Book Review: Career Intensity
From time-to-time, as we receive career-related and job-hunting books and other resources from publishers, the staff of Quintessential Careers will review them to help you make better decisions about the best books to use in your career and job search.
Career Intensity: Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs, by David V. Lorenzo. Hardcover, 224 pp. ISBN: 1933683007. Publisher: Ogman Press. Pub. Date: May 2006.
Reviewed by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
Ultimately, it is your career, and you must take charge of it. Create value, capitalize on opportunity, and always let the world know how great you truly are!
It may be unfair to quote the last lines of a book in a book review, but these last two sentences in David Lorenzo’s Career Intensity: Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs describe exactly what his book is all about — instructions for how to take back control of your career and then move it forward in the direction you desire. It’s about finding your career passion, building your personal brand, and generating buzz to advance your career.
If you live for Friday afternoons and dread Sunday evenings, if you are stuck in a job that does not really fulfill you, if you are seeking something more for yourself and your career, then this is the book that will show you how to get your career on track and achieve happiness and success.
This is also the book for those of us who may not be in a job that we love, but we’re comfortable and so it’s easy to maintain the status quo and not pursue other career opportunities. But that feeling is based on what Lorenzo calls the Three Lies of Career Limitations: security that the company will always provide you a place to work; that no other employer could match the salary and benefits of your current job; and that the company deserves your loyalty.
A few people may be put off by how much this book reads like a college textbook on managing one’s career, but ideally most will get over the sometimes too-academic or business-executive style of Lorenzo’s writing to obtain the true value of this book, which is using the proven strategies from business and corporate management and applying them to your career. (Note: Lorenzo has both a corporate background and Ivy League degree.)
For example, how many career books have a detailed recommended readings section and glossary? Please do not misread these comments. I love this book. I am a marketer and I believe all job-seekers and workers need to be marketers — establishing and marketing their career brand for new jobs and promotions. And Career Intensity is a must-read for folks who are serious about moving forward with their careers. In this era of corporate downsizing and rightsizing, this is the book you need to position yourself for your future. Career Intensity is a good mix of self-help, business strategy, and storytelling.
Years ago my dad, a polymer chemist, believed that job-seekers would one day become free agents just as athletes have in major sporting leagues. Unfortunately, he never received the signing bonuses he dreamed of, but he too would love the thrust of Lorenzo’s book: that we must all become the managers of our careers, work to increase our individual value in the marketplace, and above all devote ultimate loyalty to ourselves and not one employer — the theory behind the “individual economy,” that the value created by an individual becomes personal equity and it is portable.
While the entire book is a great handbook for career development, I do have a few favorite chapters.
In Chapter 2, which is about channeling your passion into your career, Lorenzo states: find, follow, and make your passion your career. He talks about the fears that hold people back from following their passion and how to overcome them. This chapter is essential reading for those workers who feel trapped in their job or career.
Chapter 5 is all about creating your own luck — about pursuing success — and Lorenzo states that successful people share four traits: they take calculated risks; create a positive environment for themselves and the people around them; work hard at making things simple; and follow the 80/20 rule (completing the 20 percent of work that accounts for 80 percent of the results first). I am extremely pleased that Quintessential Careers has published an excerpt from this excellent chapter.
In Chapter 7, Lorenzo moves on to one of my favorite topics — the creation of personal brands. He states, “You need to start managing yourself and your career as your brand.” He offers great advice for developing a personal brand, including the Five Ps of Personal Branding: patience (building a brand takes time); proof (you have to do as your brand says you do); passion (the best brands win the hearts and minds of customers); persistence (stay the course of your brand even when times are tough); and perspective (branding works best when it is customer-focused). [Editor’s Note: For more information and tools on creating your personal brand, go to this section of Quintessential Careers: Personal Branding & Career Self-Marketing Tools.]
Chapter 8 is about generating buzz for your brand. You can spend lots of time developing a great personal brand, but if no one knows about it, you will not have much career success. Lorenzo goes into detail in this chapter explaining how to use people within your networks to spread your brand message through the telling of the story of your brand. He states, “you need your customers to tell moving and emotional stories about you.”
If you follow all the advice in this book, you should be well on your way to controlling your career destiny and working in a field that is a good fit for you. How do you know when your journey is complete? Lorenzo offers four key indicators: you look forward to going to work; you become emotional when you describe your work to other people; time at work flies by; and it’s easy to find people you care about through your job.
People with Career Intensity apply the models of business success to their careers; they take charge of their career and gain greater fulfillment and personal satisfaction. These are the lessons from (Professor) David Lorenzo’s great book for today’s worker.
With all the great information and resources in Career Intensity, the only flaw of the book is not also providing readers with a recommended list of Web and Internet Resources.
Check out all our book reviews in Quintessential Reading: Career and Job Book Reviews.