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Body of Work: Finding the Thread that Ties Your Career Together Paperback – 24 Apr 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Penguin (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591846196
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591846192
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 281,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"We are hardwired for story and no one gets that more than Pamela Slim. BODY OF WORK is a powerful and transformative book. Before this book, my journey from waiting tables to vulnerability researcher and teacher never made sense. Now, after reading BODY OF WORK and completing the exercises, I get it. Not only does it help me understand where I've been - it's renewed my passion for where I'm going and why. "--Brene Brown, author of "Daring Greatly" "If you're looking for a career coach, Pam Slim is the gold standard. Warm and wise, savvy and practical, "Body of Work" will guide you through today's complex career landscape -- while keeping your sense of self and personal passions alive."--Susan Cain, author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" "In the pages of this life-changing book you'll meet people who are creating beautiful lives from the most surprising materials - bravery and dedication, yes, but also fear, shame, and illness. Their courage and Pamela Slim's words are inspiring. This book is a gift to every reader in these tough times."--Daniel H. Pink, author of "Drive" and "A Whole New Mind" "Whether you are starting out at your first job, a longtime corporate employee, or a successful entrepreneur, you can survive the new world of work by telling a story about your journey. Pam Slim shows you how."--Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, Inc. "Pam Slim shows you how to thrive by building a body of work out of your experiences, knowledge, and accomplishments. A must-read for anyone who wants to achieve fulfillment, joy, and inner peace."--Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and author of "Enchantment" "Heartfelt, practical and actionable, this is the rare book that will change your life if you let it."--Seth Godin, author of "The Icarus Deception" "Pam Slim has written THE modern career handbook. Her advice, spunk, and spirit make it a joy to read."-Robert Sutton, Stanford Professor, author of "The No Asshole Rule "and "Scaling Up Excellence" "Forget making new year's resolutions. They are notoriously hard to keep. Instead set out on a concrete path to make the next chapter of your life more meaningful and satisfying... Begin by "finding the thread that ties your story together" suggests Pamela Slim in her new book, "Body of Work."" "You owe it to yourself to buy a copy, as reading ["Body of Work"] is a great way to start the new year."--Bob Sutton "While the book is a super easy read, the magic is not in just reading but actually digging deeper, questioning, reflecting and actually doing the exercises that Pamela has thoughtfully designed...I can confidently say that it will be one of the "game changing" books you will read in 2014."--Rajesh Setty "Exceptional...a must-read."--Jay Baer

About the Author

Pamela Slim is a popular blogger, career coach, and the author of Escape from Cubicle Nation. She lives with her family in Mesa, Arizona.

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Format: Paperback
The title of this review was suggested by Dan Pink's observation, in DRiVE, about the secret to high performance and satisfaction in all dimensions of our lives. Clayton Christensen also has much of value to say about this in How Will You Measure Your Life? as does Ken Robinson in two books, The Element and Finding Your Element.

With regard to the title of this book, Pamela Slim recalls, "After decades of watching my dad work, I realized that he was not just building a career (although he was a very successful professional photographer), he was not just being a volunteer (although he spend hundreds of hours of unpaid time on community projects), but he was creating a deep and rich body of work that not only had great meaning and significance to him but also created considerable change and value in his community."

She makes skillful use of several reader-friendly devices in Chapters 1-7. They include various exercises to complete, examples anchored in real-world experience, and boxed vignettes and FYIs to illustrate key points. These devices achieve two separate but related and critically important objectives: They enable her reader to interact with the material provided in her narrative, and, they facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review of key material later.

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

o How do you build a body of work?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Shackleton on 6 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Jobs once said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."

Body of Work helps you to understand the connections between the dots you've created so far, and to be more intentional about the new dots you create in your journey through work and life.

Whether you want to be an entrepreneur or employee, this book provides advice on how to get focused on your next stage and tell your story better to get where you want to be. The "do what you love" and "follow your passion" motif has been overplayed recently in careers advice and this book provides a much more grounded approach.

The author tells great stories and this makes the book a compelling read as well as providing a structure to hang her practical advice off. This means that I enjoy both reading the book cover to cover and dipping in and out of it. I refer back to the book often and there are some handy tools that I come back to again and again, like the one-page pocket planner.

My favourite sections are:
- Defining your roots - helps me get really clear on where I'm coming from and my focus moving forwards
- Collaborate - because we all tend to get stuck in the mindset of "I can do this on my own" sometimes, and this is a great reminder of how and why to connect with others
- Share your story - because, like defining your roots, it helps keep moving me towards greater clarity

The author's self-stated goal was to "Find a set of "new" skills for the world of work in the twenty-first century that would provide options, flexibility and freedom to workers across every work mode, in every industry.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this inspiring book Pamela Slim explores how we can connect the dots in our life - how do we find the connections between our diverse accomplishments and, as we navigate and survive the world of work, how do we tell the story about our journey?

Slim argues that the ability to look at things from new and critical perspectives is a fundamental skill in creating our careers. Being wedded to a career path that follows a linear trajectory, in a world where we must “plan for failure, calamity and unexpected disasters”, is not the secret to a satisfying career or life. Rather, we must consider our careers as a “body of work” - everything we create, contribute, affect and impact is a body of work. Viewing our careers in this way, means we are not restricted to a job title, or constrained to one business. It is more complex, yes, but thinking about the overarching themes in our life and how the experiences we’ve had contribute to these themes, gives our lives meaning and purpose.

In her book, Slim takes us through exercises structured to understand how to build a body of work and how to sell the story of the journey that underpins it. Understanding the ideas that drive us emotionally and the change we want to create in the world provides the foundation. Defining our roots – our purpose, belief and convictions, motivates us to keep going through adversity and keep us strong and stable when we face challenges in our careers.

Completing the exercises is not easy. “Surfing the fear” asks us to consider what we are afraid of and accept that pain is an inevitable part of life (but suffering is not).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 64 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
The Ultimate Workbook for Creating Your Own Meaning 1 Jan. 2014
By Debra Eve - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Body of Work is a deceptively quick and easy read that will only reveal its depth in the work you do.

If you're looking for step-by-step advice on discovering your purpose or career, you won't find it here. You will find inspiring stories and insightful questions to give your body of work new meaning and chart a future course:

"No one is looking out for your career anymore. You must find meaning, locate opportunities, sell yourself, and plan for failure, calamity, and unexpected disasters. You must develop a set of skills that makes you able to earn an income in as many ways as possible."

What is a body of work?

"A body of work is big and deep and complex. It allows you to experiment and play and change and test. It supports creative freedom. It includes obvious things, like books, software code, photographs, videos, process improvements, paintings, and stories. And not-so-obvious things, like community development, love, movements, memories, and relationships."

How do you find it? "We must tap into our deepest roots." How do you transition from one place to another? "We all need a side hustle," especially if you're still in the corporate arena.

I love that Pam doesn't embrace the Pollyanna effect. She doesn't ask us to analyze successes with a keener eye than challenges and failures. In fact, one of the greatest skills we can develop is to view adversity as a means of growth. Her advice for hard times:

1. Fall apart.
2. Honor what you have.
3. Never forget, but choose to create a new future.
4. Be supported, and support others.

My favorite example: Amanda Wang, a young woman with bipolar disorder who, through therapy and training as an amateur boxer, is helping others with their own fight by making a documentary.

Finally, Pam asks us to redefine our notions of success. She doesn't quote Erma Bombeck, but in a nutshell: "Don't confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other."

It all sounds deceptively obvious, but Pam punctuates each concept with dozens of questions only you can answer. I lost track of the number of times she said something like, "Grab a pen and piece of paper" or "Dig deeper and write."

Body of Work is, in fact, a workbook. Be prepared to fill a journal. I obviously didn't do so on this read through, but plan to over the next several months. If the publisher isn't preparing a workbook edition, I'd be surprised.

Highly recommended for explorers who enjoy taking the road less traveled and digging deep.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive Career Guide for the New Economy 3 Jan. 2014
By Jenny Blake - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pamela Slim's Body of Work is the perfect companion for anyone looking to find the common threads in their career and weave them into a unifying platform for the future, in an economy that increasingly values agility, creativity and innovation. Her book is jam-packed with the perfect blend of anecdotes and insanely helpful exercises -- each chapter could be an entire book unto itself!

Pam's recommendations are compelling, clear, and road-tested with hundreds (if not thousands) of entrepreneurs and corporate employees that she has worked with. I appreciate that she doesn't try to force a one-size fits all set of next steps or "shoulds," but rather guides the reader through the meta-level of career planning by finding common themes, building healthy habits, navigating fear, forming a meaningful support network, and effectively sharing your message with the world.

For those who find chapter outlines helpful, the Body of Work methodology can be summed up as follows:
-Define Your Roots
-Name Your Ingredients
-Choose Your Work Mode
-Create and Innovate
-Surf the Fear
-Your Definition of Success
-Share Your Story

Making a major career transition is not a one-time checkbox that we get to simply mark complete and move on from. It's an ongoing evolution, and Pamela Slim has written THE handbook you need to navigate each one with greater ease and aplomb.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Changing Times Requires Change In Our Story 2 Jan. 2014
By Aaron D McHugh - Published on
Format: Paperback
My grandfather worked at the same two jobs for over 28 years. He taught school during the year and worked at Disneyland in the summers and weekends. In his era it genuinely was an accomplishment to hang onto the company that you'd hitched your wagon to and take the pension at the end.

Since I started working in 1994, I've been through six or seven mergers/acquisitions. I've changed jobs a number of times. Each in a pursuit of a better arrangement. Pam Slim's newest title-Body of Work helps me make sense of the story I've lived and accept that the days of endurance and pensions are fading if not disappeared.

Allow Pam to help you connect the dots and weave the threads of your personal and professional experiences into a cohesive meaningful story. Its' a quick read, her writing is witty and fun and you'll be better equipped for the next change around the corner.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Pam Slim points a powerful way foward 1 Jan. 2014
By mbungaystanier - Published on
Format: Paperback
There's a lot of hogwash out in the self-help/self-development world, and a bazillion books full of "advice" that aren't worth squat.

This isn't one of them.

Pam Slim has a gift of tying together stories, insight and practical tools - and in doing so helping you and me navigate our busy lives so we can live a life of meaning and of impact.

If you'd like to live a life that stands for something, then consider building a body of work.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A must-read for making a career that makes sense 2 Jan. 2014
By Susan Baier - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Body of Work, Pamela Slim has synthesized what what many of us have had to learn by necessity -- that our careers aren't defined by our last job, or degree, or single capability, but by the unique accumulation of expertise, experiences, affinities and skills that makes up each of us. With wisdom, care, and with appreciation for the wide range of work environments and preferences, Pam guides the reader through examples and exercises toward better understanding and communicating their goals.

A wonderful read for anyone, at any stage in their career, whether corporate employee, entrepreneur, or something in between.
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