Book Review: Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career

Betting on youOn popular demand from you readers, we are finally starting off with our book review section, where we’ll look to get our hands on some of the trending titles across the globe. Well to be honest, I’ve had this in mind for a long time now and it took a mail from one of SMJ’s young readers to finally kick start it.

The first book we’ll review today is “Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career” by top career coach adn HR consultant Laurie Ruettimann and published by Henry Holt and Co. Sure the title sounds exciting and promises a lot, but does it have what it takes to make for a compelling read? Read on to know that!

As per the description on the website, “A decade ago, Ruettimann was uninspired, blaming others and herself for the unhappiness she felt. Until she had an epiphany: if she wanted a fulfilling existence, she couldn’t sit around and wait for change. She had to be her own leader. She had to truly take ahold of life—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly—in order to transform her future.” Given that a lot of our readers are young adults and might associate with a lot of advice dished out in the book (or at least I hoped so!), this felt like the perfect book to start our review section with. Although honestly, I did not have super high expectations for this book since self-help books are often more hot air than content, I have to admit most sections of the book struck a deep chord with me and I have been pleasantly surprised by this one!

The authenticity of Laurie’s words, the structure of writing, the intonation, it all feels so natural while leafing through this book. It only took me about a couple of days to breeze through it and that’s not because I was in a rush to get done with it but rather because it was a great read and I found it difficult to stop reading once I started (Yes, honestly! although it’s not a short read). Granted, some of the topics were more interesting than the others, but overall the content (and topics) seemed to be well connected and flowing. The book is packed with stories of others who managed to regain control of their personal and professional lives. With great advice for our professional lives, the author stays focused and drives home a key point throughout the book- You fix work by fixing yourself. She offers practical advice on approaching work in a smart and healthy manner, which includes knowing when to sign off for the day, focusing on augmenting on our capacity to learn, fixing those finances, and beating impostor syndrome once and for all, Ruettimann lays out the framework necessary to champion your interests and create a life you actually enjoy.

I especially loved Laurie’s advice on using premortem as a key tool, to visualize where we might go wrong and what might go wrong when embarking on any professional task. I’ve had situations where I’ve stumbled at key moments and while looking back at them, it feels so amateur on my part not to have visualized the pitfalls in advance and work towards covering the bases. Overall, the book provides realistic advice you can implement right away. If you haven’t already, order a copy now!