Solid, well-structured support from someone who’s gone through the downsizing process.

Upsizing in a Downsizing World


Chau shares her own story and advice on getting back into the job market in this debut self-help guide.

“It happened so fast,” the author recalls about her termination, in her 50s, from the unnamed company where she’d worked for nearly 20 years. In this guide, she takes readers through her journey of receiving the news (“I cried, I couldn’t help it, but held myself together and went bravely down the elevator”), telling her family, using her company’s career-transition firm, networking, and, eventually, landing her next job. Chau organizes her narrative into 33 brief chapters, which relate her personal saga largely chronologically but also focus on specific, practical topics, including “Employment Lawyers—Do You Have a Case?,” “Creating a Personal Brand,” and “Going Back to School.” Other chapters acknowledge and address the emotional consequences of being downsized, such as “The Hurt That Never Goes Away.” Most end with several bullet-pointed “Lessons Learned,” including the necessity of talking with someone about one’s problems and of being honest about gaps in work history. She concludes the book with tips regarding the contents of one’s job-hunting “Toolbox”: a resume, a cover letter, a reference list, business cards, a prepared 90-second introduction for interviews, a marketing profile of skills and strengths, and more. Chau, a longtime personal journal writer, has crafted a clear, conversational guide that provides basic yet bracing advice on how to handle a job loss. Although many of the tips are obvious, such as to include contact information on one’s resume, the book does effectively walk readers through the routine yet important tasks of a job search. Best of all, Chau speaks with the authority of a survivor who, while offering few details about her own professional life, ultimately serves as an inspirational model of positivity and perseverance.  

Solid, well-structured support from someone who’s gone through the downsizing process.

Pub Date: Dec. 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4620-6426-7

Page Count: 152

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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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 timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.


An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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