In Your Authentic Career: How to Discover Your True Career Path, Kareem Kamal El Gazzar makes a few interesting career-related observations that might be helpful to people entering the work force. He writes about converting passions into dreams and matching dreams to priorities. He talks about the need to become an “authentic leader” who defines career success as “a life and work that brings personal fulfillment and lasting relationships while also making a difference.”
Unfortunately, the observations the author makes tend to be vague generalizations that provide little in the way of concrete direction. For example, El Gazzar’s advice for those who might be stuck in a job that doesn’t reflect their career aspirations is to seek out career assessment tools on the Internet (the author provides no guidance in locating them), take career training courses, and network with other professionals.
Perhaps the most interesting portion of the book is the author’s discussion of the three different attitudes people have toward their careers—he calls them “the Road, the Horse, and the Cart.” The Road, writes El Gazzar, represents individuals who love a career filled with the exhilaration and excitement of action. The Horse, who races just for the pleasure of running, typifies someone who is happy simply doing their work. Individuals represented by the Cart are interested in “what is being carried by one’s work,” such as values or character. El Gazzar makes the point that the Cart is likely to be the most useful attitude. “Great careers have a point of view and are not just a job,” he writes. “You need to believe in something.”
One of the primary deficiencies of this book is its brevity. At fewer than fifty pages, it feels more like an extended essay or pamphlet than a career guide, which would typically include a wealth of career advice, including strategies, tactics, and general tips. In addition, career guidance books often provide tools such as personality assessments, questionnaires, and self-improvement exercises. No such content or tools appear in Your Authentic Career, except for one chart at the end of the book that explores several career motivations. A compilation of “Further Readings” is included, but a “Resource Guide” lists just seven books, and those seem to be selected at random.
Your Authentic Career may be mildly interesting to some readers, but those looking for authoritative counsel on how to choose the right career will not find it here.