Do Over: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career

Posted March 31, 2017 in What We're Reading

Do OverDo Over: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career by Jon Acuff

Reviewed By: Janey Piroli

The Premise: After 16 years of hard-earned career experience John Acuff translates his lessons learned into a practical guide to help you enjoy higher levels of career success. Having experienced the gamut of career transitions that include being promoted, being laid off, getting fired and even making the decision to leave his “dream job’, Acuff now strives to share his wisdom with those looking to make a career shift – in whatever format that looks like for them.

Do Over: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career  is written in a very direct and straightforward manner and injected with a large dose of self-deprecating humor that made for a very light, easy and enjoyable read. Acuff opens the book by introducing the concept of the “Career Savings Account (CSA)” and the investments that are required to maintain a healthy balance. These investments are summarized in the following equation: CSA = (Relationships + Skills + Character) x Hustle. He organizes typical career transitions into what he calls “The Do Over Chart” and makes the connection between your CSA investment areas and the type of career transition you are either voluntarily or involuntarily making.

Let me share an example of one of the more positive career transitions, the Career Jump. In this situation, you might decide to change companies, start your own company or take classes to further your education and get better at your current role. In all of these cases, you have made a voluntary, positive career decision and Acuff suggests that “character” is the investment in the CSA that will most greatly impact your ability to make a successful Career Jump. He dedicates several chapters to exploring this connection and throughout provides practical activities you can complete to help you determine which character traits you would like to strengthen (i.e. plant an orchard) and which traits you might need to better self-manage (i.e. pull the weeds – as fast as you can!). Similar connections are made between the investment in relationships for Career Bumps, skills investment for Career Ceilings and explains how hustle is the amplifier of all three when new Career Opportunities present themselves.

The Bottom-line: For me, the concepts covered in this book are not rocket science and the majority of what Acuff presented or shared was not new or surprising. However, I am someone who has always prioritized career development and so these concepts have been top of mind for me personally and have helped me support the development of others as both a manager and a coach. The activities however, I found to be very useful in providing an opportunity for personal reflection and/or as an enhancement to my career coaching tool kit. I plan to keep a copy on my shelf and refer to it as needed.

Recommendation:  If you are someone who is considering making a career change and/or looking for ideas to help support others in their development journey, this will book will serve as a useful resource for you. In fact, I would recommend buying a copy of this book for any recent university graduates who have joined your team. (Just be sure to read it first!).

 


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