The Anti 9 to 5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube Paperback – Jan 18 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Snappy and practical, this guide to quitting your job at the "e-mail-saturated, meeting-happy cube farm" will prove indispensable to any young professional itching to strike out on her own. Goodman, a successful freelance writer, aims her book at women between 25 and 35, but young men will likely find her advice (always send a thank you note after an informational interview; play it cool if you snort coffee out your nose) just as relevant. From "sussing out the gigs" to guidance on taxes and health insurance to battling "the inertia that binds one's derriere to the sofa like a tongue to a frozen flagpole," Goodman covers all the aspects of going solo. A "Show Me the Money" section at the end of each chapter gives readers money-saving tips (eat all the food in your fridge before it "liquefies or grows spores"), and checklists covering steps readers must take before becoming self-employed. Goodman's advice is applicable to a broad range of careers, though the non-profit and international travel chapters are useful primarily for pointing to other, more in-depth sources. Goodman's tone is realistic-taking into account the obstacles facing a generation burdened early by debt-but she retains a sense of humor, making this information-dense guide an encouraging, buoyant lifesaver.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In a practical guide for young women who are ready to abandon their cubicles and carve out their own dreams, Goodman offers tools and tips for joining the DIY career club. Echoing many career-advice books, Goodman focuses on defining what your passion is and then mapping out a series of transition plans to get from cubicle to dream job. The book is most appropriate for women early in their careers who have not invested much time or energy on a serious career path. Her recommendations for freelancing, temping, part-time work, and lots of career exploration speak to a woman who has not yet found her calling. How-to sections on networking, deciding about additional schooling, resume preparation, and information interviewing are most appropriate for the younger worker still figuring out her career path. Gail Whitcomb
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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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.
The worst of reading this book was the sing-song-y, forced hip talk that does make for faster reading, if you know what she's talking about, without constantly having to stop and think about it. True, this book is clearly aimed at 20 and 30 somethings, so this old goat just had to plod along at times--often very tiring. Also not all the advice is all that appropriate to the older set, but then we're wise enough to adapt what we can and disregard the rest.
So overall a good read, full of helpful ideas and tips. Recommended.
I would have liked the book much better if it had stuck to explaining how to get out of a cube and make the transition into self-employment. Or if the title were changed, I would have like the book much better if it had only explained how to escape a cube into a more meaningful and lucrative job with an office or a company car. Of course, I wouldn't have pulled this book from the bookstore shelf if it was about the latter because I pretty much just review books that relate to my volunteering for SCORE, the small business coaching nonprofit.
The part of the book that I enjoyed the most was the author's story of how she had found herself stuck in a cube at age 24 and not doing what she wanted to do with her life - which was to do freelance writing. She decided to quit her job and start her own freelancing small business. And she found she couldn't make money at it at first - but she was resourceful and started temping in order to pay her bills while she got her business off the ground. Of course, I would have liked her story better if she were to have said she got her business WELL off the ground within a year or two. But unfortunately she says she continues to dabble in temping jobs from time to time to make ends meet. That doesn't sound like she has really accumulated enough of her own success to be writing this book, but some company did publish it and there are quite a number of positive book reviews posted on Amazon for it. So who am I to judge?
My favorite chapters were "I want a more flexible work schedule" (4), and "I want to be my own boss" (6). These two chapters were right on point when it comes to dumping a day job and starting one's own business. And in the book's appendix I very much liked "A Temp's Survival Guide" and "Boss in a Box." The "Must-See Resources" section in the appendix also seemed to be fairly informative. The checklists at the end of each chapter were well-thought out, too. 4 stars!