Sunday, January 01, 2006

Radical Careering - Sally Hogshead

Subtitled 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life the book delivers on the promise of the title. What a way to start the first day of a new year! This is my recommended "must read" for this year. The book is tiny - not much bigger than an actual drink coaster - but not one word or thought is fluff or filler. It's beautifully crafted - the thoughts, titles, layouts, graphics - the whole package. It's written in plain-speak and it hit the mark for me.

The book was recommended to me by Thom Brockett in a chance encounter last week in the cafe. (Or is there such a thing as chance encounters?) His enthusiasm for the book sold me on it (he had previously recommended Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind, which I loved) and I got the book right away.

In looking at the "Radical 100 Research" results that Sally outlines in the very opening of the book, there was no question I fit the profile of the "Careerist" that emerged from the interviews of Gen X'ers between 25 and 45. Yes, I knew from the start she was talking about me, as well as talking directly to me. The deeper I got into the book, the more I was amazed at how she could speak to things I think about constantly, yet discuss with no one. It's that incredible realization that I am not the only one out there struggling with these issues! She states up front that one of the motivations for writing this book was not finding a book that spoke to the issues she herself was facing. I'd say she hit a bulls eye in both articulating and addressing the larger questions of our day - at least for those of us who fit the description under Radical Truth 64.

I used up my post-it flags (the only way I can bring myself to mark a book) with yellow for quotes I wanted to remember, purple for the websites I will go back and visit, and pink for those stand out thoughts I will put up on my mirror so I remember them every day. This book is truly the tool it claims to be. I can take from it what makes sense and is useful to me, and those things will probably vary from one reader to the next.

My urge is to quote all of the awesome things I marked, but I won't. You need to read this for yourself. But two of the Radical Truths marked for posting on the mirror: 53 - "Don't Focus on Your Job to the Detriment of Your Career"; and 59 - "Build, Don't Maintain." Here's the thing - "leaders are builders." Yep, that's a radical truth all right.

The book is an investment. Run out and get it. Put this on your New Year's Resolution List - "Read Radical Careering." It's one of those things you need to do for yourself. And then you need to recommend it to someone else . . .

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