There is a review from Seth Godin at the top of Jon Acuff’s book Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck that reads:
This is the best career book ever written.
We agree. Which is why we decided to write this quick review of Jon Acuff’s Do Over.
Jon Acuff’s Do Over tackles the four kinds of career transitions one might have to deal with in life:
- Career Ceiling: When you’re in a job where you know you are stuck.
- Career Jump: When you decide to change companies, start a new business or learn a new trade.
- Career Bump: Losing your job or working in a field with few opportunities for advancement.
- Career Opportunity: When an unexpected, positive opportunity arises. Potential for a promotion at work or a job offer.
But no matter where we are in our careers, Acuff explains we have the opportunity to invest into our Career Savings Account (skills, character, relationships, hustle) that will aid us in dealing with any of those four transitions. The beauty of this book is that it will meet you where you’re at regardless of where you are in your career.
Acuff is humorously insightful, motivating, and down-to-earth. He writes from the perspective of someone who has been through career highs and lows—including be fired and getting his “dream job.”
Here are 5 things we learned from Jon Acuff’s Do Over:
1. You are always preparing for your next career Do Over.
Acuff’s advice is relevant whether you’re happy with your current set-up, or you’re in the midst of transition. We always have the opportunity to be investing in our Career Savings Account, which he says is made up of four components: relationships, skill, character, and hustle.
While one doesn’t necessarily contribute to all four categories all the time, there is generally one or two areas we can intentionally invest in. Maybe your current job gives you a budget for skill development to help you advance your career, or perhaps you can pour a little extra time in building solid relationships at work.
2. There really aren’t any ceilings in life.
It’s common for people to feel like they’re in a position with no room for advancement. Acuff says that 70% of people dislike their jobs: “We live for the weekends because we’ve accepted that the weekends are where dreams go to die.” Maybe you’re a graphic designer who loves designing, but doesn’t necessarily want to run an entire marketing department. In those times when you feel stuck, you’re never truly stuck. Career growth might mean you need to learn a new skill or build new relationships.
This is true even if you’re a solopreneur. When that first desire to start your own business hits, you do everything you possibly can to begin that new career. You read all the books, all the blog posts, book all the sessions, attend all the workshops and conferences. But you might hit a point where business is coming in but the excitement is gone. You find yourself wondering “what’s next?” Those are the times when skills and relationships are the most helpful. Maybe a new skill helps you to book different clients or higher paying clients. Maybe a relationship helps you get your first speaking gig.
3. Transitions are an opportunity for growth.
Towards the beginning of the book, Acuff states that “great lives are very rarely created in great comfort.” Transitions are difficult, and generally push us out of our comfort zones. But it’s an opportunity to grow through adversity, a time to develop grit, and a chance to overcome fears.
4. You can have a good job, but not be called to it.
Acuff shares how he found his “dream job” in Do Over, but eventually left to do his own thing. Sometime transition is forced on you, or it’s easy to recognize when it’s time to move on because you’re noticeably unhappy or unfulfilled. But other times you might simply be called to do something else—and that’s okay.
5. It’s not just about “hustle”.
We live in a world where hustle is glorified. Late nights in the office, full schedules, early mornings fueled by cup after cup of coffee. And while we believe that hard work is necessary—especially if you run your own business—we love that Jon Acuff doesn’t base this entire book around being more productive. “Relationships get you the first gig, skills get you the second,” he writes. And then it’s time to kick your butt into gear. Relationships are first. People come first. Hustle make opportunities a reality.
Do Overhas had a significant impact on our lives this past year—in fact it has become one of our all time favorite reads. Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner or you work for a large corporation, this book should be at the top of your reading list. If you don’t believe us, you can ask Seth.