Alexandra Levit’s, New Job, New You.

The headlines about jobs are pretty stark already two years into this recession.  We’re learning that even when the market recovers, some jobs won’t return, that short term temps are going to become permanent temps, that companies are going to be providing less and less in the way of health care and pensions, and that workers are going to get paid less for a lot more work.  Faced with this tough marketplace you’d think that workers would be digging in and doing their best to hold on to their jobs—at least if they had one.  Yet more and more people are looking at their careers and giving serious thought to career change.  As Rahm Emmanual puts it, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  This is just the crisis to get a lot of people thinking and acting about reinventing their careers.  But why do people reinvent themselves, and set out for a new career?  And perhaps even more important in today’s tough environment, how do people go about making a successful career change? In a fascinating new book, New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career, Alexandra Levit, the well-known Wall Street Journal career writer and author of the highly successful, They Don’t Teach Corporate in College, answers those two big questions: why do people reinvent themselves, and how do they do it?Levit takes an unusual, yet highly relevant approach to career change.  In her research she identified the seven basic motivations that drive people to make career change and sets up her book, chapter by chapter, with that information.  So, for example, there’s a chapter illuminated by people driven to make more money, a chapter given over to those who’ve successfully changed careers because of their desire for more family time, and still another chapter detailing the moves of people who change careers to fulfill their own personal passion.  And not surprisingly, there’s another chapter given to people who make changes because of personal setbacks.  What could be more relevant for today’s world?Although Levit carves out a broad career niche, unlike most of the career change books, so often devoted to career change by managers and execs, Levit tells the stories of people of the younger generations, but from all walks of life.  So you’ll have the profile of the career change of 23 year-old, Kristin who goes from paralegal to advertising copywriter, as well as that of  Jon, a fellow barely in his 40s who went from ribs maker to commodities trader to psychology professor. Each chapter relates the career change stories of five different people, and closes with appropriately focused self-reflective questions to help the reader clarify his/her motivation to change.  For example, the chapter on setback motivations asks such clarifying questions as:·     Have recent events in your life left you wondering why you chose your job in the first place?·     Have frequent feelings of hopelessness drained your motivation at work?·    Are you afraid to make a career change because things are already bad enough and you’re worried about making things worse?Following the self-reflective questions, she offers a number of well thought-out practical recommendations for moving on your decision.   The resource toolkit offers a plethora of websites for the internet savvy, and books for those who like to feel paper in their hands.Readers will find themselves in the cutting-edge stories of career change.  You can’t help but think, “oh yeah, that’s me,” “I can do that, too,” or, “gee, I never thought about that.”  This is the kind of book I’ll be recommending to anyone and everyone who has ever given thought to career change, and especially to those who wonder if making a change in today’s economy is a wise move.  New Job, New You is a great book written by the younger generation for the younger generations. 
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