AUTHOR Kristin Schuchman Releases “Jump Start”

Kristin Schuchman brings experience and a sense of hard-earned vérité to her new book, the encapsulating title saying it all. Jump Start: How to Redirect a Career That Has Stalled, Lost Directions, or Reached a Crossroads is written like it wants to be a defining literary volume in its field. The book tirelessly covers from A to Z what Schuchman perceives to be the nuts and bolts of achieving one’s dream job. In a day like today, books like Jump Start make a crucial point. It actually is possible to find a path to achieve one’s passions.

Maybe ten to twenty years ago one had to make certain concessions, and find a certain amount of peace with the fact you were either in the fold, or out of the arena by certain standards. But because of the fluid nature of the current workplace models, complete with the ever-expanding innovation, invention, and technological breakthroughs of the world wide web, sometimes achieving one’s dream job just means thinking outside the immediacies of one’s box. “Mark Twain once said, ‘Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.’ It is easy to forget, especially when it comes to work.

But you can be selective with employers—you are evaluating them as much as they are scrutinizing you. Take the time to really think through what you’re looking for in a work environment. Think back on the jobs you’ve had and consider what you have liked and what you haven’t. Go back as far as college or high school. You may have zero interest in most of that job you had in your twenties, but some characteristic of it may still stand out today,” Schuchman writes in one of the book’s key passages on this topic. “All jobs have their upsides and downsides, and when we spend a little time considering what we enjoyed in our past experiences, certain themes tend to emerge.


For instance, I noticed in my mid-thirties that I tire easily of workplaces in which my colleagues rarely changed roles. I didn’t necessarily dislike my coworkers but rather found that I enjoyed meeting a larger variety of personalities than what small, static office environments usually offered. During my next transition, I decided to start my own business, loathe to return to an office environment in which most of my day included interacting with the same thirteen people. I found that contract graphic design and writing work suited me better, providing the opportunity to work with different people on an ongoing basis.”

Whereas most pioneering titles in the business advice genre were about telling the reader certain, hard truths, Schuchman’s does just the opposite. It’s never about settling in today’s marketplace of ideas and inventions, she writes. It’s about having the steel and the spine to go out and grab the opportunities that match one’s passion levels. If the past was about reaping what you sow, in effect, the present is about knowing what to grab that’s out there in the field.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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