eBook Review: Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly the Plane

Forget the Parachute eBookOne thing I don’t talk about much on this blog is “what do you want to be when you grow up.” For those of you that have not found career elation, I’ve got a recommendation for you.

Mike Murray - IT Security Expert and AuthorMike Murray of Episteme.ca has been working on an eBook. I knew it was coming but didn’t really know how involved it was going to be. I’m guessing he is the first IT security expert to write a book on career management, and I wasn’t sure what he’d have to say. Anything new? How to get security geeks to network? Industry specific stuff? Nothing of the sort. This was literally a book that I had a hard time putting down – I’ll tell you why.

First, I love the title: Forget the Parachute, Let Me Fly The Plane. Obviously a play on the most recognized book in this space, What Color Is Your Parachute. And he gives proper props to Bolles, while going in an entirely different direction. The reason I love the title is because it fits me – I don’t want to have to be prepared to use my parachute (or plan b, and plan c, and plan d), I want to have more control over what direction my career takes.

Second, this book doesn’t even talk about a job search for the first 65 pages. It walks you through a series of exercises (called games) to help you get to a point where you can identify what jobs you would really enjoy, could really be successful at, and are really qualified for. If you won’t enjoy them, wouldn’t be successful at them, or aren’t qualified for them, you’ll see what’s missing and either create a plan to fix it or move on to other job ideas.

I went through the games and found them to be logical and effective. Its cool because this is like a mix between the IT security professional logic and human psychology. The end result may be dissapointing (that is, you may want to be a high-powered attorney but you just don’t have it!) but it is a reality check.

Third, Mike carries the “game” model through to the next step – now that you’ve figured out what you could or should do (or at least what you would be very happy with and have a probability of success) you are guided through finding jobs that will fit you. He teaches you how to evaluate companies in the same methodical process, and best of all, he teaches you how to go after those positions (or create them).

Mike spends time talking about rejection, and moving through the rejection. His premise is that you’ve identified the right role for yourself – and that’s what you need to end up with.

One of the things that surprised me in the book was Mike’s peppering of how to use JibberJobber. There were various places where he said “this is where you use JibberJobber, to manage…” It was cool because his suggestions were more proactive, in career management mode and not in job search mode – and its always nice to hear someone else’s ideas of how to use JibberJobber!

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! If you are tired of being tired of going to work, you need to get this book and really go through the games. One thought that kept going through my mind was that this is excellent material that career counselors could use to help people understand who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. It would fit perfectly into a semester course at a university on career management!

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