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How to Quit Your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams: A Guide to Transforming Your Career Paperback – July 1, 2012
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About the Author
Kenneth Atchity is a writer, producer, literary manager, and former professor of comparative literature. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
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Top Customer Reviews
It takes a great deal of inner strength to embark on such a life-altering shift. I can attest to that, having abandoned several decades as a successful retailer to fulfill my dream of becoming a journalist and later a published author.
I am not at all sure that one needs the fantasy structure Atchity devised to support the "Type C personality" he feels is required to make a major career change. However, I do recall ghostwriting a book for a psychologist who used a very similar technique with some success to clarify the points he was making. Atchity proposes a support team composed of an imaginary Accountant, Visionary and Mind's Eye.
The accountant (conservative, often negative) and the visionary (free thinking, creative, daring) are representative of the twin snakes of Mercury's Caduceus in this case apparently always at war with one another. The mind's eye attempts to reconcile their differences. I do agree that a career change will generate periods of misgivings and anxieties, as well as times of exhilaration and fulfillment. Lord knows, I have experienced my share of both, but have been fortunate enough to benefit from them without the help of the Atchity support trio.
The book offers a number of solid, positive suggestions to foster success. First, it is essential to fully understand who you are and where you want to go. You will then be able to create a detailed and effective operating plan to get there. Set what you anticipate will be realistic deadlines for each step (objective) of your plan, but be willing to revise them as needed. Do not set a final goal or upper limit. All of these will allow your dream to unfold and grow because you have eliminated artificial roadblocks that could stymie your total commitment and perhaps keep you from pushing on to even higher accomplishments.
Atchity warns, "You must short circuit the need for immediate reinforcement if you wish to accomplish something grander than anything you've previously accomplished." He is cautioning his readers to avoid the temptation of sidetracking their efforts by undertaking short-term work either for income or the prestige of something like the publication of an article.
I think that's a grand suggestion, but at times somewhat impractical if these side efforts are needed to put food on the table or helpful in developing your reputation in the field you have chosen. They are indeed disruptive, and force you to take your aim away from the bulls eye, but then again so does a growling, empty stomach. I do concede this is not always an easy balance to maintain.
Although it is hard to avoid, Atchity also cautions his readers against constantly evaluating and/or questioning their dream. He believes it is a sign of lack of total commitment. Generally, I think this is fine advice, as is his recommendation that you
"Let go of the pretense that you are in control all of the time." Unplanned happenings will inevitably occur.
The book also stresses the value of a strong support group. There is no question that supportive family, friends and acquaintances make the transition a great deal easier. But, he wisely cautions, never pin your hopes on a single savior.
Despite the ubiquitous presence of pop psychology in this book--I have always had great difficulty with it perhaps because I am married to a widely respected therapist--this is a fine guide for anyone to study before attempting a career leap. Professor Atchity's erudition and classical background as a scholar of comparative literature add an unexpected dimension to the enjoyment of the book, although I must confess I do have some trouble with his one-liner, philosophical exchanges that often sound a bit pompous and to me interrupt the flow of the book. Ah, but then I fondly recall the many attempts to combine humor with pedantry by some of my favorite professors in college and grad school. Perhaps it is attribute of the teaching profession.
All in all, I recommend this book as well worthy of your time and careful consideration, and wish you the same impressive level of success that Ken Atchity has achieved.
Some people have the dreaming down to a T, but when it comes to implementation, finding time and gaining know-how, well, that's the hard part. How to Quit Your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams tells the basic story of a man who had a comfortable, secure job, making a very nice salary but he was restless because he did not have the career he really wanted. Through his trials an errors you can learn how to kick-start your dream career. Atchity gives you valuable instruction as well as the inspiration so many need to get off their butts and go for it.
Thanks to Ken I no longer let time allocated for my purpose in life be stolen from me!
I recommend this book to anyone that wants to pursue their dream!