Keeping Your Seat At The Table: Job Seeking Advice for Mid-Life Women with Nori Jabba

In this episode of The Widest Net Podcast, Pam is joined by Nori Jabba, a highly accomplished professional with extensive experience in corporate, real estate, community development, and affordable housing. Graduating from Grinnell College with a degree in English and earning a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from George Washington University, Nori’s educational background complements her vast career knowledge. 

 

After deciding to reenter the job market, Nori encountered unexpected challenges and rejections, prompting her to delve into the intricacies of job hunting for middle-aged women. Through meticulous research and candid conversations, Nori gained invaluable insights into the barriers and biases faced by individuals in her demographic. Sharing her experiences and newfound wisdom in her memoir and guide, Keeping Your Seat at the Table,” Nori empowers others to reclaim their confidence and navigate career transitions in middle age. Don’t miss this episode as Nori shares her journey and offers practical advice for success.

 

Here’s what you can expect from this episode: 

  • Gain practical strategies for navigating career transitions later in life and finding success in new opportunities
  • Learn effective techniques for overcoming the challenges of job hunting and standing out in a competitive market
  • Discover ways to regain confidence in your abilities and showcase your valuable skills and experience in middle age
  • Embrace the age and experience that comes with maturity, and leverage it as an asset in your career transition
  • Stay connected and relevant in your industry by learning how to adapt to new technologies and trends
  • Develop a growth mindset and cultivate adaptability to navigate the changing job market with confidence

 

Go to Show Notes here.

 

 

Here’s the transcript:

00:00:04
            

Welcome to another episode of The Widest Net Podcast. I’m your host Pamela Slim and I’m joined today by my guest Nori Jabba. Nori grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, as I did, and she graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in English and from George Washington University with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning. Her 30 year career includes experience in corporate, real estate, community development and affordable housing. She started consulting in 2012 to have more flexibility and time with her family.        

00:00:38
            

After deciding to look for employed work again once her kids were grown, she felt she had lost her seat at the table when no one would hire her despite her relevant experience, qualifications and several awards, including Businesswoman of the Year from the Chamber of Commerce. After multiple disappointments, she abandoned her job search and opted for research and perspective to better understand why job hunting is so challenging for middle aged women, what she learned was too valuable not to share. Through her journey, she did get her seat back at the table, landed the job she was looking for and launched a new chapter as a writer, speaker and mentor. She is the author of Keeping Your Seat at the Table: a Memoir and Guide on Regaining Confidence in Middle Age. Nori lives in Redwood City, California and is the mother of three adult daughters and a rescue doberman named Nessa.        

00:01:35
            

Welcome to the show. Thank you so much. Well, as a soon to be 57 year old woman myself, the title of your book, Keeping Your Seat at the Table, really hits home. So tell us some of the highlights and bring us into your own story. Well, thank you so much for having me and it was quite the journey.        

00:02:00
            

So I always heard it would be hard to go job hunting in your 50s, but I was not prepared for what I faced and as part of my research, I was told that the average 50 year old woman and I’m over 50 has to submit 500 resumes before she lands a job. And that is not okay with me. Something’s wrong here if it’s 500. So I really had to step back and look at everything I was doing, how I was presenting myself, what was really going on with ageism. And so I stopped my job hunt because it was doing a number on my self esteem.        

00:02:43
            

I was consulting at the time, so I just said, OK, I’m going to continue consulting. And I said, no, you know, stop that. I’m going to start my own company because I live in Silicon Valley and if nobody’s going to hire me, that’s what I’m going to do, start a startup and I’m going to write a book about my journey. So that’s what I did. As part of that process, I stopped the startup concept and focused on the book because I realized that my purpose was writing and that’s really what I wanted to do with my life.        

00:03:15
            

So I tabled the concept of the startup and really I think I wanted to do that to prove to myself that I could and that I just felt like I needed to prove that I could be at the top, be at the table, be the head of the table. And truthfully, I didn’t need to do that to feel successful and to get my feet back at the table. So how did I lose it? I lost it because I was consulting and I lost my way. I got pulled under the table, as they call it.        

00:03:49
            

And when you’re in your fifties or younger than that, even, I was faced with three kids and aging parents at the same time and just so much of life just pulling at me. And my mom needed help and it was a volcano ready to erupt, which is a whole chapter in the book about getting pulled under the table really took me away from my purpose and my ability to be there for my clients. And so in this chapter in the book, I talk about facing aging and embracing it and really defining how you want to age and also addressing the bubbling volcano of what’s able to pull you under the table. So how to get out in front of it and face your fears and really not let it distract you from your purpose, which for me, ultimately, was writing. So the book has eight steps and I didn’t come up with all eight at the beginning.        

00:04:48
            

It was really through the journey that I learned them all and I researched. I met with some of the people that rejected me, HR Department Director and asked her to have coffee with me. And she said yes. And I asked her, why is it so hard for middle aged women to get jobs? And boy, did she unload on me and was really honest.        

00:05:08
            

And I am so grateful to her for sharing because it was brave on her part to say what she said. And I’m happy to share some of that with you. Yeah, I was going to say bring it on. What were some of the things that she said? And it was brave because I know HR people, having been in HR many years ago, they know everything.        

00:05:29
            

They know everything. And often they have a very strong opinion that sits behind the official capacity they have. So tell me, what are some of the things that she said? So everything she said upset me, but I really took it to heart because I wanted to listen to her. And I went there to absorb what she had to say, not argue with it, not push back, not get defensive.        

00:05:54
            

But one thing was that women, middle aged women, don’t listen. And my initial reaction was kind of what your face is looking like right now. I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and not listen to what she was saying because I found it offensive and just really biased. But I sat back and said I’m doing exactly what she said middle aged women do and didn’t want to listen. So I’m going to hear her out and really try to absorb.        

00:06:24
            

But through that I really learned that listening, I wasn’t doing it the way that I needed to do it. And it really brought home the point of I’ll give you an example. I was in a meeting once with ten men. I was the only woman, maybe there was one other woman. And everybody was talking.        

00:06:46
            

It was 2 hours long, very important meeting and boy, nobody would listen to me. I had to really jump in and try to make my voice heard. And every time I did, I was dismissed, talked over or just ignored. And so instead of listening to what anybody was saying and there was some valuable information in the meeting, I stopped listening and started trying to identify opportunities to jump in. And I think as women we often fall into that.        

00:07:20
            

That is because we have to fight so hard to be heard, we stop listening. And so while I didn’t like what she said, I tried to apply it to myself and to try to be a better listener. And it really did change me. I thought that was such an important thing and I really started to think about that and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. And the fact that when we’re all at the table, we need to be valued and be heard, but not to the extent of not listening.        

00:07:53
            

We need to balance both. So I became a better listener through the process. It’s an interesting juxtaposition because I can feel it in my body, like receiving that kind of feedback and having experiences. And you and I are white women. We know it is so many times worse for women of color that face the similar dynamic as if we look at it intersectionally.        

00:08:16
            

It is an example, I think, where you do have a legitimate bias in the workplace, where there’s behavior that’s really impacting us negatively. And then, as you said, acknowledging that the fact that there is really a gender bias at work and figuring out a way within that to still move forthright in a positive way to have your voice heard. So I’m just curious if there’s any nuance to that as you talked and maybe just to describe a little bit more what you mean by listening more. Did that impact when there was a break in the conversation that you did something different so that when you did speak, it wasn’t looked over? Yeah, and it’s also about bringing our wisdom to the table because when we get to a certain age, we do have a lot of experience and we have experiences we want to share and we know we add value.        

00:09:14
            

And so sometimes it’s easy to overlook that there are others that we can learn from. So being vulnerable and thinking about Brené Brown’s definition of vulnerability as strength and being open to learning, taking risks, failing and growing, I think is really what it’s all about. It’s not about not listening. It’s about making yourself vulnerable to growth.        

00:09:47
            

Because I know probably people listening are trying to get a specific example of that. And it reminds me of I did a lot of work for about 18 months with Susan Cain, the author of Quiet about The Power of Introverts. And there can be even a more unique challenge when you have introverts who, by their nature, I’m a raging extrovert. So I will jump in usually at the beginning of a conversation without even thinking things through. But are there any specific techniques, as you said, that when you listened more deeply, thinking about that table where you were the only woman, what was different about maybe what you said or how you said it?        

00:10:26
            

And did it have the impact of people actually listening to the wisdom that you brought to that room? Yeah, I mean, it’s about absorbing what you hear and finding value from it and then expressing that value. It’s about validating others as part of the process, not just about sharing your wisdom. It’s about validating others.        

00:10:51
            

The other nuance that she taught me was to embrace young people, that older people tend to be dismissive of younger people. And I think it goes both ways. Younger people tend to be dismissive of older people. And so thinking about ourselves as coworkers at work rather than ages and really embracing the ability to learn from younger people. And I’ll tell you a fun fact.        

00:11:18
            

My job that I have now, my boss is decades younger than I am. And had I not gone through this experience, I don’t think I would have been able to accept that and feel good about myself. It would have felt humiliating. Am I not valued? But now I look at it completely differently, and I love having a younger boss.        

00:11:42
            

I usually had bosses who are older than I am, but now I have one that’s significantly younger, and it’s fantastic. I love that. I also have folks on my team that are significantly younger than me, and I adore it. And as I said, in that case, it is somebody on my team. But knowing we’re all independent consultants, it feels many times right, like, similar, I don’t have a job-job.        

00:12:06
            

But that is so beautiful because there is so much as a mother of teenagers, I know you’re a mom too, right? All the things we know as moms of just how fun it is, the insight our kids have, like certain ways that they can look at things and tell us, now it sounds like you do have a role. Now. Is that something that you talk about publicly in terms of what your day job is? Yeah, I work for a city.        

00:12:31
            

I manage housing programs for them. And as I said, my boss is much younger than I am, so it’s my first job with the city since graduate school, so I had to start at a place where I can only go up. But it’s a fantastic job. I feel like I’m adding value. I think they really value me and all my experience and everything I bring to the table.        

00:12:55
            

But having been through my journey, I probably wouldn’t have applied for this job. Nor would I have wanted to have a boss so much younger if I hadn’t gone through the journey of Keeping Your Seat at the Table. And writing the book and meeting with the people that I did and doing the research and just listening to a lot of women and a lot of men as well on how to get your seat back and what it means to be successful. Yes. Because I want to ask so many things.        

00:13:27
            

First, I’m going to go back to if there’s anything else that the HR person told you about one of the reasons why you weren’t hired in that role. So it was not listening, maybe not. Anything about my position. What I was told officially was that they found somebody who was, quote, a better fit. And that’s what they always say.        

00:13:51
            

Right. But I talk about fit in the book and I come up with a process called The Fit Model that helps you to evaluate your sense of fit, whether you are working now, is it a good fit or what needs to change for you to be happier? Or if you’re looking at a job and applying, is that company a good fit? Because when you get to a certain age and suddenly you’re getting rejections or no responses, you want to respond to anything that is an open door. It doesn’t matter what company or what job, just give me a job.        

00:14:27
            

Right, but fit is so important, and I think if you talk to any HR person and really any hiring manager, that’s the number one thing they’re looking for is somebody who’s a good fit. So what does that mean? So when I heard her talking about that a little bit, we went into some detail about it. But I really did some additional research and some thinking about what is fit. And so I came up with the fit model on my own.        

00:14:55
            

And it’s a way to really look at yourself within a company and what your values are, what’s important to you, what’s important about the company and whether it’s a good fit and not needing the job, if it’s a bad fit is a really important decision to make that, yes, I need a job, but I don’t want it to be a bad fit any more than they do. Absolutely. Because it just does it’s like going on a bad date. Thankfully, I haven’t had to in 20 years. I’ve been with my husband.        

00:15:23
            

It’s kind of that similar view, I think, right, that you’re just burning time if there’s no kind of criteria that you have for how you think about how you’re spending time with people. And so there’s, as you said, developing some of these new skills, really changing the way that you might be looking at things, recognizing some of the obvious bias that exists, and then within that, finding ways in which you can still really make a difference. And it sounds like focus more the energy that you’re putting into finding that right kind of position. Absolutely. And then one of the main things that I learned through this journey and it wasn’t this HR person that taught me, it was really just part of the process, is that your purpose does not have to be related to your job.        

00:16:11
            

And that’s why I tabled the idea of the startup, because I decided I really wanted to focus on being a writer, but yet I’m working in a position for a city, and I do a lot of writing as part of my job. And I love that. But thinking about our seat at the table and separating it from the job and looking at the table as your definition of success and fulfillment and happiness is very different than how I used to look at it. I used to look at the seat at the table as the job. And through the process I learned, no, it’s not.        

00:16:48
            

The table is my table. And the book is about flipping the table and building your own and developing your own network of people at the table. So you sit at the head and you invite people to sit at the table with you that are your coaches and mentors and people that challenge you and support you. And that’s what it’s all about. So beautiful.        

00:17:13
            

Tell us a little bit more about the research because you said that you stopped the job search process and you dug into doing research. What was involved in that process? I did a survey, and I surveyed women all over the country to ask if they felt like they had a seat at the table and if they felt that ageism was real and do they feel old, and kind of more personal questions. And what’s really interesting about this concept of confidence is what really came out of that. That believing in yourself and feeling good about yourself is so critical to having a seat at the table.        

00:17:51
            

And when you’re job hunting and you’re getting rejection after rejection after rejection, that confidence gets depleted. So a big part of the book is about how to get that confidence back. And that’s the subtitle of regaining confidence. So how do you do that? And it is about finding your purpose and focusing on more than just the job hunt.        

00:18:14
            

Who are you as a person? How do you show up? How do you want to show up? Being strong, feeling strong and regaining that confidence by looking introspectively. And so listening to other women in that regard was really helpful.        

00:18:32
            

And interviewing this woman at the HR department. And I also talked to other women about corporate identity and corporate culture and how that is important. And that’s kind of how I led to developing The Fit Model. And I also met with a job training center, Nova Works, and there’s one in every metropolitan area. And I didn’t realize how valuable these organizations were.        

00:19:00
            

So part of the research was just truly learning what resources are available and sharing them with people in the book. So these resources, these centers, the one near me is called Nova Works, but they have a different name in every metropolitan area in the country, and they provide free training on so many things. They’ll help you write your resume. They’ll help you get the skills that you need. They’ll do assessments.        

00:19:27
            

They’ll help you kind of figure out what skills you’re lacking and what you need. And so sharing how to get those skills is a big part of the book. So I did research on how can I get my skills. First, what skills am I missing, and then second, how can I get them and what resources are available to me to get them. Like websites and things with Google that I didn’t know existed and LinkedIn learning and all of these things that are available to us that I had no idea about.        

00:19:57
            

So a good part of the book is staying relevant and getting those skills, And you know, one of the things that I learned about middle aged women and middle aged anybody job hunting is that sometimes we’re afraid to learn those new skills. Or how many times have you been to a meeting and heard somebody say, I’m too old for that? So I say, don’t be that person. Never say I’m too old for that. Grab a young person or get on Google and figure out how you’re going to get that skill.        

00:20:28
            

And don’t say, I’m too old to learn that. Learn it. So the research was meeting with people, listening to other women, and just delving deep in and figuring out what I needed to learn and how to share that with others. Always. I told the story in my last book, Body of Work, about my dad, who was in the Bay Area and was a photographer and worked for a large public utility in the Bay Area.        

00:20:55
            

And so for his whole career, I. Think I worked for.        

00:21:02
            

So there. What was so fun to watch throughout the course of my dad’s career was he was a great example of that, that in photography, he went from having a dark room to when digital photography came out, he was one. Of the very first people in his field to be using a digital camera and testing it and trying and he just had this real childlike enthusiasm. It’s what I love so much about my dad, and he was so focused on the craft of photography and in building really strong relationships, as you said, with folks from all kinds of different backgrounds and ages, given the work that he did. And so it was so funny because he turned 65 in November.        

00:21:46
            

A month later, he was laid off. So officially, he was laid off from his position. So, of course he was eligible for retirement, but from the age of 65 until 83. So til literally, he couldn’t hold a camera anymore. When he got ill, he worked freelance for the same company.        

00:22:02
            

And I would just laugh, I’d say, in the San Francisco Bay Area, are you telling me there are no other qualified younger photographers? But I think it was this combination of people of all backgrounds. Loved him. He was so respectful, and he always focused so much on the work itself. Now, in that case, he was in a consistent line with a company, but he had actually had a break early on when my parents split where he left the company, worked, like, at an oil company for a number of years and then had to break back in.        

00:22:31
            

So just thank you for bringing back that memory of my beloved, dear departed dad, because I just remember what that felt like when he wanted so badly to get back in and was older. And I think a lot of the things you’re describing are what helped him to make that transition. Yeah. And really, my book is focused on women because I am a woman, but it applies so much to men, too. Women face special difficulties because of a lot of the gender bias, but middle aged men have just as much trouble finding jobs.        

00:23:04
            

It’s just not easy for any of us. Yeah. Your book, Body of Work, I think there are a lot of synergies with my book, Surfing the Fear. I have the whole chapter about facing the fears because it’s so critical. It’s just so critical.        

00:23:20
            

If you don’t face them, they’re going to come through and eat you alive. So you’ve just got to address them head on. Get your head out of the sand and define your roots, aligning with your values, corporate culture, and the fit model. It’s right there. So, a lot of synergy.        

00:23:39
            

After we finish, I’ll ask you who your dad was, because I think I know him and I think I have one of his pictures. Oh, my gosh. Okay. Well, I can’t wait to do that. About connections.        

00:23:53
            

Right. And Keeping Your Seat at the Table is about building those relationships and those relationships that support you. For me, for those eight steps, eight chapters in the book, and growing that network and the seat at the table is not something you’re invited to. It’s something you create. Yeah.        

00:24:17
            

And I love that specific utility of the book because it is so specifically focused, as you said, on this reentry for a variety of reasons, like yourself. Somebody who took time off to do consulting, people who might have been laid off, made different career choices, bring us into what you did differently in order to get the current job that you have now. I’m so fascinated. How did you find it and how did you prepare for it in such a way that they hired you? It’s kind of interesting.        

00:24:52
            

I had given up the job hunt and had my client base, and this was one of my clients that ended up hiring me. And it was somewhat luck, but also I made it happen. There was a new law that was passed in California for independent contractors called AB5 . And I started researching AB5 because I was a contractor, and one of my clients had asked me to do some research on AB5. So I did.        

00:25:21
            

I did some advocacy. I went to Sacramento, I testified on their behalf, and I became kind of an expert on this law. And then I realized that the company that I was working for was treating me like an employee. In the past, that would have been fine the way they were doing it, but under the new law, it wasn’t okay. And I said, you basically have to hire me.        

00:25:45
            

And here’s why. I can’t be an expert on this law and then feel like I’m breaking it because I’m consulting with you and doing core work. And so they hired me, and I loved it because I could see the juxtaposition and the difference between consulting for this company and feeling more part of the team. And as a consultant, I always felt that I had a seat in the room, but not at the table. And so as an employee, I felt like I had my seat at the table.        

00:26:22
            

And so I pushed them to hire me, and they did. And it was a good fit for both of us. But I wasn’t looking for the job anymore for the reasons when I started. It was just a different mindset. And honestly, I wasn’t looking anymore.        

00:26:44
            

And I think that was part of it, that there wasn’t this sense of need and desperation that was coming through. I had confidence. I didn’t need to have this job. It was just important legally because of the new laws. But I think it was just that I felt the confidence, and that came through now when I got the second job.        

00:27:09
            

So I don’t have that job anymore. The city offered me this position, and I beat out 69 other people for it. And I’m really excited about that, because I went from getting rejected or coming in second or never getting a response to beating out all these other people because I was so valued. And why? Because I had the experience and I had the confidence.        

00:27:36
            

And I was willing to be open and learn and be vulnerable and also accept a position that wasn’t a C-Suite. I had this impression that I had to be vice president or president or CEO or whatever it was to prove to myself. And honestly, now I’ve let that all go. I wanted to look at the job as what value could it bring to me, how is the fit? Does it allow me time to work on my real purpose, which is writing and this whole idea of life balance.        

00:28:16
            

And so everything kind of came together. I’ve wanted to work for a city since I went to grad school, and I didn’t. I worked for the utility company that we were talking about right after grad school. So I never worked at a city. And I had a great job, had managed real estate for the whole entire northern half of California, for their northern half of their service territory.        

00:28:39
            

I had eight people reporting to me and millions and millions of dollars in assets that I was responsible for. And so it was really an interesting journey to go work for a city and kind of bookend my career. I was in grad school, interning for a city, and now I hope to stay with the city. I’m not going to look for another job, but hopefully I’ll move up in the city. But I’m just having so much fun.        

00:29:08
            

I’m working with planners and I’m adding value and yeah, so it was really the journey of everything together. And yes, the listening, yes, the confidence, all of that, but some of it was just luck, too. But Keeping Your Seat at the Table is really when I shifted the concept of what success is. For me, success happened. That is really powerful.        

00:29:39
            

Before we started recording, you were talking about a prior podcast I did with my friend Hajj Flemings from Rebrand Cities, who’s based in Detroit, and he talks a lot about personal brand, about company brand. How does that factor into the way that you think about being inside a company and being an employee? How do you develop and share your personal brand? So, as part of the book, I do talk about branding and personal branding. And honestly, I hate that word branding.        

00:30:11
            

It feels so impersonal. And I did research on it because I know it’s important. So I read a book about it, and a friend of mine wrote a book on it. And as part of that process, she says, think of a brand that you love and why do you love it. So the brand that came to mind for me was Clover Sonoma Dairy in Petaluma.        

00:30:35
            

And if anybody’s familiar with them, they have a cow mascot named “Clo” Clover “Clo”, and they have plays on words and puns on their billboards and they’re all cartoons and they are hilarious. And I love driving up to Sonoma County, the billboard near Santa Rosa that changes regularly. And when it was their 50th anniversary, they had the Clo’s 50th birthday party and it said Clover. The Hill for Clover being over the hill, and she’s celebrating, and there’s birthday cake, and it really made me think, why do I like this brand so much? Well, one, it’s funny and it’s whimsical, and I love the play on words with everything.        

00:31:21
            

And so for me, for my personal brand, I try to bring that life is short, let’s have fun, and you’ve got to laugh at yourself. But the other thing that I learned with that is that Clover Sonoma celebrating a 50th anniversary. 50 years is a long time for a company. And companies that are old are revered and respected, and the older the company, the legacy that comes with it and the respect that comes with it, but with the people that work at the company, it’s the opposite. We don’t value experience and aging in the work world. We shun it.        

00:32:06
            

And so part of the Clover Sonoma branding is to own your age and your experience. And so I bring that to the table, too. And at know, how do I do that? I don’t hide my age. I don’t hide my experience.        

00:32:24
            

I also balance that with humility and being open for growth and working for a much younger boss. And I just try to be authentic every day, and I think that’s really key. That is one of my favorite brands. Growing up in Marin, I drove by so many times in Petaluma. My mom lives in Santa Rosa now, and I am with you.        

00:32:46
            

I’m a sucker for a good pun as well. So it just was so fun. I remember being kids and driving to go on family vacation and going by it, and it is such a beautiful, whimsical kind of brand. And I love what you’re saying of having this combination of really celebrating wisdom and growth. I appreciate that you always share your age.        

00:33:04
            

I always share it, and not in every single speech, if it doesn’t have any context. But I just always want to make a point of embracing and owning the fact I’m 56, I’ll be 57 next month, and recognizing how exciting that is. What I love about what you’ve shared about your learning through the research for the book and just I know what I saw modeled in my dad is to know that there is my responsibility for also keeping myself fresh and relevant. There is absolute gender bias in the workplace. We know it exists, it’s real, it’s measurable.        

00:33:41
            

And within that, you can see what are things that you can do in order to really stay connected and fresh. So I think it’s such a powerful just such a powerful book in being so specific for helping people who were at that stage of transition, thinking about that. If there’s anybody listening, if there are folks listening who have a loved one or a relative who is in that situation, first of all, it can be so demoralizing and so scary, right? Where, as you said, you just continually are sending out things and getting rejections.        

00:34:17
            

And hoping something will stick. It’s not a good strategy. It’s not a good strategy. And there’s a pragmatic side of it, which is for most people, that work is not an option, right? That they need to be doing something to work.        

00:34:34
            

And as you said yourself that you chose to continue consulting. Is there anything you say to people first, just when they’re in that stage where they know that things aren’t working, they haven’t read your book yet, they need to put into play the exercises and activities to get better prepared for job search. What are alternatives that you suggest to people who, of course, need to keep working while they’re looking for a full time job? The other part of it is that I became less judgmental about other jobs and that work is valuable, and I love and I share it in the book, the story, and his name’s escaping me now, the actor from The Cosby Show that was outed for working at Trader Joe’s a few years. You know, he said, hey, every job is a good job, and I needed to support my family.        

00:35:29
            

And Trader Joe’s has great benefits, and they do, and good for him. And he got hired from that experience. He got an acting job right after that. But to not feel humiliated for doing what you need to do to take care of yourself in the process, every job is a good job, and hence value if you can get value from it and offer something. And there is nothing shameful about getting a job that you need to do to make ends meet and holding your head high and spending your other time looking for the next big gig that you want to do, or consulting.        

00:36:10
            

Consulting is a great way to fill that gap. What I did learn about consulting, though, and part of why it was so hard to get a job is that if you consult for a long time, like I did, and then you try to go back, I think the HR world looks at consulting as code for not a team player. Somebody who’s been independently minded and isn’t going to fit in because they’re not into that team concept learning that, recognizing that as a consultant, I think, is really important, and making sure that you’re just aware of that bias against consultants. But consulting is a great way to fill the gap if you can.        

00:36:57
            

I talk in the book about having a side hustle. Every woman needs a side hustle. There are so many ways to make money, and it’s really important to just try to monetize yourself as much as you can in various ways. Being creative and selling your writing or creative items you sell on Etsy or being an Uber driver, whatever you have to do. There’s no shame in it whatsoever.        

00:37:24
            

I want to underline that. I always say all work is honorable and it’s so important that we support ourselves and each other in that, because you never know. I’ve seen it all in so many years of working on the human side of business and entrepreneurship. Things don’t always go your way. Cash flow doesn’t always match your vision and where you are and the possibilities in your business.        

00:37:44
            

So it’s perfectly fine to do an interim step, I guess, to wrap where somebody, of course, is reading the book. If they are in this situation of being excited to go back in the workforce a little bit later in life, what are some of the key things that you just encourage them to keep top of mind? So learn all the skills that you can to be relevant and be up on the latest technologies, and it depends on your industry. So focusing on the industry that you’re job hunting in and learning what’s necessary for that industry and then acquiring those skills and getting those credentials on your resume, it’s really important and making sure that you’re a good fit and really thinking about that and what kind of fit works well for you and bringing it up in the interview. I will be a good fit because of X, Y and Z.        

00:38:43
            

It shows that you’ve done your homework on the company. It shows that you know that fit is important because, as I said, that is the number one thing they’re looking for. So just by mentioning it, you’ve got a leg up and really thinking about your values and your purpose and determining if the job is your purpose or if there’s something else. And if it’s something else. Like for me, my purpose is writing. It’s showing that passion when you’re job hunting and bringing that passion to your job, but not conflicting with it. How can your passion add value and being authentic about who you are and making sure that you bring that to the table?        

00:39:28
            

Because with AI taking over the world now, the one thing AI doesn’t have is personality. And some might argue with me that AI is going to learn personality, but you have your memories, you have your experiences, you have your whole self, and making sure that you bring that to the table so that you’re not irrelevant and replaced by a machine. That’s the difference between the computer generated article I wrote by clicking a button with Bard and writing it myself. You bring your whole self to the table. So those things are key.        

00:40:09
            

That’s so helpful. Well, what is the best way for people to find you and connect with you? So my website for the book is called Keepingyourseat.com and you can go on there and connect with me. I’m also on LinkedIn, Nori Jabba, and you can also buy the book on Amazon, Keeping Your Seat at the Table.        

00:40:30
            

Well, Nori, thank you so much for sharing your time with us today. Thank you. I really appreciated it. It’s wonderful. For those of you that are listening, make sure to check out the Show Notes at pamelaslim.com podcast for the tips and resources that were mentioned in today’s show.        

00:40:48
            

I want to thank my 31 Marketplace production team La’Vista Jones, Tanika Lothery, Jose Arboleda and the award winning narrator for Intro and Outro Andia Winslow. Until next time, be sure to subscribe to the show and enjoy building partnerships, organizations and communities that grow our ecosystem.

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