Learning to Find the Upside in Down Times

“Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags,” by Bonnie Michaels and Allison Blankenship. Collage Books. 214 pages. $15.95.

Bonnie Michaels, a Naples part-timer who founded the consulting firm Managing Work & Family in 1987, has put her expertise to work to help people navigate the special challenges of today’s depressed and unstable economy. For this new book, her third, she has partnered with another Naples part-timer, Allison Blankenship, a communications specialist and corporate entrepreneur whose background and skills compliment those of Ms. Michaels. Together, they have fashioned a timely self-help book that is responsive to several new challenges in lifestyle and career dynamics.

One of these challenges is that the conventional notion of career-building, one that includes a vision of two-way loyalties cementing decades of employer-employee bonds, is no longer operative. Old habits of expectation and entitlement in the workplace are mind-set handicaps that have to be eliminated. Imagining that you are owed something (for your skills, your past performance, or your credentials) doesn’t get you anywhere when the future is essentially not known. It is also a path to bitterness and stasis.

Dealing with the “not known” is one concern of “Upside” to which the authors give extended attention. People adjusting to meet new – yet not predictable – financial, personal, and professional conditions need to develop resilience and the ability to transform their patterns of thought and action. They must learn how to flourish in an epoch for which the traditional American Dream is a not a healthy goal.

To view this review in its entirety, as it appears in the June 30-July 6, 2010 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the July 1-7 issues of the Naples and Charlotte editions of Florida Weekly, click here: Florida Weekly – Upside.

Blankenship & Michaels

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