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The Next Stage Live Chat Transcript

Missed the chat with Jane and guests Tripp Hanson and Deborah Russell? Check it out here

Today’s participants:

Jane Pauley, AARP's Brand Ambassador

Tripp Hanson, acupuncturist

Deborah Russell, AARP’s Director of Workforce Issues

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Jane Pauley: Hello, everyone! Thanks for joining us. I hope you enjoyed our Today show segment this morning featuring Tripp Hanson, a former Broadway performer who reinvented himself as an acupuncturist.

Like many aspiring performers, Tripp spent so many years focused on getting to Broadway, but it never occurred to him what would happen next after he finally made it. Tripp got some great advice from an acting coach who told him to feel comfortable “stepping into questions, not answers,” which I think is such a valuable way to think about reinvention. The answers aren’t always so apparent to us, but we have to feel comfortable living in that ambiguity.

Tripp joins us in the chat today, along with AARP's Director of Workforce Issues Deborah Russell. She’s an expert on aging workforce and employment issues, in particular how these issues affect 50+ individuals. We’re very excited to have them both here.

Hi, Tripp and Deborah!

Tripp Hanson: Hi, you guys — so happy to be here!

Deborah Russell: Good afternoon! It's a pleasure to be here to discuss successful ways to transition into new employment opportunities!

Comment from Ben: The company that I work for is consolidating offices, and many of us know that a round of layoffs is looming. I’m almost certain that I will be one of the unfortunate ones. The announcements will be made in two months, but in the meantime what steps should I take to prepare myself for a transition to a new job or career? Thanks!

Pauley: Cue the orchestra, Ben. Your question will get this show on the road!

Russell: Ben, unfortunately this is a common occurrence in this economy. You're smart to get started on your job search in anticipation of perhaps being part of the layoff exercise.

I would begin by thinking about what kind of job you're looking for next. If you wish to stay in your current profession, it's time to start looking to see what's available in your area. How far are you willing to commute?

If you're looking to transition into a new career, you might want to identify your transferable skills. How can your skills be used in a new line of work. What happens if there are gaps? Perhaps you need some training to fill that gap.

Next, it's time for the application process. Make sure that your résumé reflects the requirements of the job. Perhaps a functional résumé makes the most sense. AARP has a wealth of resources in this area. Go to

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