Described as a ‘tough love-letter to the employee in all of us, this book seeks to shake the jaded employee (that we can be at times) and try and get you have better control of your career.

The book doesn’t promise the earth, nor anything that it cannot deliver, but it does offer at least some strategies for possibly refocussing or reformatting your career, even without requiring significant change from your employer. Through an attitude change, for example, can come many changes that in turn may lead to more concrete, visible changes that wouldn’t necessarily have started on their own, unprompted.

Publicity material for the book describes some of these strategies as ‘ground-breaking’, such as viewing yourself as being a business owner and to consider your workplace as the client’s premises. I am not so sure that I would use such an adjective, although there can be merit and an attitudinal shift when you look at things differently. At least the author does not pretend that change is necessarily easy, which is quite rare in such self-help books. Expectations are suitably managed.

This may be one of those books that you need to look at and see if you gel with it. The book’s writing style was, for me, a little too wordy, florid and less-focussed, but for others it may be quite an attractive, friendly narrative read. At least it has an affordable price, so you only need to make a very modest investment into something that may make your working life easier, or less stressful, if you can make changes. Any additional income or seniority could be seen as a welcome, or overdue bonus. View it as oil for the working life and any benefits that you get from the machine running smoothly and without trouble should be considered as a very good thing.

The author is honest and open, not pretending that this is the result of some deep or broad scientific research. It is just based on 20-plus years of working experience and observation, noting what has seemingly worked along the way. The author is candid, saying take what works for you and dump the rest. For that honesty, at least, it may deserve a closer look to see if the author is being very confident, or very foolish, with their exaltation!

Low Man on the Totem Pole Book Cover Low Man on the Totem Pole
H.V. MacArthur
MCP Books