Friday, February 05, 2010

Review - Great Work Great Career

I know many people who are out of work or are dissatisfied with their current jobs. I myself am not actively job hunting nor am I particularly dissatisfied with my job. However, this book can be read, enjoyed and applied by anyone who has an earnest desire to find that "great career" or to create a "great career" at his or her current job. For those job seekers, the end of the book does include some suggestions on crafting a resume, cover letter or even on giving presentations to prospective or current employers outlining your plans for success.

If you have read 'The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People', you'll notice a lot of familiar language.

In discussing the nature of our current economic times, the book talks about such concepts as the "Abundance vs Scarcity Mentality", "Circle of Influence vs Circule of Concern", "Emotional Bank Accounts" and changing our Paradigm to look at the workplace through the lens of the Knowledge Worker age rather than the Industrial Age. The book talks about (though I don't think it ever used the '7 habits' terms) "production vs production capability."

And it spends a considerable amount of time talking about problem solving, identifying needs, turning needs into opportunities and creating your own personal Contribution Statement based on your own strengths, talents, passions and your moral compass or conscience.

The book gives advice for taking that Contribution Statement and actually conducting a "Need-Opportunity" presentation rather than going to job interviews. It presents ideas and methods for helping yourself stand out from the crowd to a prospective employer or even to your current boss. There are suggestions for expanding your "Circle of Influence" to better meet your talents and passions.

The authors also go into some depth about "Building Your Village"…a 21st century mindset around networking and working through people you know to achieve your goals. The book talks about creating a village through your friends and co-workers but also about about the importance of carving a space out for yourself on the Internet…diving into social networking such as LinkedIn or even Facebook….creating your own webspace by writing a blog about your passion/expertise…maybe even writing an e-book. The authors emphasize that your village should be based on "real" relationships rather than just a bunch of names who can "do something for you"…focus on building that Emotional Bank Account and then use your village to synergistically achieve your goals.

Like many books in this vein, there's not a lot here that felt "revolutionary"…on the contrary, it all felt like "common sense" and a lot of it feels like those "aha" moments where you smile, nod and wonder "why didn't I think of this earlier". The writing style is simple and easy to understand. There are a bunch of inspirational stories and examples and there is plenty of great advice.

So whether you're on the hunt for a job, trying to improve your current position, or self-employed and looking to solidify your own contribution, this book should have something to help you develop, focus on and come up with a plan to achieve your long-term career goals.

4 out of 5 stars

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