Career Advice



Neil Patrick’s site is 40pluscareerguru. It’s at and is really worth your time. Here’s what I like about him: he’s right up to date and has lots of easy-to-find, solid advice on his site. And I like his down-to-earth writing style. Highly recommended.

Martin Yate’s Knock Em Dead – A must-see site and one of my top choices for help with career issues. Martin Yate has been at the career business for 35 years. Yes, experience counts for a lot. I found his site very helpful with lots of free articles and advice. I’d highly recommend it as a good source of information.

My Lifestyle Career. Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement – Another must-see site. Begin on the Start Here tab to get the most out of Nancy Collamer’s website. She’s an expert on planning for a second career. The site goes with her book Second Act Careers. Sign up for her free newsletter.

ASIS International – “Advancing Security Worldwide” is the tag line of this organization. Formerly known as the American Society for Industrial Security, ASIS International now has a more global focus. I put this in here because it seems like a natural next step for many police officers. As a street cop, you know a lot about security. If you think the security business might be a good second career fit for you, take a good look at this organization. It has good opportunities for training, certification, and making contacts.

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – There’s plenty of information here about working as a fraud investigator. Have a look at the ACFE Career Center which has good resources for getting into the business. If you’re already a fraud investigator, an ACFE membership might give you some insight into a second career. If you’re not an experienced fraud investigator but want to expand on your experience in other areas by becoming one, this is the place to look.

Career Professionals of Canada This is a member-run, volunteer-driven organization that offers a broad range of professional development, career advice, and certification, including Certified Resumé Strategist (CRS).

The Five O’clock Club – Join the club, get some career advice, and help out other members. There’s lots of free material, including articles about job-hunting after age 50.

The Parachute Site – A supplement to Richard Bolles’ book What Color Is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. There’s so much information here, including many links to free advice about researching for a new job, resumé preparation, job seeking, and much more. Set some time aside to explore the many useful links.

Myers-Briggs – Learn what your personality type is and use this knowledge to find the right second career for you. Myers-Briggs has been around a long time but it’s still valuable as a tool for learning about yourself.

Life After Policing – The companion site to the Life After Policing book by Alan Roadburg. It’s about Life Goal Planning.  I like the specific focus on those retiring from policing. The site includes good advice from those that have been there; that is, retired police officers.

Encore – This is the companion site to The Encore Career Handbook. It’s an intriguing site focused on using the skills of people in the second half of life to make the world a better place.

Second Career Ontario – – Sponsored by the government of Ontario, this program helps Ontario citizens retrain for a second career. Not a citizen of Ontario? Check your local governments for similar programs. There are lots of them around. The Ontario program is just an example. You may be able to find something closer to home.

Next Avenue – A site that has as its byline: “Where grown-ups keep growing.” There’s good information about what to do when you finish up your career, including an article called How To Find Work After 50.

Back to school

Thinking of going back to school to study in the criminal justice area? Check out – a research and media organization in Kansas focused extensively on higher education and labor trends in the legal sciences and law enforcement sectors. They have two sites that I found very helpful. The first is at There you’ll find answers to questions such as What can I do with a criminal justice degree? Also, good career articles and career suggestions. The other site is at where criminal justice programs are listed by state as well as online program information.

Another site is at You’ll find state by state information about more than 1800 criminal justice programs in the U.S.

Magazine Articles1344190736

Police – The Law Enforcement Magazine. Article in August 2013 issue: Second Careers by Dean Scoville

Forbes Magazine. May 20, 2014 article: Tips For Seasoned Professionals: How To Reinvent Yourself For A Second Career by Dorie Clark

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, October 2009. Retiring from the “Thin Blue Line,” A Need for Formal Retirement Training. Part one, by Carl B. Caudill and Kenneth J. Peak

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, November 2009. Retiring from the “Thin Blue Line,” A Need for Formal Retirement Training. Part Two, by Carl B. Caudill and Kenneth J. Peak

Police Retirement: The Impact of Change. An article by Dr. John Violanti on the Badge of Life website.

Books about Career Success and Career ChangingBooks-3

Cracking The Hidden Job Market by Donald Asher (2011). You could use this book as a roadmap in your search for a second career. Choosing your industry, networking, resumés, it’s all here. Something I haven’t seen much of in other books, he recommends joining a job club, much like people with other interests join clubs.  It’s a way of staying motivated and accountable in your job search.

Finding Work After 40 by Robin McKay Bell and Liam Mifsud (2011). Chances of having a boss younger than you increase as you get older. I know. My boss in my second career was about 25 years younger than me. This book will help you get over it. Good advice about how to break through the unspoken age barriers when looking for your second career. It also has a good section on networking for the older person, including improving your network before you leave your present job.

What Color Is Your Parachute? Job-Hunters Workbook by Richard N. Bolles (2012). Don’t want to spend a lot of time reading about second careers? If you’re a person who wants to jump right into the work of discovering who you are through self-testing, this is the book for you. It’s only 77 pages long and is full of excellent ways of figuring out what you’re looking for. No wordy pages of advice, just the work that needs to be done.

How To Retire With Enough Money – and How to Know What Enough Is by Teresa Ghilarducci (2015). I included this book because it contains a very good chapter about continuing to work later in life. It’s not a big book and not a big chapter, so if you’re looking for a quick read with some good advice, try this one.

Love Your Job – The New Rules for Career Happiness by Kerry Hannon (2015). This is a good book about how you can be happy at work. It starts right off in chapter one dealing with workplace blues and switching careers, then goes on to a whole lot of ideas about how to figure out what will make you happy at work. Author Hannon has a great deal of experience writing about career transitions and retirement. She knows what she’s talking about. I also liked her book called Getting the Job You Want After 50 For Dummies (2015). The well-known For Dummies books are very easy to follow. If you’re looking ahead to a second career this is a great guide to keep you organized as you prepare to make your move.

Cracking the New Job Market: the 7 rules for getting hired in any economy by R. William Holland (2012). I especially liked his chapter on using social media in your job hunt. He had helpful and direct comments about staying computer literate. The chapter about how your passion relates to your career choice had some surprising and insightful ideas.

Undecided by Barbara Kelley and Shannon Kelley (2011). This book examines the frustration and dissatisfaction women often feel in their careers. The authors tackle issues unique to women in the work world. Why is there so much indecision and confusion for women trying to find happiness in their career? Sure, some of the issues are the same for men. But many are not. This is a refreshing look at how women can gain insight into themselves and their career choices.

Get The Career You Want by Karen Mannering (2011). This book has a good chapter about taking stock of yourself. It also has 25 activities that are short pieces of advice and tips about things like assessing your skills, setting goals, and creating a profile.

Thank You for Firing Me! by Kitty Martini & Candice Reed (2010). What to do when the job is over. You had a good police career and didn’t really bother with a plan about what to do next, kind of like the person who suddenly gets fired. Now it’s time to figure out your next job. Some great advice about how to survive the experience and settle on something you really want to do. Lots of examples. Also an entertaining and funny book.

Coach Yourself to a New Career by Talane Miedaner (2010). Shows you how to move forward and reinvent your professional life. The book includes a chapter about designing your ideal life, which was quite thought-provoking. We should probably all do that when we’re thinking about a career change. One interesting chapter is about how to transition to a new career. Good resource section at the back of the book.

Be The Captain of Your Career – A New Approach To Career Planning & Advancement by Jack Molisani (2014). This isn’t a big book at 147 pages so if you’re looking for a fairly quick read of some refreshing ideas this might be for you. There are a couple of lists in the book that I think are very valuable to those planning for a second career. He has a list of seven things that managers are looking for when reviewing a resumé, with advice about some important things to include. The other is a list of the top ten common mistakes made by people looking for work. I’d read the book just for that list if I was planning a new career.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport (2012). Get good at something and you’ll learn to love it. Forget the “follow your passion” idea. These are two of the themes in this book. I believe what he’s saying because it’s how things unfolded in my careers. The book is a different way of looking at your work life. If you’re not in love with the skills you’ve learned, this book might help you at least put more value on them.

Making Your Major Decision – Powered by the Myers-Briggs Assessment by Peterson’s (2013).  I’ve always found the insight provided by taking the Myers-Briggs assessment to be helpful. If you’ve never done this assessment, I’d suggest it’s a good way to help you decide what second career fits with your personality. This book is actually intended to help students chose a university course of study but it’s a good introduction to Myers-Briggs, clear and easy to understand.

The Retirement Rescue Plan by Melissa Phipps (2016). Haven’t saved enough for retirement? This book will help you develop a retirement strategy based on your own particular circumstances. Very thorough and includes sections on continuing working in some way.

150 Best Jobs for Your Skills by Laurence Shatkin (2012). Includes an assessment of your top skills, then matches those top skills to jobs. Describes jobs and shows which skills are most important for each one.

50 Best Jobs for Your Personality by Laurence Shatkin (2012). This is very interesting stuff. What kind of personality do you have? Enterprising? Social? Investigative? Figure it out with the help of this book. Then match your personality type to job descriptions. Work your way through the self-testing and discover some career insights. You might also confirm your beliefs about what type of second career would suit you best.

The Career Within You. How to Find the Perfect Job for Your Personality by Elizabeth Wagele and Ingrid Stabb (2010). Do you have a feeling that there’s a different career within you? Learn which of the nine careers types fits your personality. Are you a helper? An observer? Maybe you’re an adventurer. Those are only three of the career types. This book could give you a good insight into what you’d like to do for a second career.

Targeting A Great Career by Kate Wendleton (2014). This book has very up-to-date information about the present state of the job market. There’s great advice about understanding yourself and finding out what you want. It shows you how to target the job you want. The exercises and worksheets are very thorough will take you through a good analysis of what you are looking for in a second career.

Knock ‘em Dead – The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate (2016). The Knock ‘em Dead books are very well done. This one takes you all the way. Create your resumé; build your professional brand, network, job search, and the interview.  All written by an author who has over 35 years in the job search business.