I wish I’d had a copy of Ben Carpenters The Bigs when I was a young pup. Not only does Carpenter tackle strategies for landing and keeping a great job, the author also shares smaller lessons like how to avoid being the employee who never admits their mistakes. If you can’t own up, expect your co-workers to throw a parade when you leave the job.
In baseball, “the bigs” means the big leagues. The book began as a list of instructions for the authors’ daughter as she entered the big leagues—her first job after college. Carpenter weaves in his personal journey from a mixed up kid to a naive college student, and his ascent to CEO of an international investment company.
My two cents on The Bigs by Ben Carpenter
The book has three major sections:
- Introduction: Before the Bigs
- How to Survive, Thrive and Have Fun in the Big Leagues
- How to Choose, Get and Do a Great Job
The Bigs was a great read. The author gave tons of examples of people doing great and not so great things on the job. With such detailed descriptions of Carpenter’s colleagues, it was as satisfying as people watching at the mall on Saturday morning. Oh come on, I can’t be the only Saturday morning people watcher at the mall. Back to the book.
The advice in “The Bigs” is practical and actionable. Without giving away too much, here are a few of takeaways from the book:
- In the workplace, most of the time you have to earn respect, but sometimes you have to demand it
- Starting out, focus on what you do well over your passion
- Use the power of informational interviews to prime the pump for future job interviews
Would you recommend The Bigs to a friend?
I would recommend the book to any college student or young adult who wants to know how to find a meaningful career, how to excel at work, and how to manage those early paychecks. I think the book is also ideal for seasoned professionals planning a career change.
My recommendation comes with one caveat. Understand that “The Bigs” is not a typical how-to book. It is part memoir and part instructional. Knowing this ahead of time makes for a more enjoyable read.