Kristin Schuchman’s new book is the kind of leadership advice manual I’ve been hungry to see in this day and age for a while. Often people turning to ideological figureheads for advice have to go back about ten to twenty years in terms of self-awareness, consulting iconic and pioneering business books that have a certain removal from the shapeshifting nature of the twenty first-century jungle.
AUTHOR URL: https://www.kristinschuchman.com/
Current books written about achieving success in the post-modernist framework lack the kind of focus and discipline their predecessors did, and often comes across as somewhat naive, overwrought, and at worst – decidedly maudlin in their narrative communication tactics. Not Ms. Schuchman’s work, aptly titled Jump Start: How to Redirect a Career That Has Stalled, Lost Directions, or Reached a Crossroads. The book’s smarts lie in its ability to combine the best of both worlds when it comes to the aforementioned juxtaposition. It is deeply empathetic in terms of tone with respect to the plight many young professionals today face. Statistically stress-level, depression, and anxiety are at an all-time high when it comes to millennials entering the folds of the corporate hierarchy.
Particularly because institutions that once were, on a literal level, material now exist in the cloud. Digitization has proven to be something of an isolationist approach, one that had some interesting and dare we say tragic consequences courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic. See YouTube Zoom fails for more details. The point being, Ms. Schuchman knows the audience to which she speaks the most, but she never lets the book get mired in the doldrums of a decidedly unprofessional, zeitgeist of anxiety. Speaking in a word choice that that audience will most understand, she then reintroduces concepts and approaches that haven’t changed in spite of the technological advancements. She forces the reader to admit, in some ways, presence of mind is the biggest impediment if lacking to achieving one’s desired dreams and tangible successes.
“When we are out of touch with our calling or professional sense of purpose, it can feel like we’re the aimless drifter who wanders into town from some faraway land. People in career transition often have lost interest in something they once loved, decide that their values have shifted, were never truly engaged with their work in the first place, or never settled on one thing long enough to make it a career.
These realizations can leave us feeling unsettled, longing to know what our next steps should be to tame our restlessness,” Schuchman writes in this vein. “When I first work with clients, rather than asking them to pick a specific career path, I like to ask them to focus on the types of work and tasks in which they have found pleasure…With most jobs, we’re provided a job description and asked to manage our tasks, but rarely are we allowed to choose the skills we would rather employ. We might strive to find engaging work that we think will help us grow our skills, but even in the most ideal positions, most of us aren’t allowed to use only the skills we enjoy and disregard the rest.”
By making the reader engage with themselves first, then go through step-by-step the process of achieving their respective vision, Schuchman kills two birds with one stone. She writes a book that follows the codes and decorum of working one’s way up the ladder, but in a manner best suited for Generation Y and Z, as well as for the subsequent generations to come.