Friday, May 23, 2014

What value does experience bring to an organization?

Hi Jeffrey,

5 YEAR GUARANTEEBeing close to New York, it is hard to miss the organizational ups and downs of the Knicks over the past 10 to 15 years. The return to New York by Phil Jackson, holder of 11 championship rings, represents a significant event. But it's not every day that a 69-year-old gets a five-year contact in any industry.

Phil's success at finding a new role at 69 may be instructive to those feeling their paths are more limited with age — a question we often get asked because of quasi-age discrimination.

Admittedly, we all aren't Hall of Famers, but Phil's move demonstrated some points to remember when seeking to overcome the potential challenges of age in a job search:
  • Know the problems of the organization you are targeting and understand where you are valued. Not all NBA teams were interested in Phil, and he didn't worry about those who were not. It just took one organization with the right circumstances and need to look beyond the exterior and invest in "the right" solution.
  • Use your skills from past roles to demonstrate how you can solve problems in your next organization — even if it's in a different role. Phil targeted the problems the Knicks have of needing to pick and meld talent, including star talent, into a winning team, and used this to close the deal.
  • Demonstrate that you are still active, relevant, aware and adaptable to new environments and not resting on your laurels. Phil is known as the "Zen Master" for his unique approach to basketball and life. This brand identity for flexibility and innovative thinking should be the aspirin to the Knicks' headache and made him current and relevant.
  • Don't worry too much if you are turned down — you never know about the future. Phil failed to become coach of the Knicks several years earlier. But circumstances changed, and now he is back in a different role.
Phil is an inspiration for all of us. His mantra: Focus on the value you can bring to your next organization and never lose sight or confidence that you can strive for more — at any age!

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