Working through the Golden Years
As health care improves and people livelonger, anincreasingnumberof
people are staying in or returning to the
workplace, seeking income and imbuing
their daily lives with a sense of purpose.
When John Givens of Salem, VA,
first retired in 1992 from a long career
in sales and systems engineering with
IBM in Atlanta, he did freelance sales
consulting for more than a decade.
Givens never expected to completely
switch gears in retirement. “We moved
back to my hometown of Salem after my
wife retired and remodeled the house
I grew up in,” he says. Then Givens
began to actively pursue his longtime
hobby—photography. He made custom
photo albums for friends and family.
Gradually, Givens’ hobby turned
into a business, aided by the power
of the Internet. “People find me to-
tally online,” he says of his business,
Storybook Pages. “I’ve never actually
met any of my clients, and I have cli-
ents all over the country.” Givens takes
clients’ photographs, usually from
weddings, designs an album, and then
sends it to a printer for production.
Sometimes he also works directly with
“I have to do something with my
time,” Givens says of the business. “I’d
rather do something creative, and I
might as well do something that helps
pay the bills.” Like many Baby Boomers,
Givens has decided to remain actively
employed in retirement and has unleashed the potential of the Internet to
do so. “Working this way would not have
been possible 15 years ago,” he says.