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WORKING STRATEGIES

Books for workers in their 50s and beyond

Friday, August 1, 2014 - 8:37 am

Editor’s note – This is the last of three roundups of books helpful to different age groups. Earlier columns showcased books for new graduates and others just starting their careers, and for those at midcareer.

“Is 65 the New 25? Reclaiming your life; becoming who you were meant to be,” Donna Bennett, createspace.com, 2014, $9.95.

Contrary to the images conjured by the provocative title, this is not a book about looking or feeling 25 again. Rather, Bennett is offering a process of thought, insight and action for recapturing the sense of potential more commonly associated with the younger set.

In 20 short chapters, Bennett moves from issues of loss and transition, through reflections on personal exploration, to a final section on planning with intention and overcoming barriers in the last phase of one’s work/life.

• “What’s Next? Finding your passion and your dream job in your forties, fifties, and beyond” (revised edition), Kerry Hannon, Berkley Books, 2014, $15. Available as an e-book.

Hannon, a solid writer with a long list of bylines, has structured this book around a score of mid- and late-life career-changers. n this version she adds four new stories, while also updating us on the stories she’s repeating, and adding new ideas for financial and entrepreneurial success. Although this type of book is quite common, Hannon sets hers apart by providing extra information at the back of each person’s story.

• “Jump Ship: Ditch your dead-end job and turn your passion into a profession,” Josh Shipp, St. Martin’s Press, 2013, $24.99. Available as an e-book.

At times, the tone of this book is somewhat frantic, as if Shipp wrote it by doing a stream-of-consciousness routine. But once you get used to that – and Shipp’s constant reference to his own issues – you can easily glean the advice needed to make your career moves. While I doubt Shipp wrote this book with the 50+ set in mind, I’ve included it because he seems able to spot a lame excuse from any distance and he’s not afraid to point it out.

• “Second-Act Careers: 50+ ways to profit from your passions during semi-retirement,” Nancy Collamer, Ten Speed Press, 2013, $14.99. Available as an e-book.

As the trend these days leans to phasing in or out of careers, Collamer’s approach to building a semi-retirement is both practical and timely. This book starts with career ideas first, then follows with self-guided exercises to discover personal goals and passions. I like both sections but find myself most drawn to the 50-plus work ideas. Even if you don’t find the exact idea you were looking for, I think you’ll benefit from seeing Collamer’s approach.

Amy Lindgren owns Prototype Career Service, a career consulting firm in St. Paul. She can be reached at alindgren@prototypecareerservice.com or at 626 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.