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5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: 48 Days, July 12, 2007
This review is from: 48 Days to the Work You Love (Paperback)
Did you know heart attacks increase by 33% on Monday mornings, more people die at 9am Monday than any other time of the week, and male suicides are highest on Sunday nights, just before the weekly grind? Dan Miller does, and impending death is just one of the reasons he wants you to find better work.

Dan Miller's 48 Days to the Work You Love provides a combination of the things you already know but need to hear again, and need to know but don't. This book will do more than help you strengthen old resolutions; it will teach you how to make meaningful changes in your career--and in the way you view work altogether.

First, Quit your Job

48 Days persuades the reader to leave the job that isn't working (no pun intended), and find something better. "Job Security" is no longer an excuse to stay where you are over-worked and underpaid. While in the early 80s the employment philosophy was work for a good company and they'll take care of you for life, today loyal workers are often (not fired but) "laid off", "downsized", "right-sized", "reorganized", reengineered", "put into the mobility pool", freed up to "pursue other opportunities", "uninstalled", and are often on the receiving end of "a cost containment exercise" (email other creative terms to Miller at work@48days.com). Why the change? Fifty years ago it took a lifetime for technology to make your job obsolete. Today it takes 4 or 5 years. Therefore, as Miller explains, "everyone lives on the edge of job obsolescence and the threshold of career opportunity"

Miller is so for you quitting your job that he writes, "You must develop a sense of what you can contribute that goes beyond 1 company or organization. A career path today will likely involve moving from organization to organization, creating a picture of rising circles, rather than a vertical ladder. In fact, a vertical rise within one organization will very likely move you away from your strongest areas of competence." And it will limit your earning potential, as Miller suggests "in changing companies you may be able to increase your income by 40 to 50 percent though that is unlikely to happen while moving up in one company."

48?

I have to address this, as you surely are wondering, why does finding the work you love take exactly "48 Days"? Miller explains that 40 days is a sacred time-span, and to this he adds eight "free days in the process to create your own plan". I can't decide whether this is blasphemous or just really hokey--to Christianize your book with an overused `sacred' numeric, and then casually change it. Still, it's certainly better than other possible titles: Every Worker's Battle, The Work Factor, Loving your Work too Much, and Work is Not that into You Either.

Despite the title, the book reads and flows well. It takes the lecture, vignette, lecture, vignette, lecture, vignette approach--which works--and most of the stories are really quite good. A few are perfectly cliché, of course. For those who haven't heard, if you help a struggling butterfly out of its cocoon, it will die. It needs to do that on its own. The same applies to hatching birds.

There are 4 Things you Need to Know

Often books are published that would make a good book chapter--the 4 points the author drones on about can be summarized in a couple hundred words. One of the best things about 48 Days is as soon as you think you know everything Miller is going to write, he introduces something else. For example, all this came from the second-half of the book:

* Fewer than 1% of job seekers find work by responding to an internet ad
* During an interview, your answer to any question should be no longer than 60 seconds
* The best times to have an interview are Tues-Thurs between 8-10am
* 2,322 of 2,756 managers rank enthusiasm as #1 in what they want in applicants
* Today people are paid for their productivity, not their time, not their seniority
* IQ contributes only about 20% to the factors that predict success
* 69% of businesses today cost less than $10,000 to start; and 24% cost $0
* The most successful people got there not by being in the most lucrative industry, but by doing work they loved

A Brick in the Wall

Finally, Miller reminds the reader that work is a part of life, it's not life itself. Don't sacrifice your family, community, church, recreation, or personal development for a job. He writes good advice I should take myself: "if you are working more than 45 to 50 hours a week in your job, you are limiting success in some other areas of your life. Don't expect all your fulfillment, value, and meaning to com from the work you do."

He also writes we should work out 4-5 times a week. This being said, I'm late for the gym...
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 5, 2009 9:30:52 PM PDT
Jim Pohlman says:
This is one of the best reviews I have ever read. This writer should consider work as an editor!

Posted on Feb 25, 2010 12:22:53 PM PST
H. Acuay says:
Great review - you summed it all up for me; thanks!

Posted on Nov 10, 2011 6:51:18 AM PST
A Reader says:
2005 publication date. I wonder just how useful this is today, in 4Q 20011 with guesstimates of global economic slowdown for next year.

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 9:44:13 PM PDT
Wow. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 9:44:29 PM PDT
You're welcome!

In reply to an earlier post on May 2, 2012 9:46:51 PM PDT
Hrm...a lot of the principles are evergreen. For a fresh book, check out Crush It, by Gary Vanerchuck, or his newer book (which I don't like quite as much) The Thank You Economy. A lot of career takeaways.
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