Skip to main content

Review: The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention


I judged this book by its cover. Given how many "change your life!" books I'm sent around New Year's, can you blame me? I expected The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention by Pamela Mitchell to be one of those career books that use a lot of exclamation points and promise that no matter what you want to do, it's possible if you reach! for! the! stars!

Instead, a found a sharp, smart, eye-opening book about what to do if you want to change your career. Mitchell is founder of the Reinvention Institute, and shows that she knows her stuff. Not only does she give sound and practical advice, but she uses real life examples to showcases those 10 laws of reinvention.

I felt like someone hit me on the head when I read The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention. It made me realize why I've felt so listless and lethargic lately.

I'm tired of being a freelance writer.

It sounds like a great job, doesn't it? I interview fascination people and write about a host of topics, all from the comfort of my own home. It has been a great full time career for the last four years, but there's a huge chunk of me that's exhausted from the constant assignment chasing, contract negotiating, and late checks. The recession took more of a toll on me than I realized. My income dropped 25% this year, even though I worked my tail off. Plus, as my income shrank, costs have only gone up: food, travel, healthcare, taxes, everything. Freelancers haven't gotten a raise since the 1970s. Could you imagine earning today what your counterpart earned 40 years ago? I've almost left freelancing before, but was always brought back in. Why? I realized it wasn't always me, but people telling me not to "give up." Were these other folks freelancers? No. But they openly admitted that they envied my lifestyle, usually shrugging off what I said were the downsides. Well, I'm not in this for them. I'm in this for me.

I didn't do all the exercises in the back of the book, but when I was half way through, I realized what I'd like to do next with me life, and have taken the first steps to reach that goal. I haven't felt so energized with work as when I took those steps to the new me. I'm not going to share what that is, but I'll take all your good luck wishes :-) I can tell you this, though -- it's all about writing, like my current job, and has a lot of the same elements of freelance journalism that I enjoy. But it's a different kind of writing.

If you're feeling the same way about your job, or have been laid off, this book might be worth a read (she does pay a lot of attention to those who have been victims of the recession -- it's a very "now" book). I'm glad I did, and if you read this blog, you know I don't say that often about these kinds of books.

Want to get an idea of what the book's about before buying? Check out www.reinvention-institute.com.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I agree with you about freelance writing. Completely.

Good Luck in your new direction.
Katherine said…
Best wishes and great luck, Jen! I recently made a change in my life situation after figuring out it just wasn't working -- for me it was going back to work after staying home with kids for a couple of years. You are absolutely right that you need to figure out what will work for you! I hope the transition is smooth.
dkfwriting said…
Good review, and interesting insight. I've been in that same position (freelance writer for four years, huge drop in income, tired of chasing assignments), and I've recently made a change, too, to focus my business in an area that I enjoy more and requires less assignment chasing. Best of luck to you in your new direction.

Popular posts from this blog

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro