How to Get Your Dream Job: A Review of Quitter by Jon Acuff

If you need to be inspired, go pick up a copy of Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job by Jon Acuff. Jon Acuff is one of my favorite people on the internet. He has an enormously popular blog Stuff Christians Like, where he uses satire and humor to discuss issues facing Christianity. He also has another site, where he writes about productivity and achieving your dreams.

My husband received an autographed copy of the book for Christmas, and Tyler suggested I read it, too, which sounded funny considering I’m a stay-at-home mom. However, I found the book a great resource for me. I mean, after all, I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so I am living my dream job.

Acuff starts the book with a description of shedding the clothes of his dream job back into his day job, much like Superman changing back into his normal office wear to head back to The Daily Planet. He provides a full narrative of how he became a professional quitter, working and quitting eight jobs from 1998 to 2006. Acuff layers his book with personal experience, insight, and hilarity.

All in all, Quitter talks the reader out of quitting a job you hate in order to wisely pursue your dream. Having the day job keeps uncertainty out of the equation and allows you to make decisions to feed your dream down the road. So, how does this apply to a stay-at-home mom?

1. Hustle: Acuff emphasizes the need of hustling for what you want. This chapter reminded me of when I had to work as a full-time teacher yet longed to be home. I edited for a mystery shopping company, trimmed our budget, and cut expenses. For a mom, “hustling” could also mean tutoring during nap time, selling items on eBay, or learning the ins and outs of frugal grocery shopping. Hustle allows you to compete against yourself and measure your progress based on your own goals. He emphasizes the dangers of competition as a measurement. Comparing yourself to others leads down a destructive path. I found this to be incredibly meaningful as a mom as well as a writer.

2. Making a risk list:  When you are ready to make the plunge to take your dream job, Acuff emphasizes how risks will still be in the equation. He suggests making a risk list to keep from feeling blind-sided later on, when doubts about your decision start to creep in. Risk lists are a new tool I’m adding to our decision-making process for sure. Genius idea.

3. Hinge moments: The hinge moment pops up early on in the book. Acuff describes the hinge moment as a time “when you are planning to do something standard and normal, something you’ve done many times before, like turn a key in the ignition. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, something, a small detail usually, hinges you in a different direction.” He walks you through defining hinge moments in your own life by asking a series of questions, like “What do I love enough to do for free?” and “What do I do that causes time to feel different?”

I highly recommend this book if you feel stuck in a job you don’t love, but I also recommend this book to help those of us keep the jobs we love.

  1. #1 by Lauren@THCW on May 14, 2012 - 9:37 am

    Love Jon Acuff. For those with the means, he also hosts a Quitter Conference in Nashville (the next one is September 21-22) that I hear is amazing.

    I haven’t read all of Quitter (yet) but I have given it to a couple people who I knew were struggling with the decision of whether to stick with the day job or leave to pursue their dream. I think this book is a valuable resource in figuring out when the right and wrong time is to take that step, and I love how he points out that if you’re not fully prepared to make the leap, you can turn your dream job into a nightmare.

    I also have a personal affinity for Jon, as he and Greg had a long talk one morning about how both of our daughters like to do weird and gross things like lick the bottoms of their shoes. That right there makes him a guy I can relate to.

  2. #2 by Lauren@THCW on May 14, 2012 - 9:39 am

    Also, I can not figure out how to get my profile to stop linking to my old site. Grrr, WP, you are frustrating. It should link here, not to my old dead site. FRUSTRATION.

  3. #3 by kellywiggains on May 14, 2012 - 10:03 am

    I’m a little star struck knowing that Greg had a personal conversation with Jon Acuff. Also that I’m just a couple degrees of separation from him. Does Lampo need a band director?

  4. #4 by Lauren@THCW on May 14, 2012 - 10:11 am

    Yup, they’re in staff meeting together most weeks. It’s pretty neat. And probably not a band director, but if Tyler ever decides he wants to switch gears, they’re always looking for passionate people from all walks of life 😉

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