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The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life



The Finch Effect: The Five Strategies to Adapt and Thrive in Your Working Life

Nacie Carson

ISBN: 978-1-118-23865-3 April 2012 Jossey-Bass 208 Pages


Evolve your work strategy and thrive in today's high-pressure economy

As Darwin famously observed, the beaks of each generation of Galapagos Island finches change to accommodate shifting food resources, allowing the birds to survive by adapting their capabilities to the new environment. Today's business people should take note: In the post-crisis economy, traditional career strategies spell professional extinction, but the fluid new "gig economy" offers tremendous potential for anyone willing to adapt. Based on her popular blog and drawing on her leadership development experience, Nacie Carson explains what it takes to make it in today's world of work.

  • Outlines and explains five steps for ensuring professional success: adopt a gig mindset; identify your value; cultivate your skills; nurture your social network; and harness your entrepreneurial energy
  • Builds on Carson's experience as a popular blogger on and author of the popular website The Life Uncommon (
  • Features a Foreword from Craigslist founder Craig Newmark

The Finch Effect offers the information professionals need to earn big, achieve their potential, and remain at the top of the work food chain.

Foreword by Craig Newmark vii

1 Survival of the Fittest 1

2 Adopt a Gig Mindset 27

3 Identify Your Professional Value 57

4 Cultivate Your Skills 89

5 Nurture Your Social Network 115

6 Harness Your Entrepreneurial Energy 141

7 The Finch Effect 171

Notes 183

Acknowledgments 189

About the Author 192

Index 193

“Every chapter of this book is worth it, but the last chapter sets the whole thing ablaze. Read this.”
—Chris Brogan, president, Human Business Works; and bestselling author, Trust Agents and Social Media 101

“In this chaotic day and age, merely ‘adapting to change’ is woefully inadequate. In this powerful book, Carson gives us the keys to thriving and succeeding in this and all economies—and that beats adaptation any day.”
—Steve Farber, author, The Radical Leap Re-Energized

“If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. Nacie Carson’s The Finch Effect provides solid ideas and strategies on how to adapt your career in a new professional paradigm through both preparation and action.”
—Carol Roth, business strategist; New York Times bestselling author, The Entrepreneur Equation

“Unless you’ve been living in a cave with no access to the internet, you no doubt have witnessed our world being turned on its head. The business environment no longer favors people looking for security, loyalty, and certainly not a pension. The Finch Effect sheds light on what traits allow people to thrive in today’s economic environment, how to adapt these traits, and how to evolve faster to prepare for the next big shift!”
—John Haydon, founder, Inbound Zombie; author, Facebook Marketing for Dummies

“Nacie Carson brings a fresh mindset and solid experience to show us how to win again in times of vocational Darwinism and the ‘gig economy.’ Her ability to distill ideas and support them with situations and stories we all recognize makes The Finch Effect a crucial tool for taking back control of our businesses, our careers, and our lives.”
—Liz Strauss, social business strategist; author, Successful-Blog