7. Book notes: The 5 patterns of extraordinary careers

Categories: 2005.09.03:2 -- Permalink, Comment form

TitleThe 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers
AuthorsJames M. Citrin and Richard A. Smith

Citrin and Smith draw upon extensive experience in executive recruiting (and we're talking CEO searches for _big_ companies here!) to describe the career patterns for high-level executives. Not really my career path, but people who are interested in rising to the top through a mix of potential-based promotions (up) and experience-based promotions (generally sideways) will do well to read this book.

Check out 5patterns.com for a self-test, a useful job survival guide, and other goodies.

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6. Book notes: Life Matters

Categories: 2005.09.02:3 -- Permalink, Comment form

TitleLife Matters
AuthorsA. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

I totally, totally, totally like this book. It's just _packed_ with gems. A few pages into the book, I realized I had another must-read in my hands. This book talks about balancing work, family, time, and money, and it's full of very real and warm stories. Don't be intimidated by its size. It's really fun and easy to read!

Let me give you an example of how deep and wonderful this book is. In the section on work, you won't find tips on how to cut corners on the job so that you can spend more time with your family. You won't find wheeling-and-dealing tips to help you get ahead. You will, however, find them not only quoting Kahlil Gibran's "Work is love made visible," but infusing every page with that creed. You'll hear about how involving your children in work can help give them an appreciation of the joy and dignity of work. You'll learn how to make the most of your time, and how to stay energized and loving after a long work day. This is Really Good Stuff.

What I really like about this book is that Rebecca's stories show the value of homemaking and how you can learn important lessons from that underappreciated kind of work. I rarely find women's insights in productivity books unless the books are oriented toward women. Rebecca's stories about her family and her society, her writing and her life were given just as much importance as Robert's stories about business.

There's even an audio CD version for all of you podcast- and CD-listening people out there. Get this book. It's good. In fact, I want to buy several copies of this to give to friends. It's _really_ good.

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5. Book notes: Rules for the Road

Categories: 2005.09.02:2 -- Permalink, Comment form

TitleRules for the Road
AuthorEve Luppert

Luppert's guide to surviving an entry-level job is a good read for fresh graduates who need tips on surviving the mindless drudgery of their first year. "Do stupid things brilliantly," Luppert counsels, giving hundreds of tips on surviving everything, including office gossip.

Of particular interest to me was the short segment on managing a hands-off boss (hello, Mark! ;) ) on page 28. Luppert suggests finding other people who have done what I'm trying to do and asking them questions. Saving questions and ideas will help me make the most of rare moments of contact, and I should take care to update him with tidbits and stuff. Because he won't give me constant feedback, I'll need to give myself whatever encouragement I need. Hmm.

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4. Book notes: Financial Freedom on $5 a Day

Categories: 2005.09.02:1 -- Permalink, Comment form

TitleFinancial Freedom on $5 a Day
AuthorChuck Chakrapani

Like most personal finance books, Financial Freedom on $5 a Day suggests a regular savings plan, dollar-cost averaging for no-load mutual funds, and eventual diversification into investments that can weather recession, inflation, and growth markets. The book also talks about other investment options such as gold and silver trading.

I did find a nifty little tidbit, though: three different techniques for saving a chunk of your income so that you can invest it later on. On page 17, Chakrapani describes:

Minus TenAutomatically deduct 10% of your paycheck and put it into a savings account before you even see it. (Pretty standard advice.)
Plus TenEvery time you spend, put aside an extra 10% for your savings. Think of it as extra tax.
Day's DueSave every day. Minimum recommended: Annual income / 3500. (Was that gross or net?)

The suggestion of saving $5 a day will be difficult for me to meet considering my already-trimmed budget, but if I stick to my savings plan and relieve my book expenses by satisfying my addiction at the libraries, it might actually be doable.

The copy I read was so old that Amazon doesn't carry it any more, but Amazon lists the 7th edition for USD 2.50 (used). Not worth shipping, though. Read this one at your local library.

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3. What Color Is Your Parachute?

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2. Love is the Killer App

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1. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by James C. Collins,Jerry I. Porras.

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