No More Dreaded Mondays

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-12-29
  • Publisher: Crown Business
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Miller's practical advice speaks to people looking for guidance on how to launch a new career as well as those who want to stay in their current jobs and give the old 9-to-5 model a 21st-century makeover.

Author Biography

DAN MILLER is the author of the bestselling 48 Days to the Work You Love book, workbook, and audio program. As a life coach, he has guided people through the anguish of unexpected change to the exhilaration of meaningful work and increased time and financial freedom. Dan has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show and MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. He lives the life he describes, combining work and play, with his wife, Joanne, on their nine-acre sanctuary near Franklin, Tennessee.


Don’t Be “Stupid”

William and his wife, Bonnie, were smiling when they walked into my office, but it was clear they had a lot on their minds. They were worried about their financial future and eager for advice. Both were attractive, vibrant professionals who were clearly confident and successful. At fifty–three years old, William had been a commercial pilot with a major airline for twenty–seven years. His annual salary was more than $200,000, and years earlier he had calculated that, with his investments and his pension, he could retire in high style by age fifty–six. But then his investments took a big dive and the airline defaulted on its pension plan. Suddenly it seemed uncertain that he’d even have a job for three more years, let alone the money to stop working.

William and Bonnie are not alone in having their career path and financial plans disappear within months. The status of most employee pension plans sits somewhere between threatened and dead and gone. IBM has announced it will discontinue pension benefits starting in 2008 and shift to 401(k) plans that will save the company as much as $3 billion over the next few years. Following the lead of United and US Airways, other major airlines have proposed dumping their pensions in bankruptcy. Allstate Insurance has “invited” all 6,200 of its agents to become independent contractors, giving up their health insurance and pension benefits in the process. There is no way the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation can back up these folding pension plans. The PBGC is already on the hook for $62.3 billion in expected pension payouts with only $390 billion in its accounts. So where does this leave you and me?


As I told William and Bonnie, if you think like a traditional “employee,” you are placing yourself in jeopardy. We are witnessing the dawn of a revolution in which each one of us will become completely responsible for our own income, benefits, and retirement. But don’t assume this is a negative transition—in fact, what I’m going to reveal in these pages is that never before have we had so many opportunities to take control over the shape of our careers. Never before has the potential for fulfilling work and true wealth been greater. Sure, the times, they are a–changing. But you can stay ahead of the inevitable changes—and benefit from them—byseeingthe wealth of new opportunities available to you and planning for them now.

While my use of the wordRevolutionarymay conjure up the idea of donning a pointy hat and bringing a cannon in to work tomorrow, that’s not exactly what I have in mind. The dictionary definesrevolutionaryas “radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.,” as in a revolutionary discovery. It’s revolutionary to become more than simply complacent in your workplace. After all, the traditional employee does not often embrace radically new or innovative thinking—and frequently does not think much at all. The traditional employee does what he or she is expected to do, completes established procedures, and makes sure things are done today the same way they were done yesterday. Revolutionaries pave their own ways; they stretch the rules and think of ways to do things better. A brief warning: Revolutionaries may be seen as threats to the status quo. I even have a close friend who was fired for “thinking too much.” In traditional work positions, the requirements of the job are frequently imposed on you, regardless of your passions, calling, or unique skills. But what kind of way is this to spend the majority of your waking life? Wasn’t my friend’s firing really a kind of liberation?

And what about you? Does your work really allow yo

Excerpted from No More Mondays: Inspire Yourself - And Other Revolutionary Ways to Discover Your True Calling at Work by Dan Miller
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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