Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career
How Successful Career Changers Turn Fantasy into RealityWhether as a daydream or a spoken desire, nearly all of us have entertained the notion of reinventing ourselves. Feeling unfulfilled, burned out, or just plain unhappy with what we’re doing, we long to make that leap into the unknown. But we also hold on, white-knuckled, to the years of time and effort we’ve invested in our current profession.In this powerful book, Herminia Ibarra presents a new model for career reinvention that flies in the face of everything we’ve learned from "career experts." While common wisdom holds that we must first know what we want to do before we can act, Ibarra argues that this advice is backward. Knowing, she says, is the result of doing and experimenting. Career transition is not a straight path toward some predetermined identity, but a crooked journey along which we try on a host of "possible selves" we might become.Based on her in-depth research on professionals and managers in transition, Ibarra outlines an active process of career reinvention that leverages three ways of "working identity": experimenting with new professional activities, interacting in new networks of people, and making sense of what is happening to us in light of emerging possibilities.Through engrossing stories—from a literature professor turned stockbroker to an investment banker turned novelist—Ibarra reveals a set of guidelines that all successful reinventions share. She explores specific ways that hopeful career changers of any background can:Explore possible selvesCraft and execute "identity experiments"Create "small wins" that keep momentum goingSurvive the rocky period between career identitiesConnect with role models and mentors who can ease the transitionMake time for reflection—without missing out on windows of opportunityDecide when to abandon the old path in order to follow the newArrange new events into a coherent story of who we are becomingA call to the dreamer in each of us, Working Identity explores the process for crafting a more fulfilling future. Where we end up may surprise us.
Aimed at mid-career professionals who have invested much in careers that may no longer fully satisfy, Ibarra's book challenges the traditional belief that a meticulous assessment of one's skills and interests will automatically lead one to discover the right job. In reality, she argues, "doing comes first, knowing second." This is not to say that a marketing director should abruptly resign to become a modern dancer; instead, defining the arc of the future is a "never-ending process of putting ourselves through a set of knowable steps that creates and reveals our possible selves." Most people will navigate a career shift at some point in their lives, and in this smart, positive guide, organizational behavior professor Ibarra shares the stories of 23 people who did it successfully. It's no 10-point plan for figuring it all out, Ibarra says, but rather a well-reasoned guide to making the decision of whether or not to stay in a career or move on. Readers who study the stories and their accompanying analyses will take away some valuable lessons on changing their way of thinking and being, going out on a limb, and building in a much-needed "transition period" during a career shift.
I found absolutely nothing useful or informative about this book. What a waste of my time. This book is written for people that have basically already led very successful careers with top companies or universities with high salaries that can now afford to take multiple month long leaves of absence to "find themselves" and move onto the next 6 figure salary. Literally every "character" in this book had an already impressive résumé and could cherry pick from the offerings. This book is not for those of us still struggling to find our way in the working world or are still truly trying to figure out what we really want to do. If you've already attained the Stanford or Harvard degree and worked for the top investment or consulting firm and are now looking to dabble in freelance work from your extensive client list than this is the book for you.