Thursday, October 30, 2008

Surviving a Layoff as an Older Worker

Surviving a layoff can be a challenge at any age, but especially if you're close to retirement. Tune in to hear my advice live on CNN Newsroom Friday October 31st at 2:30pm eastern. And read below for specific, practical steps you can take to land a new career and take control of your job security.

--Focus on your employability: When your work plays to your strengths, interests and natural talents, you have no problem demonstrating specific ways you are the BEST at what you do. Even in bad times, employers will hire and retain their best and brightest. Make a list of your top strengths and identify careers where those are key required skills. You'll be a perfect match at any age. Click here for more on landing a job over 50.
--Convert your skills: Opportunities still exist in industries such as healthcare, education, oil & gas, and green power. Identify the skills you have that are transferrable and you'll broaden the career possibilities available. Functional skills such as technology, human resources and finance/accounting exist in all types of businesses. Other skills such as project management, communication, and teamwork apply across industries as well.
--Get creative with packaging your experience: If you are open to consulting, freelancing or project-based work you may have an easier time finding opportunities. Companies may be more apt to commit to a project than a full-time position during the downturn. It may require starting your own consulting business, but you'll be able to continue building your resume and earn an income. Click here for more advice and resources on starting your own business.

I know it can be tough to go through a career crisis (read my story). But you can prevail if you take action with your career. Writer Art Buchwald puts it all in perpective, "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."

Share your comments, questions and concerns if you're going through a layoff. And if you've got a survival story from your own experience, share that too. We're all in this together!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now is the Time to Follow Your Dreams

"Do something that scares you everyday." Great words of advice from Eleanor Roosevelt. I love that quote and try to implement it in my own life.

My next "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" moment (thank you Susan Jeffers) will be this Sunday October 26th at 8pm at Don't Tell Mama in NYC. I'm putting on an inspiring jazz cabaret show called "Follow Your Dreams."

I'll be singing standards with a fabulous trio of musicians - Tom McEvoy on piano, Paul Sikivie on bass and Alex Nguyen on trumpet. The show will be hosted by Craig Zabransky who is following his dream of being a travel adventure writer.

If you're in need of some positive, uplifting, entertainment to inspire you to live the life of your dreams, join me. There's no better time to follow your dreams!

I'd also love to hear from you. When was the last time you did something scary and wonderful at the same time? Maybe you are following your dreams and loving it? Would love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Career Advice for College Graduates

Tomorrow evening, I'll be speaking to soon-to-be graduates of Manhattanville College at the Backpack to Briefcase event for graduating seniors. The event is a celebration and a send-off. Rather than tell them what to do, I plan to inspire the students to find their own answers. It's advice I wished I'd received.

I was so focused on being the good student that I only did what others told me to do. To this graduating class I want to impart, honesty. Please be honest with yourselves about what you really want to be doing with your time, your energy, your skills, your talents, your ideas. That's the path to a satisfying career.

Also don't be afraid to try something. That's the advice I shared in Lindsey Pollak's resourceful book, Getting From College to Career. As a new graduate in tough times, it's important to have the right perspective. Take the best job you can find and learn from it. "Get miles on you" as a mentor of mine used to say. Even if you don't love what you are doing, you can at least learn more about yourself and make new connections.

Stay positive. There is always room for good people in the working world. Focus on where you can be of service and to whom. Talk to professors, your parents friends, career services, alumni contacts. Do informational interviews with potential employers to understand their challenges and goals. Pitch ideas of projects you can complete or roles you can play, even if on a freelance or part-time basis.

Lastly, check out all the great advice posted on for fresh graduates.

Are you (or do you know) a soon-to-be college graduate? How is he/she faring in the job market? What advice do you have for fresh graduates? Where are opportunities that you see?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Believe In Your Dreams Part 2 (Guest blogger George Prinzo)

A healthy sense of humor may be just what's needed in these trying times. Recently Business Consultant and Comedian George Prinzo appeared on my radio show to share his thoughts on believing in your dreams (especially if your dream is to be an entertainer!)

Here are a few highlights:

- Remember, to get over stage fright, don't picture people in their underwear - it just makes things worse.

- When pursuing your dream - don't quit your day job (unless Career Consultant extraordinaire Maggie Mistal tells you to do so. Who I am to give career advice anyway? I'm just a comedian!)

- If you are interested in doing stand up comedy - many clubs now offer "comedy schools." If you are in NYC, the school I went to is Also, most clubs have open mic nights.

To see some clips and dates for George's upcoming shows visit: Or look him up on Feel free to add him as a friend and contact him with any questions about believing in your dreams and making a career in entertainment possible for you.

How are you keeping a sense of humor in your life? Do you have a favorite past-time that you're finding joy in despite all the negative news? Have you ever considered a career in entertainment?

George is also a great model for using your passion for a purpose. For those of you in the NYC area, he will be hosting a charity fundraiser dinner/show for John Hudson Dilgen. For more information see

Friday, October 10, 2008

3 Reasons Not to Panic About Your Job

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

You've heard those words before but what does it really mean to your career? Why shouldn't you be panicking right now?

--1)For starters, panic never helped anyone think clearly or make rational decisions. If you're frantic over what's happening on Wall Street (and yes there are some serious economic challenges occurring) you may be putting your career at risk. Here's what I mean - when you start to operate from a place of panic and fear at work, you're more apt to second guess yourself, miss details and ultimately make more mistakes - the very things you want to avoid right now. So calm down. Take a walk, play a game with your kids, go see a movie and by all means, don't panic.

-2) Value is what creates opportunity. Now is the perfect time to examine the work you do and the value it provides. Who benefits from your efforts and how? Are there ways you can be of even more service to your clients, customers and your boss? Focus on what you can control - your own performance on the job.

-3)See the current turmoil as your chance to shine. It's the best captains who can navigate in rough seas. With all the economic challenges facing companies, governments, nonprofits, now is the perfect time for you to step up and really demonstrate the creative, innovative ideas you have that can help. Don't just sit back and let everyone else take care of it. Pitch in. Play your part in the best way you know how. It will demonstrate not only your abilities but your integrity as well.

If you are having trouble seeing the opportunities for yourself, register for my free one hour webinar next Tues, October 14th at 12pm eastern entitled "Getting on the Path to Career Happiness." You'll be able to define your personal career mission statement, vision statement and a practical career path to thrive not just survive today's economic challenges.

How are you doing? Are you panicking? Do you have reasons why panicking isn't a good idea? Share them. We are all in this together!