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Body of Work: Finding the Thread that Ties Your Career Together
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Body of Work: Finding the Thread that Ties Your Career Together

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  751 ratings  ·  90 reviews
These days it's increasingly rare to have a stable career in any field. More and more of us are blending big company jobs, startup gigs, freelance work, and volunteer side projects. We take chances to expand our knowledge, capabilities, and experience. But how do we make sense of that kind of career - and explain it?

Pamela Slim, the acclaimed author of Escape from Cubicle
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 24th 2014 by Portfolio Penguin (first published December 31st 2013)
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Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Pamela Slim's Body of Work is the perfect companion for anyone looking to find the common threads in their career and weave them into a unifying platform for the future, in an economy that increasingly values agility, creativity and innovation. Her book is jam-packed with the perfect blend of anecdotes and insanely helpful exercises -- each chapter could be an entire book unto itself!

Pam's recommendations are compelling, clear, and road-tested with hundreds (if not thousands) of entrepreneurs a
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book 3.5 stars. The stories are good as examples of how other people found meaningful work and built their body of work through different means, such as employment, side gig, volunteerism, and personal relationships. However, the guidance wasn't inspiring. The author used the analogy of ingredients and recipes. Skills, strengths, experience, and jobs are the ingredients. The recipes are how you produce your body of work, such as results at work, planning an event, organizing your fam ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, insightful book that has something to teach everyone about the value of a multifaceted career. A joy to read, and a reassuring, important and practical message in today's fractured world of work. Lots of specific guidance for understanding your own body of work, using it to craft a resilient career, and sharing your unique skills with the world. Loved it! ...more
I read this book twice this year. Once at the beginning of the year, but then I forgot to review it and thought I had forgotten everything about it. Then I re-read it this month and discovered that I had been applying concepts from it all year, so it had seeped in after all. On my second pass through, I dog-eared all the pages that I found especially useful, and now that corner of the book looks like I dropped it in water.

Supremely useful ideas:

Framework for building your body of work (p.12): D
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general
An engaging book filled with easy to follow information, some of which I already knew from having spent a few years on this beautiful rock called Earth, some of which I didn't know or hadn't thought about quite that way. Much of the information, ideas, and suggestions contained on these pages is transferrable, allowing you to use the information and exercises for on the job clarity, when writing the next great novel, when sitting around the supper table. ...more
Michael Tefft
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another fabulous, thought provoking book by Pamela Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation fame. What she challenges you to do is not easy; it's literally defining who you and writing your story. This is not a quick fix solution - this is meaningful work. My current job ranks way too high on her Loathing Scale, but I intend to follow the exercises in this book.

Go and get this book NOW!
Andy Beal
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I had to keep putting this book down, not because it was tiresome, but because my mind would start processing all the great ideas that came from it. This is one of those books that gets you thinking about the legacy you wish to leave and the body of work that will define you.
This book was not written for me, a retired professional, looking for the 'threads', the themes of my career at the end. It's for younger readers, younger professionals, to create the themes and threads, being clear about your purpose and passion.

That said, I still learned. I read the advice for bloggers with interest, and hope my own blog follows her guidelines.

Right at the end I found what I needed --how to create your own high-level story. Answer: 1. What are the themes that run thru your wor
Dave Rothacker
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who can breathe
For the Baby Boomer - No matter where you are in your career arc, Pam's book helps to instill reverence in what you've accomplished. There's soooooo much more to give yourself credit for than you realize.

For the re-inventing your career Boomer, Body of Work helps you understand what you've put into the tank on your journey.

For Gen Yers - All I can say is that I wish I had access to Pam and her book when I was younger. It'd be easy to call this book a roadmap. But I don't think it is. A map exist
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the good kind of self-help books -- clearly written, full of great stories, and immensely helpful. Pam's authenticity shines out from every page. If you're trying to figure out your role in life, your next move, or whether or not to start that business, read this book first and answer all the questions. You'll be glad you did. ...more
Melinda Flaugher
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The first half of the book deserved four stars because the author writes to various types of job hunters, but the second half only receives three stars because the book relates more towards entrepreneurs. I really enjoyed the first few chapters because they helped me with job direction.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. I will be using it in a professional issues class for my students this spring and expect they will find it very useful I thinking about their futures.
Tom Plaskon
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a very uneven book for me. I really liked the first three chapters: Your Body of Work, Define Your Roots and Name Your Ingredients. I liked them so much that I actually filled out the in-book activities which is something that I almost never do. I found Rafe Eric Biggs story in Chapter 6 and the idea of ecosystems and watering holes in Chapter 7 interesting. That being said, I feel that I didn't get much out of Chapters 4-8.

The final chapter, Chapter 9 (Share Your Story) has some worthw
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the concept of creating a body of work based on my skills, passions and beliefs (rather than following a set singular career path) and the first few chapters really enthralled and excited me. I felt really understood as a 'multi-potentialite' which I feel is a different and more positive way of defining millennials. I found the rest of the book covered many concepts and ideas I'd already discovered but it was still really helpful to consider the techniques in a new and different context. ...more
Connor Leech
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I liked this book but it covered a lot of self help that I did not think was necessary. The author starts with a strong thesis and asks many, many questions for readers to contemplate. This book is good for probing in to how you think about your career. There is an undertone of fear that you have to do side projects and other work to keep up running throughout. I would read a few pages and then have to stop and think about wtf I'm doing with my life, remember I'm fine and then keep reading. This ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Why this book was written: To show readers how to tie disparate areas of their work into a congruent story

Synthesis: Identify your ingredients - the set of skillsets that define you. Then choose to apply these to disparate pursuits in the roles of employee, self employed, entrepreneur and investor.

Key techniques:

- Identify what type of networker you are; connector (connects people), maven (has varied knowledge) or salesperson

- Tell a narrative story around everything you have done - whether it b
Anita Ashland
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
If you have an eclectic work history...a lot of skills that don't always seem to fit together...or simply want to get down to it and figure out your story already... then you'll benefit from the insights, stories and exercises in this book.

You'll also learn about cool things like multipotentialities and connectional intelligence.

There's a section with practical ideas for what to do whenever you feel stuck. She also offers refreshing new definitions of the word success.

It's a quick read and worth
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciate Pam Slim's practical, wise, nonjudgmental approach to designing and implementing your own vision of success. With grace and clarity, she walks you through the entire process -- from identifying your core values, personal strengths, hard skills, and work modes; to overcoming internal and external setbacks; to assembling a network of peer mentors who balance out your weak spots; to tailoring your story for the right audiences. The personal reflection exercises toward the beginning are ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: career
was sooo excited while reading through the first chapter or so and the excitement never died down! very helpful stuff in trying to reframe your career around your values instead of pigeonholing yourself into an occupation and taking whatever associations are attached to it. the idea of avatars/ecosystems/watering holes is so similar to personas. the author takes you through a multitude of thoughtful questions that can spark inspiration for the storytelling of your life and career.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some great ideas in this book for entrepreneurs and those working for organisations. I read through the whole book quickly to get the big picture, but I'll definitely be giving it a second read at a slower pace. ...more
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant work on how to make sense of careers and work today, with great takeaways and inspirational stories.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous, insightful book with straightforward and actionable takeaways. I would recommend this one in particular to any self-identified multipotentialites.
Mark Brewer
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good writing on how to think about your career and your life. Highly recommended for people thinking of change or early 20s thinking about where to head out in the world.
Kent White
Definitely worth re-reading every year.
Gisli Olafsson
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. It brings together a number of good ways to help you find and define your body of work - what you want to become known for.
hemlet kiai
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mylibrary
i love this book! feeling inspired. just need to put into practice what i have read.
Stacey Nguyen
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's one of the better self-help books I've read recently - Pamela Slim has a gift for helping you ground your big vision in concrete steps, which is a more difficult balance than you would think. ...more
Fantastic book. Do the exercises!
Robyn Eason
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very well-written book with concrete examples and a ready "to-do" formula on how to create, articulate, and compile your own body of work ...more
I read this book close to the time I read Insight (about self-awareness) and Long Story Short (about story-telling) and now the advice and ideas from all three books are all mixed together in my mind -- in a good, synergistic way, I hope.

Her usual target audience is those making a career change to entrepreneurship, and it comes up a lot throughout the book, though she does try to generalize her advice. But I'd constantly shrug off examples for that audience that I think don't apply to me (I don'
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Pamela Slim is an author, community builder, consultant and former corporate director of training and development at Barclays Global Investors. She focused her first decade in business on creating and delivering training programs for large companies such as HP, Charles Schwab, 3Com, Chevron and Cisco Systems.

Since 2005, Pam has advised thousands of entrepreneurs as well as companies serving the sm

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“We are made to create. We feel useful when we create. We release our 'stuckness' when we create. We reinvent our lives, tell new stories, and rebuild communities when we create. We reclaim our esteem, our muse, and our hope when we create.” 3 likes
“No one is looking out for your career anymore. You must find meaning, locate opportunities, sell yourself, and plan for failure, calamity, and unexpected disasters. You must develop a set of skills that makes you able to earn an income in as many ways as possible.” 3 likes
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