Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quitter: Book of the month and a GIVEAWAY!

Quitter
If you don't love your current job, there's probably something you dream about doing instead. And if you read a book with the subtitle: "Closing the gap between your day job and your dream job," you might expect, as I did, to be told to quit today and immediately follow your heart to make all your wishes and dreams come true.

But that is not the message of this book. In Quitter, Jon Acuff (of Stuff Christians Like fame) provides a handbook for making the most of your current work situation and pursuing your dream job. By not quitting. Yet.

And he should know. He quit eight jobs in eight years. He discovered what worked: "by the last time I quit, I didn't have to say a word...that's how good I got. No two weeks' notice needed" and what didn't: "The first time, I took my boss out to dinner as if we were breaking up. It was amateur. It was also overkill" (page 3).

Before quitting your day job, Jon Acuff urges readers to define the goal (what is your dream job?) and make the best of the job you're in (as training for the job of your dreams and as a platform to dream big, not just to grin and bear it). He uses lots of  stories from his own hilarious experiences. Including the opportunity to accept his very own dream job last year.

I loved this book. I don't know what my "dream job" is anymore, but I know there's lots of room in my life to incorporate more of the things I'm passionate about.

The two years I spent working with the African Children's Choir is hard to top. Being a chaperone for 24 children from Uganda was definitely a dream come true. That job had it all: travel, teaching, kids, music, Africa, Jesus, teamwork, meeting people, showbiz.

It also burned me out. That level of intensity was not sustainable. I loved (almost) every minute of it, but I came home exhausted.

But many of the same elements still lure me:
I miss teaching.
I miss my kids.
I miss traveling.
I miss knowing that what I did every day was meaningful in a big way.

I come alive when I get to participate in training at work. My heart rate quickens for any opportunity to create (whether it's a spreadsheet at my day job or a quilt in my free time). I love learning people's stories. I am drawn to other cultures (two of my current co-workers speak English as their second language, and when they answer a personal phone call in their first languages, I smile every time).

Reading Quitter got me thinking about my job. Not just my current position, but the idea that employment doesn't have to be a 40 hour-per-week chunk of time that is disconnected from the rest of my life. It's exciting.

Also exciting: Quitter is currently on the Wall Street Journal best sellers list! Jon Acuff just posted this update on his blog.

GIVEAWAY!

I'd love to share this book with you. I will give away my copy to a reader (chosen at random) who comments here and describes their dream job. This giveaway includes the hardcover book AND my post-it-note bookmarks. What a deal, huh? I'll announce the winner on Friday, June 10.

2 comments:

  1. Well, don't give ME your copy, cause I've got one. :) I've already got a friend lined up for mine when I'm done. I am actually still not done with it. Got a couple chapters left. Trying to savor and soak up every bit of it. I love it.
    As for my dream job, I am still defining the boundaries of what it all entails. But I keep coming back to:

    Singing/songwriting.

    And I agree. It's hard to top tour. :) And traveling with me.

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