My Summer Reading (and Viewing and Listening) List

Bookcase with plant in Maggie's office

I”m not gonna lie. Been feeling a little restless since I started this social media fast.

On the plus side, I’ve had more time for reading, viewing, and listening on other platforms, and I thought I’d share the ones that are (mostly) career-related.

  • Salary Negotiation – The title says it all: How to Be an Ace Salary Negotiator (Even When You Hate Conflict). One of my favorite lines, “negotiation should be a conversation, not a confrontation.” I also appreciate that gender is addressed in this article, which brings me back to a video from the archives that continues to surprise me no matter how many times I watch it. One final note about the ace negotiator article: it comes from the Smarter Living section in the New York Times, which is one of the few blogs I subscribe to and read faithfully.  Another recent fav covered FOBO (Fear of Better Options, which I see often in my practice).
  • Networking – A new-to-me artcile about shaking up the traditional paradigm around making connections for the sake of exploring a career and/or finding a job. It’s called The Best Networking Advice: Stop Asking People to Coffee. Bottomline: don’t be formulaic.
  • Prototyping Career ShiftsPivot Planet is an organization that allows you to talk to someone in a specific field and get the real truth of what it’s like. There’s a fee for time with these folks, but it takes the awkward ask out of the equation that shuts many people down. So, if you’re curious about being a wine importer, professional speaker, shipbuilder, animation film producer, or another esoteric or mundane professional, this is fun site to explore.
  • Job CraftingHidden Brain, one of my favorite podcasts, just rebroadcast an episode on Dream Jobs, which is wonderful because I missed it when it first aired. The episode covers meaning and purpose at work, adding credence to my latest motto: seek purpose to build passion.
  • Finding Meaning and Purpose – The article called Want to Love Your Job? Read this Article offers more insight along the theme of meaning. Notable line: Your work may not change the world. But your approach to it makes a meaningful difference in how you and those your work with, and serve, feel.
  • Multipotentialites – Emilie Wapnick’s TED talk called Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling isn’t new to me. Delivered in 2015, it’s becoming a classic in the career world, but I include it on this list because I’m talked to so many clients these past few months who haven’t heard it and who feel validated and affirmed by Emilie’s message.

It would be a stretch to call these other favorites career-related, but they’re just so darn good, I’m compelled to add to my list. I hope you’ll indulge me.

  • Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette special on Netflix – Part standup routine, part advocacy talk. It was absolutely stunning to witness how masterfully she delivered such a powerful message. She’s someone who has clearly done intense personal work, and what I really, really love about her talk is that she serves as an amazing role model for women being angry in an effective and meaningful way. Simply exquisite work.
  • Sarah Blondin’s guided meditation – My sis suggested I listen to this particular meditation called Loving and Listening to Yourself. 12 minutes of pure affirmation and nourishment.
  • Rachel Simmons’ book Enough As She Is – The modern version of Reviving Ophelia, covering social media, perfectionism, and academic pressure and how it tends to affect girls. Vital for parents of teen and college-age girls and also a great glimpse into social pressures on girls and women.
  • Tara Brach’s talk – I’ve been searching for a way to articulate to myself and my clients the difference between acceptance and resignation, the difference between greeting what’s here and resisting and wrestling with what’s already happened, the difference between turning toward and turning away from our experience, and Tara Brach’s talk called Saying ‘Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening comes as close I’ve ever heard.

I love hearing what others are watching and listening to, so send me your suggestions.


Review of Jeff Goins’ Art of Work Course

Synchronicity smiled on me last week. I was on Facebook at the same time that Jeff Goins posted an irresistible offer: the first 10 people to post “I’m in!” got to review his 7-module course in trade for feedback.

I was in! In fact, I squeaked in as an alternate, so luck was definitely with me that night.

After noshing on the course for three days, I came away with 3 realizations:

I have a bit of crush on Jeff Goins.

Jeff is super engaging in the course. He anticipated my objections and addressed them. He was candid about where I’m fooling myself, and he told hard truths.

To illustrate his points, he tells compelling stories, including some pretty vulnerable stories about himself, and his willingness to bare his soul for the sake of others’ growth endears him to me.

Module 4 has a story in it that gave me an epiphany.

Modules 5 and 6 have exercises that gave me profound insight.

And he quotes Anne Lamott and Mother Teresa. How can anyone do better than that?

Without structure, I won’t do the exercises.

I promised Jeff I’d get through the course over the weekend, and I took our exchange seriously. I did every exercise so that I could get a true sense of its impact on me.

I wouldn’t have done those exercises if I hadn’t made a commitment to someone else to do them.

Raise your hand if you’ve bought an online course, watched some or all of the videos, and set it aside, truly expecting to return to it someday.

I’ve been aware of how much I’m consuming other people’s content rather than creating my own, so I was seduced by the videos. That part was captivating and easy and fun.

The exercises? Not so much.

I actually had to look inside and reflect, and I didn’t have a guide. It was just me, and my pen and pad of paper.

It was hard, and it was useful, and it was worthwhile.

We all need a champion, someone who will remind us of our dream.

Jeff speaks eloquently about why it’s vital that we all reach within and get clear about what we want to create. He talks about starting before we’re crystal clear. He says we’ll fail.

Here’s the punch to my gut: “It’s a journey you’re already on.”

Yes, yes, I am. And you’re also already on your journey.