After a long journey of research, composition and revision, Associate Professor of Business Larry Straub, DBA, recently published his book, “The 6ixth Evolution: Managing Lives and Careers Through Convulsive Times.”
Obtaining and maintaining a steady career path has become an increasingly complex task in a rapidly changing world. As such, Straub hopes to address the challenges of navigating unstable fields of work.
“We are living in convulsive and erratic times,” wrote Straub, “as witnessed by historically convulsive events such as 9/11, the 2008 Global Economic Collapse, COVID-19 and now the Russia-Ukraine war. These trends and patterns are likely to continue and will be the future landscape of current and future university level students; they will enter job markets and manage careers in these unstable environments.”
These evolving observations stemmed from Straub’s research during his time as a graduate student, where he studied these circumstances firsthand.
“The topic of the book is an extension of my doctoral research dissertation while at Case Western Reserve University dealing with this subject matter and phenomenon. My research was to interview and learn from individuals who had lost employment by way of the 2008 Global Economic collapse.”
As he continued to analyze these trends in greater detail, he began to find and create strategies for being vocationally reactive and proactive.
“During the course of this research some definite patterns and strategies emerged that resulted in (significantly) better outcomes,” Straub said. “I gathered, summarized these and structured them in the form of a nine-component model called the Promethean Framework. This allows people to identify practices that will allow them to better manage their lives and careers as they graduate and pursue professions in their chosen fields.”
A tool for trying times
Extending beyond his book, Straub also worked to make a survey that can effectively evaluate one’s ability to adapt in his or her career when facing difficulties.
“The quantitative research instrument utilized (called the Promethean Measurement Tool) is provided on my website,” Straub said. “By taking a 20-minute survey individuals will be provided a convulsive economic quotient and assessment of their current status — along with suggestions for improvements in their positioning.”
What ultimately inspired Straub to begin writing was the experiences and testimonies of those around him.
“I have always had an interest in this topic, however I watched a couple of my brother-in-laws go through mid-career job losses (age 45 to 50) and it became evident what a perilous landscape this can be. They were both well educated and successful in their careers, but I was able to see the challenges and concern for them as they went through the process of getting reemployed. While they were both successful in their job searches, both took over six months to find replacement employment.”
This acted as a call-to-action, as Straub realized how much of a need there was to help others adapt in the face of uncertainty.
“As more and more people will likely go through these challenges in the years ahead, I hoped to provide a road map to at least keep people ‘out of the ditches’ and hopefully steer them toward more successful outcomes.”
Find a copy near you
Straub hopes to market the book to students and people who are early in their careers so that they can know ahead of time how to evolve alongside an evolving industry. “The 6ixth Evolution” will also be used as a textbook for Newman School of Business students in their Strategic Management capstone course their senior year.
“Even though some of what I deal with seems a bit dark, I really want to convey a sense of hope, that no matter what life and the world throws at us, we can persevere,” Straub said. “But we have to be intentional; we have to think, position and plan ahead to provide the foundations for success and sustainability in our lives and careers.”
Readers can purchase a copy of “The 6ixth Evolution” on Straub’s website, or at most major online retailers.