Baby boomers, reinvent yourselves

Jan Marino of the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Illinois, is all about reinventing yourself.  That is her expertise, her career, the subject of her book.  Now Jan has written for BoomerCafé about new challenges and the opportunities that come from them for baby boomers who are reinventing themselves.  It’s called “income streaming.”

The days of having one job for your entire career are gone.  The days of working well into our 80s are here.  The days of multiple jobs and income streams are definitely here to stay.  What does that mean and what does this model look like?

Jan Marino

Jan Marino

It means that we’re going to become more open to opportunities that come our way.  Here’s an example: Beth is a contractor who works short IT gigs.  She also writes content for business blogs.  She is teaching classes two nights a week at her local junior college.  Beth just started an online business, building personal brands for colleagues.  Most of her business comes from referrals.  She has formed strategic alliances with other professionals to form a “strike team” to address projects that companies never get around to which add to the bottom line.  Beth makes more money than she was making when she worked for a large IT company.  She is juggling lots of activities and using all of her talents.  She has flexibility and is taking charge of her career.

Income coming from several different sources is now the reality, especially for baby boomers.  You might not have as many sources of income as Beth has, but being open to opportunities that are short-term and part-time keeps you more marketable and valuable.  Being flexible and adding value in the marketplace is essential.

older worker 4_SnapseedSo, where do you start figuring out how and where to begin?  Taking an inventory of your skill sets and what you do really well is a great place to start.  Ask five of your colleagues to give you three words that describe you … this will help you create your online marketing/branding materials, like a Linkedin profile, a Facebook summary, a Twitter account.  Build strong strategic alliances with people who have skills that complement yours.  Develop a dynamic network and become a resource for others.  Narrow down your options and focus on three possible income-producing gigs.

This will get you out of your comfort zone and that’s a good thing.  If you’re going to survive and thrive in the new business environment, you’ll need to use new methods … the old ones don’t work and neither will you!

Follow Jan online.

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  1. Three years ago I lost my college teaching job and it felt like the ground had dropped out from under my feet. I was 54, lived in a very small town and the only real option for another job was to move. So I decided to freelance. Today, I have several regular clients and I’m teaching middle school kids how to blog. Nearly all my work (aside from teaching two days a week) is at home, and I’ve never been happier. If I hadn’t been pushed out of my comfort zone I might not have done it, but I love having more freedom and control over my income. Thanks for this article.

  2. To me, do-overs are what midlife is all about! Since I lost my university job back in 2004 I have changed careers, found a new and much improved husband, and changed homes! Now I am living a life I could only have dreamed of before I got canned…and we’re now building our dream solar home in the southern Colorado foothills!
    Get out of your comfort zone and begin to live YOUR dream! My books can help!

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