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Book review of: Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well, and Advance Your Career by Arthur B. Markman. Markman is the Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin. He has authored several acclaimed books.

SQL Server DBA’s and IT workers can learn a few lessons from this book on being more effective in their current role. Bring Your Brain to Work is a definite read for first time job seekers, those looking to change jobs, employees looking to be more effective in their current role or anyone wanting career counseling.

Markman has a great statistic on baby boomers holding an average of 11.7 jobs from ages 18 to 48. Markman states ‘…if anything this trend is accelerating.’. BTW I am one of those baby boomers that hit that average during my career. The book also warns managers to note that workers are not loyal to companies just as companies no longer encourage loyalty to the company.

The book is broken into 3 parts:

  • Getting a Job
  • Succeeding at Work
  • Managing your Career

Here’s a sampling of hundreds of insights I found in the book:

  • Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know
  • Be the first to confess your mistake
  • Know more than you think you should
  • Generalist are valuable in innovation settings
  • Choose your mentor wisely
  • Look for formal and informal continuing education opportunities
  • Career dissatisfaction happens when you don’t predict what you wanted
  • Developing a relationship with colleagues is more important than you think
  • Take vacations since the work will be there when you return
  • If unhappy in career, find training you need to change careers
  • Money matters but won’t make you happy for long
  • Ask for what you need
  • Look for opportunities from what other people do in their jobs
  • Sometimes you must leave to advance your career

This book was named a Financial Times Business Book of the Month. It’s based on Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science encompasses psychology, computer science, neuroscience, anthropology, linguistics and philosophy.

I give the book ‘Bring Your Brain to Work’ a thumbs up. Right?


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