职业规划 / Career Planning
■ William J. Bennett
■Stanley J. Smith
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。
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.