Work with What You Have

Deborahann Smith, Author
Deborahann Smith, Author Shambhala Publications $12 (199p) ISBN 978-1-57062-114-7
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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Smith (Temp) offers broad ruminations about work, its meaning in our lives and possibilities for ""alternative workstyles."" Drawing insight and opinion from her own 20 years of working experience, she addresses such issues as creativity, identity, leadership, difficult bosses, ornery co-workers, temping, freelancing, quitting a job and losing a job. She offers some practical advice for ""keeping your sanity"" on the job and for overcoming something she calls ""worker's block,"" which is akin to writer's block but applicable to any job or career. While she encourages readers to ""take small steps toward your goal,"" she's not very clear about how they can determine what their goals are, what they want from their work. Although she frequently mentions her Zen practice, she avoids any serious discussion of how people can integrate their moral values into their work. Smith also seems oblivious to many of the personal and financial realities her readers may face, including family and debt. Rather than tell readers how to find work that suits their personalities, she assumes that everyone can simply adopt particular personality traits in order to make the most of a given situation. Overall, Smith provides a lot of motivational-speaker truisms so vaguely couched as to be of only limited use to work-weary clock punchers. (Jan.)
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