A Wall Street Journal article by Norman Matloff called “Get Used to a Life of Layoffs” should scare the pants off anyone who is employed and over age 35. He notes that employees 35 and older are simply perceived as too expensive compared to younger counterparts. This is especially so in knowledge-based companies, and he uses Hewlett Packard’s recent announcement of 27,000 lay offs as one prime example.

Companies are finding all sorts of ways to replace older, more expensive workers: outsourcing jobs overseas, posting jobs for postgraduates and interns specifically, and of course laying off older and more expensive workers.

If you are employed at any company and over 35, it is time to face reality: If you don’t have an exit plan to get into your own business, you will likely face some difficult times ahead. Matloff gave a number of examples of highly talented engineers and scientists who have been laid off and can’t find new positions, but you have no doubt read about examples like this over the past years.

Now is the time to accept reality and take action. Prepare an exit plan that gets you into your own business, where you have many clients instead of just one (your employer).

Becoming a coach is one option to consider. Use your expertise and experience to help the next generation be more successful and effective.

I got into coaching exactly for this reason, and now I make far more than I would as an employee, even at the executive level. I work from home, make my own hours, and choose my clients. Best of all, I don’t miss any of my kids’ swim meets, piano recitals, or tennis tournaments, get to pick them up from school every day, and play tennis anytime I want. Plus, I’ve intentionally set up my practice to achieve one of my goals — world travel — and am preparing to head to South Africa to give a seminar as I write this; in the past couple of years I’ve been able to do coaching and training in the Philippines, Bali, Melbourne, London, Las Vegas, and more. 

Now is the time, because others are going to figure out that coaching/consulting/training/mentoring are smart pathways for high-end professionals. Get in now. Become a Certified Executive Coach — and we also show you how to write books, create information products, lead seminars, switch over to consulting, and do everything that it takes to build a successful practice. See an overview of our programs here. (It is a long page, and if you scroll down you will see the various options you have).

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