SOAPBOX SATURDAY - Reinventing Baby Boomers

Bringing Baby Boomers Out of the Old Fogey Closet
A Meme for the Young Minded Over Fifty Crowd

Balancing the Creaking Wheels of the Boomer Workforce

I have reinvented myself many times over the years. Not so much myself personally but certainly professionally. As an artist I have worked in many of the different fields of art over the years including illustration (the path I originally trained for), advertising design and graphic arts, as well as producing original fine art for sale through many avenues.

The art buying world is fickle; advertising is cutting edge - always looking for the newest look and youngest creative types, and illustration and fine art are as subject to trends as the high fashion and interior design worlds. This has kept me on my toes, challenged me and given me years of experience and expertise in a wide range of mediums and skills.

Even so, at age 58, I find myself again reinventing myself as an internet brand as the art market dries up with the economy and the ageism that permeates the work force narrows down my options. I went from being just plain Terri to PopArtDiva, the artist formerly known as Terri, lol!

This may all sound a little like a complaint, but it is not. It is actually a grateful reminder to myself that because I have been self-employed for many decades, because I have been frequently required to bring my skill and mind sets more current and cutting edge, and because I have never enjoyed the "security" of a paycheck, I am not frozen in fear at the prospect of rising unemployment. Because I know there is always some kind of work out there if you just know where to look. Though sometimes you have to really dig down into some unexpected holes!

My friend, Eileen of The Feisty Side of Fifty, in her post "Women Over Fifty—Reinvention All Over Again" speaks to the concept of knowing just what you have to offer, knowing your skills and salable qualities, as essential in today's job market for those of us over 50.

I would like to carry that a bit further. Knowing your skills and salable qualities is not only important to retain an existing job, or procure a new position, it could be the path to creating a new job tailored specifically to your skill sets! The skills and qualities you bring to the table for a salaried position, when coupled with your wisdom, life experience and years of working in the corporate or business world, are also just the things you can use to create a job tailored specifically to you!

Many people who have always worked for someone else find it hard to think outside the box when it comes to getting work. They are married to the idea of creating resumes, making appointments and applying for 9 to 5 jobs. They can't jump to the idea that you could actually look at a company, think what you have to offer it and go in and tell them they need to hire you! Why? Because you can save them time, money, mistakes and/or a myriad of other benefits that only you, with your background and experience, can bring to the table as a consultant, contract worker or independent contractor.

As an example, it occurred to me that in the current economic atmosphere, printers might be getting less contracts for work and this might cause them to cut their in-house graphics departments. They still need graphics done but they no longer have the means to keep an employee on staff. Guess what? This is an ideal time for free-lance graphic designers! I sent out my "particulars" to a few large print houses, explained I could quote a job, they could add 15% for their PROFIT, and I could easily work with their clients via e-mail, video chats and web conferences, no matter where they were physically located!
Guess what, I got jobs. Why? Because not only did I solve a problem (they still needed graphic design), I also gave them a new revenue stream (15% over my quotes) instead of a revenue drain (salaries, employee taxes, bookkeeping costs)!

In times like these it is the creative and aggressive that survive - the business world's "survival of the fittest" way of winnowing out the weak links. It is harsh, but it is the reality in hard economic times. In the fight for survival in the concrete jungle it is the fastest, smartest and most aggressive that will survive.

Just how hungry are you?

P.S. Thanks to my friend, Joyce from Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights, I can give you the definition of a "meme" which I was too lazy to research and she wasn't! Along with this definition is her post contribution to the wonderful inaugural Saturday Soapbox last week, "Don't Act Like A Dinosaur"!

Don't miss last week's inaugural Saturday Soapbox
Are We Wasting The Resources of Our Elders?
Here are the rules to follow and post on your blog response:
  • Come here every Saturday and read the current post.
  • Create your own post on the current subject or anything else pertaining to boomers that might be on your mind.
  • Post a link back to THIS BLOG at this url - http://popartdiva.blogspot.com - on your post.
  • Then make a comment HERE leaving a link to your current blog post. If you do not comment members will not find your blog post!
  • After you've posted your blog with a linkback here and left your comment here go read some of the other posts and comment on their posts too. This creates "link love" and generates traffic for all involved BUT the biggest effect it will have is getting the word out about the Baby Boomers, their issues and maybe even some answers to those issues!
  • Post these rules below your post each week. Simply copy the rules between the purple hash marks and paste them below your post in writing section of your blog's posting area.
  • No personal attacks, no hate, no meanness, no spamming or rudeness is encouraged nor will it be tolerated. PopArtDiva reserves the right to delete any or all comments she considers inappropriate.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and art on this site are © PopArtDiva.com 2002 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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  1. Thank you, Ms. Pop Art (aka the artist formerly known as Terri) for the link to my post on Feisty Side of Fifty. I've just posted a second in my series on identifying and speaking to your skills sets. These are what distinguish you from the competition and create your added value.
    Your suggestion to carry this a step further and explore options for using your skills to design the perfect career independently is fabulous! With today's technology, there are so many routes to income and entrepreneurial success.
    So, why not uncover the skills you love to use, market yourself effectively, and create the career of your dreams? Even in the current economic downturn, nothing can beat hard work, a bit of inspiration, and using the skills you love.

  2. Thanks for participating, Eileen. You didn't leave a link to your post so I am doing so now:

    Women Over 50 - It's All About You

  3. I couldn't agree more, Pop Art, and have expanded comments on the sidebar of my blog under "Cool Saging Conversations:" http://hotflashbackscoolinsights.blogspot.com/2009/03/affirmations-part-2-column-2.html.

    You're getting a preview of next week's post on Auntie Mame, too. Isn't it great that by the time we've reached this age and state of coolness, we can reinvent ourselves however we want--and even have the skills to do it?

  4. Let me "liven" that link above to my Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights blog and my response to this Soapbox: See Cool Saging Conversations

  5. Anonymous8:10 AM

    So glad I found your site through b-who-u-r...and thanks for the link to feisty fifty...I myself am a rowdy grandma...I also meet monthly with a group of ladies and we discuss these issues....we have named ourselves rewired...so I will share your blog with them as well...thanks a bunch!!!

  6. Oops..did not mean to post anonymous....sorry...rowdy grandma

  7. Cindy - great!!! Glad to see you came back and read the response and introduced yourself!!

    Now, folks, here's a link to RowdyGrandma, Cindy's blog.

  8. Let's hear it recession - the mother of reinvention! It was during the last little economic downturn that I went from corporate lackey to event planner extraordinaire. Now that the meetings biz is a little rocky, I find myself embarking on a new path as The Baby Boomer Business Coach. Hoping to help other ladies who are in the reinvention process to find their passion and match with their skill set and step out on their own. Is it scary? A little. But the excitment of once again forging new ground helps keep the scary to a minimum! Let's see - Navy cryptologist, Russian Linguist, BioTech Sales, Professional Girl Scout, Internet Sales Manager, Event Planner, Coach. Wonder what I'll become next?

  9. Melodieann - wow, Russian linguist on top of everything else? Does Bob speak Russian too?

    We never know what the future holds - that is one lesson I've learned - that and never say never!

    You have an amazing background - I wonder how all those could be put together to create an entirely new career?


I would love to hear your comments on my art and posts and welcome your honest opinions and thoughts! HOWEVER, please remember this is my "house" and I don't like impolite, mean or rowdy guests - spam and/or comments that include swear words, promote hate or are just negative to be negative will be immediately sent to the trash bin!