Book Review: <i>Thank You for Firing Me</i>

Granted there are dozens and dozens of books offering advice for people who are out of work, or those looking to change careers, but none of these really tell you it's okay to be out of work for a while.
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You've lost your job. Now what? That's the question put forth in Candice Reed and Kitty Martini's Thank You For Firing Me!: How to Catch the Next Wave of Success After You Lose Your Job. Granted there are dozens and dozens of books offering advice for people who are out of work, or those looking to change careers, but none of these really tell you it's okay to be out of work for a while. It's okay to take the time to figure out what you really want to do with your life. It's okay to sell your possessions and travel the world to take some time off. Thank You For Firing Me explores this side of being unemployed.

Sure the statistics now are daunting: the Dow is in turmoil, unemployment is eking toward 10 percent, nearly 300,000 people sought unemployment assistance in April, and quite simply, people are struggling to make ends meet. The situation becomes even more daunting when you are faced with being laid off, fired, or simply take the risk and quit to try to find something better. People self-identify with their jobs and people make perceptions about others based on what they do. Assumptions are made if you're a lawyer, a banker, a waitress, or a construction worker. Are these assumptions fair? Maybe not, but they exist nonetheless. When you lose a job, you also lose a little bit of your identity. You ask questions, similar to those of a break up, and certainly go through the same emotions: what did I do wrong? What am I supposed to do now? How dare they do this to me; I don't deserve it.

The authors themselves come from this world. Following a series of careers ranging from waitress to mortician, Reed finally found what she wanted to do with her life after landing a writing gig with a community newspaper in San Diego. Unfortunately, she tapped into her passion just as this industry was struggling to find revenues in an era of digital media and advertising. After struggling to find writing jobs after the paper folded, she and her husband decided to chuck it all and leave their native California for greener pastures. Martini is an entrepreneur and comedian, two worlds that have never been easy for people to "make it." While their advice partly comes from a place of personal experience, they have also done their homework to identify ways to conduct research, new and emerging industries, and educational resources that provide retraining opportunities for those looking to lay a foundation for a new career path in an entirely new industry.

This book isn't about starting over again in a job that you really don't want just because you need the paycheck, or about continuing in a career because you don't know what else to do. Thank You For Firing Me! is about the process of learning about yourself and translating that into the career of your dreams. What are you passionate about? What motivates you? What did you love best about your past jobs? What didn't you like? Being honest with yourself and tackling these tough questions is step one.

For many, the most challenging part about finding a new job is where to start. Reed and Martini explore new and emerging industries and challenge readers to think outside the box: are you a casual surfer whose worked a desk job all his life? Open a surf shop. Are you a woman who got laid off from a mid-management job at a financial services job but has always loved working outdoors? Throw those suits away and get outside. Thank You For Firing Me! is really about that - it's about taking a devastating experience and turning into one of the best things that can happen to you.

Taking an often lighthearted and comical approach - Thank You For Firing Me! is full of resources for people trying to get back on track, personal anecdotes from people who really turned their lives around after being fired, and is likely to become a great resource for those looking to find the job of their dreams.

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