Vicki Kunkel is a member of The Reporters Inc’s Board of Directors. To learn more about her, click here.

Too Old to Get Hired?

Create Your Own Job Security

November 2014


(Editor’s Note: This article is one of several interviews the author conducted for an upcoming book about people who are successfully starting new careers and/or new businesses later in life.)

At age 52, Anthony Smith had achieved the brass ring: a top-level marketing executive position at one of the largest athletic wear companies in the world. He lived in Germany for ten years, Holland for two years, and Italy for nine, working at various corporate divisions of Nike. He rubbed elbows with some of the most famous athletes in the world. His bosses regularly promoted him and gave him the plum assignments. His co-workers liked to play basketball with him and go out for the occasional after-work drinks. He had what most would consider a “dream” life.

But something had changed in Anthony a few years earlier when he was asked by Nike to host a series of high-profile celebrity athlete interviews for TV shows, as part of a product promotion for the company. He started to have an identity crisis: I don’t think I want to work in corporate America anymore. I want to be a motivational speaker; I want to act and host TV shows and perform!  I want to express my personality and creativity. I don’t want to be a suit!

What started out as a little voice in his head grew into a full-blown obsession. A few years later, Anthony knew it was time to make the leap into speaking and acting.

Problem was, no one wanted to hire a 52-year-old corporate V.P. with no speaking or acting experience, to speak and act.  Oh, he applied to several places. He tried for a couple of years to break into the performance field and get full-time work. He applied everywhere from local theater companies to New York modeling and acting studios. Some gave him a polite, “Thank-you-for-you-interest” response. Others sent the obligatory form rejection letter.

Some laughed in his face.

That’s when Anthony had an epiphany:  If you can’t get hired in the industry, become a player in the industry.

“Look, at a certain age, you’re not going (more…)

Your luggage during your flight: Inside the cargo bin of a Boeing 737

Kevin Vondrasek currently works in the design industry in Madison, Wisconsin. Over the years, however, he’s taken jobs in a wide variety of fields, believing “you should never NOT try something new simply because you’re afraid of failing.”

Luggage 101:
A Former Airline Bag Handler Reveals Tips For Hassle-free Holiday Travel

November 2014


I love to travel.

Anytime I can get away to a new destination it’s worth every effort for me to make it happen.

It’s this determination that landed me a seasonal job as a baggage handler a few years back, just for the free flights.

No joke.

And during my tenure, there were quite a few travel tricks I learned that I’m tipping you off to as the holiday travel season commences.

1. Do NOT buy a BLACK bag!

You’ll be standing at the carousel with all the other suckers who bought the classic ‘black.’  There are so many other colors out there, go with it!  Anything but black. If you already have a black (more…)