48 Days to the Work You Love
As I wrote back when I started the 30 Day challenge, I got introduced to Dan Miller and his work through an interview he did with Dave Ramsey. His book is what eventually led me to taking this challenge, so it seems only fair that I review it as one of my final posts in November.
48 Days to the Work You Love is a book about changing and improving your career, by giving you a better outlook on what your work should mean to your life. It is tragic that so many of us find ourselves trapped in the daily grind of a job, rather than doing something that takes full advantage of our strongest skills while fulfilling our passions. Miller walks readers through the basic steps that one has to take if they want that to change, while challenging them to accept their compliance in the empty nature of their life thus far.
The secret to creating a career that is both nurturing to the soul and the pocketbook is, as theologian Frederick Buechner said, to find where “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” There you will find a job, a career, a business, and a life worth living.
When we talk about work today, most of us immediately think of being an employee at some business. We’ll show up for a certain number of prescribed hours, and get paid for our time. Do what’s necessary to get that regular paycheck, and it will always be there. Job security drives our decision making.
48 Days bursts that bubble. Miller correctly points out that the nature of work is constantly shifting, and that the only true job security is our willingness to make the most of our skills to actually produce a needed good or service. Advances in technology mean that the types of positions that need to be filled are changing, and in some cases unpredictably so. The average job in America lasts 3.2 years. As we continue to shift away from production-based toward knowledge-based business models, the idea of you being paid for your time is, once again, being replaced with you being paid for your results. With all of that, the job you have today may not exist in five years. What then?
Right now we need to be taking steps to prepare for that challenge, and Miller does a excellent job of laying out a process for doing so. How do you identify your marketable and transferable skills, especially the ones you don’t think of as business skills? How do you write a résumé to target the career you want, rather than another job like the one you just left? How do you perform a job search that will get you several offers to choose from, instead of being forced to jump at the first offer that finally comes along? 48 Days presents the reader with answers to all of these questions, and more. Miller even provides an appendix full of examples to crib from.
Expect change and workplace volatility to enhance your chances of creating meaningful work. It is often in the midst of change and challenges that we find our true direction.
Miller leans heavily on information and quotes of other great minds, including Martin Luther, General Douglas MacArthur, Dale Carnegie and Stephen Covey, just to name a few. In some ways, reading 48 Days is a lot like reading a compilation of several other career oriented books. Thus, individuals with a lot of job hunting experience might not find much new to grab their attention here, but I doubt Miller wrote it with that particular audience in mind. 48 Days is really written for the people who feel trapped in their careers and are struggling to believe there can be something more for them. It’s as much self-help as it is a career improvement book.
If you’re one of those people, I can’t recommend 48 Days to the Work You Love enough. It is a great jumping off point as you grow more serious about leaving the job that you hate, and begin the search for a meaningful career that you can really feel passionate about.
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