THE BIG SWITCH: New Careers, New Lives after 35 by Rochelle Jones

THE BIG SWITCH: New Careers, New Lives after 35

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Silly patter and spurious distinctions (between, say, ""mid-life crisis"" and ""mid-career crisis"") thread through the stories of Successful Changers that are the only real drawing card here. The ace up author Jones' sleeve is Ely Callaway, ex-president of Burlington Industries (which she never fires of telling us is the ""largest textile company in the western world""). Passed over for the Chief Executive Officer slot at age 53, Callaway packed it all in to grow grapes in California--and the resulting wine was good enough to be served to Queen Elizabeth on her bicentennial visit. Jones sees Callaway as an example of a ""Renewer""--one who followed his goals (risk, uncertainty, challenge) as far as possible through his job, then pursued the same goals elsewhere. Other stories illustrate the paths of ""Seekers""--whose goals and values change at mid-life--or ""the Diverted"": those who wanted one career but got sidetracked to another. All this is well and good, of course, if one is looking primarily for inspirational focal points (and assuming you can relate to the married female social worker turned lesbian chimney sweep). The only problem tackled in any meaningful way is the strain that such career changes can place on the family--what (for instance) if Callaway moves West at a time when his wife is firmly committed to New York? Strong on encouragement, short on substance.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1980
Publisher: McGraw-Hill