Career decisions

Here are several books we recommend on Career Change and Second Half Careers. You may click on the buttons at right to go to to get more details on each publication.

  • Your Signature Path by Geoffrey Bellman: This book is very useful if you are willing to spend the time doing the exercises, several of which are quite difficult and thought-provoking.  No easy answers here, so be willing to do the work! 
  • What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles: This job search bible is in its zillionth reprinting.  To be honest, the wording is not scintillating.  What is great, however, are the exercises.  Skim the book; take the time to focus on the exercises to learn what you really want and need in your next job or career.
  • Transitions by William Bridges: This book isn’t really about job search.  It’s about the emotional journey that we all go through (even if we refuse to acknowledge it) when we leave something.  Particularly useful to me and many of my clients is the description of the “limbo” phase, which is the one we all resist, yet is there for good reason.  If you’re feeling in limbo, definitely read this book!
  • Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Career Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life by Paul and Sarah Edwards: Lots of focus here on creating your own business, working from home, and/or other alternative work and life arrangements. 
  • The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck: First published in 1978, this book became a best-seller in 1983 and spawned many sequels/offshoots/line extensions by the same author.  While some of it seems dated, the core messages of “Life is difficult,” and one’s highest purpose being self-actualization, still resonate strongly. 
  • I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher: All of Barbara’s Sher’s career books are good, and the titles are very descriptive.  This is your choice if nothing seems appealing to you career-wise. 
  • It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Stop Now by Barbara Sher: Title is a good description.  Especially good for those who may know what they really want to do but are afraid to go after it. 
  • Wishcraft by Barbara Sher: One of the earliest of Barbara Sher’s books.  It’s been reprinted several times. This book spawned the concept of getting people together to help each other (they call it “barn-raising”), especially when in job search mode. Offers very practical suggestions on how to plan and execute once you’ve set your goals. 
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: I found this a hard book to read, but worth it.  It’s all about how to be more present, and the power and joy being so brings to your life.  Read it slowly – maybe only a chapter at a time – and I think you’ll get lots out of it. 

The following set of books are helpful for those looking to change careers or looking to make “second half” career decisions:

  • Halftime by Bob Buford: According to Buford, Halftime is the period between the first half of your life that was focused on earning and succeeding, and the second half that will be more fulfilling and self-directed.  Once you figure it out, that is!  I recommend reading this book followed by his Beyond Halftime and/or Game Plan
  • Portfolio LifeThe New Path to Work, Purpose and Passion After 50 by David D. Corbett: This book focuses on how to take your “portfolio” of skills and use them in unconventional and innovative ways to forge a career path that works for you as you age.  Useful if you are younger than 50, too! 
  • EncoreFinding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life by Marc Freedman: Love the stories of real folks who have found work they love at ages when many thought they’d want to be retired. 
  • Something to Live For by Richard Leider and David Shapiro: This book focuses on both the work and personal sides of “finding your way in the second half of life.”  Purpose, meaning, vitality and joy – what’s not to love? 
  • The Cathedral Within by Bill Shore: Bill Shore is the founder of Share Our Strength, a non-profit focused on alleviating hunger and poverty.  Using his own and other notable examples, he encourages giving back as a great focus for later in life.  Inspiring. 

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