Posts Tagged ‘Boomers’

Ten Tips to Off-line Networking for Career Success and Personal Branding

June 26th, 2011

Hi All!

Nowadays, most people seem to be solely focused on social networking online. And, yes, while I am a firm believer that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are AMAZING tools for making professional connections, I find that many Millennials (aka: Gen Y), and even members of older generations at work, such as Gen X, Generation Jones and Boomers, forget about “the other” type of networking…attending industry mixers and professional association gatherings!

Quite honestly, I find that attending in-person networking events can typically yield me positive business results faster than relying on social media networking. Therefore, I make an effort to include in-person networking to my personal brand-building mix.

But, I also find that many people are not that great at using their valuable networking time wisely. As a result, I make sure to include tips on “effective networking at events” in the Personal Leadership Branding seminars and Millennial Business Boot Camp workshops that I conduct for corporations and college students. It is key to your career success!

So whether you’re a job-seeker or simply wanting to expand your professional network outside of your office to “increase awareness for your personal brand”, keep reading!

Here are Ten Tips I suggest to make your off-line networking efforts successful:

  1. Show-up with your business cards! People often forget their cards, or only bring a few, and that’s embarrassing. Bring a substantial stack so you don’t run out. And, if you’re a job-seeker who is unemployed, make your own cards and consider making them 2-sided so that you can list your qualifications on the back. Plus, bring copies of your resume “just in-case”!
  2. Don’t be shy. Remember, everyone is there to meet new people, so you are all in the same boat. Find someone standing alone or a small group of people, walk up, extend your hand (for a FIRM shake), smile and introduce yourself. It may feel odd at first but people who network a lot are used to strangers approaching them. And if you say it’s your first time attending the mixer, they’ll normally want to help you meet other people.
  3. Practice your 15-second “personal infomercial” (aka: elevator pitch) before you arrive. When someone asks what you do or why you are there, be able to explain yourself in 15-seconds or less. DO NOT bore people with a long personal pitch or a bumbling explanation about who you are and/or what you’re seeking.
  4. You should take an interest in the people you meet first. It’s common to ramble on about yourself when you’re nervous, so make a serious effort to ask people questions and LISTEN to what they share closely.
  5. Depending on the length of the mixer, try not to spend more than 5-10 minutes with each person. You’re there to meet a lot of people! Now if you’re really enjoying yourself with someone, maybe spend a bit more time. BUT, KEEP IN MIND, they may want to be moving on to meet more people, too, so don’t monopolize their time. They might be too shy to excuse themselves, so be mindful of time, and watch their eyes and body language!
  6. If alcohol is being served, don’t overdo it. I’ve seen quite a few people early-on at an event making a great impression and then, after a few drinks, it goes downhill. Remember: If you’re an employee, everything you say and do at the event will not only impact your personal brand but will also reflect on your employer’s brand!
  7. Make a lot of eye contact with people and smile! It’s all about human contact, and smiling will draw people to you. However when most people get nervous they tend to stand on the sidelines and hope people will come to them. A genuine, sincere smile will relax people and will make connecting with you more inviting…exuding confidence it key!
  8. Practice being a good conversationalist. Rather than JUST talk about you, your job and your purpose for being there (or theirs), have a few interesting questions memorized, and ask about kids, travel, previous jobs, pets, sports, current events, etc. This can help you quickly bond with people beyond “business”. Also, by really listening to people (which many people are NOT great at!) questions will come up naturally that you can ask to keep the conversation going. And, personally, I avoid topics around religion and politics…there’s no need to get yourself into a potentially controversial conversation!
  9. If someone approaches a group you’re talking to, immediately extend your hand, smile, and make them feel welcome. Remember, they are probably nervous, too!
  10. Send a hand written follow-up note to all the people you meet (mail them within 1-2 days). The immediate thought, especially by Gen Y, is to send an e-mail or text message, but a good ‘ol fashioned “Nice meeting you” greeting card, sent via snail mail, makes a BIG impression on people, from ANY generation…because people rarely send them nowadays!

Okay, now find some good association mixers and industry events in your area, and try to attend at least 1-2 per month, consistently. There is a very good chance you’ll reap the benefits of your off-line networking efforts fast, such as: See your professional contacts database grow quickly; find career-building opportunities otherwise missed; and, for those of you job searching, potentially get leads on good job opportunities!

Here’s a great quote I read a while ago (but I can remember who said it): “Take your online connections off-line, and take your off-line connections online”. Great advice!

 Bye for now!


How Many People Over 65 Will There Be By 2040?

December 28th, 2010

Hi All,

In a recent article in the San Jose Mercury News, this question was asked in a quiz: In total, how many people age 65 (and older) will there be 3 decades from now, in 2040, globally?

Here are the answer options they provided…which one do you think is correct?:

A.) 533 Million

B.) 726 Million

C.) 992 Million

D.) 1.3 Billion

If you chose “D”, you are correct! Here are the details they provided along with the correct answer…staggering!!

The number of people 65 and older in 2040 will be 1.3 billion, which is slightly less than the current population of China — and slightly more than India’s current population. In absolute numbers, China’s pension-age population will be about 330 million by 2040, which is larger than the entire U.S. population today. The number of people 65 and older will reach 1 billion shortly after 2030. Around that time, there will be as many pension-age people as there are Muslims in the world today.

The aging Boomer “boom” is upon us in the U.S. and globally. The oldest Boomers in the U.S. just turned 65 a year ago, so this aging population trend in our history is just beginning. And shortages in Geriatric doctors, 55+ living communities, skilled care facilities, nursing homes, and assisted living communities abound. Our country, and government, needs to “get on it” to accomodate this huge aging and elderly population!

And, younger generations need to prepare themselves for assisting aging parents. I’m going through this with my father right now, and there’s a lot of stress and red tape in the process!

Bye for now,


Random Generations News: Kanye, Swift, Williams, Swayze and Prince Harry

September 15th, 2009

Hi All,

What a weird couple of days it has been. So this is one of my random posts about stuff that has occurred in the news or world that grabbed my attention.

Sunday was all about Millennials Gone Mad. First, we had Serena Williams totally lose her mind at the US Open tennis tournament. She yelled continuously at a line judge, and said (quote) “I will shove this f**king ball down your throat!”. Yesterday she released an apology.

Then, that same day, Kanye West totally freaked out at the MTV’s VMA’s by grabbing the mic from Taylor Swift as she accepted her award, ranting that Beyonce’s video was better. He’s an idiot. But luckily Beyonce showed her usual class by letting Taylor finish her acceptance speech when she (Beyonce) won later that night for Video of the Year. Considering Kanye is good friends with Jay-Z, husband of Beyonce, I’m sure the discussions they’ll have (and have had) around this will be a tad uncomfortable. Beyonce was clearly mortified when Kanye went on his rant.

I was watching the show so was in total shock, along with most viewers, when this whole thing transpired. He is a mess. I like Kanye’s music, but he needs help, and has serious anger issues. Truly, the man’s filter is broken. Apparently he has called Taylor to apologize, but whatever.

Here is a link to a video clip of Taylor’s appearance on The View discussing the whole situation.

Then, yesterday, actor/dancer (Baby Boomer) Patrick Swayze of Ghost and Dirty Dancing fame, died of pancreatic cancer after a 2 year battle. Although I wasn’t shocked when I saw the breaking news yesterday, it’s still sad. He was only 57 and was well liked by the industry because he was said to be a terrific person. Swayze was also a 3 time Golden Globe nominee. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa Niemi.

And on another random, Prince Harry, Millennial son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, turned 25 years old today. With this birthday, he gets access to part of his inheritance left to him by his mother. No solid reports have been released about exactly how much it is, but a report in April estimated that he and his brother, Prince William, are each worth around $50 million. I’m sure he’ll have a very happy birthday today!

Okay…that’s all. Just stuff I wanted to write about, non workforce or business related…random generations news.

Follow me on Twitter for regular tweets on all kinds of stuff related to generations at work, business, and culture: @GenerationsGuru

Bye for now!


Funny Letter to Millennials-Gen Y From Member of Older Generation

February 02nd, 2009

Hi All,

I received this email from a client who had received it through a mass group email. I don’t know who the author is but clearly it’s someone from the Gen X, Generation Jones or Boomer generations.

Before I receive heated emails from any Millennials, please note I did NOT write this. I’m simply sharing it because I think it’s funny. And I have also shared in previous blogs rants from Millennials about older generations, so it’s only fair that when I come across these things it’s equally distributed!


When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning…uphill…barefoot …BOTH ways. 

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And, I remember promising myself that, when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they’ve got it!

But now that I’m over the ripe old age of thirty, I can’t help but look around and notice the youth of today. You’ve got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And, I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don’t know how good you’ve got it! I mean, when I was a kid, we didn’t have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! Then, you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3s or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or, you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ’d usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn’t have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal – that’s it! And, we didn’t have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn’t know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn’t have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘asteroids’. Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your Imagination!! And, there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen, forever! And, you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I’m saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And, we didn’t have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove… imagine that! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.

You’re spoiled. You guys wouldn’t have lasted five minutes back in 1980!


The Over 30 Crowd

Bye for now!


Boomers Coping With a Younger (Millennial-Gen Y) Boss Article in San Diego Tribune

January 17th, 2009

Hi All!

Jenifer Goodwin, a reporter for the San Diego Tribune, recently came across my television interview on ABC KGO-TV’s popular talk show, The View From the Bay. She thought the topic of “how older Boomer and Gen X employees can cope with a younger Millennial boss” was pretty interesting. So she interviewed me for an article that come out today in the San Diego Tribune. The article ran in the printed paper and online.

Her article is entitled: “Don’t be too hard on the new boss – she’s just a kid!”

Here’s an excerpt from it but you can click here to read the whole thing:

Meeting the new boss can give anyone butterflies. How about if the boss is young enough to be your child?

As more members of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) and even the Millennials (those born after 1980) get promoted to management, baby boomers may find themselves reporting to managers who think Jimmy Buffett stepped on a Pop-Tart in Margaritaville. (It was a pop top).

Taking instruction from a boss who was watching “Sesame Street” when you were buying your first house can be hard to swallow. But experts say the relationship doesn’t have to be exasperating – and can even be beneficial – if you go in with the right attitude.

Getting to know you: Young bosses may worry that older employees won’t take them seriously. Get off to a good start by reassuring the young boss that you’re looking forward to being part of his or her “team,” said Lisa Orrell, author of “Millennials Incorporated: The Big Business of Recruiting, Managing and Retaining the World’s New Generation of Young Professionals.” Younger generations tend to be big on collaboration and less interested in rigid organizational structures.

Fun topic covering a new trend as Millennials reach their late-20’s. And the multigenerational dynamics at work are leading to more companies hiring me to present my newest seminar “Improving Communication Across the Generations”.

Stay tuned for more on this topic!


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