Saturday, June 08, 2013

On Finding Your Authentic Career in a Fast-Changing Economy

Two book-related announcements.

I have two book announcements: my friend and colleague Adam Taggart's first book Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career (print $13.50) (Kindle edition$9.99) is now available.

As someone who has stumbled through four career changes, I wish this book had been available 30 years ago. Back then,What Color Is Your Parachute? was practically the sole resource for those seeking a livelihood that aligned with their personality, talents, interests and goals. Though WCIYP remains a good guide to the process, Adam's book has two key merits: it's written by someone who used the techniques discussed to manage his own career transition, and the roadmap it lays out is practical and concise.

The larger context is that the traditional world of fixed jobs and careers is transitioning to a more flexible model I call hybrid work. One person may have several different jobs or sources of income and meaning, and people may mix and match careers that are conventionally considered separate.

I believe hybrid work and income streams we control will provide more stable and enduring security than jobs that are currently considered ironclad. Nassim Taleb has explained that jobs with some low-intensity volatility and day-to-day insecurity (driving a taxi was his example) are actually more secure than supposedly guaranteed jobs that come with all sorts of hidden fragilities and systemic dependencies.

Self-knowledge and the ability to envision a different, more satisfying career will be key assets in navigating hybrid work and a destabilized, fast-evolving economy.

Here is the blurb I wrote for the book's back cover:

Millions of people have traded career satisfaction for job security. But that security is illusory, as the nature of work is being revolutionized by global and technological forces. Adam’s book provides a practical roadmap for navigating the new economy, and gaining the key understanding that a fulfilling career based on self-knowledge is our only true security in a fast-changing world.

Everyone in the midst of a career transition or considering starting the process will benefit from this conversation between Adam and career consultant/coach Jennifer Winn: How to Successfully Transition to a 'Great-Fit' Career (podcast, 55 minutes; full transcript online).

In other book news, I'm making the Kindle ebook edition of my book Survival+ The Primer (134 pages) available for free today, Saturday July 8. This free download deal ends at midnight.

With crisis comes opportunity for positive transformation: this is the central theme ofSurvival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation (400 pages) which I published in October 2009. The Primer is a summary that introduces many of the key ideas in my body of work.

-- The status quo of a rapidly expanding Savior State in thrall to global cartels is heading for inevitable insolvency

-- Though the devolution and insolvency of the debt-based status quo is driven by large-scale forces, the opportunities will be small-scale and open to individuals, families and communities.

-- Though the forces at work are global, we are not powerless. As individuals, we have the power to create our own transformation.

This can be expressed very simply: we are what we do every day.

You don't need a Kindle device to read a Kindle ebook; free Kindle apps are available via a quick download for almost every device: Apple Mac computers, PCs, iPads, iPhones and other smart phones, etc.

Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Kindle edition: $9.95       print edition: $24 on
To receive a 20% discount on the print edition: $19.20 (retail $24), follow the link, open a Createspace account and enter discount code SJRGPLAB. (This is the only way I can offer a discount.)

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