IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Are you the master of your own work life?

If not, "Fire Your Boss," by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine may help. The book offers advice on how to take control of your work life, boost your income and more. Read an excerpt.

If you're spending too much time at work, live in fear of being fired or gripe that you're not making enough money, it may be time to "Fire Your Boss." That's the title of a new book by Stephen Pollan that presents a radical approach to taking control of your work life and finding happiness outside of the office. Pollan discusses the book on “Today.” Read an excerpt here:

The Job of Your Dreams

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
— Carl Jung

You can take charge of your work life.

Are you like the office manager wishing she could spend more time at home caring for her children than at the office catering to a juvenile boss?

Are you like the regional manager worrying that the new hotshot vice president of sales will fire him two years short of his daughter's finishing college?

You don't have to accept your current work situation. You can be in control of your job and your stream of income so you're never again subject to the whims, prejudices, moods, or circumstances of your so-called boss. It doesn't matter whether you've been on the job for forty years or forty days; it's never too late or too early to seize control of your work life. It doesn't matter if you're a stock clerk at a video store or the chief financial officer of a movie studio; everyone who's employed can take charge of his or her own work life. I won't lie to you: becoming boss of your own life is neither quick nor easy. The program I outline in this book will require hard work and real thought. It's not something you can do in a weekend. But, believe me, it's worth the time and effort.

Being master of your own work life leads to incredible changes in your life. You'll earn more money if that's what you wish. You'll feel more secure if that's your goal. You'll be able to pursue whatever brings you the most joy and satisfaction, whether it's having a catch with your son, puttering around in the garden, or serving meals to the needy. You'll end up with the job of your dreams, and that will give you a leg up on living the life of your dreams. Just ask Sydney Carton.

Sydney is now sleeping well at night. For years, however, he lay awake worrying. He worried about the state of his career; whether he'd ever achieve his life's dreams; how he'd pay for his daughter's college education; and whether he and his wife, Lucy, would ever be able to retire. He worried about when they'd actually get to spend some quality time together as a family with all the hours he and his wife were working. But Sydney is not worried anymore. His income is fine — he's not an NBA first-round draft pick, but he's doing okay. His job is as secure as it can be in today's world because his boss depends on him more than ever. And even with that security, he's spending less time at work and more at home. He has taken up photography again. He and Lucy have rekindled their romance, thanks to being able to spend time together. And he's being the kind of father he always wanted to be. Sydney turned his work life around ... and so can you.

You can find a new job that pays an income large enough to keep pace with your family's needs and wants.

You can find a new job with the kind of security that lets you sleep soundly and not lie awake worrying about money.

You can find a new job that lets you achieve the emotional and psychological satisfaction you've always sought.

And you can do all this without getting more education or training, without moving, without changing industries. You don't need to learn a new style of résumé, memorize new buzzwords to drop into your conversations, or learn the latest variations of job hunting.

In fact, you may not need to find a new job at all.

I know this sounds crazy. It flies in the face of what everyone is saying. The media are filled with stories about how the American job market has permanently turned into a cold, chaotic, and corrupt environment. The world of paternalistic companies and loyal employees is extinct, say the pundits. It's a dog-eat-dog world today, in which every man and woman has to be out for him- or herself. We're told we've become a nation of mercenaries engaged in a Darwinian struggle in which only the fittest survive and get to keep their jobs.

Setting all the overblown rhetoric aside, it's clear that the American workplace has changed. More and more full-time jobs are being turned into part-time or contingent positions. Back-office operations are being outsourced. Instead of staff being added, temps are hired. There's no more climbing up a company ladder. Upper-level positions are filled with outsiders stolen from competitors, and to move up at all you've got to first move out. To keep your job it used to be enough to show up on time, do your job for eight hours, and go home. Today you're expected to work for as long as it takes to do your work ... and the work of the two people who were laid off last month. (See the box on page 6: How Long Are You Working?)

But I'm not telling you anything you don't know already. You've probably seen firsthand signs of the new job market. I bet there are empty desks at work where longtime productive coworkers used to sit before they were laid off. There are probably some people in your office who have shifted over to part-time in an effort to keep their jobs.

If you're like most of us, you're working longer and longer hours, without getting more pay, because you've been sent a veiled message that unless you bite the bullet you'll be out of a job. Friends may be coming to you asking for leads because they've been out of work and are unable to land a new job. Maybe you're out of work yourself, or just losing sleep, playing out worst-case scenarios in your head ...

The foregoing is excerpted from Fire Your Boss by Stephen M Pollan and Mark Levine. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. To learn more you can visit: