by Leslie Mujica
Joe Pestka’s book, Career Lessons from Mentor and Tormentors, was written in the form of a memoir. As Pestka grows up and evolves, the collection of stories become more interesting, making the book hard to put down. He takes readers on a journey through time from his first job to the numerous gigs that not only provided him with manual labor experience, but also life lessons that help build his character. Most importantly, he shares how much his father influenced his life in so many ways, providing him with the opportunity to enter the tradeshow world and instilling in him a great work ethic. I wonder if this is a sequel or a prequel to his first book, Dad Lessons. In addition to his father there are many other characters he learned from. Their assigned names are very clever, which added a level of fun to each short story.
At the onset, the book appears to be stating the obvious: One must work hard in life to earn an honest living. But as the stories continue, his honesty brings every one of his adventures into focus. His work ethic becomes very clear and inspiring. The advice he shares with his readers is invaluable and applicable to professional and personal lives. There are many words of wisdom throughout the book, which he calls Career Lessons, “Earn the business with confidence, buy the tools needed and follow through by exceeding expectations.”
This quote alone is a great piece of advice about being confident, always being prepared and going above and beyond the call of duty to succeed. He talks about knowing your place when you’re new on the job, giving respect to earn respect, doing your job well no matter the task, remembering that everyone makes mistakes, and many more.
This book was an easy read, but unfortunately, there were a few typos and grammatical errors that should’ve been caught during the editing process. Aside from that, the book was very insightful. This piece of work would do very well as a requirement for kids transitioning from high school into the working world or for young adults in apprenticeship programs considering a career in the trades. Pestka’s candor is admirable, making this book a valuable learning tool. There is so much to learn in this book, it exceeded my expectations. It’s rich in life lessons that are character building and prove that hard work is intrinsically virtuous.