BEAVERCREEK — New York Times Bestselling business and career author Jon Acuff stopped at Books & Com. in Beavercreek Friday night to talk about his new book “Do Over” – a look at taking stock and intentionally building a career that will survive through inevitable major transitions.
“We spend 18 years getting ready for college, and then we graduate, then the next thing we get ready for is death and retirement,” Acuff said. “There’s this 40-year gap where we’ve kind of culturally accepted that a job is just a job. I went through a big career transition after 15 years in corporate America, went off on my own and started to look at my career and the careers of other people and realized that every great career has four investments in common.”
In his book, Acuff identifies the four elements as: relationships, skills, character and hustle.
“We all have all of those elements, just most of us have never applied them…,” he said.
The focus of Acuff’s book stems from a career in the business world, which saw him at big and small companies, including one he started himself.
“So often we just move so quickly we never put any thought into it,” he said. “I was on that path jumping from job to job to job to job. I finally had to recognize the common denominator in every bad job I had was me.”
“Do Over” addresses general career ideas like “rescuing” Monday, reinventing work, times of career transition, as well as practical ideas like changing one’s attitude about work.
“What if you could actually look forward to Monday?” he said. “What if you chose your attitude and said, ‘I’m not going to see my boss as the enemy, I’m going to see this as a place to learn, I’m going to grow this slowly.’”
In “Do Over,” Acuff sprinkles elements of his humor throughout to tie together his thoughts, a characteristic that he’s maintained in his past work.
“I think there’s always been a place for humor in office discussions,” he said. “’The Office’ was a really funny show. ‘Dilbert’ was humorous. Chris Rock, the comedian, says humor allows people to listen to things they might not listen to if they weren’t laughing at the same time. I try to use humor to say some hard things.”
“How dare I write a boring book daring you to have a fun, exciting life? There’s enough boring career books. The world didn’t need another one.”