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Book Club: 10 Career Essentials: Excel at your career by using your personality type

Author: Donna Dunning
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing 2010
ISBN: 978-1-85788-542-2

by Jaz Bruhn 

Bah! Bah! Bah! Please tell me this is not just another book about the Myers-Briggs personality type.This is what I thought as I did my first skim of Ms. Dunning’s latest book. Not a very open minded approach, I agree

But was I seduced into pausing a little and later into really reading the book. I think there is a danger sometimes with all readers, but particularly when reading resource materials, to become jaded especially when dealing with material that we are too familiar with or that has been covered extensively.  PLEASE DO NOT DISMISS THIS BOOK.

Donna Dunning has set-up a very easy-to-use book, using a traditional format with learning and reference tools. The first chapter summarises each of her ten essential career success strategies and includes a handy section on “How to Use This Book”. The book concludes with a section of additional resources. The language is simple enough to appeal to a wide range of readers but not so simplistic that it will bore the more experienced.

Chapter two — entitled “Ask Yourself for Directions” — explores the first of Dunning’s “career essential” and provides a very helpful method for finding out your “type”. Dunning then asks the reader three questions and provides information to help answer each question. The information and exercises are really engaging and instructive but not necessarily easy: be prepared to do some work.

Each subsequent chapter detailing the career essentials then follow this same format, all ending with a “Reflection and Action” box. Chapter three, “Optimize Your Outlook”, introduces us to the first in a series of “success story” and “excel your way” boxes. The titles of the chapters gives a good sense of the optimistic and invigorating nature of this book: “Put Yourself in Charge”; “Learn from Everyone”;”Relate to Anyone”; “Cultivate Your Creativity”; “Disentangle Your Thoughts”; “Exceed Expectations”; “Thrive in Uncertainty” and “Promote Your Progress”.

As Dunning points out “self-assessment is not always easy” but with this book, the writing and the organization of the content makes the process enjoyable. I would say that this is one of those books that you will want to have on hand even after you have worked through it.

I would encourage you to get this book and work through it for yourself for yourself and your clients. 10 Career Essentials is available through Psychometrics.

Jaz Bruhn is the Conference Planning Associate at CERIC and works on Cannexus – National Career Development Conference. He holds a B.A. with specialized honours (Linguistics) and a M.A. (English) both from York University.


Bilingual and looking for francophone career resources?
Be sure to visit our sister site,, for reviews of French books.

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