A group of think tanks, lead by the Pew Charitable Trusts, found that for the first time, men in their 30s are earning less than their parents. For the first time ever, this generation will not be more well-off financially than their parents. What should we make of this new finding? Does this mean the American Dream is no longer attainable?

Probably not. Because this statistic is just a magnified section of a much larger picture — of the great generational shift taking place in America since Generation X became adults.

The shift is in the definition of the American Dream. Our dream is about time, not money. No generation wants to live with financial instability. And we are no exception. But finances alone do not define someone’s American Dream. Especially when our dream is about how we spend our time.

Those who are magnifying a different part of the picture of this generational shift will tell you that what defines it is the inability of corporate American to keep generation Y from quitting their jobs.

The best of Generation X and Y are slow to move into the work force and quick to leave it. According to the department of labor, people in their 20s change jobs, on average, every two years. And Generation X is shifting in and out of the workplace in order to spend more time with kids. It’s costing companies a lot of money, and they’re paying millions of dollars a year in consulting fees to figure out how to decrease turnover.

There are many reasons for high turnover, but the most fundamental one is that baby boomers have set up a work place that uses financial bribes to get people to give up their time: Work sixty hours a week and we’ll pay you six figures. Generation Y will not have this. To hold out money as a carrot is insulting to a generation raised to think personal development is the holy grail of time spent well.

Baby boomers are also baffled by women who grow large careers in their 20s and then dump them in order to spend time with kids. Newsflash: Generation X values their family more than their money. Our American Dream is not about buying a big house, our dream is about keeping a family together. You can tell a lot about values by the terms that are coined. When baby boomers were raising kids they invented the term latchkey kid and yuppie we invented the terms shared care and stay-at-home-dad. The divorce rate for baby boomers was higher than any other generation. We can afford to have less money because most of us don’t need to fund two separate households.

The positive psychology movement has taken a large hold among those in generation X and Y. We are convinced that money does not buy happiness, and this conviction is rooted in hard science. More than 150 universities offer courses in positive psychology. It’s the most popular class among Harvard undergrads.

Our dreams are tied to time. So it’s no surprise that many of the most popular blogs offer tips for time management. And topics like productivity are favorites among hipsters who know that “getting things done” (GTD in blog-speak) is the key to having a fulfilling life. And believe me, GTD doesn’t take money, it takes massive respect for one’s time.

The new American dream is that we will have fulfilling work that leaves plenty of time for the other things in life we love. In this respect, Generation X is doing better than our parents: We are spending more time with our kids, and we are keeping our marriages together more than twice as effectively as our parents did. And Generation Y is doing better than their parents, too: They refuse to waste their time on meaningless entry level work because they value their time and their ability to grow more than that.

The new American dream is about time. It’s not a race to earn the most to buy the biggest. It’s a dream of personal growth and quality relationships. And, despite the declarations coming from Pew about unreachable dreams, our dream is not about accumulating money to do what we love at the end. We are hell-bent on doing what we love the whole way. That’s our dream, and we’re doing it better than the baby boomers ever did.

Ask yourself: Do people like me?

You get promoted in this world because people like you, not because you get work done. There’s always more than one person who can get a job done. But everyone’s personality is different, so when you want to differentiate yourself at work, focus on your personality.

Showing the True You

In fact, a 2005 study published in the Harvard Business Review shows that people would rather work with someone they like who’s incompetent than someone who’s competent but not likable.

Keep in mind that “likable” is not as subjective as it seems. Most people in the office agree on who’s likable and who’s not. For example, most people like Bill Clinton — he just has a likable personality. Even the Bush family members, Clinton’s political polar opposites, say they like his personality.

So, if you want to get ahead at the office, you need to figure out how to make yourself likable. Usually, it’s not a matter of changing your personality, but rather making sure that your true personality shows through. Most people, if they’re true to themselves at work, are likable.

Ten Ways to Blow It

Then again, most people think they’re more likable than they really are, and therefore don’t try hard enough. There are many things that keep people from being likable — here’s a list of 10 of them:

 Using sarcasm as a defense mechanism

You probably don’t know if you’re using sarcasm as a defense mechanism, but if you use it a lot, it’s a safe bet that it’s in a defensive way.

 Being quiet because you’re insecure

People are inherently social animals. If you have nothing that you want to say, then you’re probably not likable because you have nothing to offer.

But if you do have things to say but don’t say them, then you’re not likable only because you’re so insecure that you believe you’ll sound stupid when you talk.

 Not revealing emotions at work

Keeping to yourself emotionally makes you seem one-dimensional, and it’s hard to convey likability with no depth. Most people who talk but don’t reveal emotions are out of touch with their emotions. You have to know them yourself to share them with other people.

Reaching Others by Reaching Out

 Being too smug — as in not asking for help or not revealing that you’ve had help along the way

To show no gratitude or no need for others is to alienate yourself. You might think that you make yourself look like Superman, able to do anything in a single bound. But superheroes don’t really exist, and real people need real help. So let them know you understand this by asking for help and expressing appreciation.

 Not seeing people for who they are

If you treat people who are powerful well and people who have no power poorly then you aren’t seeing the whole person. Power structures don’t define a person; they define a person’s clout. Treat everyone with respect or you won’t deserve it yourself.

 Being bored by others

If you’re not curious about other people, they won’t be interested in you. The most likable people make other people feel interesting by genuinely caring about them.

Me, Me, Me

 Being obsessed with your workload

If you think work matters more than people, then that’ll be true — for you. And people will expect you to be a workhorse but won’t want to get to know you. And they need to know you to like you.

 Not taking responsibility

If people don’t like you, it’s your own fault. Likable people are liked in all circumstances. If you blame people for your problems, people aren’t going to like you — even if they’re not among the people you blame.

 Hiding from objective feedback

You can get it from therapists, co-workers, teachers, and coaches, but you have to seek it out. And if you don’t, then you probably don’t have a good sense of your least likable qualities. So you don’t have the knowledge to make yourself likable.

 Not trying to change

All the knowledge in the world can’t overcome an inability to change. The ego is very strong and can rationalize anything. Don’t let yours do that. Take criticism to heart, and address it no matter how likable you think you are to begin with.

You’ll be more likable right away, because listening to others and trying to change are both inherently likable qualities.

My book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success, is available now!

Here is tip #37 from the book: A Long List of Ways to Dodge Long Hours

It’s hard to leave the office at a reasonable time of day when your workplace culture centers on long hours. But the cost of not leaving work is high: a half-built life and career burnout. Of course, if you never work long hours, you will never appear committed enough to get to the top ranks. So your job is to work enough hours to look committed but not so many hours that you risk your personal life and your ability to succeed over the long haul.

People cannot work full-speed until they die. Pace yourself so you don’t burn out before you reach your potential. But don’t blame your long hours on your boss, your CEO, or your underlings. Someone who does not make a conscious, organized effort to take responsibility for the number of hours they work can be thrown off course by anyone. But the person who systematically follows the steps below will not be thrown off course, even by a workaholic boss in a workaholic industry:

Concentrate on quality of work over quantity. The person who builds a career on doing the most work commits to living on a treadmill. The work will never be done, and you will become known among your co-workers as someone who never turns down an assignment. Read: dumping ground. Quality is what matters. People don’t lose a job for not working unpaid overtime, they lose a job for not performing well at the most important times; and a resume is not a list of hours worked, it is a list of big accomplishments.

Know the goals of your job. You need to know the equivalent of a home run in your job. Get a list of goals from your boss, and understand how they fit into the big picture. Judge if your work is high quality by what people need from you and how they measure success. Be sure to get goals that are quality oriented and not hours oriented. Suggest replacing, “Devote eight hours a week to cold-calling” to “Find six qualified leads in three months.”

Find the back door. Figure out what criteria people use for promotion. It is never only how many hours you work. In many professions you need to work a lot of hours, but there is always a way to be impressive enough to cut back on hours. In the realm of superstars, achievement is based on quality over quantity. Figure out how to turn out extremely impressive work so that you can get away with fewer hours. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you could pick up one, very important client for the firm, and then cut back a little on your hours.

Refuse bad assignments. Figure out what matters, and spend your time on that. Once you have clear short-term and long-term goals, it’s easy to spot the person you don’t need to impress, the project that will never hit your resume, or the hours worked that no one will notice.

Say no. Constantly. The best way to say no is to tell people what is most important on your plate so they see that, for you, they are a low priority. Prioritizing is a way to help your company, your boss, and yourself. No one can fault your for that.

Go public. Tell people about your schedule ahead of time. For example, “I have Portuguese lessons on Thursdays at 7 p.m. The class is important to me.” When you plan a vacation, announce it early and talk about it a lot. The more people know about how much you have been preparing and anticipating your trip the less likely people will be to ask you to cancel it.

Find a silent mentor. Look for someone who is respected but does not work insane hours. This will take careful hunting because this person is not likely to be obvious about it. Watch him from afar and figure out how he operates. Few people will want to mentor you in the art of dodging work — it’s bad for one’s image. But you could enlist the person to help you in other areas and hope he decides to help you in the workload area as well.

Know your boss’s goals. Your best tool for saying no to a project is reminding your boss what her goals are. If she cannot keep track of her own goals, help her. Because if you worm your way out of work that doesn’t matter to her, so that you can do work that does matter to her, she is more likely to back you up. Also your boss will protect you from assignments from other people if you show her how the other peoples’ work affects your boss’s goals.

Take control of what you can. Even small efforts at control add up to a lot, and best of all, they usually go unnoticed by others. For example, refuse to make meetings on Monday and you are less likely to have to prepare for meetings on the weekend. Refuse meetings after 4:30 p.m. and you are less likely to miss dinner at home. Ignore your phone while you write your weekly report and you’re less likely to stay late to finish it. You don’t need to tell people: “My policy is no meetings at x time.” Just say you’re already booked and suggest another time. You can’t do this every meeting, but you can do it enough to make a difference in your life.

Know your own boundaries. “Wanting to work fewer hours” is too vague a goal because you won’t know which hours to protect. Try getting home by 7 p.m., not working weekends, or leaving for two hours in the middle of the day to lift weights. These are concrete goals for cutting back hours.

Create something important outside of work. If you don’t create a life outside of work that is joyful and engaging then you won’t feel a huge need to leave work. And if you don’t project a passion for life outside of work then no one will think twice about asking you to live at work. So get some passion in your personal life. If you can’t think of anything, start trying stuff: Snowboarding, pottery, speed dating. The only way to discover new aspects of yourself is to give them new opportunities to come out.

Be brave. Brave people can say no when someone is pushing hard, and brave people can go home when other people are working late. The bravery comes from trusting yourself to find the most important work and to do it better than anyone else. But sometimes, the bravest thing to do is leave. Some industries, for example coding video games, or being a low-level analyst at an investment bank, are so entrenched in the idea that workers have no lives that you will find yourself battling constantly to get respect for your personal life. In some cases, you are better off changing industries, or at least changing companies.

By Ryan Healy — like most people our age, my friends don’t really read blogs. So I created a My Space page to market my blog. At first, this worked out great. Our friends could see bulletins every time a new post went up and people got a better sense of what the blog was all about.

On top of this, every night before bed I left an AIM away message stating, “click here” and people would be sent to the site. I also updated my Facebook profile every time a new post went up. All of these things worked great for the first few weeks. My friends went to the site, and someone new would ask about it nearly every day.

Despite all of this, we realized that it is not easy to convert the average twentysomething to the wonderful world of the blogosphere. Even my friends and acquaintances that appreciate what I’m doing and compliment my site do not frequent my blog or any other blog on a regular basis. And when they do visit the site they almost never leave a comment.

It’s ironic, though, because blogging is a way to deal with the biggest problem at the beginning of one’s career: No expertise. If you offer intelligent opinions or advice on a credible blog, then you are an expert. This is why more young people should blog. If you have a focused blog, then you can jump from job to job and learn many skills, but the constant will be that you are an expert in whatever area you choose to research and write about.

A great example of someone establishing themselves as an expert through a blog is Ramit Sethi of Iwillteachyoutoberich.com. He started writing about personal finance a few years ago and now he gives speeches on the topic, has a book coming out and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Sure it takes a little hard work, but the end result can certainly justify the means.

If you are interested in a subject but really don’t know much about it, creating a blog is a great way to learn. If you are really clueless at first, then start your blog as a clearing house for everything related to your niche. Scan the web for articles, create Google alerts for key words and contact a few experts. Eventually you will absorb so much about the topic that you can write intelligent posts as often as you would like. Get Rich Slowly is an example of a blog that started as mostly links and summaries of other peoples’ posts. Quickly, though, author JD Roth became expert enough to write his own commentary in addition to linking.

One of the hardest parts about starting a blog is that nearly every subject worth writing about has been covered to death. The solution to this is to put your own spin on it. If you are a young person the easiest thing to do is highlight the fact that you are young and write about it from a young person’s point of view. For example, if you are interested in marketing, research how the “experts” try to reach young people and then write about what works and what doesn’t. People are bound to listen; everyone is trying to figure us out.

Creating a blog will not only turn you into a subject matter expert, but it shows drive and motivation when trying to get your next job. Highlight the blog on your resume, discuss how you balanced blogging with working and brag about your site statistics and mentions around the web. Maybe blogging is the new graduate school.

Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.

Think twice before you ask for that promotion. What are you asking for, really? The average salary increase is less than 4%. This amount of money is not going to change your life in any notable way. Instead, ask for something that will change your life, like training, or a plum project that will broaden your skills.

Even if the benefits of a promotion were more notable, it’s hard to imagine them being worth the trouble a promotion causes. Development Dimensions International (DDI), a human resources firm, reports that, “When given the opportunity to rate life challenges in order of difficulty, 19 percent of all US leaders [polled] rated being promoted as the number one greatest challenge, superseding personal stressors like coping with bereavement, divorce and relocation.”

First of all, you have to figure that the majority of these people found getting a promotion so stressful because their stay-at-home spouse takes care of all the other stuff. Of course relocation is not stressful for an executive. He or she works in the New York office on Friday and the Seattle office on Monday, and meanwhile, the spouse is moving the kids and all the stuff. So, in fact, relocation is probably a negative on the stress scale for executives because they finally get a little relief from that nagging feeling that they should go home for dinner.

But even putting those issues aside, a promotion is very stressful because you have to start excelling at a different kind of job. Matt Paese, a vice president at DDI, says that the top three reasons that promotions are so stressful are:

1. Things get more political

2. There is more ambiguity and uncertainty

3. You don’t have as much personal control and you have to get things done through other people.

So, look, I think we can conclude here that if you don’t want to deal with office politics and delegation, then you should say no to the promotion. Robert Hogan, famous organizational psychologist thinks that you either have the personality for management or you don’t. Unfortunately, he finds that, “Managers are rarely promoted based on their talent for leadership.

Steve Fishman wrote a nice piece about this problem in New York Magazine, titled Boss Science. In this article, Hogan describes the five traits of personality: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. What makes the best leader? Openness. “Open to new experiences, new ideas, new people. He’s not dogmatic. He likes diversity. He’s not a routinized taskmaster barking orders down the organizational chart.” (If you want to know your own traits, take the Hogan Assessment.)

It turns out that it’s much more important to be open than to be intelligent if you want to succeed as a leader. And conscientiousness is good for being the person who does stuff, not the person who leads. Agreeable is a good trait for a great team player, bad trait for a boss. Neuroticists are good when you need to hear about the worst-case scenarios, all the time.

Don’t despair if you’re not all about openness, though. The Harvard Business Review reports this month (paid) that the thing that really makes your workday good is feeling like you’ve made progress on your goal, and having your manager acknowledge that progress. So better to have the kind of work you are good at, and get praise for it, then move into a management position that you do not have the skill set to thrive.

So forget about that promotion. Don’t let someone else define your career path for you and then promote you through it as if their vision for your life is your vision. Instead, figure out what work you are best suited for, and request it. This is the best path for you.

Advice for getting happier: Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with people, try focusing on what’s right with people -what makes people happy, successful and more productive. This is what the positive psychologists do.

Senia Maymin (pronounced Sen-ya) has a master’s degree in applied positive psychology. What this means is that she uses the science of happiness to help people make their lives better. She divides what we know about happiness into five categories, and she explains how we can make headway in each one of them in order to improve our lives.

1. Increase our positive thinking.
The key to thinking positively is being optimistic. The way you determine if you are optimistic or pessimistic is how you explain things. When the copy machine doesn’t work, is the world out to get you? Do all copy machines never work ever? Or is this something that sometimes happens and you can deal with it by calling a repair person?

You can teach yourself to be more optimistic by teaching yourself to reframe situations by telling different stories. The stories we tell shape how we see the world. If you tell stories about your ability to get what you want then you are more likely to believe you can do it. As super-optimist (and radio host) Karen Salmansohn says, “You can take your story of woe and turn it into a story of wow.”

2. Increase your positive emotions.
When you are feeling good, you can come up with more solutions to your problems. So the world looks more like something you can affect to get what you want. The less positive you are feeling, the fewer possibilities you see for creating success.

Also, if you have practice feeling positive, then when bad things happen you are accustomed to going to a wide solution space, so you will go there reflexively. This means you’ll get out of a bad spot faster and more effectively.

One way to increase positive feelings is to write a list of things you’re grateful for every night before you go to bed. Doing this actually changes how you think.

3. Increase your authenticity and your strength.
It’s very hard to figure out what you’re really good at. And by the time most of us figure out what we are good at we think it’s too late to change what we’re doing. So we just sort of pretend that we are doing what we are really good at.

Don’t do that. You’ll be happier if you are true to your strengths. To figure out what you are best at try taking the strengths assessment at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center or try taking the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator.

And then believe the results. Act on them. Don’t make excuses for why you can continue doing something you’re not great at.

4. Increase your positive choices and decisions
First of all, having more choices does not make us happier. In fact it makes the decision making process less positive because we spend too much time obsessing over what we should do. An example of this is that you don’t need 15 Chinese restaurants to choose from in order to have a nice night out eating Chinese food.

Another way to think about choices is that if you train yourself how to be at decision points, then you can simplify your life in a way that makes you choose better. Take going to the gym. If you tell yourself there is no choice but go to the gym then there is not a huge process of deciding what is most important each evening after work.

Telling stories helps here, too. If you remind yourself of all the bad things that happened with a bad decision then you will less likely to feel that that is a decision point going forward. Example of what works: The French government puts gruesome photos of car accidents on billboards to get people to wear seatbelts.

5. Increase positive habits.
If you do one positive thing in your life, there is spillover into other aspects of your life. In the big picture, this can explain why if you are living in poverty and you enter into a loving relationship you are likely to get out of poverty.

In a study by Roy Baumeister, college students who were asked to take better care of their finances for a few weeks found that they unexpectedly also found themselves going to the gym more often, eating better, and getting better grades.

But you should remove temptation, because you can only withstand it so many times before it wears you down. This means you should get the m&m’s off your desk.

Creating one positive habit encourages you to live your life more consciously and more positively all around.

I loved talking with Senia about this. At the end of a half-hour conversation, I swear I am living my life more positively because of the tools she was able to give me in so short a time. Fortunately, Senia is doing Coachology this week, so someone is going to get to work with her for free, for 90 minutes.

Here is the best candidate to work with Senia; she focuses on entrepreneurs and career changers: You should be a high-achiever, because the person who is most successful in self-discipline and self-control is the person who is in the best position to apply positive psychology research on their life. You should also be ready to make a big change in your work life in order to increase your happiness. Senia can help you do this.

Send three sentences to me about why you want to work with Senia, and she’ll pick someone. Please send the email by Monday, May 28.

Here is my book tour schedule so far. You’ll be able to find updates on my book web site, at www.penelopetrunk.com in a few days. For now, here’s the schedule.

I have actually already gone to one city, as a pre-publication test run: Cleveland. And I met up with a bunch of people including Cheezhead blogger Joel Cheesman, who recorded an interview that you can listen to here.

I’m looking forward to meeting a lot more people in person as the tour continues.

June 4, Atlanta
A Cappella Books
484-C Moreland Ave NE.
Atlanta, GA 30307

June 7, New York City
Tequila Jack’s
1668 Third Ave
Between East 93rd and 94th
(212) 426-1416

June 11, Boston
Location TBD

June 18, Tampa
Inkwood Books
216 South Armenia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609-3310
(813) 253-2638

June 21, San Francisco
Location TBD

At some point, you’ve probably thought about starting your own company. Maybe you want to get rich and famous from it, but most likely you just want to have fun, learn a lot, and try something new. The trick is getting the guts to do it.
Whatever you want to gain from starting a business, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. It’s easier than ever to get things going quickly and inexpensively. And today’s opportunities for entrepreneurship allow you to maintain a sense of stability in your personal life while trying out some of your business ideas.

Here are five ideas to give you the courage to get started now.

1. Don’t wait to start until you’re sure you’ll succeed.
Assured success never happens. For instance, Guy Kawasaki, who was known for evangelizing the Apple brand before starting his own firm, Garage Technology Ventures, launched his own startup, Truemors, this month. It’s a site that allows people to post rumors they’ve heard and then let others vote on the rumors for popularity ranking.

When asked how he knew Truemors would work, Kawasaki said that he didn’t. “You don’t get over the idea that it might be a flop. Every startup faces these feelings. It’s not like the founders started Google and people said, ‘Oh, that’s a slam dunk.’ In fact, when people do say it’s a slam dunk, you can be sure it’ll tank.”

2. You don’t have to dive in head-first.
It used to be that if you wanted to start a business you’d have to move your family into the apartment above your general store. Luckily, you no longer have to overhaul your whole life in order to take the leap into business ownership. In fact, you can take small steps to test the waters before leaving your corporate job.

For example, take a freelance gig, then try consulting, and then launch a full-blown business. That way, you’ll have a client base built up before you give up your steady paycheck.

You can also launch a quickie web-based business that you build on nights and weekends, and see who shows up and who talks about it. If it’s a flop, you can just keep working your day job until you come up with a new idea. The quick response of an Internet audience means that it takes months, not years, to figure out if you have a viable business.

3. You don’t need to spend a lot of money.

Starting an Internet company isn’t nearly as expensive as it once was. You used to need up to $5 million in funding from a venture capital firm in order to cover software development and marketing.

Today, the software behind many Internet companies is very cheap, if not free, and marketing consists of sending an email announcement about the company to 50 friends. So the money you need to think about is in the thousands, not the millions.

Think of making your company virtual, with no specific location. This means there are few overhead costs — no rent, no phone line, and no furniture. So the risk of failure doesn’t include risking your ability to pay your mortgage, which is often the case with a failed business stuck in a lease.

4. Rethink success and failure — they’re not black-and-white conditions.

Starting a company doesn’t have to mean you’re building the next Microsoft. It simply gives you an opportunity to learn and grow, and offers you the chance to work with your friends and create the lifestyle you want.

This means that starting a business is a lot less risky than it seems. Conversely, sticking with a corporate job — with no assurance that you’ll stay or, that if you do, you’ll learn anything — is the more risky choice.

The diverse goals of today’s entrepreneurs mean that most companies are a success in some way. If nothing else, it’s difficult to start a company and not learn a lot given the amount of time and effort you put in. Even if the endeavor is as small as a blog-based business, as Ryan Healy of Employee Evolution points out, you learn a lot faster by starting side projects than waiting for your boss to teach you something.

5. Take action.

Ben Casnocha founded Comcate when he was 14, and it’s still running strong five years later. His book, “My Start-Up Life,” describes what it takes to get a company up and running.

Ben’s big message is to take action: “In the early days of any new business, it’s easier to plan than to act. It’s easier to strategize than actually do stuff. I tried to keep action the centerpiece of my strategy.”

Starting a business is taking a risk on your own idea, but it’s a very small one compared to leading a life with no risks. It’s much more interesting to see how your idea plays out — even if it doesn’t work at all — than to never try doing something on your own.

So take one small action today. Starting a business isn’t the huge, sweeping act it once was. It’s simply taking many smaller actions that add up to some of the biggest, best experiences of your life.

More reviews of my book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. I send a big thank you to everyone who is writing about the book! Also, for the book publication, I’ve launched a new home site.

Here’s the home site: http://www.penelopetrunk.com/.

And here are the latest reviews:

Bob Sutton at Bob Sutton
This book made me think, it made me squirm, and it also made realize that too many of my assumptions about how to get a job — or in my case, how to advise Stanford students who are looking for jobs — are wrong or half-wrong.

Richard Florida at Creativity Exchange
A terrific guide to managing your career in today’s horizontal labor market. I devoured it in an afternoon.

Brendon Connelly at Slacker Manager
There’s a lot to love in this book. It’s an easy and fun read-especially when you see yourself in the pages.

David Maister at davidmaister.com
She writes so well that even if you’re not in her target audience (Generation X or Y), or currently in the market for career advice, she’s nevertheless worth making a daily habit.

Curt Rosengren at Occupational Adventure
She’s whip smart, no-nonsense, and always has great ideas to share.

Steven Rothberg at CollegeRecruiter.com
Penelope Trunk is one of this generation’s greatest career writers.

Maura Welch at Boston.com
A hot new book that lays down the new rules for career success in her always smart, no-nonsense manner. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it.

David Rothacker at Rothacker Reviews
As a Boomer manager, I feel as if Brazen Careerist is my own personal undercover spy, infiltrating the Gen X and Y’ers’ world.

Jeri Dansky Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering News
I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Debra Owen at 8 hours & a lunch
Whether you’re facing a quarter-life crisis, or a mid-life one, this is worth a read.

When you try to decide should you stay at your job or should you quit, you probably focus on the part of your job that is not core to you. For example, getting coffee for the boss. You do that and then your boss teaches you, say, how to review a fashion show in Milan. Not a bad trade. For some people.

You can complain about the getting coffee part of any job, but there is not job without its getting-coffee equivalent. We spend a lot of time looking for “the perfect job, but instead of trying to eliminate the bad parts of a job, try focusing on what part of your day is fulfilling core needs for you, and make sure your job facilitates that fulfillment.

Then manage the annoying parts. Do them quickly to make sure you spend your time on what you like. And get out of the type of work that is so frustrating that it would be a deal breaker.

In this respect, finding a job you like has a lot to do with how you manage your time in that job.

I interviewed Ann Althouse a while back for a time management column I was writing. I picked her because she is a law school professor at University of Wisconsin- Madison Law School, and she writes one of the most popular blogs on politics. I thought she’d have good time management tips because she has two very time-consuming jobs.

I thought the interview was a bust, because unlike everyone else I interviewed, she didn’t come up with a list of tips for me. But I realize now, six months later, that she came up with philosophical tips for time management. Her tip is that in order to manage time well, you have to be philosophically clear on what your life is about and where your fulfillment comes from.

Ann wants to write about constitutional law. That’s her field. She wants to get non-legal types talking about the difficult legal issues that are at the core of our country. But she realizes that a constitutional law blog would be dead on arrival: “If I said this is all law all the time I wouldn’t have the lay readers that I like engaging on legal topics.”

So she blogs about politics in order to retain her audience and then she slips in constitutional law issues when they come up. She thinks of her blog as fulfilling her calling – to educate people about constitutional law.

I asked her if it’s hard to blog about topics that are not central to her interest and she said: “You can’t like everything you do.”

This is obvious, yet many of us spend a lot of energy trying to get around this nonnegotiable truth. She inadvertently gave great advice about managing a career: It is worthwhile to do something that is not core to you in order to get to the part that is truly your calling.

But even Althouse has her limits. When it comes to the blog, the comments are the biggest problem for her. So she doesn’t exactly read them. “I spend a second on each one to make sure nothing terrible is happening…There is no amount of time management that can make you do something you don’t want to do.”