The Proximity Principle – Ken Coleman

The Proximity Principle Ken Coleman
The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love by Ken Coleman, Dave Ramsey
Published by Ramsey Press on May 13, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, Work
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four-stars

Right now, 70% of Americans aren't passionate about their work and are desperately longing for meaning and purpose. They're sick of "average" and know there's something better out there, but they just don't know how to reach it.

One basic principle--The Proximity Principle--can change everything you thought you knew about pursuing a career you love.

In his latest book, The Proximity Principle, national radio host and career expert Ken Coleman provides a simple plan of how positioning yourself near the right people and places can help you land the job you love.

Forget the traditional career advice you've heard! Networking, handing out business cards, and updating your online profile do nothing to set you apart from other candidates. Ken will show you how to be intentional and genuine about the connections you make with a fresh, unexpected take on resumes and the job interview process. You'll discover the five people you should look for and the four best places to grow, learn, practice, and perform so you can step into the role you were created to fill.

After reading The Proximity Principle, you'll know how to connect with the right people and put yourself in the right places, so opportunities will come--and you'll be prepared to take them.

The old adage is true: It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. And that used to frustrate me to an extent. Why could someone less knowledgeable, less competent, less passionate get an opportunity that I wanted? Well, usually it was because they knew someone.

But flip that dark underbelly over and you see a new light: the relational side of opportunity—career or otherwise—is about presenting your knowledge, competence, and passion to the right people. It isn’t as if most missed opportunities are intentional snubs (though nepotism, discrimination, and a good-ol’-boy mentality can still exist), but that the people in charge simply weren’t aware. You weren’t on their radar.

In The Proximity Principle, Ken Coleman motivates readers to got just have skills and passion, but use that passion to pursue genuine relationships that will lead to increased skills, knowledge, and opportunities. You have to live in the world you want to be in: get around the right people and be in the right places and perform the right practices.

Through the book, Ken outlines the types of people and places you need to be around, from professors in your college years to professionals and industry leaders in the workplace. He also advocates that you find a mentor—someone older, wiser, more connected, and more established—and allow them to teach you. I also appreciate that The Proximity Principle includes the value of peers. Being in a community of like-minded people is a healthy motivator for success.

Ken Coleman also outlines the places you need to be. It’s great that he doesn’t overlook where you are now as a valuable starting point. You might not like where you are or want to stay there, but you can utilize what you have now to get where you want to go. Then he suggests finding places to practice. Practice turns into performance. Performance turns into opportunities for a career.

The third part of this book is the most practical, teaching you how to turn The Proximity Principle from theory to practice. Ken Coleman could have entitled this section “How to Network Without Being a Jerk.” Build genuine connections and friendships. Be bold, but not obnoxious. Ask, but be okay with rejection. Have desire, but don’t be entitled. This section is really what informs the tone and perspective of the first two sections.

The only thing I would have liked to have been more out of this book was a better answering of the question “But what if I can’t…[find a mentor, connect with professors, etc.]” What if I’m doing all these things and I just can’t get those in proximity to stick around? I think the answer is “Just keep plugging away.” But as someone who has worked around and been involved in the publishing industry…it’s difficult. Or, I know of people who have all these things and still struggle in their career path. There’s a distinction to be made between finding the career you love and having success in that career.

Overall, The Proximity Principle isn’t revolutionary. It’s not a little-known secret career hack. It’s like virtually 100% of the advice that comes from the Dave Ramsey team: common-sense, plain and simple, time-tested, and honest. No gimmicks, no tricks, no subterfuge, just hard work and dedication. If it’s so simple, then why should you buy this book? Because finding your career path is a journey and you’ll need this book on your shelf to inspire and motivate through the tough times.

four-stars

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