Books offer practical help for homemakers eyeing the job market

Several new books deal with the challenges and opportunities of mature women workers. "The Mature Woman's Back-to-Work Book" by Moni azibo and therese Crylen is a fears, frustrations, and triumphs of "displaced homemakers," those thousands of women between 30 and 60 who through divorce, separation, widowhood, or other loss are suddenly faced with supporting themselves and often their children.

The book instructs women on how to take stock of their strengths, overcome obstacles, and plan their futures. It tells how to write a resume and lists helpful government books. It also tells women how to discover and apply for training and education, intern programs, grants, and fellowships.It is positive and helpful.

"Displaced Homemakers -- Organizing for a New Life" (New York: McGraw-Hill, $ 5.95) is by Laurie Shields, a pacemaker in the displaced-homemaker movement. The book grew out of the author's work with the Older Women's League Educational Fund, on Oakland, Calif. nonprofit grass-roots organization doing advocacy work for displaced homemakers. It lists a directory of the over 300 centers, programs, and projects for displaced homemakers that exist in many parts of the country.

"More than anything else," the author says in her forward, "it is my hope that this book will encourage other older women to take a new lease on life, to work toward building new and satisfy ing careers, and to do so with the conviction that all the past years of homemaking can and will provide a valuable foundation for the future."

"New Lives for Former Wives: Displaced Homemakers," by Nancy C. Baker (Anchor/Doubleday, $9.95) includes two chapters on going back to work. The first, "I'm Just a Housewife, I can't Really Dom Anything," discusses the importance of evaluating -- and valuingm -- skills. The second, "In Pursuit of a Paycheck," offers specific tips on getting a job.

Nancy Baker encourages creative thingking about job possibilities. Many jobs in sales and services, she points out, offer wider opportunities and better salaries than traditional clerical positions.

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