Author Shares Tips for Finding Work That Feeds the Soul

Ready to Make the Jump?
Now’s the Time for a Heartfelt Encore
Mother of Re-Invention Shares Tips for Finding Work
that Feeds the Soul*

They’re called second acts, encore careers or reinventing yourself – they’re the completely new and different jobs people take in midlife or later.

From (

From (

Today, making that jump is more likely to be a matter of following the heart than it was during the throes of the economic recession, when professionals, caught up in corporate layoffs, discovered they were too old to find jobs in a poor market and too young to retire. They started second careers not to follow a vocation but to pay the bills.

Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman

Yarn to Go by Betty Hechtman

“I’m glad to see the tide turning again – especially for all the baby boomers who don’t want to  retire but do want to do something gratifying,” says Betty Hechtman (, who was on the eve of her 60th birthday when her first mystery series prompted a bidding war between St. Martin’s Press and Berkley Books.

She has since published eight “cozy mysteries,” including her newest, “Yarn to Go” – the first in her Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Mystery series.

Hechtman has had a lot of practice reinventing herself. She has volunteered as a farmworker on a kibbutz in Israel, waitressed and worked in retail sales, and made connections as a telephone operator, among a host of jobs.

“I’ve held jobs just for the paycheck and I’ve pursued my passions, so I know how profoundly different it is to do one versus the other,” she says. “No matter what age you are, if there’s work you feel called to, you should most definitely give it a try — you may well experience a joy unlike any you’ve ever known.”

Hechtman offers these tips for people considering an encore:

• Do your homework. There’s nothing more disappointing them jumping in to something new only to become disillusioned and frustrated because you didn’t take the time to prepare. If your dream is to open a particular business, research the market. Is there a demand for what you hope to sell? Should you give it a trial run as an online business before investing in shop space and other overhead? Start by checking the resources at, a nonprofit supported by more than 12,000 volunteers dedicated to helping small businesses off the ground. For other encore pursuits, you might take classes or spend a few hours a week working as a volunteer to learn the ropes.

• Join a group of like-minded people. This is particularly helpful for aspiring artists who want to paint, play music, write a book or indulge some other creative talent. You can brush up on your skills and make valuable contacts by becoming a part of a community theater, joining a writers circle, or finding a group of hobbyists. You may find your skills develop much more quickly with the support and guidance of collegial peers who are all helping one another achieve a dream.

• Consider working in one of the five most popular encore fields.  Most people seek second their careers in health, education, government, environment and non-profits — all fields expected to provide abundant job opportunities in the next couple of years, according to, a non-profit that supports second careers “for the greater good.” If you need training to qualify, now is the time to get it, Hechtman says. “Invest now in the education, and you can soon have a job that feeds the heart, the mind – and the body!”

About Betty Hechtman

Author Betty Hechtman

Author Betty Hechtman

Betty Hechtman is the author of “Yarn to Go,” the first book in the Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Retreat mystery series, as well as the author of the best-selling Berkley Prime Crime Crochet  mystery series. The eighth book, “For Better or Worsted,” comes out in November.  She has also written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and screenplays as well as a children’s culinary mystery. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has been active in handicrafts since she was a small child. Hechtman divides her time between Los Angeles and Chicago.*

From Betty herself:

I grew up on the south side of Chicago and in a very busy weekend, got married, graduated college and moved to Los Angeles.

Although my degree is in Fine Arts, all I ever wanted to be was a writer and I’ve been doing it in one form or another for as long as I can remember. My shining moments in elementary and high school always involved stories or poetry I’d written. I wrote news stories and a weekly column in my college newspaper. My first job out of college was working on the newsletter of a finance company. I worked for a public relations firm and wrote press releases and biographies. Later I wrote proposals for video projects and television shows that went through various stages of development.

I tried writing screenplays and wrote three...more

* Press Release from
on behalf of Betty Hechtman.
Used with permission.

4 responses to “Author Shares Tips for Finding Work That Feeds the Soul

  1. Thanks for sharing this.


    • You’re welcome, Suzi. I don’t often publish press releases on this blog (I use News, Views, and Gurus for that), but I really enjoy Betty Hechtman’s “cozy” mystery novels. In addition, I thought she had words of wisdom on reinventing yourself. Seemed a win-win to me 🙂


  2. Sandra: I’m not commenting directly on your blog (God Forbid) because this response is too personal, but I just wanted you to know that this blog post really spoke to me and where I am in my life right now…I’m calling it a mid-life crisis, but basically I’m in the “homework” phase that Betty writes about. Im wanting to use my back-ground in human resources to help others (not corporations) who just need a little life coaching, career coaching, etc., but could never afford to pay for it. So Im researching philanthropic groups in my area (Sacramento, CA) and trying to figure out what their needs and where I could fit in…

    I think its funny that you wrote that you dont normally post press releases here, but somehow, you felt the topic was somehow pertinentI wanted to let you know that you have fabulous instincts! 🙂



    Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 16:29:55 +0000 To:


  3. I’m glad this met a great need, Marsha. It sounds like you need a new direction in life to help you find out more of what you’re here for.

    Sometimes my instincts do do the job. When I was on radio, I had the urge to play Gordon Lightfoot’s “Railroad Trilogy.” It’s a long song and I usually played it when I needed a potty break, but instead, this one morning (I was the all-night DJ), I played it just after midnight at the opening of my show.

    About an hour later, a guy called in and thanked me profusely for playing that song. He said for personal reasons he had been contemplating suicide. Without the “love of his life,” he felt his life wasn’t worth living. He had the weapon within hand’s reach, and, for some reason, decided to turn on the radio. It was tuned to my station and my show, and there played the Gordon Lightfoot song.

    He had previously been learning guitar and tried to play this particular song. It had difficult passages and he wasn’t having much luck, another ironic twist of fate in his misery. He grabbed his guitar and played along with the song, finally achieving some success in the difficult passage. He realized that, in order to be successful in his life, he just had to persevere, that giving up on something before he had really tried was just cheating himself.

    I was awed at the thought that some small instinct on my part had made such a profound difference to someone else. Thanks for letting me know about this one 🙂


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