The book: Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck is a humorous, helpful book for anyone who wants to get more out of their work

The brain: Jon Acuff is a popular speaker and writer whose past books include New York Times bestseller Start

The best bits: The main premise of Do Over is that you need a “Career Savings Account” to make successful career transitions. A Career Savings Account is comprised of Relationships (who you know), Skills (what you do), Character (who you are), and Hustle (how you work.) Jon provides strategies, tools, and exercises to develop each.

The one that I am most interested in is Character, because it’s probably the hardest one to develop and the one most people probably don’t think about working on. A few insights from Jon:

“Character is a competitive advantage…though hard to measure, [it’s] often impossible to ignore.”

“Strong character is a prerequisite to strong relationships.”

“Wherever you jump, your character jumps with you.”

Jon also describes four kinds of career transitions: Ceilings (when you willingly go to a job where you know you are stuck), Jumps (when you decide to change companies, start your own company, etc.), Bumps (when you get fired, graduate into a recessionary economy, etc.), and Opportunities (when something awesome that is out of your control happens.) Probably the scariest are Career Bumps, but Jon wisely writes,

“Fear and complacency will quickly erect two walls between you and your Career Savings Account should you declare a Do Over. The first wall is called attitude and the second is called expectations. If you want to have better job today, deal with both of those walls…Choose your attitude and adjust your expectations…Choose to have a good attitude…You may very well have some expectations that belong at your job. You may also have a lot of expectations that belong somewhere else.”

The brand story: Jon’s own career journey is the main story of the book and his willingness to share the ups and downs and all the emotions he experienced make it a compelling one. He explains:

“It took me sixteen years to write this book…I had to work at big companies and small companies. I had to get hired and fired several times. I had to find my dream job, then walk away from it…It took me sixteen years to figure out how to call a Do Over on my career.”

And in the section about character, Jon shows how character is what enabled him to navigate the chaos that ensued after he quite suddenly left his last job. He writes:

“I had to form some new relationships. I had to admit that I didn’t have all the skills I needed to run my own business yet. I had to hustle harder than I ever have before…I had to rely heavily on my character. I had to be generous with my time as I established myself in the marketplace. I had to be present to the moment. I had to be empathetic to understand the new people I would be working with…Is living with the chaos of a decision easy? Not really, but you do get used to it. Over time, as you invest in character you develop a ‘chaos callus.'”

The bottom line: Do Over will give you a more hopeful attitude toward your work and how you can create an amazing career.

Listen to my conversation with Jon to learn:

  • what are the elements of the Do Over chart
  • why the more able you are to be present, the more likely you’ll have long term career success
  • how you don’t need a boss to be a workaholic
  • and, how you can access his 12 question quiz to assess your own Career Savings Account

Other brand book bites:

Image via flickr

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