When I was sent this book to review I expected that Coach Yourself To A New Career would be the perfect book for everyone who finds themselves out of work and looking for a new job in recession hit Britain.
The suggestion, from the title, is that the book should be a DIY guide for making a career change.
In part this is true. The book is set out as a step by step instruction manual and contains many useful exercises that allow you to assess your current skills and attitudes and to determine just what it is that you enjoy doing. For example in Step 2, Identify Your Personal Requirements, there is a 117 question quiz which allows you to indentify your top 4 personal needs. This may be the need to be in control, the need to be liked, the need to be valued etc.
By the end of the exercises set out in the first 5 steps of the guide you should have a pretty clear idea of what is working and what isn’t working in your current career and an indication of the things that you really enjoy doing. These things combined are the basis for career change, as expanded upon in steps 6 and 7.
However the exercises did have a recycled feel to them and on many occassions the reader was urged to refer to the authors website or earlier book Coach Yourself To Success. When I spoke to Talene she explained that the book was written as a result of a request from her publisher to write a follow up to that book with a slant towards career change which would be popular in the current job climate.
The second problem, to a UK reader, is that virtually all of the real life career change examples are from the USA. This is understandable, perhaps, as while Talene is now based in the UK, her experience is largely working as a life coach in the USA. While business/life lessons can be transferred across continents, and we can all probably benefit from a slice of the American Can Do attitude, the predominance of US examples did leave me with the feeling that the book may not be 100% relevant in the UK.
I also felt myself wondering just who the book was aimed at. I asked Talene whether the book would be useful to anyone looking for a career change and she explained that it was aimed at senior executives who were looking to change or who, as a result of redundancy, had been forced to look for a change of career. Talene gave the exanple of a hedge fund manager who had lost his prestigious job and felt that he would never be able to get another job as he was, and always had been, a fund manager and that role was no longer available to him. Talene was able to coach him into a new job where he could use different skills and exploit different talents.
The book has plenty of exercises that allow you to assess “where am I now”, “what do I enjoy doing” but is weaker in the “what do I do now” part, – the Coach Yourself part, as it were. In acknowledging that the book was aimed at senior executives Talene did say that it would only be these people who could afford her as a coach and maybe the book is intended as a starting point to finding a new career, with Talene taking over personally to guide the executive through the final stages to that new life.
In summary, I enjoyed the book, even though it wasn’t aimed at me or most people that I know.
I suspect that, had I picked the book up on Amazon expecting that it would be all that I needed to get myself a new career that I would be slightly disappointed. I’m sure that if I was a senior executive looking to move out of a corporate environment and into a business founded on my passions, then this book would fit the bill.
Don’t fear taking the leap into a new career with this seven step program from bestselling author and life coach Talane Miedaner. Whatever the situation or economic environment, Coach Yourself to a New Career gives you the tools to take matters into your own hands by assessing your needs and strengths, finding the right work fit, weighing options and possible sacrifices, and preparing your family for transitions.
Packed with expert advice and helpful examples from her many statistical clients—as well as her own career change process—Miedaner shows how anyone can reinvent their professional life.