baby boomer careers
baby boomer careers

Boomers CAN Create Their Dream Careers

Author and speaker John Tarnoff helps baby boomers reinvent themselves in his book, "Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50."

Menopause & Aging Well

Ever since I've been on Twitter, @johntarnoff has been following me. He retweets my blog post almost every week. Who is this nice person, I wondered? I clicked on his Twitter handle and saw that he has more than 97,000 followers and is a super handsome, 60-something, former Hollywood entertainment executive.

Wow-o-wow!

John Tarnoff is also a very smart reinvention career coach, speaker and writer for baby boomers. He holds a BA magna-cum-laude from Amherst College and an MA in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. He grew up in New York and Paris and lives in Los Angeles. (All my favorite places—another reason why I like him.)



John Tarnoff is author of "Boomer Reinvention."

John has been reinventing himself for much of his 40-year career. In fact, he has just written a book called Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50. His publicist sent a copy to me.

The book won high praise from noteworthy boomers such as Arianna Huffington, CEO and founder of Thrive Global; Ken Burns, filmmaker; and Richard Eisenberg, Nextavenue.org—so I am pleased to share some highlights with you.

Statistics Set the Stage for Second Acts
According to the 2014 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 65 percent of baby boomers working plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire. And 68 percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 are worried about not having enough for retirement (Gallup, April 2014).

"Yikes," says John. "Most boomers will have to work through their 60s and many even into their 70s. But that's why I wrote Boomer Reinvention—to help boomers create sustainable second-act careers that are appropriate, authentic, meaningful and purposeful."

A Different Take on Boomer Reinvention
In his key paradigm, John states that "reinvention is not about trying to figure out what job or business you can fit into out there. It's about figuring out what job or business is already inside you, aching to come out and play, and then taking the necessary steps to make it a reality."

John believes that to create the future, you have to make peace with the past. "There is no use in pivoting to a new job or a new calling—or even renewing or reformulating the job you already have—unless you first deal with all the old baggage and self-limitations that are likely standing in your way."

Five-Step Framework and 23 Strategies
John's Boomer Reinvention features a Five-Step Framework and 23 strategies that he developed while going through his own job changes and career reinventions—39 times during his career. No wonder he is an expert!

OK, OK, OK, don't be overwhelmed because there are 23 strategies. I know that sounds like a big number. John makes the process super practical with what he calls "a smorgasbord of exercises and practices" that are effective and easy to implement. "There is truly something for everyone in this collection of approaches," John says.

While I won't elaborate on the 23 strategies, below is an overview of his Five-Step Framework. I encourage you to read the book for more details and check out John's website, boomerreinvention.com, where you can download some of his worksheets and watch his videos.

  1. Reframing. In the first step, John encourages you to go deep into your beliefs about who you are and what you can do at your age. He explains how to assess your skills and create a mission statement for yourself. He provides sample assessments and then let's you do it yourself.
  2. Listening. This step involves getting feedback about yourself from others and taking time to evaluate what you learn.
  3. Accepting. John shows you how to adopt a compassionate attitude toward yourself and others. "It's time to let go of the past ways. Dream BIG," says John.
  4. Expressing. John asks really good questions to help you map your personal Vision Board and SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis.
  5. Connecting. Finally, John offers ways to optimize your online profile and professional network to help you develop the skills to make your new career a reality.


In addition to the framework and strategies, the book includes examples with boomers who reinvented themselves and how they did it. My favorite is former lawyer, Julie, who became a mindfulness teacher and leadership development consultant. (Since I became a yoga instructor during my life after 50, you can guess why I enjoyed this story the most.)

Top Advice for Reinvention
Finally, I wanted to know if readers were to walk away learning just one thing about creating your dream career over 50, what John's advice would be.

His answer: "It's never too late to start a second-act career, and successfully launching it is within everyone's grasp. While my book can provide the spark that gets someone off the dime, there are so many resources available to reinventors today. The only thing holding someone back is their own unwillingness to take a chance and bet on themselves."

This post originally appeared on aboomerslifeafter50.com.

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