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Grindhopping: Building a Rewarding Career Without Paying Your Dues Paperback – November 28, 2006
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From the Back Cover
If the Corporate Grind is Keeping You Down, Skip It!
Grindhopping is the hottest career alternative for anyone who wants to skip the long hours, low pay, and lackluster rewards of entry-level corporate jobs. Join the wave of young professionals who are starting their own companies, freelancing, consulting, job-hopping, and networking their way to success.
Discovering Grindhopping will help you
get up and go after your dreams.
get off the corporate treadmill.
get out of the job you hate.
get paid for the work you love.
get better at negotiating.
get savvy about networking.
get smart about taking risks.
get in on the biggest opportunities.
get hopping and make it happen!
About the Author
Laura Vanderkam, a full-time writer and Grindhopper, is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors, and a contributing editor at Reader's Digest. Visit www.Grindhopping.com for more information.
More About the Author
Laura is also the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio, 2013), 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think (Portfolio, 2010), and All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Wealth (Portfolio, 2012). She is also the author of a novel, The Cortlandt Boys, available as an ebook.
Laura is a frequent contributor to Fast Company's website and a member of USA Today's Board of Contributors. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reader's Digest, City Journal, Fortune, and Prevention.
A 2001 graduate of Princeton, Laura enjoys running and singing and serves as the president of the board of trustees for the Young New Yorkers' Chorus. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children. She blogs daily at: http://lauravanderkam.com
Top Customer Reviews
The problem with this, is that not everybody has that dream that they've kept inside as a little kid. I certainly didn't, and this book was a painful read in that respect. And besides, if you're dream is to be a doctor, well, sorry, you're going to have to pay your dues. This book is either not helpful to people who don't know what they want to do with their life, or just a blank check to those who need permission to follow their dreams, which probably they were just waiting for a push in the right direction!
The other problem I have with her book, is that she presents these ideas as if they are totally new to the world. I'm pretty sure people have been following their dreams for a long time before this. The internet makes their dreams more a reality, but that's thanks to Wired.com and others doing the hard research, not Vanderkam.
I'm sorry, I might suggest worth a cheap read from your local library, I wouldn't pay your hard-earned cash for it! Then again I might suggest you be suspicious of books with only 5 star ratings :)
1. Hopping out of the corporate grind and into the work you want.
2. Building a rewarding career without paying your dues.
For the most part, the author is talking about developing skills that will allow you to "hop" into the corporate world at the point YOU want to without putting in all those years of meaningless drudgery and traditional corporate ladder climbing.
The author lays out the characteristics essential to successful Grindhopping, urging her readers to follow their dream and get someone else to pay you to do it. She offers as much 'sage' advice as a 29-year-old can, and gives illustrative examples of her points, shoring them up with statistics. But, I wonder if the 'reader' is hearing what she is saying.
While the external environment and internal motivation may differ between the true Grindhopper and the corporate ladder climber, many of the character traits and advice for success apply to both.
Grindhoppers are people who either by desire to be their own boss or lack of options, have a combined fiscal acumen, the ability to long-range plan and set goals, with a lot of self-control to succeed at controlling their own career destiny, much like the corporate climber.
The advice offered for potential Grindhoppers--know where you're going, work hard, network, get experience, stay ahead of the curve, pay attention to detail--has a vague business school ring to it.
The difference is that the Grindhopper IS the boss - either of her one-woman operation or of others who desire to climb her company's ladder!Read more ›
As with other career/entrepreneur books, Vanderkam stresses the importance of planning, goal setting, saving money, and, of course, networking. Yet, she delivers her advice and personal experiences in a way that feels somehow more authentic than with other books I've read. For example, in the networking chapter, she talks about her own tendencies towards shyness and how she overcomes and works around these. She opens up her own life and experiences to the reader just enough and in a way that is not self-indulgent. She succeeds in striking the right balance between focusing on her case studies and her own trials, tribulations, and successes in the world outside of the grind. Her writing is honest, and at times refreshingly quirky. (Check out the section on hunting mastodon and you'll see what I'm talking about.) Highly recommended.
Honestly, I don't see why all the 5 stars on this one. I found it full of truisms, many of which were debatable, and very little actionable information. At the end, there's a pitch for a forum built around the book's subject (as would be expected these days, so no problem there), and I went to check it out to see if I could at least leverage a new place to network with like-minded individual's, but it didn't exist anymore. I take that as a sign that other "grindhoppers" like me were also less than enthusiastic about the book.
This is my first review on Amazon (I think), which might seem suspicious, and I try not to be negative even when I read books I'm not enthused with, but I also feel responsibility to share my opinion on this one with other people who are on the fence. I only have so much time in the day, so when I read books like this, I want them to contribute to my business; I imagine others feel the same.
I almost didn't even finish the book, which is very rare for me, but picked it up today to push through and see if there would be an "aha" moment making it worth the price. It's been a while since I bought it, but I'm going to see if I can get my money back on this one.
I think its heart was in the right place, but too many authors these days seem more concerned about getting another book under their belt than making it a valuable contribution and worthwhile read. I see that as a product of our culture right now rather than a personal fault of the author's, but there it is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book on my kindle after reading her short book about waking up early (still working on that). Read morePublished on August 31, 2012 by Stephanie Fauvelle
Vanderkam shows that what you do doesn't have to be a grind. It's a great resource for people who are ready to step off the corporate treadmill and get on with their lives.Published on October 28, 2008 by Kate & Tom
Vanderkam's book is insightful, well-researched and, most importantly inspiring. It is filled with compelling case studies and tips that motivated me to explore a new career path. Read morePublished on August 23, 2008 by C Jones
Grindhopping provides a look at living life outside the box. The decision to take the veer off society's typical path is a difficult one, and Vanderkam offers assurance that,... Read morePublished on February 10, 2008 by Stoic
Why is it that so many career books--unique among how-to books--advise you to settle for less? Diet books don't tell you to settle for being overweight; relationship books don't... Read morePublished on May 11, 2007 by Graceful Space
I read this book and enjoyed it. Vanderkam has her finger on the pulse of the new work world. Younger people (particularly entrepreneurs) don't like the ball and chain of 'a'... Read morePublished on January 23, 2007 by Erin L. Albert
Grindhopping is the answer for anyone who asks "is this as good as it gets?" or anyone looking for more out of life than 9-5 until retirement. Read morePublished on January 12, 2007 by Timothy C. Ferriss