The Long View: How to Be Your Own Career Therapist, Maximizing Yield and Joy at Each Stage of Your Working Life
These can be disquieting times for starting your career, leading in your field or plotting the far side of a working life arc that can now be expected to last 45 or 50 years. But into the breach steps Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO of the digital marketing agency OgilvyOne Worldwide, with a short, punchy book called The Long View that offers new and revivifying ideas for keeping a career vital at every stage. There is good news and sage counsel here for Millennials just entering the fray, as well as useful instruction for every employee and executive concerning how to keep your career fuel tank from running dry despite any individual setbacks you may experience and a pervasively fluid job market.
Drawing on 35 years working with global business firms, Fetherstonhaugh outlines a holistic career view that incorporates the value of personal time, parenthood and travel in addition to financial gain – and details how to plan and work your way there. Through a pie chart exercise, for example, he illustrates how to analyze the way you currently invest 100 percent of your time, and then discusses realistic strategies for devising work/life “slices” that might more closely align with your deepest values. Fetherstonhaugh, himself a garage band guitarist and Sunday-night hockey player, genially explains how he maintained 5 percent “chill time” in his “time-use portfolio” over three decades.
“I wrote this book because after 30 years in business and 18 months of my own research, I found an ever-increasing tide of anxiety among working people,” Fetherstonhaugh said.“People at work today need a different kind of career help. They need a new perspective that works for our future, not the past. The Long View will help readers turn career anxiety into action.”
The Long View provides practical advice for maintaining career fuel over the course of a working life. In each of what he describes as three stages lasting roughly 15 years, Fetherstonhaugh believes all these types of fuel are essential: transportable skills, meaningful experiences and enduring relationships.
The book describes how to move through progressive steps:
- Stage One: Start Strong by “Taking on Fuel”
- Stage Two: Focus on Strengths in Mid-Career
- Stage Three: Pass the Torch and Reignite the Flame in Later Years
The Long View offers additional, insightful short profiles of real people at turning points, such as
- Mohammed Ashour, a young man on his way to becoming a neurosurgeon who pivots to found his own company that produces insects as food
- Former American Ballet Theater dancer Rachel S. Moore, who, during the second stage of her career,becomes a CEO at The Music Center in Los Angeles
- Tim Penner, a 60-year-old veteran executive, who transitions to an advisory role for nonprofits and community causes.
With a calm, witty and original voice, Fetherstonhaugh urges us all to be brave and thoughtful in times of turmoil and noise. He urges open exploration of scary questions like, “Will I be replaced by a machine?” “Where and how will I find work in the future?” And he delivers some reassuring answers.
He also champions an innovative concept to extend the working life of those who leave the workforce for a time to raise children: “Returnships,” which would pair returnees with a mentor. “Returnships should become a global phenomenon,” he writes, “built around the principles of reframing past experience, refreshing skill sets, reconnecting career ecosystems, and re-booting self-confidence.”
The Long View explores the possibilities of entrepreneurship, the freelance economy and e-commerce. Known for bringing his own company to the forefront of the digital revolution, Fetherstonhaugh recommends that all businesspeople spend “at least one chapter of their career” working in e-commerce. Most important, though, is the underlying message he puts in every chapter of this book: each of us must stay open to discovering new possibilities and opportunities as we go. When crises or challenges come, rewrite – keeping your cool, maintaining your convictions and using a few of Fetherstonhaugh’s innovative methods to speed the process.
Brian Fetherstonhaugh has been the global CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, a digital marketing company, for the past 10 years. He is the executive sponsor for Ogilvy’s Young Professional Network and advises several start-ups run by Millennials. He also has been a board member of Goodwill Industries for more than 20 years. Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Fetherstonhaugh and his wife, Chris, live in New York.
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