People frequently compare books to old acquaintances. I’m thinking that occasionally they can be superior to old friends, because a good book can provide wise counsel, bright inspiration, and wonderful ideas with no ulterior motive. Books allow us to investigate a concept in its embryonic stage and go further if wanted.

If you are contemplating a second profession and are in need of trustworthy advice, there are six books that you must read. The initial three are fundamental:

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence has been revised and updated for the twenty-first century by Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Monique Tilford. How do you know when you have sufficient funds to live the life you most desire? This updated version of the 1992 best-selling classic will help you discover how much is “enough,” how you want to spend your “life energy,” how to live well on less, and that financial independence is easier to attain than you may have thought.

Don’t Retire, Rewire is the title of a book by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners. Do you know what motivates you (or why, beyond money, you work)? In their thorough investigation, this remarkable husband-and-wife duo discovered that there are in fact 85 separate “drivers” for why individuals work. Understanding yours is a crucial first step towards obtaining meaningful work. There is a fantastic combination of down-to-earth, practical advice and real-life anecdotes, as well as great activities to help you rewire your thinking and discover work that aligns with your passions and interests.

Richard J. Leider’s The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, and Better. How do you live with meaning? What is your objective? How is it discovered? This newly revised and extended edition of the best-selling book written over twenty-five years ago shows why having a clearly defined purpose is crucial to your success (and longevity) in the next phase of your life. The good news is that your purpose already resides within you. The thorough, practical ways for discovering your calling will assist you in gaining access to it. The true stories will motivate you.

The remaining three books will provide insight into three possible encore career paths:

What Is Your Parachute’s Color? A Practical Guide for Job-Seekers and Career-Changers, by Richard Nelson Bolles, was published in 2010. This best-selling, nearly 40-year-old handbook for job seekers has been revised annually for years, and it just keeps getting better. This book is crucial if you know your second career will exist within the existing work market. Beginning with recognizing your abilities and preferences and progressing through a step-by-step guide to job searching in the twenty-first century, you will learn how to find a decent job even when “there are no jobs”!

Michael E. Gerber authored The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. If you are even considering starting your own business, you must read this book before proceeding. It is a wonderful primer on how to design your business as a system so that you can make it operate without exerting so much effort. E-Myth provides an enhanced perspective on why you want to be in business and a novel strategy for achieving success.

What Everyone Needs to Know About Social Entrepreneurship, by David Bornstein and Susan Davis. This brand-new book is the first to provide an excellent outline of what it means to be a social entrepreneur. You will discover the distinctions between social entrepreneurship, conventional business, and traditional non-profits. This is the place to begin if you believe you want to invent unique social solutions to unique social problems in your second career.

Be careful to read the updated versions of the listed classics. These six books will provide you with a solid foundation and outstanding employment options for your “retirement” or encore career.

Lin Schreiber is the author of “ABC’s of Revolutionizing Retirement with a Meaningful Encore Career” and the founder of Want a rewarding second career? Discover immediately implementable methods for the 21st century from 12 leading life/work transition experts. Observe the Encore Career TeleSummit for Women 50+ at.

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