Dave Sweet and Sarah Graham

What to do when your career that pays the bills is stalled and you can’t see the next step?

Why am I talking about careers, you ask? I’m supposed to write about books and writing and characters and urban fantasy. Well, when I was at When Words Collide this year, I attended two presentations with Detective Dave Sweet (an actual detective!) and some suggestive force from those presentations must have guided my hand to his book, because I bought it, Skeletons in my Closet: Life Lessons from a Homicide Detective with Sarah Graham as the co-author (who is not a detective but she is an actual author!).

What a great cover! Except for my giant sock

I’m struggling in my career right now, stuck in a position I can’t leave without a cost to those around me, and wondering what step to take next. Could this book help me figure out my next steps?

I was surprised and relieved when this book showed me that my core guiding principles could remain, that I didn’t have to reinvent most of my values. Values can always use tweaking in a world that changes as fast as ours but changing them quickly and often goes against what and who I am and lesson number 11 had my back:

Our best compass comes from trusting our instincts, following our heart and staying true to our core values.

This book isn’t a career advice book, though. It’s a life lessons book, a gritty, no holds barred exploration of what is good in relationships. The authors discuss what we can bring to our communities, our workplaces and our families by remembering these principles in our lives.

I didn’t make as many mistakes as I thought. When the foundation upon which I make my decisions is solid, than so will the results of those choices.

We can become those heroes in our books, not because we can shoot three guns at once but by making choices that centre around people.

Lesson # 3 – Leave people in a better place than you found them.