Personal Balance Sheet: A Practical Career Planning Guide.


232 pages
ISBN 978-0-9735404-3-7
DDC 650.14




Reviewed by Louise Karch

Louise Karch is a career consultant with Carswell Partners in London, Ontario.


Great Canadian career books are as rare as surfers on Bay Street. Yet to ride out this turbulent economic wave, we need practical career management advice and we need it now. Wipe the sand from your eyes; Personal Balance Sheet has come to shore. It won the 2008 Indie Book Awards Gold Medal for Best Career Book, and was a 2008 Finalist in the National Best Book Awards’ Business-General category.

Craig has worked for big corporations, made it to the C-suite, led numerous start-ups, and is running at least one company, maybe two or three, even as I type. Successful people are often asked for career advice and we are lucky that Craig tells all. Readers will profit from his catalytic exercises and from his tales of clients surviving and thriving whether as job seekers, working stiffs, or new entrepreneurs. His descriptions of workplace personalities such a Political Wolves, The Stupid Ones, and The Hoarders are worth the book’s price.

The real value comes in six well-thought-out sections: “Career Planning Fundamentals,” “Work-Life Balance,” “Developing Your Career,” “Looking at the Options,” “Achieving Your Goals,” and “Long Term Success.” His approach is proactive: figure out what you want now so if a crisis occurs you won’t be lost or forced to make crucial decision when in a panic. Alternately, do these exercises and figure out what you want early, as career corrections are easier in the first third of your career than the last. The reader is repeatedly encouraged to do the exercises and each chapter closes with a “Focus Summary” and “Action Checklist” for further incentive.

Exercises such as the “Skill Check,” “Personal Balance Sheet,” “Job Quality Checklist,” “Career Commitment Chart,” “Gap Analysis Chart,” and models for concepts such as “Personal Branding” and “Mentoring” ensure those willing to take the time to reflect and prepare will end up with a personalized, viable plan.


Whether you’ve lost a job or are dying on the job, whether you are starting your own business or considering a sabbatical, this book provides wise counsel to help you make tactical career management decisions in this turbulent time.


Craig, Randall M., “Personal Balance Sheet: A Practical Career Planning Guide.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,