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by Leslie Farin
Second Act. Phase Two. Call it what you want, this new chapter of life is a time of transition. Perhaps you recently retired or were furloughed during the Covid19 pandemic. Maybe you suddenly found yourself single again. Whatever your situation, the fifties and sixties are a good time to reinvent yourself. Alan Oppenheimer, author of Workplace Secrets Revealed (Passing the Baton to the Next Generation), decided to do just that.
A new career: Becoming a writer
I visited last week with Mr. Oppenheimer via Zoom. At age 67, with 40+ years business experience under his belt, he decided to write a book. This point in his life was the right time for him to begin a new journey. Originally, his plan upon retirement involved providing consulting services, and certainly he was more than qualified to do so. He had connections, and moving into the role of a consultant where he could choose his hours and for whom he worked seemed a logical next step. Ultimately, however, he decided he needed something different. Something meaningful.
Oppenheimer’s new venture turned out to be a book based on lessons he learned throughout his career. It made sense for his first book to write about what he knew, and he aspired to help young adults entering the work force today. While information about how to write a resume or interview for a job is abundantly available for young people starting out, resources that provide insight on how to productively handle difficult issues encountered as a new professional are scarce. And, unfortunately, lessons taught in school don’t necessarily train people for the real world. Oppenheimer has great wisdom to share with young adults entering the workforce and he strives to fill this gap. Much changed over the years, particularly technology, but people are still people. Says Oppenheimer,
“There’s so much I would have done differently had I known in my twenties what I know now.”
Sharing life lessons
Workplace Secrets Revealed (Passing the Baton to the Next Generation) provides important information Oppenheimer wished he knew early on. He talks about attitude, office gossip, networking, mentorship, online manners and more, all in a quick, easy to read format. One of my favorite quotes from the book is from the chapter on integrity. He writes,
“Don’t cheat, lie, steal or do anything you would not want your mother reading or hearing about on the news or internet.”
Many of the tips in the book, like this one, might sound like common sense to us older folks. However, a new environment can be overwhelming and unsettling. Someone starting out might not realize one dumb mistake can easily follow you around the rest of your career. This book provides concrete tips to help navigate this strange new world of adult employment and avoid mistakes along the way.
The book also delves into what to do when career plans are derailed. Most people experience some type of disruption over the years, often due to circumstances beyond their control. Life happens, and sometimes unexpected situations change the trajectory of your career path and your life – and that’s O.K.
Oppenheimer is no stranger to transitions, or “life quakes” as he calls them. Forced to reinvent himself a few times over the years, he learned the right attitude and flexibility can lead to wonderful opportunities. Like writing a book.
Alan L. Oppenheimer, CPA, MBA is an author based in Plano, Texas. He worked for both large and medium size companies over his 40+ years of professional tenure, and experienced a variety of management styles and business situations. He also consulted for several companies in situations related to mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, bank loans, forecasting, and year-end audit preparation. Companies with whom he worked include JCPenny, Sally’s Beauty, The Zale Corporation, Neiman Marcus, Tony Roma’s and Tuesday Morning, Inc.
For more insight and direction for productively handling issues encountered in the workplace, learn more through his quick read, available in paperback and e-book, Workplace Secrets Revealed (Passing the Baton to the Next Generation)