that today’s websites are intended to interactive for your visitors compared to the old-school style of websites from the past.
Let me quickly express what you need and should want: You want a website for today, not a website that is from the 1990s. The past belongs in the past. Learn to respect the past, but understand that we must focus on today and tomorrow.
Living in the Present Day
Today, the best practice is to have a site that is attractive to look at and easy to use, plus, the website works the way it needs to work: People need to interact with you through your website if you want to be successful in using the website for your business.
The manner or way that you employ online and using digital outreach technology should be important to you. Resist the temptation to jump into an expensive contract with a provider of website services that promises you the sun and moon and a couple of galaxies, too.
Sure, having a website today is essential, but you can be smart and conservative in how you go about it. Why? You don’t want to dump a lot of money and time into something that is wrong.
Now a Warning: Merely getting your own website is not a secret doorway to either sudden riches or fame. Rushing out and using social media channels without thinking about why is not the answer to your most pressing business problems. Text messaging to thousands of smart phones may not necessarily rescue you from irrelevance.
Today’s digital technology together with the Internet represent marvelous human accomplishments and inventiveness. Websites and smart phones could surely not have been imagined a few decades ago except by the likes of science fiction writers. But, don’t get lost in the marvels that we now have at our fingertips in the 21st century.
The best way to success is to use digital technology together with the Internet as one of the tools of your trade.
Consider how computerized word processing has become an indispensable tool for writers today. Since word processing is so important to the craft of writing nowadays, how did anyone write and publish books before the invention of word processing software? Trick question.
Here is wisdom you can take with you today: Make effective use of the tools of today’s technology. Use the Internet. Have your own website. Yes, get into Twitter. And Facebook. Send text messages to reach the smart phones you know your audience uses.
Just be sure that you have carefully thought out why you are using these tools: Reaching, interacting with, and persuading your target audience should be your core reason and chief motivation.
As October 2013 came to an end, so did my Las Vegas life when I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area for work. Or so I thought. Now, as June 2015 comes to an end, I’m getting to go back to live in the neon fun desert.
This feels right. This feels like what is “supposed to happen.” So, I am going with it. I am leaving my home state of California to live and work in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Yes, the weather can be impossibly hot. Yes, there also are other factors about living in the Mojave Desert that are challenging. But, for me, returning to Las Vegas feels like a fulfillment of certain song lyrics: “get back to where you once belonged.”
I know now that one must look into the sometimes stormy skies to find a patch of blue. A proper mental attitude can carry you through. You just need to discover how to stay in control of your mind and not let others encroach upon you or your thoughts and beliefs.
My partner of 19 years, Sam Glass and I will once again be locals in Las Vegas. We know what to expect because we lived there very recently and see what’s what.
[Originally posted online by Woody Goulart on June 30, 2015]