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Book review of “Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Burnett and Evans are from the Stanford Design Program. Bill Burnett was a product leader for Apple’s PowerBook business. Dave Evans was a cofounder of Electronic Arts.

In their words: “DESIGNING YOUR WORK LIFE teaches readers how to create the job they want—without necessarily leaving the job they already have.” Burnett and Evans present a series of creative and thought-provoking exercises. The exercises are meant to help you determine your future by creating a road map and a plan to accomplish your goals.

Some of the many interesting points discussed throughout the book by Burnett and Evans:

  • Think like a designer i.e. build a way forward instead of complaining.
  • Good enough for now attitude lets you transform work problems.
  • Work problems are never insurmountable if you set small goals to achieve it.
  • The best doable options need consideration.
  • Prevent being overwhelmed at work by looking for ways out.
  • Don’t resign your job try to redesign it before you decide to quit.
  • Be curious – try stuff – reframe problems – know it’s a process – ask for help – tell your story!
  • If you quit don’t be a bridge burner.

Okay we all heard this last point about burning your bridges. But my fellow DBA colleagues you are in a smaller crowd than you think. I have been retired over 3 years and I was recently sent an IM about recommending a DBA candidate. I worked with the candidate over 15 years ago. I also knew the hiring manager from a past job a few years back. I was able to give the candidate a great recommendation.

Designing Your Work Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans gets a thumbs up!

Dbas you CAN get your work life together? Right?


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