Tuesday, October 4, 2011

55 and Out of Work

The “Baby Boomer” generation encompasses almost 80 million people in the United States. It is the largest segment of our population. Demographically they are defined as those people born between 1946 and 1964; that boom of children born of the returning soldiers from World War II. (Those soldiers got really busy when they got home.)

We are one of the most influencial generations in history; a true phenomenon.

Now aged between 47 and 65, these Boomers are also more and more out of work. They are laid off because they are too smart, too experienced and too expensive. They can be replaced with a younger version that costs half as much. Many will never return to a job again.

Some leave because they can’t take it any more. Corporate life can be very competitive, boring and routine. This intelligent generation with high expectations and low tolerance for authority (these are statistical facts, not my opinion) find themselves bored senseless after 20 years in the same job but have extended life expectancy, good health and not nearly enough money to retire.

Of course, I am a “Boomer” myself, and I haven’t had a job in a lot of years. I have had a business.

This is the hope for all Boomers: self-employment! The problem is that many of my Boomer clients are afraid to have their own businesses. Some of you may not have really considered it because you didn’t know where to begin - and you’re used to having a job. But Boomers can actually be well suited to the entrepreneurial style. Boomers tend to appreciate independence, they do mistrust authority, and they are at a time of life when they are highly skilled.

My opinion is that whether or not you return to corporate life, starting a small business is an excellent step because it keeps you in the game; it gives you focus. We are still the most influencial generation in history, and we need to be active and involved in commerce.

Also, a lot of people think “starting a business” is like starting IBM. This is not about empire building; this is a survival technique. It is usually home-based and requires at least a business card. We are in an era that is not focused on "jobs," as much as "projects," “outsourcing," and "part time."

Having a business teaches you about leading, time management, marketing, and presenting - all of which are important in the marketplace today. Also, when you start to look at your work life as comprised of "services you are offering" is more empowering and allows you to think in terms of 2 or 4 "clients" you serve as opposed to serving only one: a boss.

I could write more about this (and probably will) and I am passionate about helping anyone who falls into this category and wants help to make this transition. I happily extend a free coaching session to you. You can write me at mlm@firedupforsuccess.com with a request for a 30 minute phone coaching or sign up at www.firedupforsuccess.com.


  1. Great article ML!!! I started my own business, because I intuitively knew my time was done with corporate America. I could longer work for corporate. This came from a deep visceral place. Interesting enough...When I surrendered to the divine order of the universe and said " I'll work for Corporate if that's what you want from me or I'll be in my own business (albeit challenging to build up). Guess what? Three independent contracts came my way. ML your article has solidified the truth. I had feared that maybe I was alone in this brave new life style. Now I know I am in the flow.
    Thank you sweet and super smart Mary Lyn.
    Love,Christine Nesbitt

  2. It is so true what you say Mary Lyn. The high-pressure information technology consulting tempo was too much for my body and it broke down with nerve and immune system damage after 35 years. The docs said it wouldn’t kill me but a wheelchair could be in my future. After several years on disability with drugs and hospital infusions, my big-name consulting company fired me just as I crossed the retirement age threshold. (I’m a Boomer too!)
    Eventually I discovered my power within and used it to heal myself. It is the best thing that ever happened to me. Today I am a solopreneur mind-trainer, health & wellness consultant and medical hypnotist. I live by the power of intention and positive thinking. That attracts clients to me who are seeking to use the power of their mind to take more control of their body, habits, and their life.
    I focus on helping entrepreneurs (and those in career transition) to discover, examine, and transform any limiting mindset or beliefs into certainty about their impending success. Since the Law of Attraction is always functioning, their positive and expectant thinking brings about the magnetic effect of attracting the stepping stones to the prosperity they seek.
    Thank you for being an inspiration to me in this work, Mary Lyn.
    “TRAIN your mind to TRANSFORM your life!” is now my motto! Thanks, Duncan Tooley,


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