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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure-trove of practical, helpful advice for anyone's career, October 13, 2011
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This review is from: Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can't Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success (Paperback)
Alexandra Levit calls out those business myths we've heard repeatedly in her latest book Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can't Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success. Beliefs such as overnight success is possible, do what you love and the money will follow, job performance trumps everything, climb the corporate ladder as soon as possible, and you won't get laid off if you're too essential.

Levit is a premier expert in her field, authoring several books (Blind Spots is her sixth book) and regularly addressing major corporations about issues in the workplace. She also has an award winning blog, was chosen as Money magazine's best online career expert, and writes in a clear, candid, personable voice driven by a deep purpose to guide those trying to make their way through the business world. She's been there herself; she faced it all early in her career, and that has fueled her compassion to help others succeed.

I find that many business and career self-help books are either bogged down in facts and figures, or go on and on with simplistic and boring anecdotes, which can dull the mind. Levit has spoken to numerous sources and filled her pages with useful, enlightening research. For instance in her chapter "Overnight Success is Possible," she writes that most people set unrealistic timelines for their goals, underestimating the time it takes to achieve those goals. She writes that it takes ten thousand hours of work to reach the top level of a particular discipline, making overnight success nearly impossible.

Levit also shares that as much as you think you're invaluable to a company, it's important to have a platform, a website, blog, anything to promote what you do and what you believe in. She also handles what to do if you do get fired, how to stave off firing, and why leaving the corporate world for entrepreneurship isn't the best idea for everyone.

My favorite myth: Do what you love and the money will follow. How many times have we heard that saying? She completely debunks it, reminding the reader that only a very few do what they love and make money from it. It is simply not possible to select any field and expect to make a good living, despite how much you love it, despite how hard you work. The solution, she says, is to select a career that you like well enough that also earns you sufficient pay to live comfortably. Also become an expert at something; it's more likely to create career passion than going after a dream career.

Finally, as for that dream career, Levit writes that a person who is fortunate enough to start making money with a dream job often finds that the situation isn't so dreamy after all. He or she expects that the job will fulfill personally and professionally, at all times, and when the stress that's associated with working sets in, that passion may begin to wane.

Levit is not dashing anyone's dreams. She is being positively realistic. Isn't this the best advice? Too much dreamy advice from business and self-help books, it's best to leave those in the clouds. In a bad economy, we need workable solutions, not lofty ideals. Her encouraging voice gives the answers that we all need to hear.
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