Customer Reviews: The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People, Third Edition
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on May 23, 2004
Before you buy this book, I think you should read all the reviews posted here. There is a wide range of opinion (Eikleberry would use the word divergent), and there is merit in all. If you are motivated to earn big money, you won't find this book helpful. It doesn't have nuts and bolts - could have used some hints on resumes and interview strategies for the creative folks who have changed jobs more frequently than others. It seems a little restrictive in its use of creativity - I believe we all are creative, only it looks different depending upon personalities and occupations.
This disclaimer notwithstanding, it's a great book. I'm a career counselor, with many clients who are or would be in the arts. I'm recommending this book to them. If you majored in music, theater, art, or even the liberal arts, you will be reassured by this book. If you wish you had majored in these things, it's not too late to get back to your first career aspirations in some employable form.
I particularly like the section on the interim job (which may be for a few months or for a lifetime). This can be reassuring to read, so the artistic soul can stop the self-flagellation because he/she "sold out" and took a job.
For the small cost of this book, you can become re-inspired and energized in your career quest.
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on December 29, 2001
I bought this book for a friend, but I had no idea I needed it this much myself. Eikleberry's book lays out a psychological profile of creative and unconventional people and shows us there are many more like ourselves out there. She maps out the skills and interests of creative people and shows you how they point to different career paths. There are even self-tests along the way to help you assess your skills-and the results may surprise you.
This book shows you that just because you're an "artistic" person doesn't mean you have to choose between being a starving artist or having a "normal" job. She explores the wide variety of jobs available for creative people, but is also realistic in stating that these jobs are not as plentiful as more conventional jobs.
If you're frustrated, and generally feel lost in your career choices, this book can give you hope and help point you in the right direction. She doesn't give you the answers, but she helps you know how to look for the answers within yourself.
I highly recommend this book to college students and twenty-somethings in particular. But this book is appropriate for any creative and unconventional person who needs a new direction.
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on August 24, 1999
As an artist trapped in the skin of an accountant and an attorney I found Carol's book THE most insightful set of words on the motivations and frustrations a creative person experiences while trying to find their place in the world. No book will GET you a job and hers has no magical formulas but it does have a plethora of wisdom and insights into the creative mind and spirit. The quotes that she has unearthed I found so heartening and true to my own feelings that I thought she had some keen ability untapped by more prosaic authors. However, I now believe she really did her homework from the perspective of a brillant pyschologist and she really knows the creative mindset. As proof, as a result of having read this book and being led along a dark and winding road of introspection I am now constructing two websites to solicit business for my newly created art businesses that I would never have started without Carol and her book.
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on December 11, 1999
I highly recommend this book to any person who has even a sliver of creativity and feels that there must be something else out there besides the typical 9 to 5 drugery. Good news, there is! Carol Eikleberry's book is not a "Follow these 5 steps to obtain your perfect job" guidebook. What is does offer, however, is an overwhelming amount of promising insight, advice, and support for creative people uncertain of their career future. From an analysis of the creative personality in the workplace to real life examples of those who have made it, this book delivers hope to the weary and gives us the tools to begin on our career journey. It is The Career "Bible" for unconventional people!
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on October 15, 2003
I thought this book would be so helpful to me, an artist looking for a tolerable day job while I continue to pursue my career. Unfortunately, it was quite a disappointment. I took the quiz and it identified me as a type which I honestly don't agree with. Most of the recommended jobs were neither interesting nor creative. The rest were impossibly out of reach, such as symphony conductor or State Director of Natural Resources (I mean come on - there are only 50 in the nation and they are political appointees). The last straw was when it recommended my current position - a job in which I am slowly dying from lack of stimulation.
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on November 4, 1999
Dr. Eikleberry's book, "The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People" is simply a must buy book for career changers and those who have become unhappy with their current career status. Dr. Eikleberry provides the reader with some very practical, down to earth tips, on how to discover, channel and use your talents for positive personal and social outcomes. The author answers her e-mail and has a supplemental web site for this publication. You may have read other books and said to yourself, "Not another career book!" But give this book a try. You'll be glad you did. This book is five stars (plus)!
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on July 2, 2004
Pre-Eikleberry, I was beginning to believe that the possibility of having a stable yet creative career was a mere pipedream placed in my head by my idealistic liberal arts mentors. I was beginning to believe I had no other choice than to wither up inside the confines of a cubicle that would inevitably crush my dreams and my artistic potential. In this way, since my future was becoming hazy, reading Carol Eikleberry's book, "The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People," was like putting on a pair of glasses. After the first chapter it was clear that not all hope was lost. Right off the bat, Eikleberry validated my feelings of frustration and isolation. She offered comfort and recourse by relaying her own job experiences and those of her artistic clients. In essence, she was able to show me that I am not alone; there are options for creative people in the job world. In the first chapter, by coaxing me to define my personality and my skills, conventional and otherwise, she encouraged me to hone my career goals. Feeling productive, I went on to the second chapter and matched up my skills and interests with a comprehensive list of career choices. Also I was able to envision creating a unique patchwork career that would fulfill all my artistic needs. With Eikleberry's help I realized that it was okay to try several paths, that many people have done just that and, in the end, have found themselves filling creative niches no one thought existed. Because of this book my future now seems to be brimming with possibilities instead of dead ends. Ultimately, while Carol Eikleberry cannot usher you into an interview and land you the job of your dreams, she can certainly help to point the way by instilling you with the confidence to begin what she calls "the process of your adventure."
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on January 24, 1998
This book is required reading for anyone who dreads the thought of conformity and working in a traditional office setting. I've always felt smothered - and a bit depressed - working conventional jobs. Reading this book helped me understand my problem, and provided me with a new outlook on my life and career; it can do the same for you. The book is a cross between a career guide and a psychological assessment, but it never gets boring. Carol Eikleberry offers insight into the six personality types, and the kinds of jobs they usually enjoy. Emphasis is on the "Artistic" type, which is the most psychologically difficult personality of the six. Eikleberry explains how artistic types are uncomfortable in positions that are rigid and devoid of creative expression. Being forced into such environments often leads to depression, physical ailments, and low-self esteem. In the book, you'll find suggestions for overcoming these problems, and finding out what your heart "really" desire in a career. There are also tests and checklists to help you discover your niche; and after doing so, you'll find tips to motivate and inspire.
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on August 20, 2010
With the unemployment rate continuing to spiral out of control, people are looking for work everywhere - anywhere. The time may have come signaling the end of traditional jobs as we know it. The millions of Americans out of work may need to turn to the unexpected and unusual. Author Carol Eikleberry, Ph D has provided a thinking platform to help readers get to that place. That was the perspective that I used when reading the book.

The Career Guide for Creative Unconventional People, begins by helping the reader to see that just because they don't fit into the typical 9-5 work category, that they are not unusual. To accomplish this, there is a long discussion on personality types. Once you've learned that you are not alone, you learn how to create your own career and make it happen.

There are so many career choices available. For example, if you like to write (which is fast becoming a hot career) consider these suggestions from the book - biographer, continuity writer, critic or crossword puzzle maker. Do you like to coach or instruct people? Creative and Unconventional suggests - coaching, graduate assistant, librarian or liberal arts faculty.

While I like the book, it can be a bit tedious to read and can become bogged down at times. The Career Reference Section at the end of the book, however, is a must read for people contemplating unconventional career paths.
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Dr. Eikleberry's research is based on the Holland Codes, three-letter codes designed to describe your work interests. You take an extensive interest test and get a three-letter code that describes, in order from most applicable to least, the three areas out of six that you have the most interest in. The idea is that there are six basic personality types when it comes to work, but that all of us possess some mixture of those types, and it's most useful to look at those three that best describe each of us. The six types are artistic, social, investigative, realistic, conventional, and enterprising.

The author does a wonderful job of addressing the fact that our interests aren't the only considerations we have when looking for a job. For instance, many people aren't happy unless they can work with people who have similar values to theirs, even if it means working at a job that doesn't perfectly suit them. Most people also need to take salary into account, since they have to make a living at what they do, and many artistic occupations don't pay much.

There's information on creative career choices that might support you fully; taking "normal" jobs as day jobs and working on your art in your own time; and composing your own career. The author uses inspiring anecdotes from people who've created whole new careers for themselves to show us that we can do what we're interested in, even if there doesn't seem to be a place for it right now.

This is a wonderful, focused, goal-directed book that should be able to help nearly any confused creative person find a better direction in life. It doesn't promise to find your dream job in five minutes, but then if it did, it would be lying--its purpose is to help you gradually find a rewarding and satisfying career.
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