Wrongsized: Become Chronically Unemployed in 26 Easy Steps, by Larry Solomon is a semi-autobiographical story of what happened to the author (who he calls Lance) after being laid off from his career of 20 years. After a Harvard MBA comes in and takes over the author’s office, Lance is eventually forced to find temporary work. The temporary agency has no problems finding Lance a job but never a job that the main character is qualified for. Lance embarks on a somewhat humorous journey, each chapter ending in disaster and sometimes employers going out of business.
The book was obviously supposed to be funny. The stories were almost completely made up for the love of comedy but I never did find myself laughing. Several times, I found myself wondering where the author was going during a chapter and what point he was making. It became a little laborious to read. To make it all worse, there seemed to be an endless supply of chapters chocked full of “funny” job mishaps and I started to lose hope that the book would end. When the job report was finally finished, the best part of the book unveiled itself. The very last chapter was back to Larry Solomon’s real self and not the Lance that he had made up for the book. Larry revealed why he had written this book by showing the reader how to find another skill he/she had never thought of but could use in the job hunt.
This book was well timed for our troubled economy, but I would say the end of this book may be all one needs to re-enter the workforce. The entire idea of this book, although a little dull and at times wandering away from the main point, is heroic. Make the unemployment situation we’re in now lighthearted, lift the seriousness, take people off their guards, then suggest some very simple ways to take a risk and find a job doing something that never even seemed to be a possibility before. You’re out of work, so what have you got to lose anyway? You might find some happiness that you never had at your old job. Being Wrongsized at your last company might be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Overall, this book was a good idea but needed a better execution. Some of the humor was so forced, I was surprised to find that the author has comedy writing and stand up experience in his repertoire. Maybe this background will shine through in his next couple of books.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Larry Solomon. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.