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The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked

4.3 9
by Ernie J. Zelinski

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Ernie Zelinski could change your view of the world forever. He has already taught more than 150,000 people what THE JOY OF NOT WORKING is all about: learning to live every part of your life-employment, unemployment, retirement, and leisure time alike-to the fullest. With this completely revised and expanded edition, you too can join the thousands of converts


Ernie Zelinski could change your view of the world forever. He has already taught more than 150,000 people what THE JOY OF NOT WORKING is all about: learning to live every part of your life-employment, unemployment, retirement, and leisure time alike-to the fullest. With this completely revised and expanded edition, you too can join the thousands of converts and learn to thrive at both work and at play. Illustrated by eye-opening exercises, thought-provoking diagrams, and lively cartoons and quotations, THE JOY OF NOT WORKING will guide you to:

   • Be more productive at work by working less.
   • Discover and pursue your life'¬?s passions.
   • Gain the courage to leave your corporate job if it is draining life out of you.
   • Pursue interesting leisure activities that make a difference in your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
   • Vanquish any guilt you may have about not working long and hard hours.
   • Be financially independent with less money.

Plus, new to this edition are inspiring letters from readers detailing how the book helped them improve the variety, tone, and quality of their lives.

   • A revised and updated edition of the classic guide to living life to its fullest.
   • Previous editions have sold more than 150,000 copies in 14 languages.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The message is that leisure, not work, is critical to happiness. . . . Zelinski points out that no ones dying words have ever included, '¬´I wish I had worked more. "-Financial Post"Ernie Zelinski helps others find time to live."-Boston Herald"[Is the] key to success and keeping life meaningful."-Contra Costa Times

Product Details

Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.78(w) x 9.78(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

ERNIE J. ZELINSKI has an Engineering degree and an MBA from the University of Alberta. Because he is truly organizationally averse, he has not had a real job for over twenty-five years. Ernie speaks professionally on the subjects of real success, retirement, and applying creativity to business and leisure.

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The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Ussi-Indy More than 1 year ago
The Joy of Not Working by Ernie Z. The book shows us ways to work smart, to enjoy life, to help others and to become financially secured by not-working for corporations. The book is written in a down-to-earth, clear, and fun style. Ernie connects to his readers by being honest. Behind the stories, there is a real man who is intelligent, kind, and caring. The Joy of Not Working should not be mistaken as The Joy of Being Lazy. Ernie found his own voice after being forced out of the cooperate world; he became an accomplished author. When we do not work for others, we have the freedom to create our own lives and have an access to unlimited income working for ourselves. I wish to thank Ernie for showing us that making a living by not-working an ordinary 9-5 jobs is not only possible but also rewarding. To the frustrated employees (or ex-employees), The Joy of Not Working is truly a pioneer work. Ussi-Indy Indianapolis, USA
swangdb1 More than 1 year ago
The Joy Of Not Working indeed!  This is a fantastic book that addresses many thoughts and ideas I've had about my life and career.  He stresses the importance of leisure and I particularly enjoyed his concept of a "leisure tree."  I've enjoyed creating my own leisure tree.  Thanks Ernie!
Amy52 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It gives a lot insight into being retired, being unemployed or being overworked and how to handle leisure time. This is definitely insprirational for anyone not in the working world which is where I intend to be in a couple of years! I am looking forward to putting a lot of what is in this book to practice. Many of my friends have also expressed an interest in reading this book. They are also looking forward to being retired! Thank you for your insight
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ernie Zelinski's 'The Joy of Not Working' should be required reading for anyone in the workforce who has ever questioned whether they are doing what they should be doing with their lives. It is also a must-read book for those who are contemplating retirement and especially for those who find themselves without work at a certain point in their careers. Because 'The Joy of Not Working' was a book I enjoyed reading so much, I would schedule reading periods when I knew I would have a chance to relax and take it all in. It allowed me to ponder the meaning of life and how I was or was not using my talents. It also helped me to think about time away from work in more creative ways. Prior to reading the book, I had spent roughly a year and a half as a management consultant - both as an employee of an IT management consulting firm and self-employed (read 'chased contracts and/or considered new employment opportunities constantly'). As I read the book, I found that I could identify with the thoughts and ideas suggested in the book about how I could use the valuable time in between contracts to great personal advantage. I am currently employed in the Canadian federal government in a senior policy development position which requires, amongst other things, that I organize national consultation sessions or roundtables on the topic of the ageing workforce. As such, Zelinski's books have been thought-provoking and have helped me focus on my own end of career choices (in addition to furthering ideas germane to my work file). This book will be greatly appreciated by people in any of these situations or mindsets: facing choices about the kind of things they want to do after leaving a full-time career contemplating whether they devote too much of their lives to being enslaved to their work considering whether it makes sense to walk away from a secure full-time job despite longing to do so. In short, the book provokes self-examination and assessment of a kind that few will deny is highly practical and beneficial. There is little doubt that this book - which I recommend to many of the people I meet or speak to about work or retirement - will provoke the reader to consider his or her own circumstances and to seek greater meaning in their lives. Whether or not an individual will treat it like 'reading candy' as was my case, really depends on the individual. I liked the sayings and a lot of the cartoons, although I must admit to questioning some of the provocative statements about retiring early and working through the financial challenges. Overall though, I cannot imagine anyone reading this book without feeling that it was an extremely pleasant and useful read. Personally, I do not recall ever reading a book that I enjoyed more or that brought me as much satisfaction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought the first edition of this book just about the time I decided to quit the corporate rat race in the very early 90's. I was then forty three years old. Since then, I have found it - in fact, I have reread it several times - to be a very provocative, entertaining, down-to-earth, and tremendously inspiring book. It also strikes a common chord with me: Like the author, I was trained as an engineer. I simply love the author's personal philosophy as expressed in his wonderful book: We work so hard - and over-value work so much - that we have forgotten how to just live! Life is short! - go and enjoy it all! I highly recommend this book to all corporate rats who are longing or aspiring to pursue their dreams, to work more productively (by working less), to be financially independent (with less money), embrace enjoyable leisure and pursue 'creative unemployment.' For the uninitiated, 'creative unemployment' is living a rewarding and fulfilling life through plorking i.e. playing and working!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not about saving up for a cushy retirement. Nor is it about dropping out of society. It is about how to work (much) less and have a happier and more meaningful life right now, regardless of your age or occupation. I have been a homemaker and student and not received a paycheque for the last 20 years, but reading this book has made me realize that I had been working way too many hours. Life is too short not to be enjoying every day of it. While the book presents profound ideas it is very entertaining and easy to read. I found the chapter 'Financial Independence on Less Than $20 a Day' very inspiring. Most people wouldn't want to live on so little, but the fact that it is possible opens up the idea of more moderate possibilities such as a leave of absence or part time work. Other great sections of the book are: 'Give solitude a chance', 300 activities for a full life and the whole section on being happy now rather than waiting for tomorrow. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is working 8 (or more) hours a day. Also anyone who is retired or unemployed and not enjoying life to the fullest. In fact I recommend this book for anyone who is not already enjoying 'the joy of not working'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book opened my eyes even wider to the negative impact being apart of the rat race has on one's mental and physical health. Zelinksi's advice on engaging in recreational activites and minimizing debt is worth following. However, what this book lacks is in depth knowledge about 'how to' really survive or live on very little money when one has given up the rat race for self discovery in the meantime. Many Americans believe that this 'Life of Riley' way of living is impossible to achieve because a lot of money is required for everything here, especially healthcare! I used to think the same way until I read the following book... 'Living Well on Practically Nothing' by Edward Romney is a true instruction manual for people who either don't make enough money from their jobs, are retired or unemployed. An excellent book! The title really says it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ernie Zelinski's book is full of refreshing, witty and entertaining information to help those unemployed, for whatever reason, focus on living, with a capital 'L'. Even those with jobs will find inspiration, tips, laughter and much more here, for sometime in all of our lives, we won't be working for some reason or other, and how we spend that time defines who we are and who we can be. Common sense and exercises to jog the mind flow through this small but very valuable book of Life. Definitely one I will re read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was downsized from a management position in corporate America last year. I was pretty down in the dumps and really found it challenging to get through this hefty book. I never did finish it. A friend bought me 'Unemployment Boot Camp: Tactics for Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century,' by R.A. Long. It was sharp, quick and right on target with my frame of mind. The boot camp strategy is so appropos for getting you back on track after getting the boot from any job. I looked for it on bn.com and found it by putting in the first part of the title, Unemployment Boot Camp. Oh, and it's half the price of The JOy of Not Working.