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Don't Bother Reading This If You’re Under 50


Author:   Glenn Shepard
Date:   April 1, 2014
Category:   Careers




Ocean City, MD April 3
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Dear Glenn,


My company looks up all job applicants on Facebook like you mentioned. My boss wants to start running credit reports on applicants too, but I don't see what someone's credit score has to do with their job skills. Is this a common practice?


- Cathy in Cincinnati


Dear Cathy,


It is a common practice for companies to run credit checks on employees that handle money. When people get into financial trouble, they can be tempted to do things they would have never imagined doing.

        A group of federal prison guards that attended my seminar in Kentucky told me they have credit reports run on them every year. Guards who get into financial trouble are more likely to accept bribes to look the other way while someone smuggles in drugs or a cell phone.

         You'll need to get signed permission from the applicant to run the report and as always, check with your attorney to make sure it's done correctly.

        Thanks for your question.


- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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If you’re a Baby Boomer, this could change your life.


Baby Boomers are the most career oriented generation there’s ever been. Terms like “Dress for Success”, “Five Year Plan”, and “Workaholic” are woven into their vernacular.


But the Boomer generation (of which I’m a proud member) is now in their fifties and sixties, and beginning a mass exodus from the workforce. Pew Research estimates 10,000 Baby Boomers will retire every day for the next 15 years.


Even if you’re financially set, you’ll still have to figure out what you’re going to do for the next 20+ years, because Boomers can’t do nothing. This is why many will retire from large organizations and launch small businesses.


They assume the power and influence they enjoyed in their long careers will carry over into their new lives. But many are shocked to discover what they had wasn’t real power, it was only temporary status that came with a position. Once they no longer hold that position, they have less power and influence than they would have ever imagined.


You see this with political leaders that were so powerful in office, but often find themselves struggling to make it in the private sector after leaving office. (Former presidents are an exception. The average speaking fee for an immediate past U.S. president is $150,000.)


You see it with actors that are bigger than life when they have a hit, but discover how little value their celebrity status has when they're not on TV anymore.


The news is filled with stories of how people like Brett Butler, star of “Grace Under Fire”, ended up in a homeless shelter. Or Willie Aames, star of “Charles in Charge” and “Eight Is Enough”, went from making over $1,000,000 a year to sleeping in parking garages. The studios and networks have the real power, not the actors.


We see it in the music business here in Nashville. If you watch the TV show “Nashville”, notice how powerless Hayden Panettiere’s character Juliette Barnes becomes after her record label drops her. She has celebrity status, but her record label has the power.


The more intense your job is, the more you’ll miss it when you leave. You'll go though a form of the seven stages of grief, because the thing that has consumed so much of your life is suddenly gone. You’ll be surprised at how many of your former colleagues no longer return your calls and emails promptly, and you'll feel a certain sense of abandonment.


If you plan on doing something in business after you retire, here’s the best piece of advice you’ll ever get:


BEFORE you retire, make a point to start forging more quality relationships with people who have real power.


These are the ones whose power belongs to them, and not to a company they work for. Real power is not based on temporary status.


This applies at every level.


One high profile example is Warren Buffet. Most people know he’s one of the wealthiest men in the world and is so powerful that he can affect the stock market with one statement. But most don't know that his company is Berkshire Hathaway, or that he bought the Heinz ketchup company last year.


On the flip side, everyone knows Microsoft. But few know the name of the man that succeeded Bill Gates as CEO. Despite having run Microsoft for 13 years after Gates left, Steve Ballmer was unceremoniously pushed out last year when a board member said in a conference call, "Dude, let's get on with it".


But not all people with real power are high profile like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates.


There's also the Joe the Plumber types that have owned their companies for many years, and silently have more connections and power than most people realize.


They don’t bring in billions, but they do bring in hundreds of thousands or a few million every year, and create over half of the new jobs.


They don't answer to a board or a boss, and can run their businesses any way they choose, for as long as they choose. They can hire and fire anyone they want, and can spend money on whatever and with whomever they choose.


If you want to open a small business, run for political office, or just get another job, these are people you should to get to know.



To Your Success (even after retirement),





Glenn Shepard




P.S. This principle still applies if you're under 50, but for a different reason. Even though retirement may be way down the road for you, you can still be fired at any time. You need to make quality connections with people who have real power in business, no matter where you are in your career.





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