When you read the following, what do you think about the person I’m describing?
– at age 13 was paid by lifeguards out of their own pockets to scrub the scum line and clean the bathrooms at the community pool
– at age 14 had a successful pet-sitting business
– was the first girl to run the grill and the meat slicer at a particular restaurant where she worked in high school
– was also the first girl in her high school’s history to be elected student body President
– worked two jobs and paid her own way through college
– crossed the stage to pick up her diploma with a job offer in her hand
– traveled the country with setting up events for a large corporation
– traveled the world working for The White House
– started her own consulting business in 1997, which morphed into a successful coaching practice in 2004
– single mom of two fairly normal kids
– Girl Scout leader, Assistant Cub Scout leader, softball booster, soccer snack mom
– always remembers your name but – for the life of her – cannot remember your birthday
– has written four books and blogged every week for over seven years
OK, so now you know – it’s me I’m writing about. And when you connect the dots created by the above sketch, what do you see?
Maybe you see an industrious, creative, successful, productive human being who has a weird thing about birthdays. I hope you see someone who has worked hard, but smart, and always with heart.
You see my body of work.
Which just happens to be the title of the new book by my sister-by-choice, Pam Slim. In Body of Work, Pam talks about taking the big view of your career – to tease out the connecting dots – and then to use the resulting image to create a path forward towards greater satisfaction and accomplishment.
Reading the book is like getting three months of one-on-one coaching with Pam. I know, because Pam and I have coached each other through thick and thin for the last seven years. I am intimately aware of how Pam works, and the value she brings to everyone she helps. This book reflects Pam at her best – thoughtful, caring, smart, engaged, helpful – and it was a delight to read. She uses great, accessible stories to illustrate her points and if telling John Legend’s career story doesn’t get her back stage passes to his next show in Phoenix, I will be truly astounded.
[She’s sort of a John Legend fan girl.]
If you are at a crossroads in your career, or if what you’re doing lacks oomph or focus, pick up Pam’s book. In it, you will find a new way to think about who you are, what you’ve done… and what you will naturally do next.
When my advance copy arrived in the mail, I did what we in my hometown call The DC Read. That is, you go to the Index and see if you are mentioned. Then you read those pages first. If you are treated well, you read the rest of the book.
All I am going to say is I read the whole thing (with special attention paid to pp. 62, 143 and 224). So, in one way, part of Pam’s body of work has become part of mine, too.
Which is kind of the point she makes in the book. When you have fantastic collaborators, supporters and advocates, you will do your best work.
And, Pam – you have done your best work with this book. No wonder it’s #1 in Amazon’s career section.
Well done, sister.