5.0 out of 5 stars Good concepts, tight presentation.
Mixes anecdotes with concepts to give examples of applicability.
Published on May 6 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Foundations of good career strategy
A good book overall, I still would rate it only 3/5 because I felt it was mostly oriented towards the white collar professional and big money. It's 5 main concepts were broad enough to cover the important dimensions in career strategy without clouding them in details. This book reveals what the authors have concluded from their research in working with thousands of...
Published on Oct 26 2003
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good concepts, tight presentation.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction (Hardcover)Mixes anecdotes with concepts to give examples of applicability.
4.0 out of 5 stars Take Hold of Your Career,
This review is from: The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction (Hardcover)I read a short article about "The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers" on the Internet and decided it might be worth reading. Most of the career "guides" I had read up to this time were of the, 'choose your ideal career through completing a series of tests to identify your strengths' variety. But what intrigued me about this book was that rather than selecting the "right" career it was more about making the most of the career of you have. Still, Citrin and Smith do acknowledge the importance of being in a career that plays to your, "strengths, passions, and people" by making it one of the "patterns" of extraordinary careers; oddly, though, it is the last of the five rather the first. Perhaps one of my favorite quotes comes from this pattern, "...many people find, partway up the ascent, that their ladders were leaning against the wrong wall." Again, though, this book is more about what to do with the your career once you have found the "right" one. And therein lies perhaps the most important maxim of this book, successful careers are managed, sometimes unconsciously, rather than driven by fate or luck; a corollary is that opportunities are created and actively sought after rather than passively waited for. Even the authors acknowledge that these ideas aren't new. But the patterns represent a distillation of the interviews and surveys of extraordinary executives conducted across Industry boundaries and they, perhaps, are new, or are at least fresh.
The core of the book is chapters 2 - 6, one for each of the patterns: Understanding the Value of You, Practice Benevolent Leadership, Overcome the Permission Paradox, Differentiate Using the 20/80 Principle, and Find the Right Fit. Citrin and Smith go on to extend the patterns to extraordinary organizations in chapter 7. They use specific examples gleaned from their interviews to illustrate each of the patterns. And while these examples are certainly condensed, in order to fit within the scope of a single volume, they generally, if not specifically and in detail, prove the point. What is less clear though, are how technical careers fall into these patterns. All of the chosen examples are CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CTOs, CIOs, presidents, vice-presidents, and perhaps a Director or two. Though they try to generalize these success patterns you are still left with the impression that extraordinary careers are, at least in part, defined by having entered the executive ranks. I am sure that Citrin and Smith would disagree, but I am still struggling with how to apply these patterns to my rather technical career of Software Engineering without becoming a manager.
Overall this has been a valuable book - if for no other reason than that it has caused me to think about my career in concrete terms and how I can actively manage it rather than waiting for it to happen. The book isn't overly long and can be read in a week during your lunch breaks. Thinking about your career and how to apply the patterns is where the hard work begins.
4.0 out of 5 stars Take Your Career and Make it Extraordinary! Read This Book!,
This review is from: The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction (Hardcover)The Five Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction by James M. Citrin and Richard A. Smith. This is a refreshing look at the Self-Help Career book genre. Job seekers, employers, and human resource professionals - in short, anyone that's interested in enriching their career - will benefit from this book.
THE FIVE PATTERNS OF EXTRAORDINARY CAREERS
1. Understand the Value of You. People with extraordinary careers understand how value is created in the workplace, and translate that knowledge into action, building their personal value over each phase of their careers.
2. Practice Benevolent Leadership. People with extraordinary careers do not claw their way to the top, they are carried there.
3. Overcome the Permission Paradox. People with extraordinary careers overcome one of the great Catch-22s of business: You can't get the job without experience and you can't get the experience without the job.
4. Differentiate Using the 20/80 Principle of Performance. People with extraordinary careers do their defined jobs exceptionally well but don't stop there. They storm past pre-determined objectives to create breakthrough ideas and deliver unexpected impact.
5. Find the Right Fit (Strengths, Passions & People). People with extraordinary careers make decisions with the long-term in mind. They willfully migrate toward positions that fit their natural strengths and passions and where they can work with people they like and respect.
The authors have developed a razor-sharp vocabulary that brings welcome dialogue about careers into the new age of business. The executives in this book are all focused on their career, this is one aspect of those with successful careers. The authors have proven that ignoring one's career can greatly supress chances at success.
Is it the best book I ever read? No, but it did help me to focus my attention on skills I was utilizing, just not to my best advantage.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, but just doesn't quite stick,
I read the book while contemplating what experiences are good for my career. It gives some key insights on careers, such as successful people don't push their way to success, they are carried by those around them. This highlights the need to help others succeed instead of keeping a self centered view of success.
While interesting, the reader is left without a lot of lasting depth. I finished the book about 2 months ago, but struggled to come up with key points from memory. If it were more impactful, perhaps I would have remembered them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Patterns of Extraordinary Careers by Citrin and Smith,
approaches/styles. The authors segment a career into the
promise phase, momentum in mid-career and harvest phase
at the height of a career. In addition, the need to build strong
management teams, motivate people and restructure organizations
is explained with appropriate examples. The authors describe
the importance of inventorying your skills so that opportunities
can be taken when they first appear. Big jobs go to men and
women who prove their abilities to outgrow smaller ones.
The importance of macromanaging careers is extolled rather than
the traditional micromanagement. The authors explain strategies
to penetrate top jobs without experience by learning to
make the complexities simple. They provide examples of
companies; such as , Cendian which have challenging jobs
in logistics outsourcing. Lastly, the authors provide a
definition of career success as:
o job freedom
o being well-regarded
o family happiness and contentment
o learning and challenge
o personal health
This book is a worthy addition to any personal library.
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend it,
3.0 out of 5 stars Foundations of good career strategy,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, especially if you're just starting out,
1st: Understand the Value of You, and the explanation of the difference between potential value and experiential value
4th : 20/80 Principles of Performance : turning the usual 80:20 rule on its head, emphasising that its the last 20% of what you accomplish that truly differentiates you.
The other patterns were just as relevant, but these are the ones I got most personal value from.
Other useful concepts that were described in passing included mentoring : and how you can mentor up as well as mentor down.
There was however one underlying disappointment : whilst not detracting from any of the underlying principles, the authors seem to have become engrossed in working for Large Corporations, when this is a book about Individuals careers. I'd have liked to have seen more examples about small/middle-sized Companies.
The examples & scenarios quoted all refer to Large US Corporations like AOL TimeWarner, AT&T, EDS, GE, GM, IBM, McKinsey, Microsoft, Xerox. There's one fleeting reference (page 187) when non-US firms like Nokia, Shell & Toyota get a 1-sentence 'also' mention.
The authors' Employer, SpencerStuart, gets plenty of promotion on the front cover as well as throughout the contents, and is described therein as "the worlds most influential executive search firm". The authors say that they interviewed "thousands" of Executives. I was therefore surprised and disappointed that they hadn't managed to cite a single example of a European or Asian Executive or Company? I can't believe that "success" is limited to American Executives or Companies? It even made me wonder how good the authors would be in performing an Executive Search for a European or Asian Company? Yet SpencerStuart has more Offices in Europe that in the whole of North America, so the absence didn't seem quite right to me?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Career Textbook,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read - especially for aspiring 20somethings!,
By A Customer
I've read enough self-help books that presume that their audience is a group of whiny, fatalistic, dissastisfied underachievers. Mr. Citrin and Mr. Smith are writing to the level of benevolent future leaders who aspire to make the corporate world a positive place to work.
Read this book now and macromanage your career to greater heights.
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The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers: The Guide for Achieving Success and Satisfaction by Richard Smith (Paperback - Jan 25 2005)
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