Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: Jesus, Career Counselor by Laurie Beth Jones

JESUS, Career Counselor: How to Find (and Keep) Your Perfect Work
Book Details:
JESUS, Career Counselor: How to Find (and Keep) Your Perfect Work
By Laurie Beth Jones
Genre: Vocational Guidance
Published 2010, Howard Books
Hardback, 256 pages
ISBN: 9781439149065


Written to help readers get, find, and keep the work they love, JESUS, Career Counselor weaves together practical self-help concepts, intriguing stories, relevant statistics, and Bible scriptures.
Divided into four sections centered on the four natural giftings or personalities of people, this book explores twelve dreams that God has for each individual--including rise, risk, roar, renew, regenerate, rejoice, relate, and more. It then instructs readers in how to realize each one of these dreams, no matter their natural inclination.
As individual personalities of Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind are explored, the book explains how the Fire of excitement translates to Leadership Skills, how the Earth of grounding translates into Good Habits and Character Development, how the Water of life-giving becomes Relationship Skills, and how the Wind of release becomes the Creativity and Innovation, which are in high demand in every industry in the world today.
Readers will learn how to discover their four greatest talents and create their personal Talent Shield, which will help them choose a meaningful career based on their Life’s Mission Statement.
Each chapter serves as a free-standing career guidepost, and includes Career Exercises, pertinent Word Definitions, Career Choices for individual gifting, Self-Quizzes, and Reader Study Guides.

This book sat on my desk for the longest time, half-read. I am a SAHM, stay-at-home mom, and I found this book had very little to do with my "career." Jones did eventually address this in the book, but only briefly, and it makes me wonder what the author's personal views are on women who choose my career. A perfect example of this is that at the end of every element section, she lists careers she considers appropriate for those that match that element, and none of the four lists mention a SAHM. Even when she discusses those who have been forced to leave their job or choose to leave their job, she views being stuck at home as a temporary place and describes how to move out of it, never considering that maybe Jesus wants it to be permanent.
Delving into the opening of the book, it is quickly apparent that the author assumes that the reader has read the author's previous books and will use these other books to produce a mission statement, personality profile, "four greatest talents", and a vision statement. As I have not read her previous works, and don't intend to, I felt I was at a further disadvantage from benefiting from reading this book.
Another mark against the book is that Jones does not stick with only one version of the Bible to quote from, and the only time she actually states which version she is quoting from is when she quotes the KJV - every other time is a mystery.
There are many positive points to the book, such as the organization. Each of the four elements are covered in-depth, with each of the four sections containing three chapters that each focus on a single word that fits that element, all beginning with the prefix "re-". Each of these words come with a detailed definition, and each chapter provides places for the reader to take notes and answer the author's questions, such as the "Make It Yours" sections and the "Career Exercises", with each chapter ending with a prayer. The "Bonus Features" at the end of each of the four sections list additional prayers, the aforementioned list of recommended occupations, and "Summary Points" of the three words defined in each section. The last section of the book has additional "Bonus Features," which is the authors' Book Picks, a list of Internet resources, a section on resumes, and a section titled "How to Deal with Sudden Job Loss / Reversal of Fortune." I do enjoy a well-organized book.
The anecdotes were entertaining and the advice seemed good and useful to those in the job market. I did appreciate Jones' goal of making Jesus central to a person's career, even if the methods by which she approaches this seemed more New Age than Biblical, despite the scripture quotes. Her writing was also very sensitive to the reader who has lost a job or is unhappy in his or her current job, which would be an appropriate way to address the reader in the current economy.

The Cover: This is a simple cover design with a desk chair as the background, which alludes to the vocational aspect of the book's purpose. Sometimes simple is good.

Read For: Pages Read Challenge

*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*


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