Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Your Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year's Eve, Snowing, Freeeeezing, Single-digit-Chicago-Temperature Post!

It wasn't easy, they said it couldn't be done (don't they always say that..whoever "they" are?), but just under the wire, here it is: my final blog post of the year.  It's been a while since my last one, so tell us, is the economy fixed yet?  Everything going better than ever?  Everyone you know is employed?  Signed up for your Obamacare policy yet? More on that later (and no, not from any political point of view).  Carefully formulating your new year's resolutions - want to share yours?

How about sharing any wonderful things that happened to you or your family this year? What about any challenges you faced, overcame, or even still may need help facing?
An email from a good friend inspired me to work on a new blog post - I want to share with you some of her feelings about her relatively new job. Like so many of us, she's struggled through a few job searches, trying to apply her deep experience in sales and marketing to a new position.
Thankfully, she recently landed, now working for GoHealth.com. What is GoHealth.com you may ask?  They were the first Marketplace to go live with an integration that allows consumers to fully enroll in health insurance plans created by the new health reform law.  One can also get tax credits and subsidies through GoHealth.com.  Personally, it was a wonderful chance to avoid our government's famously flawed Obamacare site.  And...as I learned first hand just weeks ago: navigating GoHealth.com is easy, and it does work very well. Plus, working with her on the phone made it painless.

Her email made me think: when was the last time that I heard anyone this sincerely enthusiastic about their new job? Here are some of her thoughts she expressed:
"The culture there is so cool, I really enjoy it.  We were visited by the Secretary of Labor two weeks ago for the job creation, training program initiatives. They paid for all licensing & classes, registration in multiple states, etc.  I now have the ability to go anywhere pretty much to get work and because of my deep knowledge of ACA (Affordable Care Act) most agencies would love to hire me.  I will be 60 in 2014 and have a great future employment forecast."
This is so rare, amazing, and something that can't be taken for granted...especially from someone in their upper fifties! After reading her email, I immediately went to the GoHealth.com site to read about marketing job opportunities.
And now a quick update: I landed a tremendous contract job in September with New Control, a very unique, fantastic direct and digital marketing agency located in the Loop, in downtown Chicago.  I was fortunate to work on one of their key clients, Wellpoint.  The role abruptly ended last month due to an unexpected lack of work from the client.  With Obamacare around the corner (good lord, Larry, enough with Obamacare!), this was such an interesting time to work on this client since they run Blue Cross Blue Shield in 14 states - the second largest health insurance provider after UnitedHealthcare.  The people I worked with were very talented and top notch, management really cared, and those aren't empty words...I've been all over...the people running this agency cared so much!  Fingers are crossed for a call-back once their work load picks up.  

I've been very fortunate with the few contract jobs I've landed the last few years.  Next: turn one of these into a much longer lasting opportunity.  So, gulp, yet another job search continues...and I'm here as always, to help you and your friends' searches.
For those dinosaurs out there (e.g., me), I've found a bunch of interesting articles to help us all through the ageism challenges we face (ageism? Yes, everyone denies its existence, except, those that have to deal with it).  Some statistics about boomer job searches really surprised me.
Here's a program developed for those over 50 and out of work.  Some frightening facts: about 40% of unemployed workers are over 45; unemployed people aged 45-54 were unemployed on average for 45 weeks; for 55-64 year olds this number reaches 57 weeks. Have a look, share your thoughts on this article from nbcnews.com.
I don't call this article negative, I see it more as eye opening, being aware, and a learning opportunity about some, not all, but some headhunters. From Forbes, Seven Things A Headhunter Won't Tell You. Do you agree?  Have any experiences like this or similar when dealing with headhunters?
Last, from The Ladders, a good piece covering us older job searchers, but also a link to their article on job searching in your 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's.  Does it make sense?  Any thoughts on this other Ladders piece?
I think that's plenty for now to nudge our job searches forward, as we're just hours from 2014 creeping into our lives.  As always, I wish for success for you all in your search, as well as a healthy, happy, MORE prosperous, safe, and loving new year!  And, I hope to hear your thoughts here, soon, from which we can all share, learn, and debate.
Thanks for reading,

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