Well folks, after a lot of looking, I believe I have found a way! I want to help executives who, in mid-career, have been downsized or laid off. I feel very passionate about this because I was downsized four times in my career and the fifth time was looming when I took control of my future and started my business, John Bailey & Associates Public Relations, at age 57.
I realized this new passion while speaking to the Fall 2013 graduating class of the Michigan Shifting Gears program. Many of the approximately 40 mid-career executives had been laid off or downsized; some were still working but all entered the 8-week program seeking to redirect or refocus their career. Shifting Gears gave them that and more.
Here is what I want people to know:
- Any graduation is a beginning. It is the first step in a plan that says, “From here on, I will go in this direction.” (No graduation is a guarantee of success. That is up to you to accomplish from the beginning.)
- By accepting the challenge of “owning your own future” and making yourself the best you can be every day, you can go a long way toward achieving the success you are after.
- It is not over at any age. Rather, you or any person can establish a new start toward success at any time. When I started my business, I found that 57 is not old. When you are younger you may think it is but, if you keep yourself in shape—physically, mentally and professionally—your age makes little difference.
Recently I saw a story on television about a person who started a different kind of debt-collection agency. Rather than badgering people, this person’s agency helps people to plan their way out of debt. This new concept is a huge success, and the growth of this company is tremendous. The founder of this company is 65.
I hated it when I was downsized. But these traumatic experiences led me to an unrelenting desire to continue to learn, to network well, and always to do the best possible job. From the bad news came that good news, for me. I want to help folks learn this and go forward. It is not over for any of you!