Book Review: “Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck”
“Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck” by Jon Acuff
c.2015, Penguin Portfolio
$26.95 / $31.00 Canada
There’s no way you were ever the Rotten Egg.
No, you’d do anything to avoid that moniker: first in the pool or front seat, first to complete tasks or touch the finish line. You never dawdled or tarried, never lagged, and you were never, ever last. Boy, was that fun.
If only adulthood was like that. These days, instead of an afternoon of play, you have to work but, says author Jon Acuff in his new book “Do Over,” there are still ways to get olly-olly-oxen free.
The economy stinks. Your coworkers are insufferable. Work is a drudge and you haven’t even looked for another job because you know what it’s like out there. There are all kinds of things to blame when singing the work blues, and you’re not alone: 70 percent of American workers say they hate their jobs. Here’s the surprise, though: you feel stuck, but you’re not as stuck as you believe you are.
“You control more than you think,” says Acuff. Complacency, he points out, is your enemy when searching for a new job but his “Career Savings Account™” could be your best friend.
A “CSA,” he explains, is who you know (relationships) plus what you can do (skills) plus who you are (character) multiplied by how you work (hustle). Put them together, and they’ll “help you rescue, reinvent and reenergize your work.”
First, says Acuff, “choose your attitude and adjust your expectations.” None of your attitudes or expectations are wrong – but right now, they may be inappropriate for your workplace.
Next, focus on relationships because they “will be the safety net that catches you.” Think about the people who can help with your Do Over and learn to understand where they fit within your career. Also understand that some of them are foes, and foes should be ignored.
Know what skills you possess and how to parlay them into your desired career (hint: “Everything is a skill.”) Know which work-related character traits to hone, and eliminate those which are universally undesirable. Be generous and cultivate empathy. Don’t wait to carpe diem; instead, “hustle until you feel brave.” And remember that “Making sure you enjoy work isn’t your company’s job. It’s your job.”
So your enthusiasm for work has been playing hide-and-seek. There are things you’ll find in “Do Over” that will help, but it’s going to take some real work.
With a great sense of humor and plenty of first-hand anecdotes, author Jon Acuff gives readers something fresh to try, that might be fun. It’s not exactly step-by-step, however, which is one of the issues I had with it; the information scattered some and tended to feel frenetic to me, even a little breathless. That could be off-putting if you’re not in a mood for a bit of frivolousness.
And yet, with focus and time, this book will help unstick anyone who’s hopelessly mired, benefitting both employee and employer. If you’re either of those and you wonder if you’re the right reader for this book, get “Do Over”… because you’re “it.”