Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together Paperback – Dec 31 2013
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“We are hardwired for story and no one gets that more than Pamela Slim. BODY OF WORK is a powerful and transformative book. Before this book, my journey from waiting tables to vulnerability researcher and teacher never made sense. Now, after reading BODY OF WORK and completing the exercises, I get it. Not only does it help me understand where I've been - it's renewed my passion for where I'm going and why. ”
--Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly
"If you're looking for a career coach, Pam Slim is the gold standard. Warm and wise, savvy and practical, "Body of Work" will guide you through today's complex career landscape -- while keeping your sense of self and personal passions alive."
--Susan Cain, author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking"
"In the pages of this life-changing book you’ll meet people who are creating beautiful lives from the most surprising materials – bravery and dedication, yes, but also fear, shame, and illness. Their courage and Pamela Slim’s words are inspiring. This book is a gift to every reader in these tough times."
--Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
“Whether you are starting out at your first job, a longtime corporate employee, or a successful entrepreneur, you can survive the new world of work by telling a story about your journey. Pam Slim shows you how."
--Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, Inc.
"Pam Slim shows you how to thrive by building a body of work out of your experiences, knowledge, and accomplishments. A must-read for anyone who wants to achieve fulfillment, joy, and inner peace."
--Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and author of Enchantment
"Heartfelt, practical and actionable, this is the rare book that will change your life if you let it."
--Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception
“Pam Slim has written THE modern career handbook. Her advice, spunk, and spirit make it a joy to read.”
–Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor, author of The No Asshole Rule and Scaling Up Excellence
“Forget making new year’s resolutions. They are notoriously hard to keep. Instead set out on a concrete path to make the next chapter of your life more meaningful and satisfying… Begin by “finding the thread that ties your story together” suggests Pamela Slim in her new book, Body of Work.”
“You owe it to yourself to buy a copy, as reading [Body of Work] is a great way to start the new year.”
“While the book is a super easy read, the magic is not in just reading but actually digging deeper, questioning, reflecting and actually doing the exercises that Pamela has thoughtfully designed…I can confidently say that it will be one of the “game changing” books you will read in 2014.”
About the Author
Pamela Slim is a popular blogger, career coach, and the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation. She lives with her family in Mesa, Arizona.
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Top Customer Reviews
Once you get past the opening "successory" stories, the books dives into a bunch of very fundamental questions about what you have done, why you've done it, and how to turn it into a single narrative. Its helpful stuff.
4 stars, not 5, because of the way the book started.
With regard to the title of this book, Pamela Slim recalls, “After decades of watching my dad work, I realized that he was not just building a career (although he was a very successful professional photographer), he was not just being a volunteer (although he spend hundreds of hours of unpaid time on community projects), but he was creating a deep and rich body of work that not only had great meaning and significance to him but also created considerable change and value in his community.”
She makes skillful use of several reader-friendly devices in Chapters 1-7. They include various exercises to complete, examples anchored in real-world experience, and boxed vignettes and FYIs to illustrate key points. These devices achieve two separate but related and critically important objectives: They enable her reader to interact with the material provided in her narrative, and, they facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.
These are among the dozens of subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Slim’s coverage.
o How do you build a body of work?Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you're looking for step-by-step advice on discovering your purpose or career, you won't find it here. You will find inspiring stories and insightful questions to give your body of work new meaning and chart a future course:
"No one is looking out for your career anymore. You must find meaning, locate opportunities, sell yourself, and plan for failure, calamity, and unexpected disasters. You must develop a set of skills that makes you able to earn an income in as many ways as possible."
What is a body of work?
"A body of work is big and deep and complex. It allows you to experiment and play and change and test. It supports creative freedom. It includes obvious things, like books, software code, photographs, videos, process improvements, paintings, and stories. And not-so-obvious things, like community development, love, movements, memories, and relationships."
How do you find it? "We must tap into our deepest roots." How do you transition from one place to another? "We all need a side hustle," especially if you're still in the corporate arena.
I love that Pam doesn't embrace the Pollyanna effect. She doesn't ask us to analyze successes with a keener eye than challenges and failures. In fact, one of the greatest skills we can develop is to view adversity as a means of growth. Her advice for hard times:
1. Fall apart.
2. Honor what you have.
3. Never forget, but choose to create a new future.
4. Be supported, and support others.
My favorite example: Amanda Wang, a young woman with bipolar disorder who, through therapy and training as an amateur boxer, is helping others with their own fight by making a documentary.
Finally, Pam asks us to redefine our notions of success. She doesn't quote Erma Bombeck, but in a nutshell: "Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."
It all sounds deceptively obvious, but Pam punctuates each concept with dozens of questions only you can answer. I lost track of the number of times she said something like, "Grab a pen and piece of paper" or "Dig deeper and write."
Body of Work is, in fact, a workbook. Be prepared to write...to fill a journal. I obviously didn't do so on this read through, but plan to over the next several months. If the publisher isn't preparing a workbook edition, I'd be surprised.
Highly recommended for explorers who enjoy taking the road less traveled and digging deep.
Pam's recommendations are compelling, clear, and road-tested with hundreds (if not thousands) of entrepreneurs and corporate employees that she has worked with. I appreciate that she doesn't try to force a one-size fits all set of next steps or "shoulds," but rather guides the reader through the meta-level of career planning by finding common themes, building healthy habits, navigating fear, forming a meaningful support network, and effectively sharing your message with the world.
For those who find chapter outlines helpful, the Body of Work methodology can be summed up as follows:
-Define Your Roots
-Name Your Ingredients
-Choose Your Work Mode
-Create and Innovate
-Surf the Fear
-Your Definition of Success
-Share Your Story
Making a major career transition is not a one-time checkbox that we get to simply mark complete and move on from. It's an ongoing evolution, and Pamela Slim has written THE handbook you need to navigate each one with greater ease and aplomb.
Since I started working in 1994, I've been through six or seven mergers/acquisitions. I've changed jobs a number of times. Each in a pursuit of a better arrangement. Pam Slim's newest title-Body of Work helps me make sense of the story I've lived and accept that the days of endurance and pensions are fading if not disappeared.
Allow Pam to help you connect the dots and weave the threads of your personal and professional experiences into a cohesive meaningful story. Its' a quick read, her writing is witty and fun and you'll be better equipped for the next change around the corner.
This isn't one of them.
Pam Slim has a gift of tying together stories, insight and practical tools - and in doing so helping you and me navigate our busy lives so we can live a life of meaning and of impact.
If you'd like to live a life that stands for something, then consider building a body of work.
A wonderful read for anyone, at any stage in their career, whether corporate employee, entrepreneur, or something in between.