I am currently in the midst of a ‘do over’. As I pack boxes, run errands, and get ready to move me and my family to America as we embark on a totally new life and job, I listened to this book about doing ‘do overs’ by Jon Acuff. This is a helpful book regardless of where you’re at on the career spectrum. You most likely will go through a major career transition at some point, or at multiple points, in your life. This book will help prepare you for and move you along in a positive direction as you do so.
The book is full of a lot of common sense advice that we can sometimes forget. Overall, Acuff advocates for the reader to invest in what he calls a Career Savings Account. Or rather, to make intentional investment in four areas; relationships, skills, character, and hustle.
1. Relationships – Here, through self-deprecating humor, Acuff gives advice on how to think about and go about networking through relationships. He encourages the reader to invest in a multitude of relationships, both casual and professional, and to not burn many bridges as you progress through life. This section gave me several ideas to pursue as I head back to a place I have not lived in for over 13 years.
2. Skills – While knowing someone might open a door for you, it is our skills that will help us succeed. Here Acuff challenges us to continue to be learners and developers of our skills… if we don’t we will be left behind.
3. Character – This investment takes the longest to develop and is perhaps the most fragile (one bad action can call our character into question). While character is like planting an orchard, there are some things we can start to be intentional about today to begin the process; Acuff encourages generosity, empathy, and persistent presence to develop a reputation for strong character.
4. Hustle – This is all about putting in the hard work necessary to succeed. Without hustle we will never distance ourselves from the pack. However, Acuff rightly cautions us that there are different seasons of hustle. While an unmarried young professional can and should put in 60 hour work weeks, a married man with children should redirect his hustle to his family.
There’s nothing revolutionary about this book, but Acuff’s insights and humor will keep the reader engaged, challenged, and equipped for his or her next ‘do over’ moment in life.
Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck