Need help with personal or small business website hosting or development, Macintosh training, or video/DVD production? John, a former Minnesota school media specialist with a lot of creativity and great tech skills, will help. How about booking an author or purchasing a gift basket that contains a book? Sharron, a former Iowa media specialist with a passion for literacy, will assist. John and Sharron are two of many former media specialists thriving with a second career. They are typical of a growing category of higher-income older workers who, according to pollster Mark Penn, "tend to become consultants and independent contractors, either in the field they once mastered or in a hobby they love" (Penn, Mark. Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes, Hachette Book Group, 2007). Like other "retired" professionals, they are likely to run their own show and bring passion to their new endeavors.
Media specialists have useful and unique skill sets that can serve them well if they want to continue working when they leave their K–12 jobs. They are multimedia creators and producers, writers, speakers, university instructors, online instructors, educational consultants and leaders, and volunteers for the professional organizations they belong to. They work with print and technology; they use their organizational, teaching, communications, and advocacy skills. They are excited and passionate about their work.
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