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Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job [Hardcover]

Jesse Sostrin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

14 Jan 2014
The purpose of this book is to help you accelerate your capacity to stay relevant in the workplace and enjoy a high-quality working life. The concepts are not presented as a fable or a metaphor based on something 'out there' to aspire to. Instead, this book is a practical guide for understanding and translating your unsatisfying experiences in the workplace into more enjoyable and better outcomes.

When work becomes messy and complicated, we stop getting good work done, we lose sight of the things that inspire us, and sometimes we disengage. Too many headaches for too long can cause chronic stress and erode our health and well-being. This book can help you translate your headaches at work into useful insights that boost your learning and performance and make your time spent at work a little better.
 
All of this matters because staying engaged and relevant at work comes from our ability to go beyond our job descriptions and add increasing value to the organization. Continuous learning and performance is the best way to stay ahead of the change curve. In order to do this we have to be able to spot and move beyond barriers and the typical causes of workplace headaches that reduce our ability to engage, creatively solve problems, and continuously learn and perform on the job. These two factors – the need for continuous learning and performance and the presence of barriers that get in the way – form what Sostrin calls the hidden curriculum of work. If you want to withstand the down-economy, a shaky job market, and technology that threatens to make you obsolete…if your current job could be outsourced, downsized, or automated…and if you worry that someone else younger, smarter, and hungrier is right behind you, then your best chance of staying relevant in the workplace is to learn how to Navigate your Hidden Curriculum of Work.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (14 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137337400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137337405
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,597,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Beyond the Job Description delivers a powerful framework for understanding the demands that underlie any job. Step by step, Sostrin offers tools that are immediately applicable for increasing personal effectiveness and for ensuring alignment with team and organizational needs. Equally relevant for employees, managers, and those who coach them, readers will find wisdom and utility in every chapter.' —David R. Seibold, Professor of Technology Management, University of California, Santa Barbara

'Jesse Sostrin provides a powerful performance tool, Nav-Maps, to help employee's resolve everyday challenges that threaten individual and organizational success. Beyond the Job Description presents effective, easy to follow methods that reveal the hidden, ill-defined, individual performance expectations shared by most organizations.' —Maclynn R. Brinton, CEO/President, InfoGard Laboratories, Inc.

'Sostrin shares uncanny insight into a world where many of us spend the majority of our lives, but that few of us truly understand: the workplace. With meticulous detail and real world examples, Sostrin reveals the secret for successfully creating a work environment that maximizes performance and happiness. Beyond the Job Description is essential reading for any employee who wants to remain irreplaceable in an uncertain world.' —Chad Troutwine, Co-Founder and CEO, Veritas Prep

'If you want to get ahead in your own career or be known for developing the talent of others, READ THIS BOOK! Jesse Sostrin offers an innovative way to look at jobs by focusing on both the openly-discussed and hidden demands of organizational life. Leaders and coaches can use this information to foster the development of others.' —Marian N. Ruderman, Ph.D., Director, Research Horizons, and Senior Fellow, Center for Creative Leadership

"A roadmap to the working life you long for... Meticulously researched and artfully written, this book is a must-read for anyone, at any point in their career, who wants to give (and get) more from organizational life." —Jennifer Lyn Simpson, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer, Conversant

Book Description

A step-by-step guide to adopting a fresh, proactive attitude at work, turning everyday headaches into opportunities to improve learning and performance

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The subtitle of this book really does indicate why Jesse Sostrin wrote it: To help as many people as possible to identify and then navigate "the true demands of the job," those that comprise what he characterizes as "the hidden curriculum of work." Managers as well as those for whom they are directly
responsible would be well-advised to read and then re-read this book or at least the passages noted later in this brief commentary. More often than not, I suspect, the explicit details of a job description do not specify what prove to be the implicit criteria by which a workplace performance is measured. Hence the importance, Sostrin emphasizes, of uncovering the hidden curriculum of one's job. "No two are the same, and so there is no single formula for cracking the code."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Sostrin's coverage.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's a "compass" to navigate "the ecology and terrain of work's greatest challenges" 31 Dec 2013
By Robert Morris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The subtitle of this book really does indicate why Jesse Sostrin wrote it: To help as many people as possible to identify and then navigate "the true demands of the job," those that comprise what he characterizes as "the hidden curriculum of work." Managers as well as those for whom they are directly
responsible would be well-advised to read and then re-read this book or at least the passages noted later in this brief commentary. More often than not, I suspect, the explicit details of a job description do not specify what prove to be the implicit criteria by which a workplace performance is measured. Hence the importance, Sostrin emphasizes, of uncovering the hidden curriculum of one's job. "No two are the same, and so there is no single formula for cracking the code."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Sostrin's coverage.

o How to Use This Book to Discover Your Career Path (Pages 8-10)
o Exposing the Hidden Curriculum of Work (14-17)
o Breaking Personal and Professional Barriers (29-30)
o A New Approach to the Way[s] We Work: Charles and Marley (35-41)
o Work Is Fast, Changing, and Relentless (47-50)
o Navigating the True Demands of the Job: The Competitive Advantage of the Twenty-First Century (53-56)
o Six-Question Matrix to Reveal and Resolve Hidden Challenges (62-69)
o Three Dimensions of Hidden Barriers: Up, Down, and Across the Given Workplace (71-73)
o Every Day Barriers, and Elusive Barriers (77-79)
o Navigation Map [Nav-Map] Overview (86-91)
o Real-World Applications of Nav-Maps (Chapter 7, 99-119)
o How to Make Your Own Nav-Maps (121-129)
o The Nature and Extent of a Future-Proof Plan (140-141)
o Identifying Your Future-Proof Capabilities (151-159)
Note: Be sure to check out Appendix 1, "Self-Assessment: How Future-Proof Are You?," Pages 197-204
o The Power of Noticing (165-167)
o A Guide to Team Navigation (Chapter 13, 169-172)
o Culture Evolves at Three Levels: Individuals, Teams, and Organizations (187-190)

Some of the most valuable material is provided in Chapter 4 as Sostrin introduces and then examines what he characterizes as the "R-I-T-E Model" which enables those embarked on a career path to navigate various challenges along the way: Reveal your hidden curriculum of work (Vital Purpose + Valued Contributions + Barriers = Y "job-within-the-Job"); Identify Barriers That Mark Pathways to Learning and Performance (i.e. The everyday, core challenges that prevent you from doing your best work); Transform Barriers and Navigate Your Hidden Path to Success at Work (i.e. Nav-Maps that resolve challenges and keep you on purpose contribution your best); and Establish Future-Proof-Plans for Yourself (i.e. a specific, comprehensive and cohesive plan to manage the hidden side of work). In essence, that's R-I-T-E Model and Jesse Sostrin devotes the remainder of this book to it, focusing primarily on HOW this "compass" can be used to greatest advantage.

Bravo!
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by a boring beginning 18 May 2014
By Randy-Lynne Wach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
“As employees are held increasingly accountable for obtaining their own job-related knowledge, they must initiate and follow through on their own growth and development opportunities.

"Translation: you are your own human resources department. And for that matter, you may be your own trainer, coach, and career development strategist.”

It’s a pretty intuitive concept: the brief job description that you see when you apply for a new position cannot possibly contain every detail of what you will need to do in order to perform that job successfully. All the details that don’t make it onto that job description make up what Sostrin terms the hidden curriculum of work. This book will help to identify that hidden curriculum and guide you to ways to break through barriers that keep you from being able to work at your best, then help plan for your future. It’s really a way to take charge of your career, so you can achieve your goals rather than burn out from the hidden demands of the job.

Honestly, I nearly abandoned this book halfway through because I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the jargon and there was no human element to catch my interest. Even the first few case studies didn’t give any specifics. However, chapter seven’s “Success Stories” completely reversed my opinion. Finally with some real examples, I could see where he was going. Now I’m wanting to reread more carefully, completing the activities thoroughly. A valuable resource—at least after the first hundred pages.

Review written for San Francisco Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I have been looking for! 18 April 2014
By PalomaSegal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Jesse Sostrin’s Beyond the Job Description is the book I was looking for when I was developing a training program for new managers last year. I wanted to give them something valuable—something that had tools and ideas that really worked. Something I could confidently say would truly help them on the job and beyond. Something that applied to a variety of managers—no matter what their role within the firm was. And something that dealt with the real problems in the workplace, not just vague generalities of a mythical corporate culture.
I never found it, so I settled for one of a dozen look-alike books on great management, halfheartedly endorsed it, then labored to fill in the gaps.

This year will be different, because this year I will be able to give the new managers a copy of Beyond the Job Description.
What this book does differently is that it shines a bright shining light on the “hidden side of work” that no one ever acknowledges, but which consumes a considerable amount of our time and energy. It’s all that stuff we have to do “beyond the job description” that interferes with our ability to get the things actually on our job description done.

Sostrin argues that our ability to discover and successfully navigate this “hidden side of work” directly correlates to our job satisfaction and long-term employability. His book cleverly shows you how to do both.

Not only does it illuminate these things, but it provides you with tools to create your own funny looking road map to navigate your way through these obstacles. In creating your map, you will experience numerous personal “aha” moments as you gain insight into the work you do. This will motivate you to action.

The result is that we begin to view our work (and our role within our organizations) in an entirely new way. And, what’s better yet, this shift in perspective facilitates engagement.

Sostrin helps us understand his detailed and multi-step process by including numerous relatable examples of how these strategies have been applied in the workplace to real problems. These examples bring clarity, and also give us a head start to discovering our own hidden side of work.

This system helps you bring clarity to virtually any challenge you may face, and helps you figure out a plan to correct it.
My new manager’s will benefit from the strategies in this book, and so will their staff.
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