Review: THE ECONOMY OF YOU by Kimberly Palmer
Many people involved in nonprofit careers (whether transitioning into or out of the field) find it hard to survive in our current economy. Many are taking “side gigs” or smaller jobs to either bring in extra cash or – perhaps – spin their efforts off into a new career. For those wishing to adopt a “side gig” as a way of transitioning into (or within) a nonprofit career, let me suggest reading The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer, published by AMACOM Books.

Available in both hardcover and Kindle editions, The Economy of You focuses on establishing a “side gig” while working on full-time work. However, many of Palmer’s recommendations would also work with those who are freelancing and/or trying to find smaller gigs. (As a freelance consultant/writer myself, I found many of the recommendations helpful). Palmer takes a very practical approach, providing guidance and insight which would easily fit well within low-resource-but-high-resourcefulness environments (like nonprofits), and provides enough motivational content to empower people to move forward in pursuing a separate business effort.

In fact, one of the strength’s of Palmer’s The Economy of You is that its focus is on much more attainable goals. While many books of this type focus on more high-end thoughts, Palmer’s primary focus is on a secondary source of income. Never coming across as over-the-top, Palmer’s book has a nice, realistic feel, and something that would not be out-of-place on a “Nonprofit Career” bookshelf. (With several nonprofit and other professionals getting involved in the social entrepreneurship/social enterprise field, this is a great how-to field guide for making preliminary efforts). The Economy of You provides some hands-on guidance and exercises for moving towards developing another field of endeavor.

One of the best features of The Economy of You sits within the appendices at the end of the book. It is a list of the “Top 50 Side Gigs” which contains brief outlines of such work (like blogger, life coach, and pet sitter). The main advantage (and one which sets The Economy of You apart from other guides), but also some great “first steps” towards identifying potential matches and initial networking resources. By providing this, Palmer provides an easy resource for people to begin exploring (and much more practical than similar, self-published guides found elsewhere).

For many people planning to transition into – or out of – a nonprofit career, finding a “side gig” that can provide economic and personal freedom can seem daunting. In The Economy of You, Kimberly Palmer provides a relatively straightforward guide to exploring options, building initial efforts, and progressing forward. As more people take on multiple positions in “the new economy”, The Economy of You becomes an even more invaluable resource.

Any thoughts about freelancing, nonprofit careers, or taking on “side gigs”? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below (and comments are moderated). In addition, you can contact me privately via any of the resources on the About page, or follow us on Facebook.

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