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What’s Next Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job by Kerry Hannon

May 11, 2012

“What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job” by “U.S. News & World Report” Contributing Editor Kerry Hannon is an entertaining, interesting, and quick book to read that provides the reader with examples and motivation to follow their passion rather than sticking out a job that is unfulfilling and not providing the important things for life, such as family time and wellbeing. The book is a collection of stories, interviews, and suggestions related to changing careers when in your 40s, 50s, or older. The stories and interviews are of real people who did just that, and the jobs they left and the careers they entered are extremely varied, but all interesting with a few common themes behind why they changed. From the opening story of a tough cop turned Nashville music agent to the final story about a lawyer, congressional aide, lobbyist turned pianist, singer and performer of parodies, satire, and song, I found myself engaged and motivated as I pursue a career change myself.

Each chapter is formatted in the same way and features a different person and their career change. First there is a short story of the change the person made. Next there is a question and answer section where the author asked questions to the person about the reasons behind the change, difficulties and resources. Questions such as, “What did the transition mean to your personally?” or “What do you tell people who come to you for advice on starting the second act?” While the answers are brief, they do provide some nice insight and made me stop more than once and ponder my own situation. After the interview questions and answers, there are short segments that provide tips and resources, and some expert advice. These sections are brief too, but contain some very good information to think about upon thinking about your own second or third act and career change. There are sixteen chapters, so sixteen profiles and other information.

Additionally, the back of the book has a few pages of additional books on the topic and helpful web sites on topics such as nonprofits, job hunting, continuing education, small businesses, and more.

Hannon writes in an engaging style and I found myself enjoying the book and really thinking about my own possibilities. And that is the benefit of this book. It’s not going to lay out a road map for your career path. Very unlikely you will want to follow the same course as one of the sixteen profiled, and even if you did, your path would be different. This book is for motivation. It allows you to see what others have done and why, and just may trigger a sense of excitement within that leads you to your own second or third act. (Or maybe even your forth, who knows?) The purpose of the book is to show what’s been done to open your eyes to your own possibilities. If that is where you are in your life right now, this may be just the book you’ve been needing.

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