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One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success Paperback – February 23, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
For those already slashing through multifaceted professional lives, Alboher's collection of profiles of people juggling multiple roles may offer the comfort of knowing others are doing the same. For those recently separated from a job or seeking greater fulfillment from life, Alboher's fascination with people working through dual existences may reveal an alternate path to success. Like the psychotherapist/violin maker she interviews, Alboher has abandoned an easily described career as an attorney to become a journalist, author, speaker and writing coach. Her book is less about making career changes than changing how one defines a career and making adjustments for a more satisfying life. After focusing a bit too intently on how multilayered careers get their start, she segues into more action-oriented advice, including experimenting with different identities before making career-altering changes; how to keep income flowing; and how to market oneself once one adds a slash or two to one's job description. When the disparate threads of one's life are woven together in this way, she argues in this creative and satisfying guide, "the whole of you comes out." (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Marci Alboher is an author/speaker/coach. She became interested in career reinventions when she left the practice of law to become a freelance journalist. Marci is now a regular contributor to the New York Times, a sought-after speaker, and a coach to aspiring writers and professionals in transition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The premise was intriguing to me since I've always considered myself a "slash", if you will. A jack of all trades, a renaissance man, etc. From my very first job I've always done work on the side and have added quite a few "slashes" to my ID over the years, so I was really interested in this book's promise to help you integrate them into a single identity.
What I got was a lot of stories about other people's multiple careers and some generic tidbits like "develop your new career while you're on the job". Lame.
If you want to get inspired by hearing stories of other people who are making money from side interests, go for it. If you're trying to do the same, don't expect any revelations.
Other authors have attempted to describe what Alboher calls "slash careers," with considerably less success. What makes this book work is the emphasis on realism. Alboher offers numerous examples. We learn about teachers who become real estate agents and fashion models, lawyers who become artists and writers, and at least one banker who does hip-hop.
Because so many stories can be overwhelming, I do not recommend attempting to read the book in a single sitting. Instead, read a little here and there and begin to take notes.
The second part of Alboher's book attempts to be a "how-to," but continues to use stories as examples. I believe Alboher's guidelines are unusually realistic and thoughtful. She covers points that might escape the new slash careerist, such as legal and ethical conflicts of interest, inviting specialists to supplement her knowledge. For example, she asked a workplace specialist to create 10 guidelines for balancing parenting and career. A flextime specialist explains the need to focus on economic reasons for flextime, not just good intentions. And a coach presents an excellent "ask your friends" exercise that would help almost anyone exploring a new field.
I particularly resonated to the section on boundaries between the two careers. In my own case, I still maintain a career consulting website. But I also offer copywriting and website marketing services, based on what I learned from this site. I find my clients don't have a problem, but marketing consultants often become critical and advise me to drop one or the other. Alboher answers the question, "How much to tell?" correctly: "It depends."
Finally, at the end of the book, Alboher presents some examples of resumes, bios and other promotional material. It's important to view these pages as possibilities, not models. Alboher carefully points out that some people have totally different resumes for their careers, while others offer creative combos. Apart from being slash examples, the resumes could be viewed as models of resume-writing. The "Billy Shakes" bio is not to be missed.
So what's not to like?
Well, I couldn't help noting that most (though not all) of Alboher's examplary slashers were on the young side -- rarely over 40, let alone 50 or 60. My clients tend to be mid-career professionals and they'll gain a lot from this book. But they may have trouble seeing themselves in many of the stories.
Second, nearly everyone in this book seemed to fall into a second career by accident and to achieve great success, apparently without effort. There's little sense of planning or decision-making. In contrast, Herminia Ibarra's Working Identity takes readers through struggles of ordinary career changers who conducted research and attempted to create a process. Alboher quotes briefly from Working Identity and I believe these books nicely complement one another.
Toward the end we do hear about a few conflicts, as when a teacher took too many absences to pursue his wrestling career. But surely some people set out to seek a slash, only to find they lack aptitude or interest as they explore further.
These quibbles do not represent fatal flaws. I plan to recommend this book to a few of my current clients as soon as I finish posting this review.
Okay seriously, though! Am I the only person that notices this? This book has such a clumsy title! "Slash effect," a term which the author not only coined (I'm guessing), but regularly uses throughout the entirety of "One Person/Multiple Careers," is concise and poignant. It's even on the front cover! Its right there, people! C'mon!
And don't tell me the publishers were being clever by at least putting a slash in the middle of their mediocre title. No. I refuse to believe that any one else was drawn to this book because of the nifty slash. Doubt any even caught it at all. No wow factor there.
But seriously, you should read this book. Changed my life. Marci Alboher makes for a great author/speaker/person who publishes stuff with uninspired and crappy titles.
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