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Fire Your Boss Hardcover – May 11, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Printing edition (May 11, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060583932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060583934
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,646,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This stimulating, iconoclastic career-development primer is a rare example of the self-help/motivational genre with a difference. Life coach Pollan and his collaborator Levine, authors of the contrarian retirement planning guide Die Broke, don’t mean the title literally; it’s just a metaphor for taking control of your work life, one that rejects all the high-minded shibboleths of traditional business motivation. They argue that companies are "amoral legal constructs" that care nothing for their workers. Bosses are dictators rather than mentors or servant-leaders. Jobs can’t provide psychological or spiritual fulfillment; people should get those things from their lives away from work—where they should spend as little time as possible. The authors elaborate these insights into a refreshingly cynical take on workplace issues. Success doesn’t depend on doing a good job, they say, but on soothing and flattering the boss. Workers shouldn’t wallow in unrequited loyalty to the company, but ought to be constantly "fishing" for better jobs. Other rules: rely on personal ties, because landing a job is a matter of "who you know, not what you know"; don’t personalize your cubicle, because that might encourage you to spend more time at work; above all, don’t try to follow your heart or make a difference in your career: "the job of your dreams is the one that pays the most money." The authors provide lots of shrewd tips on job hunting, negotiating, manipulation and brown-nosing, but their book transcends the merely pragmatic. Their call to "end this destructive pursuit of meaningful work" mounts a subversive challenge to the idea of the calling, and thus to the Protestant work ethic at the very core of the motivational worldview.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Stephen M. Pollan, a New York City-based attorney, financial adviser, and career expert, is one of America's most-renowned financial experts. Mark Levine has been Stephen Pollan's collaborator for more than eighteen years. Together they have authored numerous books, including the national bestsellers Lifescripts, Live Rich, and Die Broke, and most recently, Second Acts. They have been nominated for three National Magazine Awards.

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Customer Reviews

In that way, this book is less about work and more about life.
Caroline@SixFigureStart.com
Not only am I enjoying my job more than ever, I also respect and like my boss more, I'm getting paid more, and I have more freedom in my work.
Silicon Valley Boy
From that foundation, they craft a career plan that they contend will lead to occupational success and personal well being.
Erik Olson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Your librarian on May 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Have you lost a job because your employer was tightening it's belt? Are you one of the survivors of layoffs doing the work of five people for one person's salary? Welcome to the 21st century in the American workforce.
What is the working man or woman to do? READ THIS BOOK! The bookshelves are chock full of career and self-help guides , but this one is different. It is eye-opening and doesn't echo the same "work smarter, organize better, network more efficiently" platitudes that so many of those other books proclaim. Instead, it contains step-by-step instructions on how to best deal with the new employment reality by improving one's own situation.
Experienced author Stephen Pollan is a career consultant with many years of experience advising those who want to "get ahead." He ably chronicles the changes that have rapidly occurred in the American economy and their effect on the mindset of American employers. Then, with gusto, he delves into his step-by-step instructions for taking control of one's worklife. His recommendations are somewhat counterintuitive but ring with truth. Pollan strips the reader's conceptions of career success to the bones and then builds a new, healthier framework. The end result will be a happier, more successful worker.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. It is well-written with a straight-forward conversational style. Few words are wasted and neither is the reader's time. To illustrate his points, Pollan incorporates plentiful examples of how his strategy has helped clients to achieve personal success in today's rugged world of work. This book will change the way the working man and woman approach their careers.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fire Your Boss isn't really about getting rid of your boss. It's about taking proactive steps to avoid being in a one-down position.
You'll like Fire Your Boss if you buy into the authors' value system Pollan and Levine don't mince words. Work, they say, is about money. Given a choice of two job offers, choose whichever gives you the most money, time or both. Don't expect satisfaction and fulfillment from work.
For many people, this advice will make sense. However, some people work in truly toxic environments and they'll become ill -- mentally and/or physically -- if they stay. Some companies (such as SAS in North Carolina) offer quality of life that makes sense for many employees. And some people manage to have truly wonderful jobs.
Once on the job, say the authors, success comes from pleasing your boss. Never mind the company: it's all about keeping your boss on your side because she's the only person who can help you. In general, this advice is excellent; however, company culture can influence your boss's power, your ability to transfer within the firm and/or your ability to avoid being fired.
I stay away from absolutes -- so "Nobody hires a stranger" should be translated, "People like to hire their friends." The best section of the book covers networking: these days, you make friends, not contacts. So your long-term strategy will involve joining groups and socializing with people who can help you.
And, as with all career books, you have to do some reality checks. When you get a competing offer from an outside firm, say the authors, pay attention to a counter-offer from your own firm. However, some experts say that sixty to eighty percent of employees who accept those counteroffers are gone in six months.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Erik Olson VINE VOICE on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are many self-help career guides that extol us to find a job within our passion. Their logic is that if we love our work, then the money will follow. However, "Fire Your Boss" takes a different tack. Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine instead recommend that we work for the money, and then the love will follow. From that foundation, they craft a career plan that they contend will lead to occupational success and personal well being. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the authors make a compelling case.

The "Fire Your Boss" philosophy is based on the assumption that employees are disposable. In the era of downsizing and outsourcing, the scenario of a lifetime job with a single company is history. Therefore, becoming attached to one position, firm, or career path is futile. With this in mind, the authors suggest that we "fire our boss" and give up a set career plan. Once we do that, then we are free of occupational anxiety. We can remain in our job if it provides the salary and benefits we desire, or leave it for one that does. Indeed, they exhort that we must always be "fishing" for a better job elsewhere. To that end, "Fire Your Boss" pushes us to continually network outside of the job, because in the authors' words, "no one hires a stranger." We should also be fine-tuning our own personal work plan, which is based on what we can offer to a boss. Meeting the boss' needs is key to workplace success, the authors argue. If you make the boss happy and ensure he or she looks good, then your position is almost bulletproof.

On the one hand, "Fire Your Boss" crystallized my approach to work. Most of the time I like my job as a IT technician. Computers appeal to the cognitive side of my nature, but I wouldn't consider them my passion.
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