A Real-Life Guide For Achieving Success at Work


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Have you ever felt deflated at work? Whether you are just starting your career or have finally gained enough experience to advance to your “dream” job, you may find yourself disillusioned by difficult bosses or coworkers, drained by unreasonable demands, or disappointed with the lack of growth opportunities. Given these lousy elements of your job, how can you achieve fulfillment from your work?

In IS THIS A LOUSY JOB OR IS IT ME?, executive coach Terri Jacke explores how every success and every struggle at work can be used to develop your character, which determines the way you handle each experience. It is your character that shapes your behavior in the workplace and informs the quality of decisions you make at work and about your career. By using stories — sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking — Terri invites you to join her on a journey that chronicles her growth through the seven stages of character development at work: Beginning, Yuckiness, Fear, Authenticity, Boundaries, Love, and Exit.

Terri holds nothing back in taking you into the heart of her experiences from her first job at a campground at age 12 to succeeding at iconic corporations and finally fulfilling her dream to establish her own firm. Combining real-life experience and organizational development expertise, IS THIS A LOUSY JOB OR IS IT ME? provides practical tools and hard-won wisdom to help you develop your character at work.

The insights you gain into the seven stages of character development, captured in the BY FABLE model, will empower you to make sense of your workplace experiences and effectively move yourself through the stages in their natural sequence, allowing you to create a fulfilling career path leading to your inevitable success.


About the Book

Release Date: August 27, 2020

Publisher: Inspired Publishing LLC

ISBN: 978-0-9601009-0-3

6 reviews for IS THIS A LOUSY JOB OR IS IT ME? A Real-Life Guide For Achieving Success at Work

  1. Jill Noffsinger

    Although the title makes you instantly question your immediate situation, it is within the content of the book itself that you find revelations or answers as you connect your personal experiences with those that Terri has experienced. As you follow with Terri on her journey, you find yourself laughing, struggling, and rejoicing with each story and their outcomes. You may begin to even recognize yourself in each one or fully relate to one or two. Either way, one thing is for sure, you cannot put it down once you start.

  2. Susan Brunner

    Ms. Jacke’s book, explaining behaviors of employees and leadership, makes it easy to understand why she is such a success in her work. By breaking the psyche of individuals down to understandable vignettes, which are easily relatable, and then explaining those behaviors and how to adjust them, gives the reader a real world understanding of what makes people do what they do. She then takes what she sees and trains/teaches the employee how to adapt their behavior to be a more successful employee/leader.

    Both my husband and I gained insight into human behaviors by reading this book, and will pass it on to our daughter, who is in the business environment, and then on to our granddaughter, who is just entering the work force. Both will no doubt find tidbits of information that will make them better employees and leaders, and provide personal growth.

  3. Annette Kuester

    I knew I could learn much from this book, but as a creative right brained individual who tends to prefer entertainment based fiction to self growth and career focused books, I wasn’t certain how quickly I would turn the pages of ITALJOIIM. I finished this book in a day.

    Jacke’s book reeled me in with her clear outline in the introduction and engaging stories of her early employment experiences in the first few chapters with loads of interesting characters, powerful emotional experiences and realizations. She kept me engaged by connecting her life experiences with career lessons and chapter by chapter recaps of “how to use…” and “how not to use..” direction for each character stage. Terri’s accounts of her career experiences are inspiring (weird lol), entertaining and illuminating when you apply the lessons she learned in By Fable to your own career and relationships. After completing the book, I have a clear idea of how to guide my teenage daughter just entering the career world herself and where my own personal/professional growth stage is at currently and more importantly how to move through that completely on to the next and loftiest goal for us all…love!

  4. Kevin

    Just finished reading this book. I found it fascinating, not only how well the author takes the reader through their journey but the self reflection it prompted along the way. I found myself relating to one or more of the characters as I joined Terri on her journey.

    I look forward to reading it again with more deliberate focus on the individual stages and the lessons to be learned as they relate to me.

    Great book and a must read regardless of what stage of your career you are in.

  5. Craig Simpkins

    After purchasing Ms. Jacke’s book a few months back, I decided to crack it open on a Sunday afternoon, with the intent of reading a few chapters. This book stands out among others, as the flow is well-structured, to the point that you don’t want to put it down. The suspense of what will happen next is enough to keep your attention to the end.

    While reading the book, I stopped several times to reflect back on roles that I held, where a similar situation existed. In addition to the self-reflection, I think this book is a good read, regardless of where you are at in your career. Although, I think professionals early in their career will gain an immense amount of advice as they begin their career.

    Highly recommend, and have it on the list to read again.

  6. Rebecca Hallie Swanson

    Anticipate an exuberant ride as you read through Terri Jacke’s journey on the super highway of her professional career. Using her own experience in jobs that range from campground worker at age 12 to being the CEO of her own company today, Ms. Jacke shares seven stages of character development in the workplace to guide the reader on how to graciously handle or fiercely muscle through difficult workplace situations.

    From the book’s well laid out introduction, through the chapters that describe stages from Beginning to Authenticity to Exit (with additional stages in-between), to an excellent wrap-up that reviews all the stages and their lessons, the reader will find encouragement and practical tools for gaining a foothold in a new job or to growing toward the next work opportunity.

    Ms. Jacke’s conversational style and anecdotes that are humorous, harrowing and heartbreaking make for an engaging read that culminates in worthwhile take-aways when the going gets tough: Who hasn’t dealt with a colleague who undermined your top project? Who doesn’t need tips for balancing complex and soul-draining efforts toward work/life balance? Navigating pay issues, dealing with harassment and moving past discomfort when growing into a new position are more examples for which the author provides insights and a take-charge approach toward resolution.

    Anyone working in today’s challenging work environment can benefit from reading this book and keeping it stashed on a nearby bookshelf for quick reference. If you are early in your professional career or know someone who is just starting out, I wholeheartedly recommend buying Is This a Lousy Job or is it Me? as a must-have reference for personal development and navigating most any difficult work situation.

    Moreover, the insights gained on character development in the outlined stages are tools for job fulfillment and personal growth that will last a lifetime.

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Workshops related to IS THIS A LOUSY JOB OR IS IT ME? are now available!

Terri Jacke, MS



Terri Jacke is a seasoned organizational development consultant and the founder of Inspired Training Institute, Inc. She serves as a professional coach to executives and business owners, guiding the growth of their character as a foundation for increased leadership effectiveness and teamwork. She is also a sought after workshop facilitator and professional speaker on topics related to professional development, leadership, and culture. Terri lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband, Chris. She is the mother of three adult children, her daughter and two step-sons.

Author photo by Julie M Gile Photography.