Whether you realize it or not, you are overdue for a career tune-up—it’s one of those things we must do but tend to put off. Keep reading if you what to get that engine humming once again,” writes Chris Fontanella in his new book, entitled Tune Up Your Career: Tips & Cautions for Peak Performance in the Workplace. He also writes, “In my book, Jump-Start Your Career, I address those who are about to commence their life of employment: recent graduates from college or vocational school and also those who are opting to enter the workforce right after high school.
The book offers advice on topics such as finding your calling (a word I use interchangeably with career), mapping out your ‘territory’ of exploration (i.e, drafting a plan for what you want to do for a living), setting ambitious goals (pocket-sized dreams are too small), seeing unseen worlds (possibilities others cannot imagine), realizing achievements depend on the contributions of others (reaching career goals is never a solo effort), expecting obstacles (the streets that lead to noteworthy careers are strewn with challenges), remembering careers develop over time (you can’t rush your way into a great career), being willing to start at the bottom (starting there prepares you for being at the top), letting your work speak for itself (accomplishments are their own reward; let others praise your efforts), and never minimizing your uniqueness (any job that does not allow you to be you is not the job for you).”
By making things so straightforward and concise, Mr. Fontanella is able to make potentially daunting concepts for the average reader feel within their immediate, intellectual grasp. Like any solid nonfiction writer, particularly one bonafide in the subcategories of business and leadership advice, he never makes the writing style an exercise in self-promotion. Even when and if using his own accomplishments as a points springboard, Fontanella remains steadfast in keeping things objective and making the focus rest solely on what he perceives to be in the reader’s best interest. “If you have just started your life of employment and have picked up this book, it might be a good idea to read that book first.
Tune Up Your Career presupposes you’re an employee with some tenure; you are further down the road. You have worked ten to twenty years and have dated or married, so to speak, a number of employers. You have paid some dues and climbed the corporate ladder, somewhat, whatever that means. You know the drill, and maybe what it is like to be chained to your work or to ‘work for the man,’ used here, nonchauvinistically, to mean you work for someone besides yourself,” he writes. “Still, despite having some years under your belt, perhaps you find it hard to navigate the corporate world, and your career engine just doesn’t seem to have the oomph it used to. The evolution of your working life may have slowed or, worse yet, stalled. Maybe your career has not turned out the way you planned: the title, the money, and the respect you think you deserve are absent.
And it lacks a sense of purpose. You imagined it differently and hoped it would be so. Yet you can still envision it being different. The picture of what you’d like it to be pops up in your mind on occasion. But all forward movement has stopped. You feel stuck and are struggling to make the best of the ‘system’ in which you work.”