Foreword‎ > ‎



When Phil Shelton asked me to write a Foreword for his book, I wasn’t sure what to expect (from the book).  After all, there are myriad books about how to succeed in various careers, including high-tech careers.


But the more I looked around, the more I realized that most of those books are for people starting or moving through management positions of some type or another.  There really are very few books available for entry-level workforce people.  And fewer still are as easy to read and entertaining as this one!


What Phil Shelton has done is consolidate decades of experience into a series of lessons and anecdotes that entertain, teach, and reinforce best practices in the workplace.  I read this entire book in one sitting, which I rarely do with any book.  Within these pages, Phil provides sage advice, shares entertaining missteps, and passes on the wisdom that often comes only with perspective.


At Oregon Tech, we commonly tell our students that they may get their first job with their skills and knowledge of a topic, but they will succeed in that job (or not) based on a whole host of other criteria.  Phil Shelton has done a remarkable job of outlining those other criteria (reputation, relationships, work ethic, life balance, lifelong learning, integrity, communication, reactions, and many others) in a way that is both entertaining and memorable.


So who should read this book and why?  Frankly, I believe that anyone in the working world would benefit from reading Phil’s book.  But for those who are about to embark on your first career move (and don’t forget, this often may be your first internship or externship!), this book should be required reading.


Although the modern workforce track is not one that likely will see you make a career with a single company, you will find outstanding and relevant advice, guidance, and lessons within these pages.  Everything, from the Golden Rule to focusing on non-monetary enrichment (monetary enrichment usually follows happy, successful people), is contained within these pages.


Phil Shelton has done us a favor by being a mentor from a distance with his book.  Even as a university president, I found myself learning and reminiscing about my own mistakes, many of which I may have avoided if Phil’s book had been available several years ago.


Enjoy the book.  Read all or parts of it in almost any order.  Put it where you can see it and reread parts every now and again, as you advance in your career.  I believe you’ll find the wisdom contained in these words to be excellent periodic course checks that will keep you on track towards your own life goals.



Christopher G. Maples, President

Oregon Institute of Technology
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