From Douglas T. Hall, Morton H. and Charlotte Friedman Professor of Management, Boston University School of Management and noted Career scholar:
"If you really want to understand what the fuss about the "new careers" is all about, you have to read this book. It pulls together all of the relevant theory and research, plus lots of stories of real people, and paints a compelling picture of the new career landscape. This book will be an important part of my syllabus the next time I teach my seminar on careers."
From Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and best selling author of Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End:
"The Opt-Out Revolt illuminates what workers want in a career - and the mystery of why employers are not providing enough of it. The authors' kaleidoscope model is a convincing solution that should be embraced by people and companies alike: to let people rearrange the pattern to help them be both productive and fulfilled."
From Gary N. Powell, Professor of Management, the University of Connecticut, and noted scholar on women's issues in organizations:
"In this valuable book, Mainiero and Sullivan weigh in on an important and timely issue. More than three decades after the Women's Movement, corporations are still trying to figure out what to do with and about women. This is because women's careers tend to be more disjointed, more interrupted, less linear, and as a result, more difficult to understand than those of men. The Kaleidoscope Career model increases our understanding of what women as well as men are looking for from their careers and their personal lives. It suggests three dimensions of careers - authenticity, balance, and challenge - that women may choose to emphasize at different stages of their lives and in different sequences over time. These dimensions, and the ways in which they may shift in emphasis, represent a creative way of capturing the complexities of women's careers. The authors offer fascinating and useful discussion of the implications of these dimensions for how women and men may have more rewarding careers and lives."
From Dorothy Perrin Moore, author of Careerpreneurs-Lessons from Leading Women Entrepreneurs on Building a Career Without Boundaries, ForeWord Magazine business book of the year:
"A compelling read, Mainiero and Sullivan's comprehensive and insightful book advances our understanding of changes affecting the career patterns of both women and men and offers a fountain of advancement advice. The authors offer insightful evidence of gender specific approaches to careers based on the proposition that a career pattern is not a predetermined trajectory but a Kaleidoscope, where a change in any one element - structure, the work itself, and the striving for challenge and family balance - immediately affects everything else. Enlivened by first hand illustrative personal accounts, their well sourced and empirically researched study sets their work at a cutting edge and is invaluable for anyone anxious to explore a successful career strategy."
From Publishers Weekly
Using research both wide and deep, academics Mainiero and Sullivan get to the bottom of people's dissatisfaction with their working lives, and why so many are seeking careers outside of corporate America. For most career people, their perspective will be an eye-opener. The authors find that both men and women, seeking balance, feel trapped by societal and corporate structures and are forced "to make impossible choices between work and family." For cultural, psychological and biological reasons, men end up stuck in "the climb-the-corporate-ladder linear career pattern," and women have trouble finding footing on that ladder. The result: people are "revolting against organizations that don't permit them to be true to themselves or don't provide challenging work," and they are creating their own fulfilling alternatives. Toward book's end, the authors turn prescriptive, urging corporations to reconfigure jobs, to "change how work is designed, developed and distributed across the ranks" and "to allow project work to take place outside the boundaries of the corporate walls." Though its somewhat stiff and detached tone and language may put off some readers, this book makes a valuable contribution to the work/life debate. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Library Journal
Mainiero (management, Fairfield Univ.; Office Romance: Love, Power, and Sex in the Workplace) and Sullivan (management, Bowling Green State Univ.; coeditor, Winning Reviews: A Guide for Evaluating Scholarly Writing), between them the authors of more than 60 articles on organizational behavior and human resources topics, present the results of a five-year-long quantitative and qualitative research study examining how and why the career patterns of both men and women have changed from the traditional "ever upward" model to a path with multiple forks and rest stops. The authors found that several factors, each examined in a separate chapter, contribute to workers' kaleidoscopic approach to careers, among them the search for challenging assignments and personal authenticity, men's changing views of masculinity, and the quest for work-family balance. The section titled "Five Myths of the Family-Friendly Firm" is important reading for any library owning "best places to work" books. Quotations and company profiles, along with the authors' concise writing style, leaven what could have been a dry discourse. Job seekers, career changers, and researchers will find this book useful. Recommended for all libraries. (Sept.)
Heidi Senior, Univ. of Portland Lib., Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Armchair Interviews
Times are changing and careers no longer follow a linear path, says the authors of Opt-Out Revolt, a summary of ground-breaking research conducted over a five-year period. I couldn't agree more, and I'm glad. When I "opted-out" of the corporate fast track in human resources, a business friend recommended Amy Saltzman's 1992 book, Downshifting: Reinventing Success on a Slower Track. In those seven years, I am still waiting for that "slower track" Saltzman described. After reading this book, I realize my entrepreneurial career journey is a common one, called: Kaleidoscope Career. Drs. Mainiero and Sullivan, well-respected university professors and experts in career development and work life balance, assert that talented women (and men, primarily from Generation X and Y) are "rebelling against work environments that don't support their values and hamper their desire for a balanced life." These highly talented individuals then pursue careers following the Kaleidoscope Career Model whereby they pursue authenticity, balance, and challenge at various stages of their life in different sequences over time.
While I enjoyed their "career model," their discussion of the differences among women and men in their approach to career development was particularly helpful since I coach senior male executives. Using their insights, I have rethought my coaching approach in enabling male and female executives to reach their full potential on their own terms.
Well-written, it's not a quick read though with the excessive interview excerpts that reinforce various points and themes. Career professionals with limited time would gain more value if each chapter had a summary of bullet points outlining the major concepts. I hated the fact I couldn't read it cover to cover, but at almost 400 pages, I found it encroaching on my own work life balance. Nonetheless, I'm glad a book which emphasizes multiple roads to success (including stay-at-home dads!) is on the shelf. Human resources professionals, academics, and executive/career transition coaches will gain value from reading this book.
Armchair Interviews says: It's a keeper!
(Jan. 12, 2007)
Reviewed by Celia Renteria Szelwach, DBA (ABD)
Copyright © 2006 CASI Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
Book Review: Opt-Out Revolt by Lisa A. Mainiero & Sherry E. Sullivan