Jon Acuff Gives You Power to Change Your Life, Career With New Book “Do Over”


After graduating from college, Jon spent sixteen years traveling through corporate America writing advertising for the Home Depot, branding for Bose and marketing for Staples. Jon shares, “I was laid off from one start-up, fired from another, ran my own into the ground and then found and left my dream job. Along the way, I learned one lesson about work: you control more than you think…work is not the enemy…work can be wonderful if we rescue Monday. If we dare to reinvent it. If we refuse to get stuck.”

After leaving his last job, Jon says within 24 hours, 100 different friends had reached out to him and within a week, he had a team helping him build a new blog. Within a month he had new writing projects lined up. Why? He says, because for five years he had been making deposits into his tool kit he calls his Career Savings Account (CSA). His formula to explain a CSA is Relationships + Skills + Character x Hustle = CSA. He says we all have these four elements to one degree or another, but we must learn how to amplify them and apply them in a new way in order to create a CSA.

  • Relationships – Who you know. The gang you lock arms with during your career. “Relationships not only help you get a new job, they help you get promoted at current jobs as friends tend to fight for friends much harder than just unknown names on a list of candidates.” If your CSA is high on everything else and empty on relationships, you will become a career hermit. To help you strengthen your career relationships or build new ones Jon suggests the following:
  • Use note cards to help you focus on your relationships – write down the names of people you’ve worked with over the last five to ten years — only the people you’ve worked with personally, one name per card.
  • Throw as many boomerangs as possible – send an encouraging tweet or text to someone you used to work with.
  • Use social media to your advantage. There are a lot of potential connections waiting for you online. Jon says social media played a big part in helping him get dozens of speaking gigs.
  • Skills – What you do. The tools you use to build your career. “When it comes to skills, old dogs can (and must) learn new skills. And young dogs can save years of frustration by learning skills the right way to begin with.” Again, use note cards, write down one skill per card you are good at. The reason for this is when you write your skills down it helps bring awareness to what’s missing and you begin to notice patterns. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help you if you are having a hard time filling out note cards. Remember some skills are invisible such as your attitude, but it is a skill. If you want a better job or a new job, Jon says start with a better attitude.
  • Character – Who you are. The mortar that holds the entire CSA together. Remember that character takes time. “Start with a single trait (or tree) you’d like to plant. Orchards aren’t grown overnight,” reveals Jon. Be generous because generosity creates loyalty. Give your time, talent and resources without keeping score.
  • Hustle – How you work. The fuel that pushes you to do the things other people don’t, so you can enjoy the results other people won’t. Hustle is shorthand for work hard. Busyness is not the same as hustle.

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