Work isn’t what it used to be


Encore-book-coverIt is happening. “Between 1995 and 2005, the number of independent workers grew by 27 percent. In New York City alone, two-thirds of the job growth between 1975 and 2007 was attributed to self-employment” (Sara Horowitz, see below). Work and employment have moved on to new realities; time to change our thinking.

The future of work has new opportunities – both exciting and scary. While traditional jobs are shrinking, self-employment is growing. Individuals can learn the new way of doing things by creating value that others need and move on to a personalized source of income and a more satisfying productive life.

“The Encore Career Handbook” by Marci Alboher gives an exciting look at the options a “mature person has in making a living and a difference in the second half of their lives.” Instead of phasing out, we are urged to consider expanding our influence and talents. The book celebrates the wealth of experience and work ethic of those who are no longer in the workforce, but want to continue to contribute.

Age becomes irrelevant if a person considers the value they have to add to a project, an organization or a new venture that is needed in the community. Encore gives the reader options on how to transition from a former job, outdated skill sets or move out of a retirement that is unfulfilling.

Alboher had been a successful attorney with an exciting globe-rotting job. However, he ultimately realized that his calling was in a different area. In the book, he shows us how he was able to successfully transition from one field to another – one that was a better fit for his values and life priorities.

The book is full useful tools on how to expand options and stay on top of new developments that enhance a person’s ability to expand opportunities. Additional resources are at:

“The Freelancer’s Bible” by Sara Horowitz explains how freelancing, in its many forms, is the wave of the future. Freelancing means you are a free agent and connect with others who need your talents and skills. You are in charge and need to create your personalized business model to promote your services. Horowitz professionalizes the process. By becoming a professional, a person reduces their risks and increases their options.

We live in a “gig” economy. Work and earning a living has changed. The books above lead us into the 21st Century to explore how we want to design our income stream. Both of the above handbooks are excellent resources to help get us started.

Lucia Worthington lives in Washougal and teaches business and entrepreneurship practices at Clark College and Portland State University. To recommend a book for review, email

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