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Three main career ideas from The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career

thesuccessmanual on 16/05/12 city: New-York tags: career book summary  Comment: 0 Save: 0

Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), and Ben Casnocha (famous for being a very young Silicon Valley Entrepreneur) wrote this book, where the main idea is a little stale: 'manage your career as if it were a start-up business: a living, breathing, growing start-up of you.' This isn't original in this age of narcissistic self-promoters on all those social media sites, and when even an uncool artifact like Justin Bieber can have a movie on his life.

This is a generic career advice book which explains the mystery of career success through the already well-known Silicon Valley success stories like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, PayPal, and Zappos.

Now, we all know success has a thousand fathers, so people tend to build legends around these successful companies, and their 'by now' legendary/visionary CEOs, when, in truth, nobody can tell what will succeed. All you can do is try your hardest day in, day out, without losing your mind in the process. The brutal truth about success is there are no rules. Just get to work.

Explaining things by anecdotes, i.e. the Aesop way, is a cliched way of book writing by now. If you had to use anecdotes, go and find stories of people we have never heard about.

Anyway, the three main points from the book:

1. How to be competitive and ourselves stand-out in our industry
Do these three things:

- Identify what are your "assets" that make your different or unique from the other individuals in your area of expertise
- Identify what are you "aspirations" or "values" that guide and motivate your actions
- Identify the current "market realities". Having a skill set which is not needed in the market you are in, will not help you in the long run.

2. Follow the "ABZ" planning philosophy

A: Your Plan-A is your primary plan, which you want to work on or achieve. for e.g. starting a new for-profit business
B: Your Plan-B is the immediate back-up plan for Plan-A. It is always somewhere in the vicinity of Plan-A and not too far away or out of the domain of Plan-A. for e.g. I might not be able to start my own business, but I might be able to score an executive position in a new start-up
Z: Your Plan-Z is your failure plan. If Plans A & B fail, you should have a Plan-Z that you can go back to. Risks, which lead you to streets are unplanned risks and should never be taken. So in our e.g. your Plan-Z might be to take a contract job if your plans A & B fail

3. Develop a network of people around you.


If you liked this, please check out The Success Manual -  600+ pages of compiled wisdom on 125 important traits, skills and activities.

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