From the first page of “Building an Amazing Career,” I was hooked because I fully knew where author Jodene Hager was coming from when she began with her optimistic words:
In school, the future was looking so bright. The doors would swing open, the clients would come running, and I would finally reach a stage of having enough in my life. My teachers had said something about how important networking was, but I didn’t quite get what that really meant. I couldn’t wait to graduate and get my license to practice.
As I read on, I realized that I felt a lot like Jodene. Although she is a massage therapist and I’m a writer, editor, and book reviewer, I started out as an English major thinking a job would just be available to me, and as great as my education was in terms of teaching me about writing and literature, it did not prepare me for the job market or even knowing what to do with my degree. After years of teaching, and ups and downs in the job market, including jobs that had nothing to do with my degree, I eventually became self-employed and found myself using my degree to do what I was most talented and qualified to do. Like Jodene, I felt in some ways that my education had failed me in terms of how to build a career or business and things would have been easier if someone had just taken the time to talk to me or visit my class and share information. Similarly, and early in her career, Jodene realized there needed to be support groups for healthcare professionals, so she promised herself that once she had the experience she needed, she would build them.
My point is that, no matter whether you’re in healthcare or not, this book is full of information that will benefit you in building an amazing career and Jodene’s personal stories will resonate with you while giving you tips to improve your situation. In fact, I’m sure it’s no accident that “Building an Amazing Career” wasn’t titled “Building an Amazing Massage Therapist Career” because its information is largely applicable to every career. Just one vital across-all-professions point Jodene makes is about the importance of networking with people outside of your profession. Reading this book really made me understand what it takes to be a chiropractor or massage therapist, and I can only benefit from that understanding and apply her advice-about networking, building a business, hiring and firing employees, or being self-employed-to my own situation as a self-employed writer who continually contracts and networks with others in the publishing world.
If Jodene had chosen another name for this book, it might have been “Everything They Failed to Teach You in School about Having a Career.” Whether it’s about interviewing for a job or interviewing employees, learning how to network with others in your field or other professions (Jodene knows “networking” can seem scary, but also that it’s vital for success), giving back to the community or profession through creating fundraisers, talking to students who plan to make your current profession their future one, or sharing both horror stories and funny anecdotes about what actually happens day-to-day in the healthcare world, Jodene has excellent advice that can be applied to almost every business and employee situation. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Building an Amazing Career” became required reading for nurses, doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and even all businesspeople. The book encompasses essential information for everyone in business-and we’re all in business-whether as an employee, employer, or a self-employed individual.
A lot of what Jodene advocates may surprise you, such as why you should not advertise, why you need to educate your patients about your work, and Jodene’s request that if she left anything out of the book, you contact her to share stories for future editions of this book and others. I was struck throughout by her honesty and her enthusiasm for her work and her earnest efforts to help her fellow health care practitioners.
Networking examples may be the strongest part of this powerful book, and Jodene has proven herself a fantastic networker as evidenced by all her stories and all the people (health care professionals and patients) who enthusiastically gave her endorsements. From the time she made hundreds of dollars a week in her pet sitting business, starting at age twelve, to the day she found the courage to write a book and share what she has learned, she has obviously been a go-getter, a bundle of positive energy, and a fountain of information to all those who know her. She has also clearly accomplished what she promised early in her career to do-build support groups for health care practitioners. Jodene has gone from being a successful businesswoman herself to someone who assists and even creates organizations, networks with and brings together her fellow professionals, educates students, and still manages to find time to do what she loves-massage therapy-despite experiencing injuries.
I don’t think anyone who plans to go into massage therapy or business in general could have a better friend or mentor than Jodene Hager, and I can’t imagine any readers will come away from “Building an Amazing Career” without thinking they got a real steal for just the price of a book considering all the information inside it. Kudos, Jodene! Keep inspiring!