This is another of those cases where I’ve read a book, found it quite engaging, had a lot of “take away”, yet realized that it’s not something specifically about the job search, and (despite how it might seem from time to time), I do try to stay on subject in here. Of course, this is also why this is showing up as a “book feature” rather than my chasing down the author and trying to get him to address the sorts of “employment quest”-centered questions that would end up as the core of an “author interview”.
However, Jason Fried‘s Rework is such an interesting read about business in general, that I figured that I’d share it here. Fried, founder of Chicago’s own 37Signals software company, takes the lessons he’s learned over the past decade of running a “lean and mean” small company, and has spun them out into something of a manifesto about how business ought to work.
On several levels, this is an odd little book (for more details, check out my review), with a full-page illustration (by designer Mike Rohde) for every 2-3 pages of text, which makes it a rather quick read. However, the subjects raised in the nearly 90 points discussed here are definitely thought-provoking. I certainly got some concepts “re-framed” for me here, with material specifically addressing business, but which I was able to extrapolate for what others would call “my personal brand” in the context of my (seemingly never-ending) job search.
In this, Fried is plainly trying to be controversial, with subjects such as “Ignore the real world”, “Planning is guessing”, “Embrace constraints”, “Throw less at the problem”, “Pick a fight”, etc. … frankly, I can’t imagine anybody reading this and not getting aggravated at him several times. Rework is a polemic against how things “have always been done”, and Fried takes aim at a lot of activities which are much-cherished “best practices” by a lot of businesspeople. I notably took issue with “Don’t be a hero”, and “Go to sleep” (among others), as I’ve always been the guy who will stay up grinding through a project for 72 hours to make sure it’s done (and done right), and the heck with how I feel afterwards. I also know a lot of folks out there who would scoff at the idea of sending one’s associates home at 5pm, feeling that an 8-hour day is really only half a full effort.
Again, this isn’t about the job search, but it’s a good one, and you might find you’ll get as much (or more) out of it than I did!
Speaking of books …
As regular readers of this space know, I do a “link dump” every Friday of articles that I’ve found on the web that I thought would be particularly useful to you, The Job Stalker readers, and have been adding each week’s new links into an alphabetically-sorted .doc file that is downloadable from that post. Well, I had a couple of issues with that (for instance, it wasn’t easy to click through to the articles via the links in the Word document), and was playing around a bit and came up with a .pdf version that not only will let you click right out to the web, but ends up with a smaller file size. Looking at this I realized that I had, somewhat by accident, made “an e-book”, so whipped up a cover for it, and voila, have a swell new thing to offer in here (for FREE!). I will keep updating this on a weekly basis (which is why it’s got the date/pages info on the front), but figured it was a cooler format that what I had been offering. You can get this past Friday’s “inaugural version” here: