Reading & Resources

Reads We’ve Found Helpful and Thought Provoking
Click on any book cover photo to go

Second Act Careers

4 Stars

Ms. Colamer offers practical advice, suggestions and ideas directed at those who are over 50.  It will be a very helpful resource for anyone who is starting to explore “what’s next.”

Her book takes a slightly different approach than typical career books that513RpQ+EP2L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ start with assessment and then sometimes never leave the thinking/assessment phase.  The first half of this book is devoted to a very broad list of career options from pet care businesses to business services to franchises to self- employment, consulting, contract work, and businesses that allow you to travel — and many ideas in between.  While not completely comprehensive, it is extensive, and should serve as inspiration and a springboard for ideas for people who are looking for ideas for alternate careers.

The second part of the book, “Creating Your Second Act Career,” is again a comprehensive self-assessment that includes:  visioning, reviewing your life story and life work to find clues for the future, researching possibilities, and networking for information.  Her emphasis on researching and trying things out is an important theme for all Baby Boomers.

This is a good book to start the journey to planning the second half of life.

Work Identity:
Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career

3.5 Stars

This book will be very helpful for those who are facing a mid-life career change, primarily by choice but also by necessity.  Some feel it is too heavily slanted to professionals, and while there is some validity to that point, the central51zEgxslLLL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_ message of giving yourself the time and space to find a more fulfilling vocation is relevant for all who are in a transition.

The initial chapters in this book speak to the challenge (and discomfort) of giving up a professional identity — even one that has ceased to be fulfilling.  Ibarra’s big message is that “we must reverse the conventional ‘thinking-before-doing’ logic to successfully change careers”.  She counsels getting started with a series of “experiments” to explore interests and passions Through the necessary exploration the right path will emerge.  She provides several case studies based on extensive interviews with 39 individuals who were in various stages of career transition.

I do not completely agree with Ibarra’s premise that individuals starting on this journey ought to just plunge in to the experimenting phase.   Extensive assessment may not be necessary, but being able to have concrete names and concepts to use in the exploration process make it more productive and enjoyable.

She also notes that the process can be messy and frustrating and that a complete transition may take anywhere from three to four years.