One of the things that I love about being in a "floating career mode" is the feeling of being open to possibilities. Even as a child, I've always loved career researching and work planning. It's crazy, but it's true that even before I was legally capable of taking on a job, I used to read the Classified Ads from the time I was a pre-teen just for fun.
You see, I enjoy taking note of the different jobs available and what are the requirements to land those jobs. I even like reading the parts in the paper that say 'Businesses for Sale'. I love paying attention to how I feel when I read about various career and work options. I get a buzz just from learning about these things.
I guess that's why I got in to the field of Organisational Psychology when I first graduated from University with my four-year psych degree. I thought it was fun to talk about this subject --- and to help others find their own paths in the world of work.
And, that's what this book, What Next? (The Complete Guide to Taking Control of Your Working Life) by Dr Barbara Moses is all about: Becoming a career activist. That is, enabling individuals to be more "career aware". Or perhaps, even Career Wise.
It has several anecdotes, case studies, and career advice for new graduates, career changers and movers, early retirees who're wishing to get back in to the job market, and people who simply wish to take better actions in their existing workplaces. It contains several worksheets that help readers to do self-assessments that will help them answer the question, "What Next?" in their particular work situation.
Many of the exercises in the book are a bit heavy, but I find that many of them have been worth doing. There are times when I thought I can't learn anything new from the assessment, but I still found myself getting surprised with the things that I find out about my work assets and styles.
Some ideas that I really love from this include: understanding your "career themes", assessing your accomplishments, features of great organisations, dealing with career crisis (includes dealing with difficult bosses, problematic work situations, how to deal with getting laid off or redundant, etc), learning all about goals and trade-offs, developing a portfolio career, and many others.
In the section on discovering your core motivators, I thought it was interesting to learn about the different ways people approach jobs based on motivation. For example, are you a Sociability Seeker, a Career Builder, a Lifestyler, an Authenticity Seeker, a Personal Developer, an Autonomy Seeker, a Novelty Seeker, or a Stability Seeker? Granted, some of the descriptions overlapped a bit, but the ideas and the general behaviour implications on work styles and 'fit' can really be helpful in understanding why certain types of work suit certain types of people.
To give you an idea of how this book is structured, here's a brief table of contents:
1. Know Yourself
- Who are you?
- What is your motivational type?
- What are your career assets?
2. Find your perfect path
- Finding the right work match
- What is your best option?
- Turn your vision into reality
3. Find great work
- Mapping your strategy
- Creating marketing tools
- Interviewing and negotiating
4. Overcome career challenges
- Confronting career malaise
- Common types of career distress
- Age-related dilemmas
- Achieving work-life balance
5. Boost your career intelligence
- Becoming a career activities
- Strategies for career success
So yes, I give this book a 4.5 stars in the Career Resources category. Definitely worth reading for anyone seeking a more fulfilling career/work life.
Title: What Next? (The Complete Guide to Taking Control of Your Working Life)
Author: Dr Barbara Moses
Year of Publication: 2003