It appears that the first known review of Working World the book—not counting my mom’s glowing recommendations to everyone she talks to—isn’t accessible anywhere at all on the internet machine. This due to the fact that CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, put out by the Association of College and Research Libraries, is blocked by an impenetrable subscription-only shield. I was thus forced to take the photocopied fax that Georgetown Press mailed to me and type the whole review out myself. What a chore—is that what people did before Control-C, Control-V? Don’t feel too sorry for me though—it’s not a very long review. But it is, I’m happy to note, uniformly positive.
So, without further ado, a review of Working World, from the January 2009 issue of CHOICE:
Mueller, an experienced association executive, teams with Overmann, her former intern, to offer intergenerational perspectives on building careers in international education and humanitarian sectors. Chapters give their disparate perspectives on job seeking, networking, and mentoring, which will prove valuable to anyone wanting to shape a meaningful career. Readers will likely identify with the job attitudes of one author more than the other. Mueller, active in her profession for four decades, sees the book as a way of mentoring her younger colleague, whereas Overmann rejects the notion that he has ever had a mentor. Nevertheless, their brief essays reveal a strong bond.
Chapter 4, “The Continuous Journey,” is the most reflective. In it, both authors stress that one builds careers until the day one retires. Five of the 12 chapters provide annotated, current print and Web resources dealing with volunteer opportunities and with working for nonprofits, the federal government, and multinational associations. Many entries are broad enough to be useful to job seekers outside the book’s emphasis. A dozen interviews of people who have built successful careers illuminate points the authors make; one association executive states, “If you have a career choice to make, always take the one that’s going to give you a steeper learning curve.” This is a first-rate resource for anyone entering the working world. Excellent subject index.
Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, professionals/practitioners, and general readers.
–C.B. Thurston, University of Texas at San Antonio
If forced to take issue with something in the review, it would be this line: “Overmann rejects the notion that he has ever had a mentor.” That’s an unfairly strong way of summing up what I actually write, which is more of an exploration of my ambivalence towards the term “mentor” and a questioning of who, in fact, the mentors are in my life. But seriously, why take issue with anything in a review that’s so positive, especially when it’s your first? I feel tingly all over.