Careers

Want to Build a Better Life? Lawyer Profiled in Book of 'Wisest Americans' Offers Insights


An 83-year-old trailblazing lawyer who is offering her advice on living a better life is among the more than 1,000 seniors interviewed for a book on the subject.

Sonia Pressman Fuentes is a co-founder of the National Organization for Women, and she believes work should be about something worthwhile, the Washington Post reports. The former lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies has these tips:

1) Work at your passion, if possible. Do something worthwhile and meaningful in your career, if you can.

2) Get as much education as you can for what you want to do in life.

3) Travel abroad and make the travel meaningful with groups such as the Peace Corps and Global Volunteers.

4) Don’t be afraid to network, and keep the people you meet in your life.

The book by Cornell University gerontologist Karl Pillemer is called 30 Lessons in Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. In an online chat at the Washington Post, Pillemer offers this career advice to a reader unhappy with his job:

“I can only channel to you what the consensus of the 1,200 elders in the study was,” Pillemer says. “From the end of life, they definitely have a ‘take a risk’ attitude, when it comes to time versus money. They don’t want you to do something that might bankrupt you, but if there’s a choice to be able to live comfortably and have more time to actually live life, they recommend trying to make it happen. It is a balance between being financially secure and having more time, but they really encourage us to not stay longer in a job we hate than absolutely possible.”

Related coverage:

Ms. JD: “First Woman: Sonia Pressman Fuentes”

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