THE EMPTY DESK SURVIVAL GUIDE by Barbara Bannon

THE EMPTY DESK SURVIVAL GUIDE

For Women on the Verge of Retirement or Encore Careers (Volume 1)
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A friendly guide for businesswomen approaching retirement age.

This stockpile of anecdotes and advice aims to prepare baby boomers for their shift from being professionals to being retirees. The range of women represented here have held titles at Fortune 500 companies, worked in human resources and performed as professional opera singers. Retirement is examined in various forms: as an opportunity to “try something new,” as the need to care for a sick family member, as a way to cope with a sudden layoff. Bannon, Chemers and Thralls maintain the upbeat, cheerful tone of a coffee break or an after-work drink. The warmth and accessibility of the writing is appealing, and each brief chapter concludes with a series of “Survival Questions” (“What did you find most interesting about this story?”) and “Our Observations” (“Linda recognizes the importance of a supportive family”). Unfortunately, the obviousness of some of these statements can give the book a condescending tone. Incidental though the condescension may be, the result is an oversimplified discussion of ways to manage leaving the workforce. One segment of “Our Observations” urges its readers to “join a fitness club” or “invite new neighbors over to get acquainted” after a move. As they gloss over the decisions and accomplishments of the women they interviewed, the authors develop a voice akin to a family holiday letter: “Since she retired, [Jeannine] is busier than ever, filling her time with volunteering at a local elementary school, serving as Board President of Friends of the Library and…traveling on several humanitarian trips to Central America.” Many of the vignettes are repetitive. The worksheets and exercises provided may be the most useful component.

A well-written, sometimes simplistic guide for women preparing to retire.

Pub Date: May 28th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1467963893
Page count: 148pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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