In a recent talk to the Detroit Economic Club, President Bush told of a powerful statement made to John Bailey by his wife, "Just what part of the writing on the wall don't your understand - companies don't want people over 50!" The White House staff had become aware of an amazing story of entrepreneurial success stemming from John's wife's words.
John's wife was very quick to read the writing on the wall, rationalizing that it would be virtually impossible for John to find a new job. An extremely insightful woman, she saw that John's competition in his job search was a wealth of people, albeit less experienced, that would be applying for each job John sought. In order to land a job over these younger, less-experienced applicants, John would have to sell himself before the topic of pay was placed on the table. Once pay came into the picture, even if John was willing to accept a lower rate of pay it is doubtful he would get the job.
According to my friend, headhunter Jeff Breza, "If someone can choose between an applicant with some experience earning 40K and another with vast experience earning 120K, they would much rather give the 80K position to the first. The second person will grow to resent the pay and become bitter while the first person will be very indebted to me for such a great offer."
Faced with the prospect of a long job search, the Bailey's had to make an important decision:
use their savings to fund an extended search realizing a job offer may never come
use their savings to invest in their own business.
It is important to make this decision as early as possible. The longer one is unemployed, the more discouraged they get and the more difficult it is to shift back into a daily high-energy routine. To start a business takes time, energy, and a positive attitude. The best chance one has is to jump into the game early.
Marty found his position eliminated after over two decades. Instead of spending his time feeling sorry for himself, he took the opportunity to write a book about his experience as a business coach. His book, "In There Presence", catapulted him into his own business as a leadership developer and multi-rater feedback coach.
Dave had wanted to start his own Human Resources business for many years. When he heard there may be an opportunity for a severance package, he was excited that he would finally have his chance. He started immediately to find clients for his company so that he would have enough to support himself once the severance ran out.
Joe's corporate job ended abruptly with a management change. He used a settlement he received to buy a building and start a martial arts school. He now enjoys a stress-free career working for himself.
Each of these individuals recognized that by starting their own business, they would not be in a position where there career relied largely on a single individual. They knew that age, regardless of law, was a handicap that would be difficult to overcome, so they had to think differently.
If you are in the unique position where the transformation form a corporation professional to an independent self-employed businessperson is a available, carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. Each has pros and cons.
??? One is a world where your pay is preset versus the other when pay is unlimited
??? In one a single supervisor determines your fate, in the other that single individual is you
??? One provides benefits while the other???s benefits are purely financial
John's wife was very insightful in her comment. She knew that looking for a traditional job would involve many months of heartache and disappointment. She saw John's talent, and she help him catapult a lost job into a major human relations firm.
Rick Weaver is President of Max Impact, a national leadership and organization development company based in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Rick is an accomplished business executive with experience in retail, market analysis, supply chain and project management, team building, and process improvement. He has worked with hundreds of companies to improve sales, processes, and bottom-line results. MaxImpact offers leadership and organizational development services along with employee assessments and background checks. Contact Rick at 248-802-6138 or via email, email@example.com. MaxImpact is on the web at http://www.getmaximpact.com