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Monday, September 26, 2005

Book Review: Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead

Some books offer a careful presentation of facts and figures leading up to the dramatic conclusions of the final chapters. Others are the literary equivalent of "A Whack on the Side of the Head," to quote author, Roger van Oech. Radical Careering: 100 truths to jumpstart your job, your career and your life falls firmly into the latter camp. It is a breath of fresh air in the sometimes stale atmosphere of career books.

People who have been "there and back again" are often the best source of frank and useful information, and author, Sally Hogshead has delivered the wealth of her experience in a straightforward and extremely useful fashion.

Radical Careering is divided into "100 truths", each 1-2 small pages in length. While some might take issue with the "truth" of each item, I found myself nodding in agreement on almost every page. Hogshead has distilled the essence of each topic down to small, useful nuggets that really jumpstart your thinking.

This is not a book of exercises, prescriptions and marching orders. This is a collection of career "koans" -- stories and questions that spur, if not require, further thought. Several times as I was reading, I would catch myself staring off into space, lost in thought, the book open in my lap.

I was very interested in absorbing this book as a whole, so I read it very traditionally, front to back. That said, the book works equally as well as a sort of career "magic 8-ball", spurring your thinking whenever you need a boost. Simply open a page at random and begin.

Of all the "truths", some spoke to me more loudly than others. At the top of the list was this one, "Being in a crap job isn't your fault. Staying in a crap job is." You can't be any clearer, or more truthful than that and I wholeheartedly agree. Others include "Own your career or it will own you.," "Don't work for someone you don't respect," and "Power is the option to say no!"

Whatever your career, Radical Careering provides a welcome "kick in the seat of the pants" and might help you take your career to the next level. Read it in one sitting or return to it again and again. Either way you will enjoy it and your career will benefit.

For more information on Radical Careering, visit their web site at


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