Thursday, February 25, 2016

50 Plus! Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life

by Robert L. Dilenschneider

Citadel Press     2015

222 pages     Self-Help

I am definitely 50 plus and have never stopped working. The book, 50 Plus! deals with the new phenomenon of mid-career and older workers who are faced with making job changes in the midst of a rapidly changing economy.

Let me start my look at this book by telling a story that matches Dilenschneider's theme. My father was vice president of a clothing manufacturing company that went bankrupt when he was in his early 50s. Now, with no pension, he had to find a job until he could qualify for Social Security. After panicking and suffering from a stomach cancer caused by the stress of the bankruptcy, he began to look around his small city for another job. He had always been active in the community, particularly the Lion's Club. The director of the local blind resource center was in his club and was moving out of the city. My dad had been on the Board of Directors for the center. He was a natural pick to be the new director, and he spent the last ten years of his career in a job that made him extremely happy and productive. In other words, he parlayed his volunteer work into a rewarding second career.

Dilenschneider offers valuable advice for mid-career people who either are seeking a change, exploring options, or are forced to find a new job. One chapter deals with creating a new image, including hair, clothing and demeanor. Another chapter explores the idea of becoming a consultant. He also discusses self-promotion and winning interviews, and helps older workers navigate the new technology tools that can help to find a new job. The final chapter discusses what Dilenschneider knows best, public relations. In this chapter, he helps the older worker understand how public relations works as well as how and why a mid career person should understand public relations.

As is often the case, the Wall Street Journal seems to know what I am reading, and on Tuesday, Feb. 23, a front page article discussed the large numbers of women who are working past age 65. In the past 20 years, the number of older female workers went from one in twelve to one in seven. It is expected that by 2024, the number of older women in the workforce will be about one in five or about 6.5 million workers. One cause of this later life work is career satisfaction and good health, but a more pressing cause is women who worry that they are approaching old age with more debt, less savings and with fewer pensions. 

50 Plus is a valuable and timely self-help book that should be on the reading list of all mid-career people. 

Here is an article about the book on the Huffington Post written by the author.

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