职业规划 / Career Planning

职业规划

最近,我收到一本即将出版的英文样书,书名是《步步登高——如何保持事业向正确的方向发展》。

该书作者唐纳德•赫泽勒拥有在美国企业任职40年的丰富经历,出版过作品,担任过播音员,还是一位成就颇丰的业余摄影师兼马拉松运动员。虽然他现在已经退休并荣升为祖父,但他对冲浪和潜水的热情依然不减。

换言之,他对如何在个人和组织层面上以可持续的方式参与竞争并取得成功略知一二。

表面上看,职业建议近年来似乎已经成为被写滥和说滥的题目之一,以至于很难再有新的表述。

但另一方面,它又和养生建议有稍许的类似。虽然基本原则一成不变,但新的知识会帮助我们更好地把握当下基于各种因素而不断变化的现实和机遇。

在职业建议上,还存在一个代沟因素,其中包括态度、教育经历、平均经济条件、入门就业机遇等方面的差异——而这些都在塑造职业态度、职业习惯和职业预期上起到至关重要的作用。

也就是说,再次谈起职业建议这个话题还是有益和及时的。特别是在(美中两国)大批大学毕业生遭遇就业困难,并在差异化择业和争取就业市场竞争优势上面临挑战的今天,更具有相关意义。

《步步登高》以美国人的视角写就,主要面向北美读者;但其中蕴含的许多智慧放之四海而皆准。它的目标读者是应届毕业生和处于事业发展期并希望提高成功机率的职场人士。

其中一章还涉及到被解雇者,题目颇让人宽心,叫做“每个人至少会被炒一次鱿鱼”。

我喜欢这本书的一个原因是作者能挖掘并插入相关的至理名言。

第一章解决的是时间和保有积极态度的问题。

谈到一贯守时的重要性:

“成功的钥匙就藏在闹钟下面。”

■本杰明•富兰克林

第二章有关担当。论及为自己的行为负责,并由此建立个人声誉的重要性,第二章作了如下引用:

“名望无法建立在将要做的事情上。”

■亨利•福特

“负责的人是成熟的人,他们为自己和自己的行为负责,勇于作为,敢作敢当。”

■ William J. Bennett

第五章说到要不断学习超出现有工作范围的知识,开篇提到:

“世界是一本书,不旅行的人只读到了它的扉页。”

■奥古斯丁

该章结尾写道:

“教育的全部目的是变镜子为窗户。”

■Stanley J. Smith

第八章谈及私人教练和导师的价值,以名言开宗明义:

“好教练让选手看到未来,而不是现状。”

■Ara Parseghian

该章收尾总结到:

“辅导的过程可以激发一个人的潜能,这种力量让我惊叹不已。”

■John Russell

我喜欢这本书,因为它给出的建议实用、具有现实意义、并建立在经验的基础上,其中大多数还可以超越国界。

该书计划于2011年初在美国面市,希望中国的出版商很快能拿到中文版权,好让中国读者也从中受益。

幕后大曝光:我的大哥Robert E. Gorman是本书的编辑。有趣的是,本书作者出版过多部著作,但他能邀请专业编辑提供增值服务,足见他本人态度的谦虚,以及力求为市场带来最佳作品的决心。

我和作者赫泽勒先生有些相同之处,因为我也经常会向我大哥请教一些编辑以及其他方面的问题。

Career Planning

I recently received an advance copy of a soon-to-be-published English language book called “The Way Up — How to Keep Your Career Moving in the Right Direction.”

The author, Donald Hurzeler, is a distinguished 40-year veteran of corporate America, a published writer and public speaker, an accomplished amateur photographer, marathon runner, and despite being retired and a grandfather, still an avid surfer and diver.

In other words, he knows a thing or two about competing and achieving success in a sustainable way at the personal and organizational level.

Career advice, on the surface, seems like one of those topics that has been so widely written and spoken about over the years that it would be difficult to find anything new to say.

On the other hand, career advice is a bit like advice on personal health. The basic principles don’t change, but new knowledge can improve our grasp of current realities and opportunities, which are subject to change for a host of reasons.

With careers, there is also the additional factor of generational differences, in attitudes, educational experience, average economic circumstances, entry-level job opportunities, etc. — and these are significant in shaping attitudes, habits and expectations towards work.

In other words, revisiting the subject of career advice is useful and timely. It’s especially relevant today to the large numbers of college graduates who are having trouble finding jobs (in the U.S. as well as China), and facing the challenge of making career choices that can help them differentiate themselves and gain competitive advantage in the job market.

“The Way Up” is written from an American perspective, mainly with the North American reader in mind; but a lot of the wisdom contained in it is fairly universal in its application. It is aimed at recent graduates, as well as for mid-career types who want to enhance their prospects of success.

One chapter also addresses the situation of people who have been fired from their job. This chapter has the reassuring title of “Everyone Gets Fired At Least Once.”

One aspect of the book which I like is the author’s ability to dig up and insert relevant quotable quotes.

The first chapter deals with issues of timeliness and having a positive mental attitude.

On the importance of always being timely:

“You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”

■ Benjamin Franklin

The second chapter of the book deals with accountability. On the importance of building a personal reputation based on being accountable for your performance, chapter two contains these quotes:

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

■ Henry Ford

“Responsible persons are mature persons who have taken charge of themselves and their conduct, who own their own actions and own up to them, who answer for them.”

■ William J. Bennett

The fifth chapter talks about pursuing ongoing learning beyond the confines of your current job.

It opens with:

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

■ St. Augustine

That same chapter closes with:

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

■ Stanley J. Smith

The eighth chapter deals with the value of having personal coaches and mentors, and starts out with:

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”

■ Ara Parseghian

The same chapter concludes with:

“I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual.”

■ John Russell

I like this book, for its practical, real world, experience-based advice, most of which can transcend national boundaries.

It is due to be published early in 2011 in the U.S., and I hope a book publisher in China soon acquires the Chinese language rights, so that Chinese readers can benefit from it.

Full disclosure: my big brother, Robert E. Gorman, is the editor of this book. One interesting thing about that is that the author, himself a widely published writer, sought the value-added services of a good professional editor, which demonstrates humility and commitment to bringing the best possible product to market.

The author, Mr. Hurzeler, and I have something in common, because I often seek my big brother’s advice, on editing matters as well as many other things.


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