Monday, April 26, 2010

Smile, things may be looking up

There was encouraging news for rebooters in the Sunday (4/25/10) New York Times Business section.

The headline: “Rays of Hope For Job Hunters;” the subhead: “Postings are climbing, and baby boomers are retiring. Can a turnaround be near?”

The article, by Phyllis Korkki, reports on improving signs in the labor market. “Employers are beginning to hire again – or at least think about it,” Korkki reports. “There are now some very positive signs… The shift is most apparent in job postings, which have begun to surge.”

The article quoted Tamara Erickson, an author and work-force consultant, as pointing out an intensifying long-term trend: “a worker shortage caused by the continuing retirement of baby boomers.”

“Suddenly, she said, employers are starting to realize that they don’t have, or won’t have, people with the skills they need. Some are starting to worry, she said, while others ‘have no idea what’s going to hit them.’”

This trend means that people who want to keep working in their later years may have the option of deferring their retirement or staying employed by filling a familiar position on a consulting or part-time basis.

The article is side-by-side with a first-person article by Jeremy Jaech, a serial rebooter who has re-started his career twice after “retiring.” He was co-founder of the Aldus Corporation, which created PageMaker and made him rich enough at age 29 that he didn’t have to work.

After playing golf until it was no longer fun, he went back to work and founded the Visio Corporation, another successful venture that developed software to make flow charts, organization charts, office layouts and other diagrams on a desktop computer.

Again he “retired,” this time in his 40s, and became involved working on nonprofit organizations including the University of Washington in research.

Still, not enough, so back to work. This time he founded Verdiem, which provides software to reduce energy consumption of PC networks. His summation:

“Of course, the money has been great. But the actual pleasure of working, and the real reason I can’t stay retired, is the joy of collaborating with a bright team of people to move an idea forward and watch it grow.”

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