Book Review: Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields

In: book reviews| entrepreneur

29 Sep 2009

career_renegade_book_coverThere seems to be only one thing that outnumbers the amount of people who are unhappy with their jobs: books about leaving the job you’re unhappy with. A quick trip to the bookstore (remember those?) present rows and rows of books on the subject, ranging from guides on starting your own business to get-rich-quick schemes.

In the face of this mountain of information, blogger and Career Renegade Jonathan Fields felt the need to add to the pile.

And I’m glad he did.

Cutting to the Chase
For a book devoted to following your passion, Career Renegade does away with most of the fluff that you find in books like these. Perhaps due to his previous career as a hedge fund lawyer, the author gets right down to business. As he writes in the few first pages, this book answers the question: What about the money? Convincing someone to start a business is all well and good, but few provide a concrete plan to earn a respectable salary on their own. Jonathan does just that.

Heartfelt speeches about freedom and liberation are left aside, nor is much time devoted to talking about the evils of corporate life. Instead, we open with a brief introduction about the author’s own journey of career change, then jump right into different ways that passion can serve as a starting point for building a new career. Various methods are included, as are case studies of individuals who actually followed these plans. They are all presented in the context of helping you find the one that fits your particular passion.

Tools of the Trade
As different techniques for market research and validating an idea are discussed, specific websites and URL’s are shared with the reader. One gets the impression that the author has spent countless hours sitting in front of a computer figuring out the best way to do things, then decided to share it with readers.

This is the kind of book you can sit down and read all the way through, but then keep on your desk, dog-ear pages, and continually reference when working on your own project.

Something for Everyone
While this book was written with a specific purpose (helping you find a career based on your passion), there is a lot of value in here for anyone involved with or interested in selling online. Even having worked in interactive marketing for over a decade, I still discovered a few new things to add to my bag of tricks.

Some of the methods discussed overlap with other books and might be familiar to anyone who has also read The 4-Hour Workweek. But combined with everything else in the book, the author has much to add on the subject of finding a market and selling a product.

Career Renegade is a refreshing entry into the crowded space of small business books. The straight-forward tone and practical approach to changing careers separates this book from others like it. For those who are past the point of considering whether or not to start your own business and now need an actual game plan, Career Renegade is worth picking up.

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Mark Webster

About Mark Webster

One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.