Self help 101: For all those struggling with life as we know it in Dayton

It seems there is a lot of angst in this town. A lot of people whining about how life sucks, Dayton sucks, leadership sucks, Forbes magazine sucks, a lot of major suckage. And yes, I’m part of the problem- because I think it sucks that we can’t have a conversation about new ideas without having a task force, committee, blue ribbon panel etc. to get everyone marching in lock-step first.

That’s why I’m making a book recommendation. Everyone who thinks life sucks, or just lost their job, or is working for a company that treats them like shit- this books for you:

Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life

Radical Careering by Sally Hogshead

Radical Careering: 100 Truths to Jumpstart Your Job, Your Career, and Your Life

the subtitle is “100 truths to jumpstart your job, your career and your life.”

I’ve given copies to friends who’ve lost their jobs in high places- and they’ve gone on to bigger and better places (CAP- you know I’m talking about you). I’ve given it to employees as motivation to make the best out of their workday, and to friends who have felt trapped in a dead-end job.

It’s written by one of the best advertising copywriters on the planet, who takes metaphors to a whole new level.
Cherry picking the first 10 of the 100 “Truths” to live by for our group of online misanthropes:

#2 Revolution is the new status quo.

  • #3 The Axel on the gravy train is broken
  • #5 Quality of work, Quality of Life, Quality of compensation: PICK ONE.
  • #6 Break out the nunchucks and let the streetfighting begin.
  • #10 Avoid manufacturing buggy whips
  • #11 Transform or die
  • #16 Politics happen when people feel insecure about their work
  • #17 Chaos unlocks opportunity
  • #19 Being in a crap job isn’t your fault. Staying in a crap job is.
  • #20 Don’t work for someone you don’t respect.

They continue- and continue to stimulate thought- and action to improve ones lot in life. Or, we can apply them to our collective thinking patterns, like this- using them in order:

Dayton won’t be what it was, we have to decide what we want from our city, it’s time to have a throw down and demand results. The old ways are over, we have to change and adapt. When people start worrying about how things look, sound or are perceived- they are missing the point. All this arguing can give us a better idea of what we want- and then it’s time to either be “for us, or against us” (in the immortal words of our idiot in chief) and then- lets find some leadership we respect- and help them get us to where we want to be.

Did you follow the application of the ideas to the actions?

The book won’t take you long to read. You can keep it by your bedside or in your bathroom as a daily motivator (I keep a copy on my desk). You can use it as a personal guide to life, you could use it as a curriculum strategy to educate future independent careerists- or as a metaphor for how to kick some ass and get things done in a dysfunctional arena- whatever size you want to make it.

A pre-release article about the book in the magazine “Creativity” was the most popular article ever. It was looked at as a life changing manifesto in the ad industry. When it comes to bickering in our little city- with its dysfunctional dynamics- maybe this is just the book to rally us to radically change the way we look at our jobs, our city and our lives.

#69 Work toward the positive, not away from the negative.

or

#93 Escape toxicity.

Thoughts?

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14 Responses

  1. Linda August 13, 2008 / 10:44 pm
    Hey—Just wanted to say thanks again for the book. You’re right and it’s pretty damn awesome and inspiring. Perhaps a reason I am now starting grad school in business… ? :)
  2. David Esrati August 13, 2008 / 11:27 pm

    Congrats Linda!
    It’s all about portable equity!

  3. Melissa August 14, 2008 / 8:03 am
    Thanks for the suggestion … I know someone close to me who needs to read this!
  4. Alex August 14, 2008 / 1:17 pm
    You forgot to mention Sinclair Community College. Sinclair takes complete and total advantage of their students…they Suck! You pay your hard earned money to attend school at Sinclair (trying to better yourself) and they forget all about you. Here is a true story of something that has happened to me this semester while attending Sinclair Community College. I was taking an English class, had handed in my work for two weeks straight. I look online to find my posted GPA for the first two weeks of class and it comes back “F” I call the professor to ask about my grade and she replies “I forgot you were in my class” I didn’t think anymore of it until the following week when I turn in a well written paper, following all of the posted directions. I receive a grade of “C” bordering a “D” and I am furious. I look at the comments posted on my paper by the instructor and she marks me down for not following instructions. I call and ask her what she is talking about and show her a copy of her posted instructions. She replies, “oooops I forgot I posted those, if you would like to re-write your paper I will re-grade it.” I could not believe what I was hearing. I turn in the next paper two weeks later to only find a 0% I call again and the same professor says “I never received your paper, can you re-send it” I did (this whole semester she has lost three of my papers, forgot I was in her class, gave me a low “c” for following her instructions, then asks that I be transferred from her class “because I am concentrating too much on complaining and not enough on learning.” I go to the chair of the English department and he says “I don’t believe it” so I bring in the emails, my paper, her instructions and not to mention a copy of the 97 people that have had the same complaints about the same professor on ratemyprofessors.com. After the chair read through all of my proof he states “I have no explanation for any of it, and the same person could have left all 97 responses on ratemyprofessors.com……WHATEVER! Point of the story is Sinclair Community College Sucks! Sinclair is not only a Community College it is a business, and they treat their students more like second rate customers. Beware future students….I would make a better choice as to where you are going to attend school and who gets your hard earned money in Dayton, Ohio.
  5. David Esrati August 14, 2008 / 2:22 pm

    Alex- for the most part, I’ve heard good thing about Sinclair. It sounds like you’ve got one bad instructor.
    If I was you- I’d start a site on wordpress.com about that instructor- make a case against them- and ask for feedback from past and current students. Maybe after enough people say that what you say is true- Sinclair- and Dr. Steven Johnson, will take action.
    I don’t know why more universities don’t take http://www.Ratemyprofessor.com more seriously.
    Sorry that you had a problem- but that really wasn’t what this post was about. Maybe you need to reread the post- and write another 100 words… :-)

  6. AnotherGuy August 14, 2008 / 3:47 pm
    Yeah, colleges don’t take that site seriously, for one. They’re doing some things to get rid of that site, actually.

    I go to Sinclair and have been for three years, because I love it. I’ve learned more there than I have at any other place…and it’s actually because they follow things that are in that book (without knowing it)

    My personal favorite – #49 “Wounds Heal. Scars Fade. Glory is Forever.”

  7. Hilary August 15, 2008 / 12:03 am
    Not to be partial, but Ratemyprofessor and ratemyinstructor are hardly scientific or professional. Instead of rating a class based on learning or course material- it is graded on a scale of easiness. And for fun- let’s give the profs chili peppers to denote their level of attractiveness. Even further, the most disenfranchised students tend to go to these websites, choosing to bypass university channels.

    Alex, I am not trying to validate your professor. Clearly, there needs to be some sort of review and internal evaluation. However, professors do make mistakes and are subject to human error. Professor or instructor does not deserve to be rated based on the level of easiness of their class or whether or not they are attractive enough to have a chili pepper.

    Rather, reflect on a class and ask yourself “What were the five most important things I learned in this class?” If you can’t think of five things, then you have a problem.

    As both a student and a former University instructor, I do not believe students are entitled to a specific grade. Rather, they are entitled to a learning EXPERIENCE. That’s right. I said it. EXPERIENCE. Class should be about what you LEARN and the PROGRESS that you’ve made and NOT about the grade you earn in the end.

  8. Hilary August 15, 2008 / 12:08 am
    Please not ratemyinstructor or ratemyprofessor!

    It’s really not fair to evaluate instructors based on the easiness of their class or whether or not they are deserving of a chili pepper.

    As a student and former University instructor, I think class should be about the experience. Students are not entitled to a GRADE. They are entitled to an EXPERIENCE. After every class, I try to ask myself, “What are the five most important things I learned in this class?” or “What will I take with me for the rest of my life?” If I can’t answer either of these questions, that the class was not worth while. Class is NOT about the grad that is earned in the end, rather it is about the PROGRESS that is made- and only YOU, the student can be the judge of that.

  9. Jim Crotty August 15, 2008 / 9:31 am
    I know this getting off-topic, but I feel I need to respond to Alex. This is the first I’ve heard of such a complaint coming out of Sinclair. I would urge Alex to separate the concerns over one bad professor from a complete assessment of the total college. During my experiences teaching adjunct at Sinclair I received nothing but good impressions of the institution and the department of which I was associated with, which was Communications. Of course that was back in 2001 to 2002. Things could have changed, but I doubt it. In fact I’ve been giving some thought to returning to teaching Speech Communications as an adjunct once again.
    I can’t speak for your professor, who from the looks of things is perhaps full-time faculty, but as far as I am concerned I approached my teaching assignments and my responsibility to my students with the same commitment to quality, commitment, fairness and integrity in which I manage my business.
    My only complaint with Sinclair is that the pay scale for adjuncts is quite low, or at least it was the last time I taught there, and the adjuncts tend to be given the teaching assignments not desired by the full and part-time faculty members. This is typical amongst colleges and universities where you have some faculty who are somewhat, shall we say, “entrenched.”
    All in all, Sinclair is one of the few truly bright spots on the Dayton societal and economic horizons. Don’t let your experiences with one bad apple discourage you from continuing your educational goals. God knows I’ve had my share of them in both undergraduate and graduate studies, so I fully understand your anger and frustration.
  10. Nicole August 15, 2008 / 10:11 am
    “#3 The Axel on the gravy train is broken ”

    Oh, how true! I’ve never found the gravy train…or the money tree. It’s all about hard work.

    Thanks for the post…it looks like an interesting read!

  11. Mario August 15, 2008 / 8:35 pm
    David,
    I clicked on the website you referenced for professors and got a dating website. Is there another one?

    Thanks

  12. Drexel Dave August 19, 2008 / 10:14 am
    I gotta’ admit I’m quite skeptical taking advice from someone who has made a living writing lies all of their life.

    I prefer Bill Hick’s take on advertising folks, although I do know that there are exceptions to the norm, Esrati included.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo

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