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Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out On Top at Work Hardcover – September 2, 2008

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For office workers fearful of the next headcount reduction, Viscusi offers a sound strategy for surviving to work another day. A workplace and career specialist and executive headhunter, Viscusi explains with authority how executives facing staff reductions make their decisions. The 50 tactics he offers are intended to bulletproof a job, but they are also the same tactics that make one a valuable employee and enhance one's attractiveness to prospective headhunters and new employers-keeping resumes current, stashing away cash and knowing how to interview well. Viscusi groups his strategies into four categories: being more visible, being easy to work with, being useful and being ready, and his tips stick close to the tried-and-true (dress for success, spell-check emails, keep friends close and enemies closer). While those new to the working world will benefit the most from the advice, office veterans will receive a useful reminder that the little things-like body language and elevator pleasantries-go a long way to generating well-regard from higher ups intent on cutting staff.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

There’s a tendency to scoff at all the work advice being offered, whether to recent college grads or to seasoned executives, including “look the part,” “details are important,” and “don’t make waves.” In this age of economic turbulence, headhunter-author (On the Job: How to Make It in the Real World of Work, 2001) Viscusi puts truth behind those clichés—and turns his four bulletproof strategies into a memorable mantra: be visible, be easy, be useful, be ready. Of course, in back of each of the four are a series of 50 tactics in total, all with proof-positive facts delivered via sidebars, such as “just so you know” and “true story” examples. Eat at your desk? Not a chance—move to the dining area. Unclear about the how-to’s of a new task or position? Pick a mentor. Common sense infuses every chapter, as does the author’s extraordinary attention to readability, including short paragraphs, millennial language, headlines that grab you, bullets, and final summaries. Your job is your most valuable asset, he says. So, too, might be this book. --Barbara Jacobs

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (September 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061713600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061713606
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. Kanigan VINE VOICE on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Viscusi is the CEO of The Viscusi Group, a boutique executive search firm specializing in the interior products industry. He is also called upon as a frequent subject matter expert on national TV, radio and print.

The book is outlined with 4 basic principles supported by 50 tactics:

1) Be visible
2) Be easy
3) Be useful
4) Be ready

My assessment:

1) While it may be a good refresher for a few further up the totem pole, this book is best suited for readers in the early to early-middle stages of their career or for those in the individual contributor / new managers segment.

2) There is a lot of common sense among the 50 tactics (learn new skills; support your boss; have a firm handshake; work hard; leave your problems at home; find a mentor; look good / dress well; take initiative). This will be old news to many yet should be considered base fundamentals for all, and particularly relevant for new/early entrants into the work stream.

3) Author opens with a powerful introduction:

"If you care about your job, you can start protecting it right now. If all you care about is your paycheck, there's almost nothing that will protect you from eventually being deselected in favor of another employee who's truly committed to his job. That's survival of the fittest at work in the workplace.

"You must understand that your job is your most valuable asset, and your primary objective is to protect it."

"Bulletproofing your job requires that you quit crying about merit and fairness and start improving your chemistry with your boss. Work is war, and if someone is going to get fired, let it be the guy your boss doesn't like, not you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Barron on April 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Despite his self-proclaimed credential as being, "America's Workplace Guru," Stephen Viscusi's book, Bulletproof Your Job, is a weak diatribe of advice that produces the same type of manipulative, political environments that ruin potentially great organizations. According to this material, to guarantee employment you must follow the following four simple strategies:

1. Be visible: Make your boss think your working long hours and imitate your boss as if you're a "Mini-Me"
2. Be easy: Work the office politics carefully, knowing the gossip but not being part of it
3. Be Useful: Adapt to the changing needs of the organization, taking initiative at opportune times
4. Be Ready: Keep your network fresh so that you can find a new job when necessary

Where this book really misses the mark is in its fundamental presupposition:

"You must understand that your job is your most valuable asset, and your primary objective is to protect it."

Bad advice, Mr. Viscusi! An asset is an item of ownership having exchange value. Only an entrepreneur would own their own job, and any entrepreneur smart enough to do that knows better than to follow this misguided philosophy. For most of us, our job is not an asset--instead it is an opportunity to use and develop one of our greatest assets, ourself. Furthermore, if the job is the most valuable asset, why is the fourth strategy focused on finding a new job?

A few items in this book are worthwhile, but I do not recommend this book as a resource for furthering someone's career.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol C. VINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a straightforward, easy-to-read guide outlining specific steps you can take to keep your name off of the layoff list. In tough economic times, when announcements of significant job eliminations come every day, the book is especially topical. The book is not about enjoying your job or excelling at your job -- it's all about making sure that you don't get fired or laid off, and that is all about creating the perception that you are useful, valuable, and value-adding to your employer.

Although the basic principles are sound, some of the specific suggestions are a little hard to swallow (become a mini-me of your boss) and reek of gamesmanship (get to work just a little bit before your boss and leave after your boss, hire a ghostwriter to author professional articles in your name) and outright sucking up (get more face time with your boss, publicize your accomplishments). There's an underlying assumption that your boss is vulnerable to through obsequious flattery and unable to see through blatant efforts to suck up. What's missing is an emphasis on the need to add real value to the organization. Truly earning your paycheck by adding value to your organization's bottom line, bringing revenue into your organization, though not discussed at any length in this book, is probably a surefire way to keep your job in tough times.

Viscusi offers four basic suggestions for keeping your job:
1. Be visible.
2. Be easy.
3. Be useful.
4. Be ready (just in case).

He then suggests several tangible steps to take under each of these suggestions. Being visible involves getting to work early and staying late, looking good, dressing well, not smoking, having a nice haircut and nice teeth (yes!!
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