Tag Archives: personal career development

Be True to Your School

Practical Genius: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Talents and Passions Working for You by Gina Amaro Rudan (Touchstone, $24.99, 203 pages)

Ready, set, GO!   Professional development and training coach Gina Rudan can be a bit overwhelming as she enthusiastically offers up her philosophy for success.   Summed up it is – Be the best you by mining deeply held inner goals while simultaneously exploiting people who may be able to assist your climb upward.   Oh, and always maintain personal integrity by selflessly promoting the ones your are using.

That’s quite a challenge; however, Ms. Rudan offers herself as the poster child for this method.   She jumped ship from the Fortune 500 employers of her past to begin a second career as a consultant.   Clearly, the field of personal development is a crowded one that spans several decades.   M. Scott Peck, Jack Canfield and David Shenk immediately come to mind.   Dr. Shenk is listed because he too has written a book specifically focused on the topic of genius, The Genius in All of Us.   His view of genius and ways to achieve it are expressed in a calm, well-considered approach.   (A review of the book will be posted next on this site.)

Ms. Rudan’s target audience appears to be the 35-40 year old female who is at a point where she is stuck in her professional life.   The spin for Rudan’s method is a bit titillating with “the Other G spot” and dating rules for those who can assist with a climb into practical genius status.   She stresses the need for personal congruity – a balance of hard and soft assets.   It is at the intersection of one’s marketable skills (hard assets) and personal passions, creativity and values (soft assets) where the Other G spot exists.   Finding that spot and making it yours is the point of the book.

Each element of the process is thoroughly developed; however, this reviewer found the bouncy enthusiasm and perspective shifts in the early chapters a bit unsettling.   Moreover, the rambling in some sentences makes the case for keeping it simple:

Expressing your practical genius is not about expressing the limitedness of our personalities or egos but more about expressing wonder of the depths of the oceans of who we are as complex multi-dimensional creatures.

The later chapters get down to business with boxed hints for the reader and lengthy descriptions or definitions of what Ms. Rudan thinks is the ideal mix of characters that will become the players in the reader’s life changing drama.

Given today’s legions of unemployed and underemployed persons, this book may have an audience in persons seeking more than just putting food on the table and a roof over one’s head.   Then again, maybe it does not.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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Action Gets It Going

Over the Gap by Dave Patterson

There are situations in our lives when we must take action in times of the greatest possible stress.   For example, if a parent or loved one close to you dies, you may be asked to assist in making funeral arrangements.   This is precisely the time when you will feel the least capable of making some sound and rapid decisions, but you will nevertheless need to act.   Action in itself helps us to feel better and to regain our confidence – “Action gets it going!”

If you’re a person who has been recently displaced in your workplace cutbacks or downsized out of a job, Dave Patterson’s Over the Gap provides a roadmap of the steps you must take in order to secure another job in the least amount of time.   It may not be a pleasant subject (notice how much effort is taken to avoid the word “fired”) but Patterson’s 121-page guide will assist you in concentrating on the work you will need to do to find new work.

Patterson’s book focuses on what he calls the CORE Process – Circumstance, Opportunities, Resources, End Result – which is based on common sense and doing one’s necessary homework.   Patterson explains the values of networking and of being prepared; fully prepared, not just taking halfway measures.   As an example of the latter, he provides a very good listing of the most asked interview questions.   But having the questions is just half the battle, will you be prepared to answer them before (and not just during) a job interview?   (Hint:  You should not only be prepared to answer the questions, but to do so in two minutes or less.   Rambling responses show weakness, uncertainty and a definite lack of preparedness.   “When responding to interview questions, give answers that are directly to the point.”)

Patterson also offers spread sheets, graphs and other tools to help you get re-organized.   If you use the tools he provides in Over the Gap, you will be forcibly organized which is much better than the alternative.   This is a sober-minded guide that, for the price ($19.95) of less than a twenty dollar bill may help you to re-start your professional life sooner rather than later.   I did see that one reviewer mentioned that this guide is for “mid-level executives,” which is a point that I will respectfully disagree with.   I think that anyone who has suddenly lost their job will find this “advanced career change, planning and outplacement handbook” to be invaluable.

Recommended.

A review copy was provided by the author.

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Coming Up Next…

A review of Over the Gap by Dave Patterson.

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