This was a book that I thought wasn’t really going to teach me much – after all, I’ve already left my day job and I’m following my passions! I found a lot in it, though, that was inspiring, encouraging, entertaining and very useful.
Career Renegade is a 271 page book by Jonathan Fields, published by Broadway Books. (That means it’s what some folks still think of as a “real” book 😉 as opposed to an ebook…) The subtitle, “How to make a great living doing what you love” pretty much sums up what it’s about.
The recommended retail price is US $14, CAN $16.50. (UK equivalent is, according to Amazon.co.uk, £9.42). As with most paperbacks, Amazon has it slightly reduced:
Career Renegade is divided into four parts:
- Part 1: What Makes You Come Alive?
- Part 2: What Kind of Renegade Will You Be?
- Part 3: How to Master Your Passion and Build a Worldwide Following
- Part 4: Let the Revolution Begin
This pretty much forms a step-by-step guide to help you you figure out what you actually enjoy doing; you explore possible ways to leverage your passion into something that makes money; you learn how to build your knowledge and authority; and you end by getting inspired to actually go ahead and do it!
Jonathan is a great writer. I found this a real page-turner, especially when he shares examples from his own life and from other “career renegades”. It’s an encouraging and inspiring read, and I’m sure if I’d read it while I was still in the day job, it’d have boosted my resolve to quit!
Career Renegade isn’t feel-good fluff, though. I was struck how much information and how many ideas Jonathan gets in: although the book is over 200 pages, the font size is quite large and the page size quite small, so it’s a fast read. Part 2 particularly interested me, as it gave me a few ideas that I’d not have thought about before on how to turn my own interests into things that could make money. Some ideas in this section didn’t grab me, but I can definitely see them working for others.
As Jonathan explains:
For some people, the career renegade paths will serve as precise templates for success. For others, they’ll cat more as guidelines to be adapted. Don’t be surprised if your journey blends aspects of a number of paths. (Career Renegade, pg 37)
I liked Jonathan’s flexible approach, and the fact that he doesn’t try to dictate one “method” or “system”
Throughout Career Renegade, Jonathan suggests resources – often URLs, sometimes books – that the reader will find useful. There were quite a few of these I’d never even heard of before, and I got the impression that Jonathan had put a lot of research and time into compiling some very handy resource lists.
These are very minor quibbles – so much so, I feel a little unfair mentioning them!
When I first read through Career Renegade, I felt it seemed a bit short for a “real” (ie. paper) book. As I dipped in and out of it over a longer period of time, though, I realised that this initial impression was probably due, in part, not to the actual word-count of the book but to the fact that Jonathan’s writing style makes it a very easy read.
The quality of the paper wasn’t great – it felt a bit rough and thin to my fingers. (Yeah, I’m picky about my books.) The actual text is large, well-spaced and easy to read, though.
I guess Jonathan could be accused of being quite one-sided about traditional employment. I’m pretty one-sided on this too, and I think we’re providing the counter-voice to years of media and social conditioning, but I can see that others might see this as a down side to the book.
Career Renegade is a fun and inspiring read, whether you are bang-smack in the target audience or not. It’s also packed with ideas – ones that will spark off your own thoughts and encourage you to see some creative paths that you might otherwise have ignored.
Compared with ebooks offering similar information, this is cheap (I guess because it’s been produced by a major publishing company). At the time of writing, it cost under eleven bucks on Amazon. That seems like a pretty small price to pay if it teaches you and inspires you to make a living doing what you love.