The Workbook For Landing The Right Job

I have a tendency of wandering off track with reviews, I love to tell stories, and indeed I am going to start with a story. I entered the workforce in 1973, I was attending a community college, and hating every moment, accounting and business law held about as much interest as a nasty case of hemorrhoids.

I grew up just outside Oxford and my parents owned a sprawling country pub, they ran a Bed and Breakfast, well there were 8 bedrooms doing nothing. Somehow we became the prime spot for scientists visiting the local atomic energy research facility. I chatted with these people every day. Back then there were no computer geeks, if you wanted to use a computer you had to be self sufficient. Computers fascinated me, one day a guest left a book, by chance or by design I will never know. It was a reference manual for the programming language Fortran. I read it cover to cover, and I was hooked.

I sent off a hand written letter to the Atomic Energy folks explaining that I wanted to be a computer geek, after the scariest interview on earth, and a couple of Bowler hatted gentleman from MI5 had talked to our neighbors to ensure I was not a communist, I entered the workforce.

Times have changed a great deal. Today you need a lot more than just desire and a handwritten letter. You need a plan. But finding the plan can be as hard as the mission itself.  The Job Coach For Young Professionals is a blueprint for what todays college grad should do.  There is a lot more to finding your perfect job than sending out a bunch of resumes.

Susan Kennedy and Karen Baker have done an excellent job of creating a book that also doubles as a personal resource development guide. The book is a series of short text sections and work sheets.

Over the past 5 or so years I have run a number of ‘Job Hunting’ workshops. I wish I had had access to this book as it would have made an ideal companion to my presentations.

Finding your ideal job should be approached as a job itself. What are your strengths and weaknesses, what industries interest you, what are your short and long term goals? The list of questions you need to answer is quite lengthy, but well worth the effort. Understanding yourself is a key to unlocking that perfect job.

It was with great interest that I read the section about interviews and these two authors have hit the subject on the head. You only get one chance to make a first impression, make the best use of that chance. A key is to be prepared. One of the most common questions asked in an interview is, tell me a little about yourself. Expect the question, and have your answer already practiced. It sounds so obvious yet few people do it. I do a huge number of interviews with musicians and authors, they are not job interviews, but the principle is the same. Almost 100% of the time my first question is “Can you tell us a little about yourself”. The seasoned pro’s that have been in the business for years expect the question and fire back a potted history of their career. The newcomers umm and ahh and stumble around. The good news is, I am long in the tooth and can jump in and help them. You won’t get that help in a job interview!

Another important thing to do is research the company before the interview. If there are 5 candidates for the position, and all have about the same credentials, the deciding factor may well be the person that can talk about the products and services.

For someone entering the workforce this book will be a valuable asset. You can order your copy from Intern Bridge.

Simon Barrett

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