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March 2014

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I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This by Julie Jansen

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Two Stars

Hmmm. I can’t tell if this is a bad book, or just isn’t the book that I wanted or needed it to be. I’m in the midst of a bit of a self-improvement kick (and my books this year will likely reflect that), and bought this one during one of my many ill-advised book store visits. It looked interesting, and even seemed to offer suggestions for people like me, who have ‘good’ jobs but just feel like they might be in the wrong career and are looking for something different.

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The book starts with a whole lot of self-assessment. Some of it is really interesting and some of it seems to require a whole lot of self-reflection that could mean the book could take a reader months to get through. Some of it feels like a glorified Cosmo quiz, but some of it really did get me thinking about what I want out of the work I do to make money, and what I need to do to get there.

After sixty pages of self-assessments, worksheets and quizzes, the author breaks her advice down into chapters to address common problems people who are unhappy in their work are likely to face:
– Finding meaning in work
– At a good point (financially) and not able to take a pay cut
– Current very negative work environment
– Bored
– Desire to run a business
– Close to retirement

Obviously close to retirement wasn’t really applicable to me, but the rest did, at times, apply to how I’ve felt about my career over the past few years, so I read through them. Each was filled with some more quizzes and attempts at forcing self-reflection, but I think the book tried to be all things to all people and so ended up not giving me enough to work with in any given area. I think it did help me sort through my thoughts on starting my own business, as well as my desire to have a job that makes a difference in people’s lives, but I didn’t finish reading it with any sort of concrete action plan. Maybe that’s on me, or maybe it’s on the book, but either way I can’t really recommend this to anyone who is struggling with where to go in their career.

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