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It’s not easy to find a high-quality flexible job in retirement. But there is one strategy that beats all others. That’s why I want to share this excerpt from a recent newsletter I received from my colleague Kathryn Sollmann of the website 9livesforwomen.com that explains what works best – and why:

“The best place to start looking is close to home at smaller, growing businesses filled with ex-corporate executives tired of bureaucratic red tape. Lots of big corporations are offering flexwork, too—but it’s much more widespread at smaller companies where nimble, innovative thinking and doing reigns. Smaller companies don’t always have the resources to hire traditional full-time employees (who require health benefits), and they need your help.”

So how best to find these elusive opportunities?

Kathryn continues:

“It’s all a matter of networking—talk to everyone you know, see which companies belong to the Chamber of Commerce in area towns, ask around about former colleagues who may have started an entrepreneurial venture nearby, check out local members of professional and alumni associations, and spend hours (and hours) mining valuable connections on LinkedIn.”

Well-said Kathryn. I couldn’t agree more!

For additional tips on how to find a flex job and be a better networker, be sure to check out my list of 100+ Second-Act Career Resources, as well some of my other posts:

How to Network in Today’s Digital World

How to Find a Flexible Job or Create One

10 More Great Sites to Find Gigs and Part-Time Work

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Happy New Year! Before diving into the year ahead, I thought you’d find it useful to review some of my favorite second-act career posts and interviews from 2017, culled from my columns on NextAvenue.org and USNews.com. Enjoy and please share with others who might find this helpful as well. Cheers to your success in 2018!

10 Questions To Help You Discover a Fulfilling Second-Act CareerHere’s how to brainstorm winning ideas for a flexible and fun semi-retirement.

The Great Tool to Find a More Satisfying Career Path: If you’re ready to gain clarity about your next steps and willing to invest time to achieve a more satisfying future, this tool can help.

How to Choose a Second-Act Career: A fun podcast I did with MacsList.org.

3 Steps to Take to Start Freelancing: The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. This post explains how you can prepare to benefit from the freelance economy.

How to Get on a Board of Directors: Serving on both non-profit and for-profit boards are a popular second-act career option. Here are tips on how to find these opportunities.

How to Turn Passions into Retirement Income: Looking to generate income from your passions and hobbies in retirement? This post highlights four strategies to consider, along with resources to help get started.

6 Ways to Prepare to Find Part-Time Work in Retirement:Finding a meaningful second-act career won’t happen overnight. But the sooner you begin to research, explore and test out possibilities, the smoother your transition will be.

Phase a Full-Time Job into Part-Time, Then Retirement: Phased-retirement arrangements are still a rarity. This article offers suggestions on the best ways to pitch your boss on a phased retirement plan to your boss.

How to Get Your Boss to Let You Work From Home: The best ways to approach your boss about telecommuting and how to make working at home work well.

How Job Hunters Can Look for Age-Friendly Employers: This post overviews an intriguing new feature at RetirementJobs.com, a 10-year-old job board and career advice site geared for people over 50.

Want to stay informed about second-act careers and semi-retirement in 2018? Sign-up for my bi-monthly newsletter! It’s free, loaded with useful links and I never, ever share your information. To sign-up. just plug in your e-mail into the subscription box in the header at the top of this page.

In advance, thanks – I promise you’ll be glad you subscribed.

And finally, here’s a link to my favorite second-act career posts from 2016. Happy reading!

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With the holiday season upon us, here are a few new reads from 2017 (and one from 2016) that could make great gifts for the hard-to-buy boomers on your shopping list:

Design Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans is based on the authors’ wildly popular course on how to leverage design principles to create a more satisfying life and career. Although the Burnett/Evans course is geared towards undergrads, the program is equally useful for people of all ages, and so is their book.

Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive by Dorie Clark. Whether you hope to either start your own business, consult or freelance during retirement, this book is a must-read. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year!

Great Jobs for Everyone 50 +, Updated Edition: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy…and Pays the Bills by Kerry Hannon. Filled with lots of smart suggestions and resources for people interested in finding part-time jobs later in life.

Boomer Reinvention: How to Create Your Dream Career Over 50 by John Tarnoff. Strategies and advice for people over 50 looking to pivot to a second act career.

How Do I Get There From Here? by Dr. George Schofield. This book is about much more than just working after retirement, and is chock-full of helpful insights that will help guide you as you navigate through the pitfalls and joys of this new life stage.

For more gift suggestions, be sure to check out my other posts on this topic (see below).

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Normally, this blog focuses on semi-retirement advice. But in this post I want to talk about a terrific new book that can help you provide career guidance to the special young people in your life.

If you’re looking for a meaningful gift for your grandchild/niece/nephew/etc., consider giving them a copy of WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE…, by Karleen Tauszik. This delightful book is the first-ever career journal designed for kids ages 6-18. It’s a wonderful way to encourage them to start thinking about their strengths and talents from an early age.

In WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE…, children answer just a few questions every year from ages 6 to 18. This gives them a written record of their true strengths, talents and achievements that they can then look back on when making career choices in the future.

The book is filled with thought-provoking questions that will likely prompt many interesting conversations about the child’s interests and dreams — and maybe your own second-act career goals as well!

If you’re curious about how this book works, click here for a sample of the first few pages. At less than $10/copy, this is truly a priceless, personal and powerful gift!

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One of my favorite free resources for keeping up with what’s going on in the world of retirement and careers is SmartBrief.com. Every day they send me an email with a curated list of links to the top five or six articles in my interest areas. It’s a super-convenient way to keep myself current on the latest second-act related trends, news and resources.

And it’s a terrific resource to research possible second-act careers.

Fortunately, SmartBrief offers newsletters on over 200 topics – some of which are appealing second-act career options. Interested in the food and wine world? Subscribe to the Food Business School SmartBrief. Thinking of starting a local retail business? Consider the Retail on Main Street SmartBrief. Thinking about a service to help the special education community? Sign-up for the SmartBrief on Special Education.

The service is totally free and signing-up is a breeze. To learn more, click here.

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The e-book version of Second-Act Careers is available for just $1.99 (a whopping 83% savings!) from now until May 28, 2017.

Act quickly, because the price goes back up after that!

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I recently spent some time on Lynda.com, a site owned by LinkedIn that has over 5000 video tutorials on a wide range of business, technology and creative skills topics. Membership starts at $19.95 a month, but increasing numbers of public libraries (including mine!) provide access to Lynda’s courses for free. (And you can take advantage of the 10-day free trial period if you want to test out the site before purchasing a membership).

It’s an incredible resource filled with wide-range of classes that can help jumpstart your second-act business. Here are just a few of the titles that you might find intriguing:

Sell on Etsy (online e-tailer for crafty types)

Contracting for Creatives

Become an eBook Publisher

Find and Test Your Business Idea

Starting a Business

Setting Up Your Small Business as a Legal Entity

There are plenty more courses of interest. Check it out – and let me know what you think!

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