Reviewed by Josh Cramer for Reader Views (12/16)
I have to admit I did not think I would like this book at first. I took one look at the cover and sighed, thinking, “Really? This looks like some cheesy 80s self-help book;” however, I was surprised by what I found on the inside. In “Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work” Halimah Bellows has, in a sea of career development books, provided a pretty succinct guide to developing one’s career that really sets itself apart by asking, “Who am I?”
Thus, if you are looking for a guide to your career journey that takes you step-by-step through your career, then this is the book for you! Halimah provides advice and activities to help you consider your interests and even pick a college major! She then takes you through your entire career, including (as she puts it) retiring with fire! Halimah Bellows provides a concise guide to finding your career, growing in your career, and ultimately retiring from your career. This is not an easy feat!
She begins by asking several questions the purpose of which is to #1 help you determine the value you would find in pursuing your dream career, and to #2 determine your purpose and values. This leads to one of my favorite sections of this book: 10 Reasons for Pursuing Your Ideal Career (and the real reasons why someone might buck against their current job or career—especially if these needs are not being met):
1. Doing what you love to do allows you to be yourself.
2. It is perfectly integrated into your lifestyle.
3. It “reflects and incorporates your values.”
4. It’s the perfect fit.
5. It’ll give you energy (and maybe wings!)
6. You are aligned with the things for which you are passionate.
7. You are able to make a difference to the things that matter to you.
8. It’s enjoyable.
9. Your life is arranged so you can live a meaningful life.
10. You are fulfilled.
Bellows then asks the reader to imagine that work is more than just a paycheck. What would the workday of your dreams look like? How would it begin? What time would you wake up? What would your clothes look like? What would you do? What are you paid? Is it quiet? Is it busy? To whom do you report? We’ve all asked ourselves these sorts of questions before. The rest of the book builds on this foundation, offering exercises to help you answer each of these questions for yourself. If you want to make the most out of this book, like the others’ I’ve reviewed, you need to do your best in answering the questions. I recommend finding a good journal to take with you—this will make answering these questions easier (having the right tools for the job always makes it better).
Ultimately, Bellows’ purpose is to make you ask, “Who am I?” As she says, “You have to know what your interests are and what you are passionate about. You need to explore your values and assess your skills, your strengths, and your talents” (72). Because this is a question that we all need to ask, I highly recommend “Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work” by Halimah Bellows if you are at all unsure about what you are currently doing.