Do Over

acuffI’m tired of writing reviews of bad or mediocre books.  Right now that means I need to switch to reviews of non-fiction books.  I seem to be stuck in a funk of not great fiction.  The good news is that I’ve read some great non-fiction.

I picked up Do Over at my local library.  I was shocked.  I’ve read two other books by Jon Acuff, but I still think of him as a Christian writer (understandable, given that he wrote Stuff Christians Like).  He seems to have completed his transformation into a career writer.  I guess that’s a good testimonial to his knowledge of the subject that he managed to transform his own career.

I really enjoyed this book, and not just because this is a major part of my job.  Acuff realistically addresses the issues we’ll all face at some time during our working lives.  Hit a ceiling in your job?  Unexpectedly lost a job?  Desperately want to hop to a new career?  Know you’re under-performing?  He’s got you.

Acuff boils it down to 4 things – skills, character, relationships, and hustle.  You can have 3 out of 4 and you’ll still stand still.  You need to figure out what you’re missing and fix the issue to move on.

While I was reading the book (it was a pretty fast read), I kept running into situations where I could now quickly identify the issue.  That person has all the skills, but not enough hustle.  (And a few where I wondered why the person couldn’t see they had deficiencies in more than one area).

I’m looking forward to passing along this wisdom to my students.  Acuff is accessible and funny (though he overdoes the humor).

I would recommend this to anyone in university or in the working world.  If you haven’t yet hit one of the circumstances, you will.  It’s very practical advice and he gives exercises to break down each area.

Pick it up.  Read it.  Get yourself unstuck.

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