“Old Hand” Needs New Tricks

“John, I took your “5 Secrets” seminar in 2005, when the software company I worked for essentially collapsed. I then went with another small software start-up, which was acquired last year “at below market rates” and was immediately laid off by the acquiring company.


Since then I have pursued two directions:

  • My passion, returning to my “roots” — a history in and marketing to the energy industry, and
  • Small software companies where my senior marketing could help a company grow.


Both industries are hurting, in spite of all the hoopla about energy, so the going has been tough. I’ve been networking extensively in energy and high tech arenas, but am not seeing opportunities. The market is such that companies are picking only “perfect” matches to their requirements, while I have a quite diverse set of leadership capabilities.



I’d really like to get back into energy, but there seems to be a presumption on many people’s part that an “old energy hand” can’t learn new tricks, even though I was creating the new tricks up to 2002, and have stayed in touch with developments all along.


Do you have any suggestions?”


  1. What can you do to actively present your diverse set of experiences as an advantage, instead of allowing others to assume it’s a negative (lack of focused, current experience)?
  2. Are you clearly expressing powerful results, rather than ‘experience’?
  3. What are you doing to show you aren’t an “old” energy hand – to counter the typical concerns someone might have about that – not being up to speed on current developments, not being that good at current technology, being stuck in your ways, not having the level of energy & passion someone younger might, talking about ‘how we used to do things’, etc.?
  4. Are you making sure you have an up-to-date appearance and style of dress?


It is my belief that there are jobs out there, if you develop a strong, focused marketing message and present it well. Just a few weeks ago, USA Today had a front page article about the boom in jobs in 3 sectors – Health Care, Government and Energy. In fact, I have an older client who is carving out a consulting business in the energy field, and expects to be in 6 figures by year end. He came into it from an IT infrastructure perspective, with no particular background in energy, and has quickly become a sought after expert in his particular niche.


Good luck!

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