“Develop more transferable skills, those skills and experiences that are broadly useful to potential other jobs. Writing skills, general management experience, technical and computer skills, people smarts, and international experience or language skills are examples of skills with high option value—that is, they are transferable to a wide range of possible Plan B’s. Once you’ve figured out which transferable skills to invest in, make a concrete action plan you can stick to, whether by signing up for a course or conference, or simply by pledging to spend one hour each week self-learning.”
Source: The Startup of You
I’m going to make a bold statement: I think The Start-Up of You is the most important book for your career in 2012.
This should come as no surprise to regular readers as I quote the book all the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or working an entry-level job at a huge corporation. This book is essential.
The Start-Up of You is a mindset shift. It posits that in today’s unstable economy and workplace, nothing is a sure thing. If you were to be let go from your position or if your company failed tomorrow, would you know what your next step is? Or would you be paralyzed in a state of indecision or lack of options?
The Start-Up of You is just the right blend of strategy, execution, and rah-rah. It makes you take a holistic look at your career but also gives you actionable tips to improve your spot right now. It says it’s okay not to pick one career and stick with it for 60 years. It offers several examples of successful people who haven’t (looking at you, Sheryl Sandberg, who went from management consultant to Chief of Staff to Google to Facebook).
The Start-Up of You reminds us that even if we’re perfectly content with our current jobs, we should always have a Plan B (and Plan Z) in place. We take our bodies in for regular check-ups and we should be doing the same for our careers.
Whether you’re looking to make a dramatic change, a slight shift, or no move at all, this book talks about your career in a thoroughly modern, very 2012 way. I bought it on my Kindle and I plan to re-read it again soon. Few books have had as big of an impact on the way I look at my career.