We are now less than a week away from Super Bowl XLVII – The Baltimore Ravens vs. The San Francisco 49’s. New Orleans is abuzz as fans, the media and the teams, arrive to get ready for the game and our annual celebration of pop culture, commercialism, and food all wrap around a football game.
Incredible Super Bowl Runs
Both teams have had incredible runs with highs and lows in route to the championship. The Ravens became just the second team since 1990 to advance to the Super Bowl after losing three of their last four regular-season games. The 49ers, despite a highly respectable 6-2 record, replaced veteran starting quarterback Alex Smith with second year pro Colin Kaepernick. The risky move paid off as Kaepernick’s combination of arm strength and running prowess has made him a catalyst for the 49ers’ march to Super Bowl XLVII.
Sunday’s matchup is more than just a game–it is brother against brother in a coaching dual for the ages as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh squares off versus his younger brother San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. However, prospects for the brother-brother matchup looked very bleak for John Harbaugh and his Ravens on January 12th versus The Denver Broncos.
There is still time left on the clock
Denver was up 35-28 with 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense took over from their 23-yard line with no timeouts remaining. On a 3rd-and-3 with very little hope of tying the game, Flacco heaved up a desperation pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones. Making a leaping grab, Jones scored the tying touchdown and the Ravens when on to win the game in overtime.
Over 50 & Unemployed: There is still time left on the clock
For older workers who lose their jobs, the statistics are not very encouraging. According to Susan Adams of Forbes.com, the unemployment rate for people over 55 is just 5.9%. However, when older workers lose their jobs, they are out of work for a long time. AARP reported 54.9% of job seekers over 55 had been looking for 27 weeks or more. On average, unemployed people over 55 are typically out of work for more than a year. However, those discouraging facts don’t have to apply to you. There is still time left on the clock of your career if you go about your search in the right way. Here are 3 tips that will help.
❶ Learn from Ray Lewis – Reinvent Yourself
Next Sunday, when the Super Bowl clock strikes zero, the game will be over and so will the storied 17 year career of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. While Ray can no longer do his football job, he will not be out of work. Why? — Because Ray has reinvented himself from a football player to a football analyst. Now you don’t have to be a future Hall of Fame football hero to reinvent yourself. Change is the bedrock of life, and each time there is a major shift in our lives, leaving a job, ending a relationship, or retiring after playing in a Super Bowl it brings an opportunity for reinvention. I’ve reinvented myself several times in my life as have most adults. In those various reinvention projects, I have used the following touchstones to help guide the transformation.
1. Create a vision for your future. Write down at least 7 things you would like to become.
2. Explore your vision Be bold and truly examine how your life will change for the good if you reinvent.
3. Find the vision Speak with professionals who are doing what you would like to do.
4. Act the vision Develop an action plan with time-lines and deadlines for the reinvention.
5. Share the vision Tell everyone about your reinvention. You will be amazed with the support.
❷ Create Super Bowl Style Hype About Your Job Search
Annually, the Super Bowl ranks as one the highest rated shows on television. Around the world millions of people, fans and non-fans, come together to watch the game and the three-ring circus that surrounds it. The three-ring circus is created and fed by the hype machine which is the Super Bowl. Think of some of the levers in the hype machine: the two-week build up to the game, the Super Bowl parties and food, the anticipation of the commercials, the half-time show, and the gambling. All for a game that very often does not live up to its expectations.
As a job seeker, especially one over 50, creating hype about your job search is critical to your overall success in finding a job. I realize that “hyping” yourself is uncomfortable and is not a natural part of our DNA. Skip Freedman, CEO of an Atlanta based executive search firm and author of the new book “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!, says while you don’t have to hype yourself to Super Bowl standards, a successful job seeker must think like a sales person regardless if they like it or not. In the book Skip offers these sage nuggets for selling yourself in the job search process.
Think of yourself like a product that is being sold.
- Understand your features, and what you have to offer that your competitors do not.
Polish-up your Branding Materials
- Your LinkedIn profile is the most effective branding tool you have, ensure it is up to par.
Be ready to make many sales calls
- Commit to doing informational interviews; write a blog, speak at conferences. These “sales” calls will provide the exposure you need to hype up your candidacy.
❸ Keep Your Chin Up–There is Opportunity in Defeat
Sunday will mark the 47th Super Bowl and in the previous 46 games, 46 teams have won and 46 teams have lost. — (Now that is stellar research!!!! LOL) 28 of the NFL’s 32 franchises have made it to the big game with 4 teams, The Detroit, Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville so far on the outside looking in at the Super Bowl party.
My Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most championships-6, but they have also lost twice. The only franchise with multiple wins with an unblemished record are the 49’ers at 5-0. They will put perfection to the test and try to tie my Steelers for the most wins on Sunday. The Buffalo Bills have the most consecutive appearances with four losses in a row from 1991 to 1994. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings have also lost a record four Super Bowls. Buffalo and Minnesota are both 0–4, Denver is 2–4 and New England is 3–4.
This is my point–losing is part of football and life. Losing a job sucks, it is hard, difficult, and will test your resolve. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Get your chin up because you are just one job win away from getting back in the game.
The Bottom Line: My Super Bowl Prediction
Ravens 28 – 49’ers 24
If I am wrong….. Not to worry, because there is still time left on the clock!!!!