The Career Playbook Book Summary - The Career Playbook Book explained in key points
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The Career Playbook summary

James M. Citrin

Essential Advice for Today's Aspiring Young Professional

3.9 (72 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

"The Career Playbook" by James M. Citrin is a practical guide for navigating the job market and building a successful career. It offers actionable advice on networking, interviewing, resume writing, and more.

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    The Career Playbook
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    Pursuing your dreams by balancing the three points of the Career Triangle: job satisfaction, compensation and lifestyle.

    The Bermuda Triangle, an expanse in the Atlantic covering one million square miles, has enveloped wayward ships and planes for centuries. The Career Triangle might seem less dangerous, but it can be just as challenging to navigate.

    Why? Because in the early stages of your career, you have to struggle to balance your job satisfaction, lifestyle and compensation.

    It’s very unlikely that you’ll have the freedom to explore and discover yourself during the first few years of your career. You'll probably have to choose between making money and pursuing your own ideas, and the best-paying options probably won't be the most fulfilling.

    So don't expect to maximize your income and secure your dream job right away; in the beginning, you'll have to trade your job satisfaction and lifestyle for higher compensation.

    When faced with this prospect, you might be tempted to pursue your passion and abandon everything else. However, that's not such a good career strategy.

    In Psychology Today, Marty Nemko, a prominent career coach, explained the risks of chasing your dreams. Nemko writes that most people's passions center around travel, entertainment, fashion or political causes, like education or environmentalism – making jobs in those fields hypercompetitive.

    That means employers in such fields usually pay below the market-compensation standard, because they have access to so many candidates who are willing to work either for free or for very little. If you dream of entering the fashion industry, for instance, you better plan on competing with droves of others for basic entry-level positions or internships. That means planning to be undercompensated.

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    What is The Career Playbook about?

    The Career Playbook (2015) is based on interviews with top professionals as well as a survey of thousands of graduates and young professionals. It offers valuable advice for launching and building a strong career; by acquiring the right skills, building the right network and presenting yourself well, you’ll be on your way in no time.

    The Career Playbook Review

    The Career Playbook (2015) by James M. Citrin is a valuable resource for anyone navigating the professional world. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • It provides practical strategies and advice that can be applied immediately, helping readers advance their careers and achieve their goals.
    • Backed by research and personal experience, the book offers a comprehensive guide to finding and landing the right job, as well as thriving in the workplace.
    • With its insightful interviews and real-life examples, the book brings the content to life, making it not only informative but also engaging and relatable.

    Best quote from The Career Playbook

    Certainty exists only in hindsight, when youre looking back on the decisions and actions you took that eventually led to career success.

    —James M. Citrin
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    Who should read The Career Playbook?

    • People hoping to launch their career
    • Seekers of new job experience and skills
    • Those wanting to stand out among other job candidates

    About the Author

    James M. Citrin is an expert on leadership, governance and professional success. He's the leader of Spencer Stuart's CEO Practice, the world's premier executive search firm. He's also given roughly 5,000 executive interviews.

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    The Career Playbook FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Career Playbook?

    The main message of The Career Playbook is to guide readers in achieving success and fulfillment in their careers.

    How long does it take to read The Career Playbook?

    The reading time for The Career Playbook can vary, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Career Playbook a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Career Playbook is worth reading as it offers valuable insights and practical advice to help readers navigate their careers effectively.

    Who is the author of The Career Playbook?

    The author of The Career Playbook is James M. Citrin.

    What to read after The Career Playbook?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Career Playbook, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman
    • Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger
    • The New Rules of Work by Alexandra Cavoulacos & Kathryn Minshew
    • The Defining Decade by Meg Jay
    • The Courage Habit by Kate Swoboda
    • The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton
    • Your Turn by Julie Lythcott-Haims
    • Slow Productivity by Cal Newport
    • No More Mr. Nice Guy! by Robert A. Glover
    • The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage