The traditional linear career path is disappearing in the 21st century world of work. This thought-provoking and engaging book follows the first groups of the Boomer generation worldwide as they begin to take steps away from a linear career path
into an uncharted stage somewhere in between middle-age and old-age, a full-time professional life and retirement in the traditional sense of the word. After decades in successful careers in the United States, Europe, and Asia, these interviewees found themselves nearing the glass ceiling of age and facing traditional retirement. The problem was, nothing about this traditional "next step" corresponded to their aspirations or potential. All of them still felt in the prime of life, had no intention of getting in the back seat, and playing a passive role, but no longer wished to pursue the linear corporate, academic, or industrial career path to its bitter end.
Unlike in earlier stages of career change, where one choice must often be made among the many possibilities, for people at this stage, plurality and flexibility are key. This desire for plurality and to extend "the prime of life" by a decade or more, can mean Non-Executive Board work, applying business expertise in a non-profit environment, living out a passion, mentoring or academic work, and for many, a little of each. But all the choices reveal a deeper and urgent desire to take control and fulfill some of the dreams that were set aside when this generation began their careers: resolving the work-life balance, making a difference, and doing it their way. Using the wisdom and lessons learned from these interviews, the authors put forward an essential road map for professionals in business and academia, or for entrepreneurs, who are contemplating this type of change. It is vital to understand the essential steps, such as managing one's network, dealing with time, and the choice of plurality when preparing for and living through this career and life-changing process. Some of these steps can and should be taken while still working in a full-time career, while others provide directions and subjects of reflection when planning and living through this change.