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Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths Hardcover – March 14, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Butler, a psychotherapist and director of Career Development at Harvard Business School, says it's the ruts and dead ends in life that can provide motivation for the greatest change-provided you're willing to dig deep and confront unresolved issues from the past. Though it isn't an easy process, this self-help proves uncommonly fresh and thought-provoking. Butler's approach is built around a practical six-step process that he's used with thousands of corporate executives and students, who provide anecdotes and experiences. The book is divided into three sections: in the first, readers learn how to identify a psychological impasse and open themselves to the possibilities it hides; part two focuses on unearthing passions and interests that have been forgotten or buried; and part three is about "Moving from Impasse to Action," achieving the ultimate goal of change through a heightened awareness of "the energies and possibilities that are emerging, regardless of their threat to habit, comfort and stereotyped expectations." In the end, the real challenge may be in winnowing a single path from the wealth of options Butler uncovers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
...what Butler offers are really some very practical approaches to breaking the career impasse. --Washington Post, April 1, 2007
Getting Unstuck draw[s] you through the currents and undercurrents of impasse, offering hope, inspiration and a few memorable tools as a bonus. --Globe & Mail, July 13, 2007
…a culture that values relentless work and connectivity squeezes out the time we need for soul-searching… --The Boston Globe, September 23, 2007
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Back to this book. The author provides useful insights into the phases of getting stuck (which turns out is a natural part of life). This allows the reader to forever recognize the signs that he or she may be stuck (in a job, a relationship, habit, etc). This was a huge eye opener for me and was worth reading the book just for this part (which is right in the beginning--I think in the Kindle sample). When you can relate to certain phases of being stuck, you're more likely to see them for what they are, rather than be confused or frustrated by them, which keeps you stuck longer. When the phases were described, it was like he was describing my life scenario exactly. I had no idea this research existed. Apparently these are well known phases in the adult development world--wish I'd known about them long ago.
The book goes on to help you find what you need and how to get there. I'm so convinced this book should have performed better. I don't know why it wasn't a bestseller, but I'm glad to have stumbled upon it. I highly recommend it.
The author pulls on his experience from psychology to help people unearth the hidden underlying conflicts that are keeping them stuck. The exercises, if you do them, are insightful and helpful. I'll add as well that the exercises are rather unusual and different from the usual career search exercises.
As a bonus, if you go to the author's website, you can find him narrating two of the "deep dive" exercises. I found the narration to be of very high quality and to be very helpful for my process.
In addition, the author sells a fairly in depth survey test on his website that relates to the book. The survey is not at all required for the book, but is a great addition if you're looking for a comprehensive set of tools that work together.
I've looked over just about every career book I could find, and this one is special. Have a look and do the exercises.