To properly plan a career change, a jump into entrepreneurship, or to make a post-retirement plan, you need to do a bit of research. But those of us who are juggling family, multiple work projects, and other responsibilities may find it challenging to find the time (and quiet) to research and read. We recommend these seven podcasts to help give you some perspective and inspiration for planning your next act, to listen to while you’re in the car, cooking dinner, or even at the gym.
Gracefully was founded by journalist Lisa Napoli, whose story might sound familiar to some. She told us in an interview, “I started a podcast on aging for one main reason: I couldn’t find a job. I’m 54—and have been a journalist for 34 years. After my second book came out, the part-time radio job I loved had dried up. I noticed a lot of friends around my age had similar stresses: some were managing care while working full-time, others were moving back in with parents out of economic need, lots of people in their fifties who could not find gainful work.”
She sat down with Next for Me co-founder Jeff Tidwell to talk about ageism in the workplace, and what we’re doing to fight entrenched biases and find new ways to learn and collaborate.
2. Masters of Scale
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman has conversations with some of the most successful leaders in technology and media, and asks the question, what does it take to grow a small success into a huge one? One of the series most popular interviews was with TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot, who talks about keeping humans in the equation in the gig economy. As we reported, almost half of freelance/gig workers are over 50 years old, so this episode will be of particular interest to our audience.
“TaskRabbit’s mission around revolutionizing everyday work really grabbed me, and it brought me back home to Detroit,” Brown-Philpot told Hoffman. “It brought me back to the people who were good, hard-working people who lost their jobs because of the failure of an entire industry, who couldn’t find work but had strong work ethics, and here’s this great little app that is doing that.”
3. New Retirement
Steve Chen founded the site NewRetirement after helping his mom plan her retirement and seeing the need for great free resources for retirees. In the NewRetirement podcast, Steve interviews experts about investing, finding one’s calling, and the future of work. He interviewed MOCA+ founder and former Dwell CEO (and Next for Me advisor) Michela O’Connor Abrams about her own journey to reinvention.
She told him, “I think that if you go into whatever it is, the next chapter or phase, taking a break, you can’t go into it wondering if your relevance is going to be tested because if you are not secure about your own relevance, then you need to work on that first and not look to whatever that next chapter is to make who you are and where you are in your life relevant.”
4. Planet Money
NPR’s Planet Money aims to explain the workings of the economy that mystify most laymen. Those who are among the 50% of workers over 50 who have less than $50,000 saved for retirement may appreciate the segment “When Retirement Advice Goes Viral”.
It all started with a Tweet that said, “By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts.” This obviously alarmed many people over the age of 35 who had nowhere near that amount saved. The reporters spoke with experts, including the man who invented the 401(k), who advised that any savings is better than none, and it’s not too late to start.
Donna Kastner’s Retirepreneur is a resource for executives 50 and older who are striving for a smooth segue from full-time job to part-time gig, and looking for “a gradual downshift where they blend work and leisure pursuits.”
In Episode 4, Donna explored the growing Gig Economy. “Gigging for a living isn’t just for artsy folks,” she said. “It’s for anyone with knowledge, skills, and abilities that businesses crave, yet they’re having a tough time finding and keeping the talent they need… The Gig Economy is setting the stage for a whole new breed of entrepreneurs who prefer a more part-time path.”
6. Safe for Work
Liz Dolan, former head of marketing at Nike and journalist Rico Gagliano host this podcast which offers advice to make work more satisfying, with tips like how to avoid job burnout, how to negotiate a raise, and how to know when it’s time to move on. They interviewed Next for Me advisor Karen Wickre about her book “Taking the Work out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections that Count”, and read her a question from a 56 year-old listener who was about to be laid off from her job. She said has never networked, and doesn’t know where to start, but definitely does not want to schmooze with people over drinks.
Karen offered tips on getting started with LinkedIn, and noted that the listener should not feel embarrassed about asking for help in finding a new job. “People like to help each other to the extent they can figure out how,” says Karen. “And the other thing is, we’re all going to be in that seat, one way or another, we’re all going to need that help. This happens to everyone.”
Former This American Life producer Alex Blumberg went meta with his first post-NPR venture. He created a podcast about quitting his job to start a podcast network. If you’re thinking about following your entrepreneurial dreams, Startup is an honest and fascinating insider look into the world of startups, from raising money to building a team to keeping your spouse on board when things get stressful.
“We’re interested in getting behind the scenes, seeing the anxieties, fears and mistakes that go along with the successes,” Blumberg told Forbes. “Because, of course, there are no straight successes. The anxieties, fears and mistakes are there at every company, no matter how successful. So, given that the anxieties and mistakes are a constant, what differentiates the successes from the failures? And a big part of it, of course, is how the founders deal with the anxiety and learn from the mistakes. That’s a big lesson I’ve learned.”
Start with the first episode, Alex’s disastrous pitch to billionaire investor Chris Sacca, which started him on the path to turning his mistakes into success.
Did we miss your favorite podcast? Share your recommendations in the comments.
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