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 (66 ratings)
16 mins
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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.

    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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