Smart and methodical advice; especially applicable to those just starting their careers.


This debut guide suggests applying a marketing plan model to career development.

Alharbi, a former manager at Saudi Aramco and co-founder of two paper industry companies, believes a corporate marketing plan can also be important for a person seeking a career. If an individual does not follow the same strategy, writes the author, “you will end up in a recurring cycle of trying to find a job, then finding a job in which you try your best to align with the employer’s plans, then leaving the job or staying without achieving the growth you desire.” The idea has merit; Alharbi follows through by first using an example of a company owner who wants to market a product, showing how a business plan should be devised. The plan covers situation analysis, marketing goals and strategies, tactics, implementation, and control/feedback. For those unfamiliar with developing a marketing-focused plan, this is a brief but solid primer. The author then proposes a “Career Marketing Plan Template” that essentially adapts the strategy for personal use. The remainder of the book cleverly illustrates how that plan can be developed and implemented. For some, making the leap from promoting a product to packaging themselves as a marketable commodity may be challenging, but Alharbi guides readers through a carefully structured process. Using a real example of a young man who set a goal of becoming the president of a company, the author shows how one can develop a vision at a very early age by using “strategic thrusts” to support that idea, leading to concrete goals and tactical objectives. Next, the author moves on to analyzing the employment pool, assessing the “competition” (other candidates for a position), creating a personal value proposition, and marketing one’s skills and experience. Alharbi spends considerable time discussing the implementation of a career marketing plan and offers helpful suggestions, including how to assess feedback from others. Most chapters include questions to answer and exercises. The result is a clearly written, intelligently packaged, systematic approach to career development.

Smart and methodical advice; especially applicable to those just starting their careers.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 9798681241614

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.


Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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