- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Second Acts : Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire Paperback – Bargain Price, December 23, 2003
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
After spending decades on Wall Street, Pollan, at age 48, became ill and was forced to re-create his professional life. Now he's working as an author (of more than a dozen financial and self-help books) and life coach, helping others to follow their dreams and stage their lives' "second act." In this volume, Pollan and Levine offer tales of individuals of all ages who realized that something was missing from their professional or personal lives and decided to make major changes. Referring back to those real stories, the authors provide a guide to understanding dreams, translating dreams to life goals and overcoming the obstacles to making those goals into realities. Pollan believes that for some, it's enough to rediscover the joys inherent in a current career; for others, it means more drastic decisions. Peppered with inspirational accounts of "famous second acts" (including J.K. Rowling, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Foreman and former junk bond king Michael Milken), this book offers useful exercises and helpful advice about changes that range from tweaks to overhauls.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Second Acts teaches how to achieve what others think or say is impossible.” (Christopher Reeve )
“Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine show us that it’s never too late to stage a heckuva comeback!” (Al Roker )
“Your life need not be the same. You can have a second act, Pollan shows you how.” (Joan Lunden )
“Pollan’s encouragement helped me convert my own fear and uncertainty into optimism and enthusiasm for continued personal growth.” (Michael J. Fox )
For anyone looking for motivation, encouragement and help in creating dynamic life changes, this book is a must read. (Keith Harrell, Life Coach/Author of Attitude is Everything )
“Equal parts inspiration and explanation, Second Acts is a road map for the journey to a better life” (David Nivin, author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People )
SECOND ACTS captures the changed career paths many of us will have; and shares the strategies needed to do it. (Susan RoAne, author of How to Work a Room )
Making your life significant during the Second Act can really make a difference for you and the lives of others. (Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager )
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 57%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Of course, what would a self-help book be if it didn't have any number of exercises that must be followed to find a second career. First of all, one is to write about their dream: passions, strengths and weaknesses, interests, needs, and the specific dream. And then there are the typical obstacles of which one must be cognizant: age, money, duration, consent, location, physical condition, education and training, timing, esteem, fear of failure, fear of success, and fatalism. There is a subtle message here that failure to launch a second career may be due to your failure to overcome these obstacles - like they are not really obstacles after all.
This is the wrong genre to look for a realistic description and assessment of the world of work and training and education for it. If employees were actually empowered and if students could get educated and trained without tremendous amounts of extraneous hoop-jumping, perhaps all of these books about how to deal with work and workplace unhappiness would not be necessary. Issues such as obsolescence and downsizing could be dealt with realistically taking into account the interests of all parties. Changing the content of one's current job would be possible.
Chances are those who are doing what they absolutely love: painters, writers, wood carvers, etc aren't reading this book. For those who have struggled in the world of work, the typical self-help platitudes are here. Their help is doubtful. The author can hardly change workplace realities. When careers or jobs are changed, there is a very real possibility of experiencing the same limitations as before, just in another guise.
Adding to the irrelevancy of the book - the author insists on adding numerous mini-biographies of celebrities which have absolutely nothing to do with finding a second career as most would understand the concept. Furthermore, those writing a serious book on general employment need to keep their personal lives out of it. If one wanted to read memoirs, one can find plenty.
The best part of this book is the section on deciding what you want to do with your life. Pollan's exercises are original and would, I believe, help many people to discover their own next step. For instance, Pollan urges readers to review activities that they love -- and also places that draw forth a passionate response. His question, "What need does this passion address?" is extremely helpful and, unfortunately, rarely asked.
Implementation sections are helpful but I would encourage readers to seek supplementary guidance. Pollan suggests that a degree from University of Phoenix may be as helpful, in some cases, as a degree from Harvard. I encourage my own clients to talk to alumni from any school. Some doors will be closed to Phoenix alums, including some adjunct teaching options. On the other hand, a fifty-plus career changer who wants to set up shop as a counselor would do as well with a degree from the fastest, lowest-cost school whose courses are recognized by the state in question.
Still, I would be careful. I have heard first-account accounts of degree programs losing acceptability by accrediting bodies.
Pollan urges readers to omit dates from a resume. If you're using a back-door method to get a job (as you should!) that strategy will work. However, if your resume goes through a human resource department, it will most likely get tossed or you will be asked to submit traditional resume with dates.
Finally, I was disturbed by the grammar errors distributed lavishly through the text. A top publisher should have provided a copy editor! In particular the author writes "I" instead of "me"
("he showed my wife and I...")
Despite these qualms and quibbles, if you're a midlife career changer, you'll find this book more helpful than most. If nothing else, the author is a fine role model.
"Second Acts" is filled with wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to create the life you've secretly been dreaming of--whether that means starting a new career in middle age, having a child later in life, leaving the rat race behind and moving to the country, or going back to school after retiring. Everyone's hopes and dreams are different, and Stephen Pollan walks the reader through the process of creating the life of your dreams--not your parents' dreams, not your significant other's dreams, not your best friend's dreams, but the life that will truly make YOU feel happy and fulfilled.
Pollan's advice isn't particularly new or unique. In fact, he freely admits that he has no secrets that others haven't thought of. What I like is that his ideas are logical, sensible, nicely packaged and always positive. The book is filled with exercises to help you discover what your ideal life looks like. Then Pollan walks you through the process of actually making your dreams come true. Everything is built on a foundation of common sense--the author does not espouse any pie-in-the-sky ideas. And be warned: This book demands that you be an active participant. You can't just read it from cover to cover--to create a successful second act, you actually have to do some hard work. As Pollan says, creating a new life isn't easy, but it's well worth it.
It's rare for me to give out 5-star ratings, but I think this book is fabulous. Most of all, I like the author's message of hope--that no matter what the calendar or society says, it's never too late to build and live the life you've always dreamed of.