Your Perfect Job
by Robert Bittner
Shaw, 208 pages, $10.77
The best career discovery books work as touchstones to ignite something within readers. Your Perfect Job accomplishes this by showing and telling career seekers valuable lessons about figuring out where they want to go. Bittner cites the scene in the movie Citizen Kane with the line “It isn’t hard to make a lot of money if all you want is to make a lot of money.” The lesson this shows is that no matter what it is you desire, you have to sacrifice to reach your goal. Using interviews with real life people caught in a career crisis and sharing his personal journey makes this book worthwhile for anyone facing career choices.
According to Bittner, the two rules of careers are:
- The key to a great career is to love your work.
- Finding work that you love means following your interests, abilities and gifts.
Your Perfect Job challenges readers to rediscover and return to their original passions, but not to limit themselves to them. Instead, Bittner suggests brainstorming and branching out from your innate interests. For example, skills like plumbing can mushroom into many other careers where people solve problems by working with their hands. After compiling a list of things you are passionate about and skills you have, the author pushes you to look beneath the surface for patterns in your choices. Once you have formulated ideas, Bittner recommends hands on experience with internships or volunteer opportunities. If you can’t manage this, try to audit a career by observing it firsthand.
Part 2 explores “Finding Your Path In The Workplace” and begins with the advice to act the role of the professional you want to become. The chapter on “Climbing The Corporate Ladder” offers insights on coping with the fear of ascending the ladder as well as the pitfalls of achieving success. Many career seekers focus so much energy on their job search that they are not equipped to deal with job hurdles once they are in a new position. Your Perfect Job doesn’t offer quick fix solutions, but encourages compromise and a realistic attitude toward the workplace.
Although it’s targeted at younger adults, this book can help anyone preparing for a career change. Empowering people to discover what they want to do and challenging them to find untapped interests within themselves is Bittner’s goal. For the most part, he succeeds—the rest is up to you.