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on December 31, 2013
Body of Work is a deceptively quick and easy read that will only reveal its depth in the work you do.

If you're looking for step-by-step advice on discovering your purpose or career, you won't find it here. You will find inspiring stories and insightful questions to give your body of work new meaning and chart a future course:

"No one is looking out for your career anymore. You must find meaning, locate opportunities, sell yourself, and plan for failure, calamity, and unexpected disasters. You must develop a set of skills that makes you able to earn an income in as many ways as possible."

What is a body of work?

"A body of work is big and deep and complex. It allows you to experiment and play and change and test. It supports creative freedom. It includes obvious things, like books, software code, photographs, videos, process improvements, paintings, and stories. And not-so-obvious things, like community development, love, movements, memories, and relationships."

How do you find it? "We must tap into our deepest roots." How do you transition from one place to another? "We all need a side hustle," especially if you're still in the corporate arena.

I love that Pam doesn't embrace the Pollyanna effect. She doesn't ask us to analyze successes with a keener eye than challenges and failures. In fact, one of the greatest skills we can develop is to view adversity as a means of growth. Her advice for hard times:

1. Fall apart.
2. Honor what you have.
3. Never forget, but choose to create a new future.
4. Be supported, and support others.

My favorite example: Amanda Wang, a young woman with bipolar disorder who, through therapy and training as an amateur boxer, is helping others with their own fight by making a documentary.

Finally, Pam asks us to redefine our notions of success. She doesn't quote Erma Bombeck, but in a nutshell: "Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."

It all sounds deceptively obvious, but Pam punctuates each concept with dozens of questions only you can answer. I lost track of the number of times she said something like, "Grab a pen and piece of paper" or "Dig deeper and write."

Body of Work is, in fact, a workbook. Be prepared to write...to fill a journal. I obviously didn't do so on this read through, but plan to over the next several months. If the publisher isn't preparing a workbook edition, I'd be surprised.

Highly recommended for explorers who enjoy taking the road less traveled and digging deep.
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on January 3, 2014
Pamela Slim's Body of Work is the perfect companion for anyone looking to find the common threads in their career and weave them into a unifying platform for the future, in an economy that increasingly values agility, creativity and innovation. Her book is jam-packed with the perfect blend of anecdotes and insanely helpful exercises -- each chapter could be an entire book unto itself!

Pam's recommendations are compelling, clear, and road-tested with hundreds (if not thousands) of entrepreneurs and corporate employees that she has worked with. I appreciate that she doesn't try to force a one-size fits all set of next steps or "shoulds," but rather guides the reader through the meta-level of career planning by finding common themes, building healthy habits, navigating fear, forming a meaningful support network, and effectively sharing your message with the world.

For those who find chapter outlines helpful, the Body of Work methodology can be summed up as follows:
-Define Your Roots
-Name Your Ingredients
-Choose Your Work Mode
-Create and Innovate
-Surf the Fear
-Your Definition of Success
-Share Your Story

Making a major career transition is not a one-time checkbox that we get to simply mark complete and move on from. It's an ongoing evolution, and Pamela Slim has written THE handbook you need to navigate each one with greater ease and aplomb.
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on January 1, 2014
My grandfather worked at the same two jobs for over 28 years. He taught school during the year and worked at Disneyland in the summers and weekends. In his era it genuinely was an accomplishment to hang onto the company that you'd hitched your wagon to and take the pension at the end.

Since I started working in 1994, I've been through six or seven mergers/acquisitions. I've changed jobs a number of times. Each in a pursuit of a better arrangement. Pam Slim's newest title-Body of Work helps me make sense of the story I've lived and accept that the days of endurance and pensions are fading if not disappeared.

Allow Pam to help you connect the dots and weave the threads of your personal and professional experiences into a cohesive meaningful story. Its' a quick read, her writing is witty and fun and you'll be better equipped for the next change around the corner.
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on January 1, 2014
There's a lot of hogwash out in the self-help/self-development world, and a bazillion books full of "advice" that aren't worth squat.

This isn't one of them.

Pam Slim has a gift of tying together stories, insight and practical tools - and in doing so helping you and me navigate our busy lives so we can live a life of meaning and of impact.

If you'd like to live a life that stands for something, then consider building a body of work.
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on January 2, 2014
In Body of Work, Pamela Slim has synthesized what what many of us have had to learn by necessity -- that our careers aren't defined by our last job, or degree, or single capability, but by the unique accumulation of expertise, experiences, affinities and skills that makes up each of us. With wisdom, care, and with appreciation for the wide range of work environments and preferences, Pam guides the reader through examples and exercises toward better understanding and communicating their goals.

A wonderful read for anyone, at any stage in their career, whether corporate employee, entrepreneur, or something in between.
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I received an advance copy of the book and was delighted to see that this book is Pam at her best. Her book illuminates what so many of us in the field are seeing - the traditional notion of the "career" is dead in this new world of work. To be successful, you have to weave a coherent story that pulls your past - the good, the bad, and the ugly - to the forefront, and her book shows you exactly how to do that. While the book is full of big ideas, it's also backed with application questions, stories, and a lot of heart; Pam writes as a teacher because that's who she is.

Whether you are just starting into this new world of work, are moving into a new industry or job, or just want to take a good look at how you're currently building your body of work, this book is a must read. It's the book I wish I would've had earlier in my life and I'm so happy to have it now.
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on January 8, 2014
This is a book you will be returning to *multiple* times. And I am totally fine with that.

In Body of Work, Pam Slim weaves together narrative, insights and hands-on guidance to give you a deeper understanding of how your life can be focused into a portfolio of living greatness. The amount of clarity that my first read through gave me is monumental.

The book is short enough to equip you with not only a sense of possibility but also to prod you into action. It's depth of content is enough to be that well-worn guide to a valuable life that I alluded to earlier. Get to work.
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on January 4, 2014
Wow. If America had a business coach, it would be Pamela Slim. I've been following Pamela's work for a few years now and was excited about reading Body of Work. I finished it in two days. Easy to read with powerful and practical advice.
Pamela weaves examples of real stories of people trying to find their place in today's world of work with her own work experience. This book is a guide for anyone who is serious about doing meaningful work in today's fast-changing workforce.
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on December 31, 2013
I read an advanced copy of this book and was delighted to write a blurb. Slim presents a remarkably useful, wise, and downright fun way of framing your career, and helps you think about the big things you want to accomplish, and how you want to feel about yourself day after day. A rare find. I just ordered a copy for my 21 year old daughter -- but it is useful and a delight to read for anyone at any career stage.
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on March 19, 2014
IF YOU'RE A JOB SEEKER: You will be woefully disappointed. Only one chapter focuses on how to craft your narrative (the threads that weave through your work) and most of that chapter is clearly aimed at people striking out on their own in entrepreneurial endeavors. Reinventing You by Dorie Clark is much better in this department, although that book also has lots of off-topic material for someone who really just wants to learn about personal branding to prepare for a job search.

This book tries to be too many things for too many people, and feels like a giant buffet of lukewarm food. I would find a 2-page outline of this book somewhat useful, but I did not enjoy reading it. It is full of dozens and dozens of bulleted lists of questions to ask yourself. Fewer self-inventories, more ideas, please.
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