Goodman has created a helpful guide, extremely well-written with frankness and humor. She takes readers through the steps of feeling frustrated with life in a cube to considering alternative escape routes. Of course her own story will inspire readers, as she herself went from cube to freelance status, while managing to live comfortably and even make mortgage payments.
The best part of the book is the section on living the freelance life. She gives down-to-earth advice on organizing the ridiculous amount of paperwork that goes with the freelance life. (I got some good ideas I can use right awway!)
I also liked the section on interviewing for information. She's listed steps from dazzle (write a nice simple request) to prepare to saying thanks. I couldn't agree more.
Additionally, Goodman has some excellent resources in the back of the book. Any career-changer would benefit from readings the books she recommends.
This book will be most helpful to thirty-somethings - those who have worked for five to ten years and are now asking, "How can I express my creativity in the world?" The Anti Guide makes a great companion to a book that's similarly targeted, This Time I Dance, by Tama Kieves. Kieves focused more on the emotional and psychological elements,while Goodman deals with practical implementation.
My own career clients tend to be 45-60. While they'd benefit from some elements of this book, I find that senior executives and experiened professionals need to choose different networking approaches.
I have just three quibbles about the book's content.
First, career consultants often encourage clients to shadow someone who's in a career they're considering. I would rather encourage my own clients to talk to half a dozen or more people in a field to get a broader perspective. I wouldn't give up on a field based on a single shadowing day and I'd investigate further if a day appeared to be a "wow."
Second, Goodman recommends creating a website if you're a writer - and I agree completely. But you need to create a money-making website, which calls for copy as well as design. It's not reasonable to expect a whole treatise on the subject but I'd have liked to see some links to sources that can help.
Finally, I agree with Goodman that readers should be cautious before hiring a career coach or consultant. Again, I believe this advice makes moreo sense for the younger reader.
Goodman encourages readers to talk to HR departments and experts in fields of interest. My own experience is that getting through to an information source requires a referral and HR folks are in the business of recruiting and screening.
These days, you should expect to pay for mentors, especially if you're going off on your own. You might take a continuing ed class at the low end or hire a consultant at the high end, but you pay. I agree with the advice to buy an hour at a time and avoid long, expensive commitmentes. But thes packages work for some clients.
In summary, Goodman's book makes an excellent contribution to the field. And the writing is so good, it's a fun read for anyone.