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If you are a jobseeker in your fifties or sixties, you’re already well aware that you face a number of age-related roadblocks to landing your next position. One of the biggest is successfully navigating the interview with a younger hiring manager. Assumptions on both sides of the generation gap can cause problems. However, with a little foresight and preparation, you can prevail!

There are three formidable (but largely unspoken) objections driven by your age alone. Nevertheless, if you approach the interview process with the understanding of what you’ll need to address and overcome these negative stereotypes, you could not only win over the younger interviewer, you might even become their candidate of choice.


Objection #1: You’re old, tired and just marking time until retirement. You won’t want to put in the hours or the effort to become a contributing team member and you especially won’t want to report to a younger boss.

There’s no way around this one. You have to show enthusiasm for the job, the organization and the ways you can contribute. Prepare a list of reasons why you want to work for this company specifically and suggest several actions you can and will take to add value. Augment these ideas by providing examples of when you’ve produced measurable results in the past: saved time, increased revenue, streamlined procedures and the like.

To dispel any fears that you won’t want to take direction from a younger manager, proactively bring up the fact that you’ve reported to younger bosses many times (if this is true for you) and it was never a problem. You enjoy learning from people of all ages and you thrive in diverse environments.

And don’t forget to watch your nonverbal messages! Demonstrate your enthusiasm through your facial expressions, the way you hold yourself, the energy in your voice and your overall appearance.

Objection #2 Your skills are outdated. You’re stuck in your ways, inflexible and not open to learning new methods for going about your work.

To be successful, address this stereotype from a position of strength. A perceived lack of technical expertise is the #1 roadblock mature applicants face. Make your interviewer aware of the fact that you enjoy learning new skills and are known as a quick study. Refer to several instances when your boss and/or coworkers complimented you on your technical skills. By enthusiastically stressing your dedication to lifelong learning and ongoing professional development, you should be able to turn this stereotype around.

In addition to your technical abilities, highlight your penchant for flexibility and your demonstrated flair for innovation. Give examples of how you’ve overcome challenges by taking a fresh approach to a situation or how your innovative thinking skills solved a major problem. Today’s workplace is all about change and you’ll need to show you’re on top of your game.

Objection #3 You’re overqualified and won’t last at the job.

Younger interviewers might actually bring up this objection during the interview. Make certain you have a ready answer. If you do hear this statement, it may likely suggest that one or more members of the interviewing team is feeling threatened by you. They’ve already reviewed your skills and experience as stated on your resume, so this openly declared resistance is more likely a reflection on them than it is on you.

Above all, make your responses positive. You can start by saying something like, “At this time in my career, I’ve found that I enjoy taking a hands on approach to the work myself rather than merely managing a team.” Or you might respond with, “This will be a new opportunity for me and, with my years of experience, I know I can hit the ground running. I believe my background will add value to your team, so I’m excited to be able to contribute and support the goals of the department.”

Although you don’t want to downplay your credentials, you’ll want to let the hiring manager know your ultimate objective is to make them look good. Also assure him or her that you hope to make a difference by sharing your skills and experience to mentor younger coworkers should the need arise.

Nothing can guarantee interview success—especially when you’re dealing with a much younger hiring manager. But, by keeping these three objections in mind and creating strategies to overcome them, you just might win your interviewer over to your side. As an applicant of maturity, you can and should boast that you’ll be able to bring a unique combination of experience and energy to the job. And both sides of the generation gap can feel good about that!

The post 3 Key Ways to Win Over a Younger Interviewer/Hiring Manager appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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If you’re a boomer, you’ve got issues!

Borrowing a line from the late, great Bette Davis, aging ain’t no place for sissies. But Bette’s observation was made long before our flower power came into full bloom. Like everything else our generation has touched, we are now revolutionizing the look and feel of growing older.

And I have been lucky enough to join forces with two other boomers (Susan Williams, from Booming Encore, and Joe Casey, from Retirement Wisdom) to discuss some of the hot topics that come with aging in today’s society.  Below are our first two videos. If you’ve had any questions, concerns or thoughts about becoming a senior, these lively discussions are well worth a few minutes of your time.

  • What do you think of “unretirement,” the digital divide many seniors face or the life lessons that come with age?
  • What about keeping the fun in your life, how the junior members of society perceive aging and boomer entitlement (the power of our numbers and our wealth). You’ll also learn my new favorite word, “juvenescence” and much, much more.

So, whatever your thoughts, please spend a few minutes to view our take on these hot topics and then feel free to join in the conversation. We welcome your comments.

After all, boomers are certainly not the sissies Bette Davis referred to in her pithy observation, nor are we ready to meekly move to the margins of society. Oh no. We’re far from that…We’re still loud. We’re still proud. But now we’re bolstered by a great big dose of flower power in full bloom!

Booming Encore's Trending Topics Talk - June 6th - YouTube
Booming Encore's Trending Topics Talk - June 13th - YouTube

The post Hot Topics: Boomer Issues Large and Small appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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Are you ready to turn family visits into memorable events by cooking special treats for (and with) your grandchildren? If so, you’ll want to make sure you have all the tools and equipment you’ll need on hand and ready to go…

Having your grandchildren visit you is one of the most enjoyable experiences any grandparent can have.  And preparing the right treats for them is just the ticket for any occasion. But do you have all the necessary kitchen equipment and tools to complete your treats?

If you are looking for a few additional smart appliances and gadgets for your kitchen, here are some of the highly-rated kitchen gadgets of today:

  1. Egg Cooker

An Egg Cooker in your kitchen is perfect when your grandchildren love eggs! Whether you want the eggs boiled, poached, or fried, you can do it efficiently with an Egg Cooker.

It’s pretty convenient too as it features an easy-cleaning material. It’s also compatible and portable. So, adding this to your kitchen will not eat too much space. But, it can help you cook eggs more efficient.

Also, if you are running late and doesn’t have enough time to prepare an enormous breakfast, an Egg Cooker can save your day!

  1. Taco Holders

If you’re treating your grandkids with tacos, Taco Holders are great to have. They are very sturdy and will keep your tacos organized. Also, these holders will enable the kids, along with your other visitors, to easily grab a piece without worrying that the ingredients will land on the floor.

Additionally, Taco Holders can take care of the unfinished tacos.  Kids can leave the table to play around for awhile without worrying about where to put their leftovers. 

  1. Hand Mixer

Cakes and baked goods also make great treats for kids. But one of the most challenging parts of baking is the preparation–especially mixing the batter. In baking, consistency is always key. When you miss even a slight detail your end product may not show the results ou are expecting.

So, to prevent such incidents, a Hand Mixer is a perfect kitchen gadget to have for cakes and baked goods. This will give you the consistency you need and prevent lumps and bubbles in your baked goods.

  1. Pancake Batter Mixer

Along with cakes and other baked goods, pancakes are also a kid’s favorite. But while pancakes are much easier to prepare than cakes, they can be pretty messy. Now, a Pancake Batter Mixer can prevent the untidy situations in your kitchen.

This kitchen gadget is a bottle-like mixer. All you need to do is to pour in all of the necessary ingredients for your pancakes, shake them up to mix them thoroughly, and squeeze the batter onto the pan.

The result? Pancakes have never been this cleaner and easier to prepare!

  1. Astro Fruit & Veggie Keeper

Whether you are preparing treats for your family or not, the Astro Fruit and Veggie Keeper is quite useful in the kitchen. Even if you do not consider yourself a cook, you are bound to have leftovers of certain ingredients. For instance, there are times that you will only need a slice or two of a lemon. And most of the time, the remaining parts will be thrown into the trash.

Now, this Astro Keeper will keep your remaining ingredients fresh and safe. Gone are the days where leftover parts of veggies and fruits will be relegated to the trash.

  1. The Robot Nutcracker

As for snack treats, nuts are both delicious and healthy. But there are times that you might avoid serving nuts due to difficulties cracking and opening the shell. Fortunately, this Robot Nutcracker can effectively help to solve these issues. Plus,  adding this gadget to your kitchen will enable you to maximize your experiences with different kinds of nuts.

  1. Garlic Chopper

When you cook a lot, you know how daunting it can be to cut, slice, and dice garlic. It keeps on sticking to fingers and hands which can make the task  difficult for adults and grandchildren alike.

However, a garlic chopper may serve to alleviate these issues. This convenient and fun gadget can slice and dice your garlic in a flash. All you need to do is to place the peeled garlic cloves inside. Once it’s full, you just need to roll it across the table or countertop. The blades inside will quickly and safely chop all the garlic you need.

These simple yet creative kitchen gadgets are portable and compact. Moreover, they offer both convenience and easy cleanup. So, the next time you are spending time in the kitchen with your grandchildren, consider using one of these gadgets. They will maximize both your time and your fun, and make the experience of cooking with your favorite kids a memorable one, indeed!

This guest post was graciously provided by Alyssa Winters at Top Reveal.

The post Cook Great Treats for Your Grandchildren with These 7 Kitchen Gadgets appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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There are some pretty amazing (and surprising) benefits to your body, mind and soul when you share a smile. We each have felt the glow of connection that smiling can bring to both the initiator and the receiver of a warm, friendly smile. Yet the actual process of smiling is more complicated than you might think.

The Consumer Guide to Dentistry lists eight different components of a smile, practically from ear to ear, beginning with the frame (lips) and ending with the buccal corridor (that’s the dark space between the corners of the mouth and the upper teeth, for those who might not know).

While smiling might seem like a complicated process, especially when you consider that it takes anywhere from 11 to 17 muscles just to prop up both sides of your lips, the life benefits that smiling provides are immeasurable.

“A beautiful smile is a combination of factors that communicate a sense of well-being to those who see it,” says Dr. Jamie Reynolds, an orthodontist, lecturer and author of “World Class Smiles Made in Detroit” (www.AskDrReynolds.com). “A smile works on both the physical and emotional level to transfer positive feelings between the parties involved.”

Here is a closer look at how your smile can directly affect your life:

• Your longevity might depend on it. A 2010 study by Wayne State University measured the span of smiles on Major League Baseball players from their 1952 trading cards. The study found that those who didn’t smile in their pictures lived an average of 72.9 years, versus 79.9 years for the players who did smile.
• Smiling has therapeutic effects. There are a number of therapeutic effects that smiling has on a person’s brain and demeanor, Reynolds says. Smiling reduces stress hormone levels, taking on similar conditions to cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine, while increasing mood-enhancing endorphins. British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 chocolate bars, while lowering blood pressure at the same time.
• Smiles are a universal language. Non-verbal communication doesn’t always translate well between cultures. In the United States, for example, a thumbs-up signals that all is well. Try that gesture in Australia and the reaction might be a little different than expected, thanks to a vulgar meaning of the hand sign. Smiling at that same person, however, should give the recipient the intended positive response. In every culture and every country across the world, a smile means the same thing, essentially making it a universal language.

This guest post was graciously provided by Dr. jamie Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds (www.AskDrReynolds.com) is recognized as one of the top orthodontists in Detroit. 

The post 3 Surprising Benefits of Flashing Your Amazing Smile! appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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Savvy jobseekers recognize that every employer is looking for the same thing: a problem solver who will successfully deal with the issues and challenges they face. The interview is your all-important opportunity to show the hiring manager that you are the #1 candidate for the job. You will need to demonstrate that you have the requisite skills and experience to solve their problems and how you will outperform the competition.

You know to prepare by thoroughly familiarizing yourself with the position description. Yet job postings are often written by Human Resources and are likely to be somewhat vague. Many of the hiring manager’s true needs will not be listed. Consequently, it is awfully difficult to portray yourself as the ideal employee without first finding out more information.

To present yourself successfully, you will want to take a conversational approach during the interview. Assume the role of a consultant (not simply a job-seeker), get to know the interviewer and ascertain his or her needs. It is only after you have a thorough understanding of the specifics of their problems that you should begin selling yourself to the position.

You can do this by taking the initiative with a question-answer-question approach. Answer the question that was asked and then follow up with related question of your own. For example:

  •  Interviewer: “Tell me about yourself.”
  • You: Present your branding statement followed by, “Now that I’ve told you a little about my background, can you tell me what you see to be the most pressing components of the position?”

—or—

  • Interviewer: “This job demands a certain amount of oversight. How do you handle authority?”
  • You: “I handle authority just fine but, since you brought it up, can you tell me a little about your management style and your expectations for the position?”

Using the question-answer-question format, the interview becomes a conversation between equals and, many times, you will even help the hiring manager clarify and verbalize his/her true requirements.

  • You: “If I’m understanding you correctly, you are looking for someone who can oversee and schedule existing volunteers, but you’re really most interested in someone who’s effective at recruiting new people into the organization.”
  • Interviewer: “Yes, I guess that’s right.”
  • You: “When I was the volunteer coordinator, I was responsible for managing all aspects of the volunteers’ work with our recipients. But I was most known for my ability to perform community outreach. I was a regular speaker at community organizations, Rotary Clubs, church groups, and the like, and I designed and produced a variety of brochures and leaflets explaining our work. As a result, I was able to double our volunteer staff within the first year I held the position.”

Here are some additional open-ended questions that will get the interviewer talking about what is truly important for the job:

  • In your estimation, what are the most vital aspects of the job?
  • What needs to get done in the first three months?
  • What do you view to be the longer-range goals for the position?
  • How can the new person make your life easier?
  • How would you like someone in this position to handle situation X?
  • As the manager, which characteristics are most important to you for an employee to be successful?

Because people hire to fulfill their own needs, you won’t “talk” them into hiring you, you will “listen” them into hiring you. Ask the right questions, find out their problems and present yourself as the problem solver they’ve been looking to find!

The post Job Interview? How to Present Yourself As The #1 Problem Solver! appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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When we go shopping for the everyday products we use in our daily lives, the last thing we tend to worry about is a product’s safety. It’s easy to assume that items on store shelves won’t pose a health risk to us. In fact, we have federal agencies in place whose very job is to protect consumer decisions.

However, more often than not, certain ingredients in common products are actually more of a threat to our health than we once thought. As we grow older, it becomes even more necessary to take better care of our bodies than we did when we were in our 20s and 30s. We aren’t as seemingly invincible as we once were, so every effort we can make to prevent future health scares is so important.

To make your health a priority in the coming years, steer clear of these common products and their unsafe ingredients.

  1. Talc-based Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson didn’t just become known as “the family company” on a whim. Its reputation as the maker of safe products has followed it since the 1980s, so much so that many of us have likely used the products on ourselves and even on our children.

But in recent years, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with thousands of lawsuits because of its talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. Women who regularly used these talc-based products for many years are blaming the companyfor their ovarian cancer diagnoses, and scientific evidence dating back to the 1970s supports the ingredients connection to the disease.

Although the FDA currently regulates talc in food products, there are no requirements in place for cosmeticslike Johnson & Johnson’s products. The European Union, on the other hand, has outright banned the use of talcum powder as an ingredient.

Talcum powder can be found in a number of products including baby powder, deodorant, and lotions. Be sure to check the labels on the products you’re currently using, and consider switching to talc-free options as a preventative health measure.

  1. Teflon on Nonstick Pans

Like Johnson & Johnson, Teflon grew to become a household name during the mid-to-late 20th century. Invented in 1938, this nonstick coating transformed the cooking industry by making kitchen cleanup effortless. But despite its effectiveness in the kitchen, it has since proven to be a major health risk.

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that make up the Teflon coating have been linked to an increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers, birth defects, and even thyroid disease. Teflon’s maker DuPont has also been found guilty in personal injury and wrongful death suits after its coating leaked into water sources near the manufacturing plants.

In addition to DuPont’s wrongdoing, over 200 scientists from across the globe signed the Madrid Statement in 2015 and presented evidence that Teflon’s PFAS chemicals are carcinogenic. Today the brand name Teflon is no longer used on cookware, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to nonstick coating ingredients. PFAS-based pots and pans can still be found in our cookware aisles, so double-check both the items you already have in your home and any new products you’re looking to purchase.

  1. Arsenic in Wine

If you regularly enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings, this habit may be good for your health in the long run. A recent study published by the American Heart Association found that a glass of wine per day in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise could add upwards of a decade to our lives.

Although this study is great news for wine drinkers, it’s time we paid extra attention to the type of wine we’re consuming. In 2015, a class-action lawsuit was filed against 83 popular wines for containing high levels of arsenic. The World Health Organization links this chemical to developmental defects, neurotoxicity, and diabetes among other health issues.

The EPA only regulates the presence of arsenic in our drinking water, yet the 83 wines named in the lawsuit contained four times the legal limit. The FDA also has very few regulations in place for labeling wine, and the issue of arsenic present in the bottles continues to be debated by both the scientific and legal communities. Before your next trip to the liquor store, take the time to double-check that your favorite bottle isn’t one of these 83 wines.

This guest post was graciously provided by Morgan Statt, Health & Safety Investigator who specializes in topics including product safety and public health issues. Follow her organization Consumer Safety on Twitter for news alerts, recalls, and the latest developments in consumer health. 

The post 3 Unsafe Ingredients to Look For in Your Everyday Products appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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More and more interviews are being conducted via the Internet by way of the camera on your computer. Skype interviews are growing in popularity because they save employers both time and money. However, due to the unfamiliar aspects of these types of virtual interviews, such interactions can be especially challenging for mature job-seekers.

It goes without saying that the basic rules for successful interviewing apply, however there are several additional factors you’ll need to consider. Here are 10 key tips that will help you prepare to present yourself at your best:

  • Make certain you are comfortable with the technology. Prepare and practice with an “interview buddy” several times prior to your interview. You’ll want to become familiar with the various technical aspects of virtual interviewing so that you can present yourself with confidence.
  • Lighting is important. Move your computer to an area where your face will get plenty of full-on light. Shadows across your face can give you a less than flattering appearance and serve to diminish your impact.
  • Be sure your background is professional and neat. At a minimum, a messy scene behind you will prove distracting. But more likely, an untidy setting will give the impression you’re disorganized and unprofessional. So be certain to have your computer set up in an area where the background is as businesslike as possible—no kitchens, bedrooms, or toy-filled family rooms. Also, make sure that your selected area is free from any potential interruptions or noise. Turn off your phone and avoid any radios/TVs blaring in the next room.
  • Eye contact can be tricky. This requires practice because most people initially focus on the activity being displayed on their own computer screens. You don’t want to do that as it makes you look inattentive and distracted. You’ll need to train yourself to hold your gaze on the camera. It’s helpful to think of yourself as a television reporter and recognize that the camera represents your audience.
  • Watch your body language. In addition to eye contact, virtual interviews pose some extra challenges to one’s body language. Be careful not to hunch over your computer screen; remember to keep your body open (no crossed arms); and try to make your gestures as natural as possible. As you practice, get feedback as to how your nonverbal messages are coming across from your interview buddy.
  • Dress in the same professional manner as you normally would for a job interview, however consider wearing a brighter color. This will help to flatter your skin tones and exude energy and confidence through the camera. (Wearing a somewhat brighter shade can be especially helpful for those with pale complexions. Otherwise the lighting could make them look ashen and washed-out.) Women might also wish to apply a bit more make-up—nothing garish, just enough to compliment their features.
  • In addition to choosing a brighter shade, it’s generally best to wear a solid color or a subdued print. Clothing with a large, bold pattern can be distracting when viewed on the computer screen.
  • Have a mirror handy to check your appearance right before you begin. Be certain that your hair is smoothly combed (the camera can often pick up stray hairs) and that your clothes are lying flat against your body (many times jackets or blouses can gape when you’re seated.)
  • Recognize that your interviewer may be feeling rather uncomfortable. Since video interviews are still relatively new, even accomplished interviewers can feel somewhat awkward. Therefore their normally professional interview style is likely to be compromised. By remaining calm and focused with your own answers and manner, you should be able to diffuse any uneasiness that might arise.
  • Lastly, remember that a warm, friendly, and confident attitude will overcome most any technical glitch. So show enthusiasm for the position and pride in all of the great strengths and skills you have to offer. Anticipate success—a positive attitude is the best preparation of them all!
  • The post 10 Ways to Nail a Skype Interview! appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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    Keeping your eyes and eyesight healthy is important at any age. But, the older we get, the more likely we are to encounter issues with our vision. Worrying about the health of your eyes can be a frightening concern. Yet, as is the case with many of the challenges of age, there is a lot we can do to maintain our health and wellbeing.

    The National Institute for Senior Health has important information on keeping our eyes and eyesight healthy. They’ve included tips, a quiz, a listing of related topics and more. Be sure to take look.

    Here are 5 of the important tips they share:

    #1 Eat a Healthy Diet
    Eating a healthy balanced diet is important for your overall health and wellbeing. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, or collard greens can help to keep your eyes healthy and disease free. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

    #2 Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes. This increases your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma, which can eventually lead to vision loss.

    #3 Wear Sunglasses
    Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The best sunglasses are those that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Sun exposure is associated with developing cataract and age-related macular degeneration.

    #4 Avoid Smoking
    Smoking is bad for your eyes and the rest of your body. Smoking increases the risk of developing age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataract, and can damage the optic nerve.

    #5 Give Your Eyes a Rest
    If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you can forget to blink your eyes and your eyes can get tired. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20-minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.

    The post Vision Issues? Important Ways to Keep Your Eyes and Eyesight Healthy appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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    In our youth, baby boomers were famous for questioning social norms. But now that the youngest of our generation have long ago celebrated their 50th birthdays, it’s important to shift the focus inward and begin to ask ourselves the big questions. 

    Thanks to advances in medical science, improved living conditions and the downright audacity of our generation, middle age has now been extended by decades. In comparison to the life expectancy of our grandparents, the forever-young generation can anticipate at least another twenty years of a relatively healthy life. Yet it goes without saying that we can’t push the clock back forever. The oldest of us are entering our seventies. And, despite our formidable flower power, Mother Nature is likely to win out sooner or later. At some point in the not too distant future, each of us will have to face old age.

    The really frightening thing about middle age is that you know you’ll grow out of it. 

    So had Doris Day gotten it right when she made the wry observation quoted above? Is growing older something to fear? Are we destined to experience a downhill slide that inexorably depletes our life force and dooms us to decrepitude? Or… will our rebellious spirit lead us to finding new and innovative ways to revolutionize the post-midlife experience?

    My money is on the latter.

    But to grow older with purpose and meaning, we have to turn within. Now, more than ever before, is the time to ask ourselves the big questions. So…  

    • What do you want out of life as the years become more precious?
    • How can you achieve greater authenticity in your relationships and a deeper bonding with those you love?
    • Which practices will help you connect with your developing wisdom?
    • What do you need to do to live in alignment with your unique gifts and life purpose?

    These are awfully important questions. Yet they are rarely asked—drowned out by the steady flow of details and demands of daily life. However, if you end your life having never understood—or even questioned—the greater meaning of your existence, you will certainly have missed out. In fact, this is a fate none of us would wish for. Each of us wants our lives to matter.

    Therefore, now is the time to pinpoint what you truly value, reassess your priorities and get very clear on the aspects of life that feed your soul. And if you need any extra motivation to focus your mind on the big questions of life, a quick glance in the mirror should do the trick. The signs of age are signaling each of us with ever increasing insistence: if not now… when?

    The post Over 50? Now Is Time to Ask Yourself 4 Big Questions appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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    There is no way around it: To land a job today, you have to consider yourself a product to be sold in the marketplace. Successful products require successful branding. There are 5 power-packed branding techniques that, used correctly, are certain to distinguish you as the product of choice.

    So take a step back, assess your marketing strategy and brand yourself with:

    1) Attractive packaging. Customers reach for products that are visually appealing.

    • As a job-seeker, this means you’ll need to ensure that all of your written materials are eye-catching and pleasing to read. Incorporate liberal use of bullets and white space on your resume, in your cover letters, in each of your online profiles and on your business cards.
    • Whenever you’re out and about meeting people, at networking events and, most especially, at a job interview, dress the part. Be sure your clothing is neat, stylish and represents you professionally. Get a modern haircut and make certain your accessories are appropriate and up-to-date (this includes eyewear).
    • Watch your nonverbal messages. In order to be successful, your manner must exude confidence, warmth, enthusiasm and energy.

    2) Desirable attributes. Employers who will potentially “buy” you represent your customer base; therefore you must target your product description to meet their needs.

    • The strategic use of keywords is critical to making you (the product) of interest to employers. Recruiters (both independent and internal company recruiters), human resources and hiring managers will select you as a potential “buy” by the words you’ve chosen to include on your resume and in your online profiles.
    • You can determine which keywords are in the greatest demand by using the online job postings as your primary research tool. Review them carefully and identify the skills that are requested over and over again. Also note the order in which these requirements are placed. This way, you’ll gain both an accurate reading of skills that are currently in demand and the order of their value to employers.
    • Remember to cite these skills and other valuable industry buzzwords whenever possible—both in your written materials and in your verbal descriptions of your experience and abilities.

    3) Demonstrated ways you will outperform the competition. In order to set yourself apart from other products, you’ll need to sell your distinguishing features.

    • Emphasize the added value you will bring as a uniquely qualified individual. What makes you better/more qualified than other candidates? Which talents, attributes and skills differentiate you from the competition? What experiences have provided you with a unique perspective on your work?
    • Highlight your cross-functional skill sets and focus on the fact that you have a “unique combination of X & Y.” Clearly show how you can make an exceptional contribution to the goals of your potential employer.

    4) Word-of-mouth recommendations. Customers want to believe in the products they buy. Therefore, obtaining referrals from a source your potential customers trust is the most effective way to sell yourself.

    • Alert your network to the positions/organizations you are targeting and let them know how they can support your efforts.
    • Provide your contacts with a copy of your resume so they’re aware of how you are presenting yourself and which accomplishments you’re highlighting.
    • Be certain to prepare each of your references so that they can best recommend you for a particular opportunity.

    5) Appealing pricing. Because customers don’t want to overpay for products and services—especially in today’s market—you’ll need to be flexible with your salary requirements.

    • Know your real value in the marketplace. Check out sites such as Salary.com and Glassdoor.com to ascertain what similar positions are paying.
    • Determine the income range you will feel comfortable accepting.
    • Develop an adaptable approach to negotiating salary and benefits. One of the most widespread stereotypes against hiring mature applicants is the perception that we’re too expensive. Although you’ll want to be paid fairly for your skills and experience, your ultimate goal is to create a win/win situation with your new employer.

    There’s no doubt that job-seekers over 50 face special challenges. Nevertheless, if you’re armed with the right information and attitude you can brand yourself to attract employers who will value your skills and experience. So determine the features that will set you apart, make certain you’re projecting the attributes your customers are seeking and anticipate success. Who knows? You may be the product that gets pulled off the shelf and be back at work before you know it!

    The post 5 Power-Packed Branding Techniques for Your Job Search Success appeared first on Feisty Side of 50.

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