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on August 23, 2007
The LIFE'S A BITCH AND THEN YOU CHANGE CAREERS book is pretty informative for people who hate their jobs and want to make a change. But be prepared to do some work.

The first eight chapters/steps in the book are writing assignments! You answer many questions about what you enjoy, what type of environment you'd like to work in and with who, what skills you've picked up along the way etc., etc. and you don't define a job title at the beginning. The questions are easy enough to answer but really take some soul-searching and introspection.

At first, I thought the exercises were amusing but after doing them every chapter it got frustrating. Many of the questions would repeat and I didn't get why the author was doing this...other than to fill pages. Well, in the end I did see why. The exercises help you understand that you are more than just a job title and that you can switch to something else if you aren't happy. Answering the questions, in a way, also answers the nagging fears and self-doubt that keep popping up in your head when you do decide to change careers.

The book is designed to help people figure out what they want to do next, as well as help those who already know what they want to do, make sure they've made the best choice. That's why you do all the damn exercises! But there's also another plus to answering all those questions; you'll then have the answers to what goes into your updated resume, what you should say in a cover letter, and what you'll say when you get an interview. So it's not a waste of time.

The ninth and final step/chapter is what's really helpful because the author, Andrea Kay, goes into what to expect such as fear, self-doubt, what to do when you encounter resistance, and how to gain experience in a field you've never worked in before. Very helpful, although the suggestions on getting an internship were odd because Kay writes that you can get internships outside of Universities etc., you just have to be willing to work for free. The problem with that is that companies are not allowed to hire anyone and make them work for "free," even if it's an internship. Interns, who don't receive pay(stipend), must be getting credit which means you have to go through a college. And I'm not saying it's not possible to work for free and no credit blah-blah-blah, but then this is how people get taken advantage of. So beware if that's the road you choose to take.

But aside from that, the book is really helpful. And I was surprised to find that I've been doing many of the things in the book already. I gave four stars because I think some people will be turned off by all the Q&As!
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on February 14, 2006
I've been stuck in a dead-end job in a career I've grown to hate. My father told me I should be an accountant. I became one. But it's just not "me." I ran across this book at a bookstore and it struck a chord so I bought it. It's been life-saving. I was inpired by the stories of what other people have done to change careers and am now following the author's step-by-step approach to discovering who I really am and where I fit into the world of work. I'm overwhelmed by the opportunities and different careers I never even realized existed. I'm amazed because I've just begun this journey and can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. My new career will engage my creativity and I can't wait to get started. The book is helping me plan how to get from where I am to where I want to be - and I'm doing it without sacrificing my regular income. The second half of my life will be much more personally fulfilling than the first half. Just wish this book had come out 10 years ago.
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on December 10, 2006
I was in a fast-paced corporate career, making more money than I had imagined possible...yet I wasn't happy. At 49 years of age, I was looking for something more meaningful in my life for my remaining working years. Andrea's book forced me to answer questions about my likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and be truthful about my tolerance for change.

By the time I finished all of the steps, I discovered what I was passionate about...and found a career path in the senior care industry.

I researched the industry, compared organizations, and got a dream job!
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on January 18, 2007
I have recently started searching for books and resources that would give my some sort of guidance. When I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Nobles, I simply could not put it down. Andrea Kay has a light-hearted way of writing that addresses all the main issues that one should be thinking about along this journey of finding the right career path. Currently, I am reading one of her other books regarding interviewing and enjoying it just as much. I encourage anyone looking for advice related to job satisfaction and happiness to read this book. I am planning on re-reading it in a few weeks, just to compare how far along I have come in searching for the right career for me. A must read in my opinion! Good luck!
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on March 12, 2007
Despite the title, this book is a positive book for change. The author Andrea Kay provides the reader with the motivation and encouragement necessary for those who dare to make a major life change in careers. She does this by not only helping the reader think about all of the ins and outs of career change, but also asking questions to help you probe the depths of what your true passion is. She provides plenty of real life examples of people who have dared to change course, some early in life and some late. Like most career books, this book has plenty of reflective questions and worksheet style spacing for your own personal answers. But what sticks out in this book, is the emphasis on personal passion. She also provides great insights into preparing yourself for future jobs trends and exploring job niches you might not have thought of before reading this book. This book helped me think through my desire to change careers and I really appreciate the help.
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on March 26, 2006
My thanks to the wise and witty Andrea Kay for leading me to a different conclusion than her title suggests. Her book led me, step by intriguing step, to the realization that my job is a pretty darn good fit. She helped me figure that out with a series of questions that required careful thought about how my life and my worklife sometimes collide and sometimes mesh. Though "Life's a Bitch" leaves me -- for the moment -- without a need to pull up stakes, I plan to keep it on the shelf. Jobs change, people change, and that book's going to help me when I do get into that funk.
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on May 7, 2007
Being at a stage in my life where I felt I needed to do something different, I searched for just the right book to help me with that decision. I loved Andrea Kay's title, and admit that's what drew me to reading about her book. It has some very thought-provoking exercises, as well as many real-life examples...real people, going through the same things as me. I already had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the next 25 years of my working life, and this book just helped me finalize my decision.
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on January 3, 2007
I actually never finished the book, because for me what I needed was in the first couple of chapters. For me, I just needed to start thinking about what I enjoy and write it down...it was a catalyst for other messages to enter my life about what direction I should start heading. I still don't know what's at the top of the staircase, but I'm on the second step....and it feels great! Thank you Andrea!
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on February 2, 2010
i've only just started this book, but so far i'm very impressed! It's extremely well written, succinct, well organized with a clear outline of what you should expect and what you'll be getting yourself into. She also seems to do a good job at balancing the "idealist with the realist", which i very much appreciate. I think this would be a helpful book to any profession (i'm a scientist).
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on May 25, 2010
This book gave me the extra affirmation I needed to jump out into my dream field(s) and I haven't looked back since. Through completing the exercises I was actually surprised at how well I know myself! That just goes to show that this book is more than just a starting-over guide. It's witty and a hell of a resource to people looking to switch careers or wondering if they've made the right decision by choosing their current career. I also found Meagan Holub's The Magic Touch: How to make $100,000 per year as a massage Therapist a superb resource as well. Meagan's book has the same beautiful conclusion. It teaches how to become great at what you're skilled at through stories, personal experience and application of principals. With these books in your corner there's no turning back!
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