Saturday, 25 May 2013

Book review: Stay Confident by John Caunt

I have had a great chance to work and know a young and kind Indian friend from my old company. In age, he's much younger than me. However, I've seen in him something I called "struggling"; Struggling of a young person who is trying to escape from his unclear goals and aim to better values in life. Whenever I talked to him, I always put myself in the position that I was talking to a person who may advance very far in the future. He yearned to learn, but he was not able to tell what would be his right destination. I think that's very normal to a young person. Not only him, it's been happening to me all the time as well. So why do I write about him now? Before he left Canada, he offered me a lot of books. Today, I will write a first review on one of his books. Therefore, I write these lines firstly to thank him, and secondly to wish him the best in his future endeavor.

The book today is Stay Confident from John Caunt. The edition in my hand was published way back in the past (2009!). The cover picture is not exactly the same as the one below, but I hope you get the idea. 

Most of my reading time is on subway or TTC (public transportation in Toronto), this book gives me a breeze. It's very small and thin!!!!! Very good news for those who are not bookworms!

As the book title stated well, the content is all about pointing out why people lose confidence and how to stay confident in most of common situations. Personally, I would recommend this book for new graduates. I believe that these people will benefit because they will be able to gain a lot of insides of work environment [not overwhelm] although they're still too fresh. Those chapters like "overcoming fears and worries, dealing with difficult people, handling criticism and feedback" are very useful for I-am-a-new-guy employees. Seniors can take deeper advantages from "establishing supportive relationships, coping with crises, tuning in to office politics, combating stress and keeping on top of your workload" chapters. 

I would say keeping confident is easier to be said than done. There are many reasons people lose confidence: dealing with unreasonable people, negative feelings, dealing with cocky and arrogant experts, lack of understanding or knowledge... Then what will happen? People cannot perform at their top efficiency once they feel weak inside. While it's too easy to lose confidence, it's extremely hard to build up.  Some people requires a couple of years in one field to gain confidence. Others may not find it at all for their entire life. Most in common, people tend to study as much as possible so that they can broaden their knowledge and by doing that, they can obtain more confidence. How much knowledge is enough to stay confidence? Maybe never enough. Therefore, I think it's not wasteful to read this book since the book is a collection of tips fitting well into small gaps and contributing to the whole on your long learning journey. 

Compared to a freshman, I'm more experienced in my field. However, I never consider myself as "enough." I'm always questing for more chance to study, and reading is one of my ways. With this book,  I've been observing again myself 7 years back to now. I saw the moment I was bouncing back from offends 3 years ago. I saw myself in the middle of difficult people who thought they were the whole world. I also witnessed the tough moments I was thriving to keep on top of my workload. Those moments were just one by one crossing me while I was reading the three relating chapters in this book. They really reminded me how difficult I was struggling to keep myself up. It is very easy to talk about them now, but not at all when they hit me. It would be very nice if I had read this book before time. That's also the reason I would suggest this book for work experience trainees. I hope you can also find something for yourself from this book as I did. 


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