Reset and Reinvigorate by Rethinking Your Career in 2019

*Guess post by Eva Benoit

If you’re stuck in a rut, there’s no better time to pull yourself out than now. It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your quality of life. Starting a new career is one of these changes, and it’s a big one that comes with both enthusiastic anticipation and fear for the future. However, you can’t let fear of the unknown get in your way. Keep reading for a few tips on how to cross this fragile ground no matter where life has taken you to this point.

If you are stuck in a rut, there’s no better time to pull yourself out than now. It’s never too late to make changes that will improve your quality of life. Starting a new career is one of these changes, and it’s a big one that comes with both enthusiastic anticipation and fear for the future. However, you can’t let fear of the unknown get in your way. Keep reading for a few tips on how to cross this fragile ground no matter where life has taken you to this point.

Do You Have What It Takes?

What do Oprah Winfrey, Sofia Vergara, and Arianna Huffington have in common? They are all successful female entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to take risks, they’re all tenacious and a little stubborn, and they give of themselves 100 percent of the time. They are adept problem solvers who aren’t happy unless they’re on the move. If this sounds like you in more ways than one, you were undeniably born to be the boss.

You Are Not Alone

Our mothers and grandmothers were expected to stay home, raise babies, and make life better for their men. These social standards weren’t necessarily bad, but considering that women-owned businesses are growing at a rate of more than twice that as standard businesses, it’s safe to say that we got restless. Coupled with an ever-growing need for dual incomes, women-owned businesses, according to American Express, are more prominent than ever, with approximately 39 percent of all US businesses being led by women.

Despite the rise in female entrepreneurship, it’s not always easy. Today, experienced women are offering their guidance to new business owners. Reaching out to a mentor is one of the best ways to access information and receive help navigating the seas of success. Experian touches on mentorship, funding obstacles, and other statistics regarding women in business here.

Like a Boss

Starting your own business isn’t something you do on a whim. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll have to take stock of your skills and define your niche. Have a heart-to-heart with yourself by drafting a business plan and recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Test the waters by seeking clients via word-of-mouth and working on small projects first. FindLaw.com underscores this point by stating, “By starting small, you ensure that you can survive the inevitable hiccups associated with running a small business.”

Once you get into a groove, you can take steps to nurture and grow your business. This is achieved by being consistent and having the right tools at your disposal to get the job done. If you work from home, for example, you’ll need to set up a well-equipped office space with a comfortable working area and a computer that can keep up with your demands. Further, don’t make the mistake of thinking you know everything; listen to your customers. They will tell you what you’re doing right and what you need to change. As the face of your business, it is your responsibility to hear these voices and to provide services that will add value to your relationship. It can help to take a customer service training course to help you learn how to communicate and respond to both praise and criticism.

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in your current profession. Even if you’re retired, it’s still possible to earn an income doing something you love. It may be a rocky road in the beginning, but with determination and a willingness to adapt to an always-changing market, you can both love and live your passions this and each new year.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. It’s a new year, and time to reset and
reinvigorate your purpose by rethinking and your career.

*Eva Benoit is a professional life, career and wellness coach. She specializes in helping people with anxiety and welcomes working with people from all walks of life.

Do You Have Enough To Retire?

The article below is an interesting article on how much the average household nearing retirement has in savings for the retirement years. How much do you have in your retirement account?

Take a look at the article written by Austin Smith for Motley Fool.  Can you really retire comfortably?

The Average American Household Approaching Retirement Has This Amount Saved Up

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Save and invest for a comfortable retirement.

They Still Got It

Yes I was in the dreaded middle seat, but I didn’t have to pay for my luggage, and I don’t fight for overhead space–I just checked my luggage, and  the crew always seem to be nice–I was flying home on Southwest Airlines.  The latest issue of their magazine caught my attention, it’s their anniversary edition touting they (Southwest Airlines) still got it.

What caught my attention was the cover featuring what I thought were two flight attendants.  Well it turned out to be the same person, flight attendant Sandra Force, and she is featured in her 1971 flight attendant (stewardess) uniform, and her current flight attendant uniform. Yep, that means that she has been flying the friendly skies with Southwest Airlines for 45 years.  She looks amazing. 

Southwest Airline

Inside the magazine you find information about this lovely woman of a certain age along with another flight attendant, C. J. Bostic who has also worked for Southwest Airlines for 45 years.   By all accords they have no intention of retiring–they actually like their job.

Click the link to read about this two amazing  women of a certain age:  Southwest Airlines Magazine

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and do something you enjoy like Sandra and C. J.  They still got it!  They show us that women of a certain age can’t be defined.  Got to love it! Do you still have it?

 

No Appointment–Knock On The Door Anyway

I met a beautiful woman of a certain age (Karen Fleming) by chance while working an employment fair.  While talking with her I learned that she was a retired Master Sergeant, and had recently finished interior design school. She is one of those artsy people who see the big picture where I just see a chair.

 

Karen Flemming and I
Karen and I at our first meeting at employment fair

Her story is one that shows that we as women can make our dreams come true no matter the obstacles or the little bumps in the world.  Karen worked full time while going to school.  She was determined that interior design would be in  her future. We talked about our dreams, and how we had prepared for them.

Karen’s story is one where you prepare and then you go for it.  You make your own opportunities.  Karen’s good friend, Tracy took her to lunch to celebrate her birthday and to have girl talk–they are both interior designers and former military.  They had talked of starting a business together–decorating business.  Her friend mention Decorating Den and Lisa Landry who is the franchise owner in Arlington, Texas. Tracy had been following Lisa’s work, and was very impressed and wanted to meet her, but she could never get in touch with her.

Karen, being the go getter she is decided they should just go to Decorating Den and knock on the door (Opportunity), which they did–under a sign that stated “By Appointments Only”.  As Opportunity would have it, everyone was at lunch except you guessed it Lisa Landry, who let them in, and talked with them about Decorating Den and the opportunities there were in franchising.

Soon after meeting with Ms. Landry, they begin the process of interviewing to become franchise owners, even presenting a project to Lisa. After hearing the ins and outs, the commitment, the financing and everything else that it takes to obtain a franchise they decided this was not for them, but design and decorating were still their goals.

A few days later, as Opportunity would have it, Ms. Landry called and offered them both positions as decorators with her franchise–they had made the best of being prepared and able to answer when Opportunity  opens the door Karen’s passion is being creative.  They were both hired, and the rest is going to be history.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Always be prepared, you never know when Opportunity will open the door. Notice how much brighter Karen’s smile is in the photos from Decorating Den.  When you do what you love, you love what you do.

 

Learning From Your Parents–Life Outside Your Job

parents 9Women of a certain age are taking in new boarders.  They have someone once again to take care of, to feed, to clothe and to watch out for.  No, I ‘m not talking about their children, I’m talking about their parents. More Baby Boomers/Generation Xers are taking care of aging parents with physical and mental illnesses than ever before.parents 6

Baby Boomers/Generation Xers have become caregivers at a time when they thought they would be on that cruise they had always dreamed of, seeing the USA in that motor home, starting new careers and even letting the grandchildren visit for a day or so and then sending them back home. 

parents 8Parents are moving into the extra bedroom that was going to become a media room, craft room, office or just a pretty bedroom that just looked pretty.  Some parents now know that their retirement income (social security) is not enough.  They worked on the same job for 30, 35, 40 even 45 years, but the pension is not nearly enough to fix up the aging homestead, travel, pay medical expenses–just live.  They didn’t invest outside of their job.  They didn’t invest money or time.  They have little money and no identity outside of their job “title”.  Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from this experience, taking notes from their parents.  Even as the Boomers/Xers mature (not age), they should still be investing for the time when they no longer will be working at their full-time jobs knowing that they may not have enough to live comfortably for their rest of their lives–learning there is life outside of the job.

The Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from their parents that sickness just happens even to those that have led healthy, active lives. If they are smokers, they should stop because they see the ravages it has done to their parents.

One of the major things that no one talks about is that Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should take heed to learn to live.  They parentsshould learn from their parents to expand their lives beyond their job.  They should expand friendships and acquaintances.

Learning from our parents never ceases even as we all mature.  Learning from their life lessons can help us to see our lives much better.

parents 3Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Parents can be your best life teachers.  You may have become the caregiver, but they are still the parent.  Treat them with respect.

 

How To Keep More Of The Income You Get In Retirement

How much  income do you get on paper, and how much do you actually get–you know after taxes? As women of a certain age, some of us will continue to work, some will retire completely, but all of us want to live a lifestyle similar to the life we are now accustomed to. Here is a conversation on this subject.

(taken directly from USA Today Money) A podcast featuring telephone interviews by Robert Powell with David Blanchett, the head of retirement research for Morningstar Investment Management in Chicago and co-author of Alpha, Beta, and Now…Gamma; Robert Keebler, a partner with Keebler & Associates in Green Bay, Wis.; and William Raabe, a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, Wisc. The topic: How to create tax-efficient income in retirement.

We all can remember our fist paycheck, and the shock of seeing net income after taxes.  We’d heard about it in school, but looking at it was a great shock. Let’s not “have” to go to work to make ends meet in retirement.  Let’s go to work because we are good at it, and we want to work.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Bob Schieffer–It Ended Where It Started

All I can say is “WOW”.  I always like the Schieffer Symposiums that are held at Texas Christian University (TCU).  Bob Schieffer is a proud alumnus of the school, and the school of communication bears his name.

Each year he brings a distinguished panel of journalists to talk about events.  This year he brought in some of the big guns. The panelists included Dan Balz, political correspondent, The Washington Post; Gayle King, co-anchor, CBS This Morning and editor-at-large, O, The Oprah Magazine; P.J. O’Rourke, political satirist, author and journalist; and Holly Williams, CBS News foreign correspondent. Since this is a blog for and about women of a certain age, Gayle King and Holly Williams were high on my list to hear their comments and stories.

No one disappointed, there was talk from careers to answering questions that some thought sexist, to politics, and to the world in general.  There were serious moments, and moments that kept everyone in stitches.

Just as they bought the microphones out for the question and answer period, Mr. Schieffer informed the audience that the program had completed, but he was still talking. He began telling us about how his career started in Fort Worth at his alma mater , Texas Christian University.

As his voice broke it was apparent that something was about to happen.  I for one don’t believe in luck.  I believe that God puts you in the right place if you listen to him.  Well, bless my soul, I was in that place as Bob Schieffer informed Fort Worth first that he would be retiring in the summer of 2015. There were no tears, there was quiet, there was laughter and applause.  There was also an understanding that one knows when it is time to leave the stage.

After the symposium, Mr. Schieffer and the other panelists before heading to Joe T. Garcia’s, a local favorite, signed autographs, took pictures, and laughed even more.  I did however, tell Gayle King that I would have bought her the best cake in the area if she had only answered my Tweet.

The symposium has always been very good, but this one put the cherry on the cake.  Mr. Schieffer made us all know that “thisisyourbestyear”.

Don’t Get Duped! How To Avoid Reverse Mortgage Scams According To the FBI – NASDAQ.com

As women of a certain age we know that just because something shines doesn’t mean it’s gold. Reverse mortgages sound good, but read the fine print.  Take a look at the short article below to see how some companies are scamming homeowners. You worked, saved and sacrificed for your home–it’s not just a house.  There are reputable companies and other options to assist you with your finances in retirement. Make an informed decision–research, investigate and more. Companies are being created to rob you of your home.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.   

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/dont-get-duped-how-to-avoid-reverse-mortgage-scams-according-to-the-fbi-cm461000

Advice IQ: Setting Realistic Retirement Goals

retirement 2I am always reading about how much money we will need to retire to a lifestyle that we would like. Like most people we want to retire to Oprah and Bill Gates pre retirement lifestyle, but we are realistic.  Six years ago I officially retired in May and went back to work full-time that August. It was planned.

I knew it was time to leave a career that had been good to me. I had a retirement account with them plus I was investing in another.  retirement 5How long will I work full-time or even part-time is a question that I have not really thought about.

retirementI think I am realistic about retirement as it is now. I am still working on an individual retirement plan and was too excited to know that I will get Social Security–they say enough to get my nails done!

Trying to keep debt at bay is a constant work in progress. The new car bug hits me sometimes. I’ve had my car, Big White for 11 years and I am hoping for a few more, but every once in a while I think about how pretty her new sister will look. Then I come back to reality and car note. When the time comes to part ways with her I will purchase another SUV, probably a pre owned one.

Have I saved enough and invested enough? That’s the magic question. It all depends on a lot of things. Take a look at the link below written by Wes Moss in the USA Today. He will help you understand what a realistic retirement might look like.retirement 4

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” live, save for retirement and keep living.

You can follow Wes Moss on Twitter @WesMoss365.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/02/07/advice-iq-realistic-retirement-goals/22910489/