Q: When did you begin writing “The Phoenix Career Principles”?
It’s basically a re-vision of my first book, “The Corporate Phoenix”, which was published in 2019. The response was gratifyingly positive, and because so many asked and encouraged me to expand and update the message of the book, in June 2021 I decided to add more depth and detail for a wider audience seeking career guidance. The feedback I’ve received indicates that the information of the first edition is invaluable in today’s fast-changing employment world, and it can be a lifeline for the increasing numbers of employees going through career change, either chosen from within or compelled from without – hence the latest version.
Q: What inspired you to write the book?
“The Phoenix Career Principles” was inspired by my own corporate employment journey where I not only observed many others facing two major career challenges, but eventually experienced them myself. The first career problem is that many people are dissatisfied with their jobs. This situation led to the Great Resignation phenomenon that has seen thousands, if not millions, leave their jobs in the last two years. The next problem relates to uncertainty and the risk of job loss. While this threat has diminished somewhat in the current environment, it remains an ever-present reality for anyone working for someone else.
The book recognizes that a person’s working journey is an important pillar supporting many life priorities – financial stability, lifestyle, personal identity and confidence, the fulfilment that comes from making a productive contribution to society, the sense of belonging to a larger group, and much more. Even though it’s so vitally important for a successful life in every sense of the word, the trap most people fall into is that they don’t proactively manage their careers. As a result, they’re totally unprepared for a sudden job loss, and I have no idea how to make a successful transition from one career to the next.
In response to this universal phenomenon, the inspiration for my latest book is to show people how to take back control and make their career happen – the inevitable alternative being to let others direct our working lives, resulting in dissatisfaction, drudgery, and even possible dismissal. “The Phoenix Career Principles” prepares the reader for both problem situations, transforming them from terrible crises into tremendous opportunities.
Q: Did you always want to become a writer?
Actually, no. For the greater part of my life I’d seen myself as a reader rather than a writer, but that turned around back in the 1990s. At the time I was looking to break into the investment property market and read a business magazine aimed at property investors. It provided expert advice on the property market outlook, economic and financial trends, and hot spots with the greatest capital growth. Each month the magazine also shared stories of people who had acquired investment portfolios of multiple properties while still in their late twenties and early thirties. When these enterprising young individuals were asked how they’d managed to achieve such financial success so young, they spoke of being
disciplined with their money, having several jobs, following a plan, and making
wise money decisions.
But what caught my attention was that when asked if there had been a key person in their life who’d influenced their achievements, the most frequent response was that they’d read a particular book, and an incredible 80% of the time that book was Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
By applying its principles they developed the financial intelligence to invest their money in assets that generated additional sources of income, allowing their money to work for them instead of always working for it. In reading the stories of these young entrepreneurs, I was amazed that one man with one book could have such an impact on so many lives.
This was the catalyst, the Aha! moment that led to eventually writing my own book. I was inspired to show others how to get their career working for their life, not just trading their life for an income – which is why I’m talking to you (and them) now.
Q: What themes will readers find in your latest book, “The Phoenix Career
Three of the most important themes/messages of the book are:
- The importance of finding your unique purpose. A career shaped by outer
forces results in a life spent fulfilling someone else’s dreams rather than
your own. In addition, when your employer’s goals change, you risk being
thrown on the scrap heap – with all the turmoil that ensues.
- The vital role of planning in creating a career of your choice rather than
living a future determined by others.
- The crucial ability to adapt to a fast-changing world. Most people either
resist change, or only implement it as directed by others. In direct contrast,
the most successful and entrepreneurial types not only embrace change with
enthusiasm, they anticipate and lead it by transcending out-dated paradigms
to create future wealth and success.
When someone becomes the driving force of their career through a self-determined plan, aligns with their inspired purpose, and applies creative entrepreneurial thinking that allows them to express their true nature, their working lives are brilliantly transformed into an enjoyable, fulfilling, and much more profitable experience.
As Richard Branson once said, “I don’t think of work as work and play as play –it’s all living,” and my goal is to make that a reality for every one of my clients.
Q: How would you describe your book?
A transformational how-to guide for overcoming any obstacles (both inner and outer) to living the career you’d love. It seeks to connect working life with the inner life, to the big picture vision and greater purpose that we all have deep inside.
The book is not just a checklist of tasks to be completed, it reshapes the reader’s thinking so that they can reclaim control of their career, which for many was put on autopilot years ago. The passive approach makes them vulnerable to a range of forces that can threaten their financial and even personal survival, so I have attempted to protect them from such effects.
Q: What is your advice for those to keep their jobs when others are losing them?
The key to employment sustainability (if you’re not quite ready to set up on your own) is to differentiate yourself with a unique combination of skills and abilities that set you apart. At the midpoint of my career, I was considered a jack-of-all-trades, and as my generalist business and finance skills were in oversupply in the company, I was dispensable.
This made my position in the organization extremely vulnerable, as I could be replaced by someone younger on lower pay, have my job outsourced, or be replaced by new technology – all without notice or warning.
The solution was to turn myself into a specialist in a particular field, and the key here was to make sure that the specialty I chose was of real value to not only my employer but the broader market as well. Risk Management ticked all the boxes, so it became the specialty that enabled me to remain employed while thousands of others were being shown the door. Eventually they needed me more than I needed
them, so I could choose to stay or go on my own terms.
Q: Describe your writing style using three words.
Purposeful story telling.
Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
The book has recently been published on Amazon, so I’m now investing my time and energy to promoting the book and boosting sales, and I am scheduled to appear on several podcasts as part of the overall marketing strategy.
This is something many authors seem reluctant to do because it involves stepping out from behind the relative safety of a computer screen to present and speak about their book in front of larger (and live!) audiences.
As an entrepreneur I recognize the importance of marketing, so I am prepared to deal with critics who may have a different view of life and therefore of the book itself. I see their responses as more feedback than criticism and can distinguish quality insights from mere opinions that say more about them than me or my work.
Feedback is the breakfast of champions (and true entrepreneurs), and I welcome other perspectives. After all, it was the response to “The Corporate Phoenix” that gave birth to an even more valuable book, so I thank all those who contributed in this way.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
First, and most importantly, I would advise them to decide why they want to write a book in the first place – what is their motivation, what is the book’s message, what do they have a burning desire to share with the world? The philosopher Nietzsche said, “He who has a big enough ‘why’ can bear any ‘how’ ”, and they’re going to need it because writing a good book is no easy undertaking.
Authorship is a journey that requires much time, disciplined effort, and a determined commitment to overcome any obstacles that may arise (and believe me, they will). Not the least of those obstacles is the internal doubting voice that constantly whispers, ‘Who are you to write a book? Who’s going to read it? It’s all been said before,’ and the ‘why’ will empower them to put their head down and
just keep writing.
I would also advise them to plan the book thoroughly so that they are clear on its central theme or ‘big idea’, its structure and flow, the ideal reader, and the overall strategy behind publishing a book – which is a whole other kettle of fish. The main strategy for the book was to lead interested readers to my coaching
business, therefore “The Phoenix Career Principles” is built on my method of coaching. This preselects my clients, and it prepares them for the next step after finishing the book.
Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?
“The Phoenix Career Principles” can be found on Amazon, and it is available both in kindle and paperback format. Anyone wishing to know more about me, and my coaching work can visit my website: www.tonypisanelli.com