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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Book review: Take Control of your Career


HR Consultant Claudine McClean finds that, even though you probably fell into your career accidentally through “a history of luck (or lack of it)”, this book will help you “to balance what’s important and define what’s possible”.

Title: Take Control of Your Career
Author: John Lees
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0077109678
Price: £12.99
Reviewer: Claudine McClean

Many people are still coming to terms with the fact that their career is their responsibility, and that the organisation they work for is not automatically going to provide them with a clear career path and all the education, qualifications and experience they’ll need to follow it.

Ask most people in the middle of their ‘careers’ how they got to where they are and they’ll outline a history of luck (or lack of it) changing circumstances and unexpected turns. Very few will explain the careful planning, goals and route-map that got them to where they are today. Why? Because there wasn’t a plan.

Very often the people who we do meet who are looking seriously at their careers, including their work-life balance and the satisfaction they gain from work, tend to be in their 40s or 50s rather than their early 20s.

“Having worked for two or three decades and realising they could have a similar length of time left in their working lives, these people have the knowledge and experience that gives them the determination and drive to make positive decisions about their future.”

Take Control of Your Career helps people at all stages of their careers – whether it be a first, second or third career you’re looking at – to balance what’s important and define what’s possible.

The book contains checklists and mind maps to help readers to think about what they want, what they need and what they have to offer. The self analysis tools are necessarily light, but offer an easy step into self awareness.

The book is well structured with clear outcomes for each chapter and an encouraging quote for each topic. For those in a hurry there’s a convenient “ten steps” chapter that summarises the action required.

John Lees is best known for his book How to Get A Job You’ll Love. In this new volume he encourages the reader to think more about embarking on a career they’ll love. If you’re looking to add structure to your career planning, or know someone who is ready to make a change, this book is a good first step.

Review ratings:

  • Overall 4
  • Helpfulness 4
  • Layout 3
  • Value for money 4
  • Suitability for professional level Employees of all types
  • Would you recommend it? Yes
Author Profile Picture
Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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