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Foget about those trendy theories and anecdotes expounded by others on jobs, careers, and employment. Here's the book that tells it like it really is from the job search trenches.
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Foget about those trendy theories and anecdotes expounded by others on jobs, careers, and employment. Here's the book that tells it like it really is from the job search trenches.
Take Charge of Your Career ... and Your Life
It's the 21st century and you may or may not be prepared for what lies ahead in the world of work. Despite optimistic economic and employment projections, most job seekers face an increasingly tough and demanding employment arena: they are required to come to the employment table with the latest marketable skills; a predictable pattern of work behavior; a willingness to take initiative, learn, and be a team player; and an entrepreneurial and positive attitude that contributes to the employer's bottomline. Above all, they must demonstrate that they are really good at what they say they can and will do. And regardless of how good they are, once hired, they may become displaced workers if the company decides to downsize.
Seeking to recruit employer-centered rather than self-centered individuals, today's employers want more performance and value from their workforce. And they are prepared to reward it in many different ways. They simply have no choice to expect less in an economy that gives the competitive edge to companies that can recruit and retain a top quality workforce.
Welcome to the New World of Work
You've seen the headlines and perhaps contemplated how they may best relate to your future:
* Unemployment reaches a record low of 4.2 percent.
* Companies lose their competitive edge due to increased problems in recruiting and retaining skilled workers.
* New talent-driven economy favors young, recently trained, and energetic individuals who are skilled in using today's newest technologies.
* Internet savvy job seekers find the best paying jobs.
* Electronic resumes replace conventional paper resumes.
* Few job seekers know how to write an employer-centered resume for today's new job market.
* Employers increasingly conduct behavior-based interviews and engage in rigorous psychological testing and screening.
* Job security all but disappearing in today's highly competitive and demanding workplace.
* Savvy employers increasingly hire slow and fire fast.
* Employers can't afford to make the same old hiring mistakes.
* Compensation becomes a major issue in today's highly competitive job market.
* Young entrepreneurs launch new Internet IPO worth $10 billion despite losing $25 million a year.
* Major companies accelerate downsizing as more than 3 million workers expected to their jobs this year through.
* Over age-40 workers, who appear over-compensated and under-skilled, disproportionately experience difficulties in changing jobs and careers.
* Retraining and continuing education become major issues in today's rapidly changing economy.
* Lifestyle issues, from childcare to flextime, become increasingly important in today's workforce.
* Most employers are under compensated by 10 percent.
* Employees need to think and behave like entrepreneurs in today's new workplace.
* We're in the midst of a profound and unpredictable revolution in the world of work.
* Jobs in today's new economy have become increasingly demanding and stressful.
* Most workers enjoy their jobs but they are worried about their futures.
At the same time, employers are becoming more savvy at hiring and retaining personnel. They know how costly hiring mistakes and losing talented employees can be to the organization. Indeed, their hiring and retention reading list now includes these popular books:
* Finding and Keeping Great Employees
* Hire With Your Head
* Smart Hiring
* 45 Effective Ways For Hiring Smart
* 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire
* Verify Those Credentials
* Don't Hire a Crook!
* Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay
Most of these headlines and book titles reflect a new and unsettling set of work and job search issues that were largely absent from our career vocabulary and bookshelves ten years ago. During the past decade, numerous companies have "reinvented" themselves in terms of their goals, markets, and operations. They've merged, developed new operations, experimented with innovative management approaches, and made CEOs more accountable for performance. In their drive to increase productivity, they've restructured their workforces through downsizing. Such downsizing continues to accelerate even in a boom economy.
Today's new talent-driven economy, with its increased focus on high-tech skills, entrepreneurism, hiring, and retention, has created a new set of opportunities and challenges for most people who work for a living. They may affect you in more ways than you have ever known. At the very least, they present a situation in which increased career choices also mean greater uncertainly, insecurity, and unpredictability.
The Power of Choice, The Promise of Persistence
For the moment, let's forget about what's going on in the larger economy, the workplace, and amongst employers and simply focus on your choices. For in the end, you are the one who makes good or bad choices. It's really up to you to shape your future.
What do you really do well and enjoy doing? Do you have a clear vision of what you want to do the rest of your life? Is your career the center of your life, or do you work so you can have a fulfilling life? Are you doing what you really love to do or are there other things you would rather be doing with your life?
A job should not become a life sentence. It should give you the freedom to do what you do well and enjoy doing. It should fit right. A job that doesn't fit right can be miserable. It can make life more difficult than it need be—unless you take action. Changing that job may forever change your life. But you must first acquire the power to make the necessary changes. That's what this book is all about—acquiring the power to take charge of your job, and your life!
Jobs and life need not be difficult if you possess the power of choice and persist in pursuing your goals. Your job should make life easier for you and those around you. You will know if your job is a good fit: it will feel good and be a rewarding experience. You'll enjoy going to work where you can fully use your knowledge, skills, and abilities and be rewarded accordingly.
Since you're reading this book, we assume you're sufficiently motivated to do something about your job and your life. If not, the following pages may help motivate you to take the necessary actions for changing your life.
Welcome to the Rest of Your Life
So you're thinking of taking a major risk—seeking a job or pursuing a new career that may put you on the road to renewed success in the decade ahead.
But what exactly do you want to do with the rest of your life? How will you go about turning your dreams into realities over the next few weeks or months? Do you have goals and hidden talents that could be best directed elsewhere than in your present job or career?
Let's examine these and many other important questions for taking charge of your career today, tomorrow, and in the decade ahead. For in answering these questions, you will begin acquiring key skills and using effective strategies for shaping your future in the direction of your dreams.
Shape Your Future
Charting your career future through the power of choice and the promise of persistence is the subject of this book. Not everyone has the luxury of choice. Many people lose their jobs to the winds of economic change or to the whims of organizational politics. Recessions, lay offs, failed businesses, organizational changes, and on-the-job conflicts daily force thousands of people into unemployment lines. Indeed, millions of Americans lose their jobs each year. And millions of others quit their jobs for opportunities elsewhere.
Whatever your situation—forced or shaped by choice—the most important decision is how and what you choose to do now with your life. If you focus on your future in a disciplined and thoughtful manner—rather than dwell on past negatives or adopt a "can't do" attitude—you will begin turning your dreams into new realities.
The future is something we all would like to better know and control. Most people prefer to plan their future rather than wait to see what tomorrow will bring. But how do you better plan for tomorrow when much of life seems to be beyond one's control?
While the future may not be predictable, it is something you can and should shape for yourself. To do so requires vision, determination, and a well organized plan of action. You must first know where you are at present and then develop a clear vision of where you want to go in the future. But most important of all, you should develop and implement a plan of action for making your dreams come true.
Without an analysis of your present, a vision of the future, and a plan of action, your future will most likely be a repeat performance of your past patterns of behavior. You will be blown by the winds of change and whims of chance rather than direct and control your own destiny.
This book is all about taking better charge of your future in one of the most important areas of your life—your career. Few people actually plan their lives. Instead, they seem to be buffeted by forces beyond their control. Usually on the receiving end of life, they are great "getters": they get an education; they get married and get a family; they get a house; they get a job; they get taxed; and they get buried. If they are lucky—as Andy Worhol would have us remember—they may even get famous for 15 minutes sometime during their lives. While they may plan for some major events in their lives, few people consciously shape their future through deliberate action on an on-going basis.
A career is something you can shape if you plan properly and have the requisite motivation and skills and use effective strategies to make it happen. However, the popular notion that all you need to do is get a good education that will lead to a good job and career, after which you live happily ever after, has been eroded in a society that has undergone rapid change in education, training, occupations, and the work place. The "one job, one career, one work life" phenomenon has all but ended for most occupations. The "15 jobs, 5 careers, 10 geographic moves, and many work lives" phenomenon is now upon us in a new careering and re-careering era. In this era the future becomes synonymous with change. Therefore, you are well advised to anticipate, plan, and manage changes to your advantage.
Examine the Evidence
The past two decades have been an extremely turbulent and rewarding period for many workers. Millions of individuals first entered the rapidly expanding work force. At the same time, millions of these and other workers experienced unemployment brought on by larger structural changes taking place in both the international and domestic economies. Rapid technological changes made many skills increasingly obsolete for the jobs of today and tomorrow. While many of the unemployed expected to return to work once the economy improved, many would not because their skills were no longer appropriate for the job market. Unfortunately, they were not likely to acquire the necessary skills because they failed to take initiative, and neither the public nor private sectors were preparing them for new jobs. In the meantime, unemployment existed in the midst of major labor shortages.
We are in the midst of a profoundly revolutionary period which will require individuals to change jobs and careers several times during their work lives. Knowing job search skills alone will be insufficient to function effectively in the rapidly changing job markets of the coming decade. Job search skills must accompany concrete work-content skills. Individuals must continuously update present skills as well as acquire new skills in order to adjust to changing job market realities.
This book is all about empowerment—better develop your ability to take charge of your future. It is designed to fill the need for an expanded perspective on jobs and careers for the decade ahead. For the problem of jobs, careers, and employment needs to be addressed with the larger future in mind. Many so-called experts tend to "stand where they sit" as well as "major in their own problems." Educators, for example, believe people need to come to them and their institutions for training when, in fact, highly bureaucratized educational institutions are more often part of the problem rather than the solution, and educators continue to face important employment problems themselves. Politicians and bureaucrats tend to do what they do best—think in narrow policy terms: create another "innovative" government program which they hope "this time" will produce results. And career experts and futurists seem unprepared to provide practical guidance, especially on relocation, to unemployed workers in communities that simply lack enough jobs to go around.
The perspective presented in this book synthesizes important skills training and job search approaches in relation to a society undergoing major social, economic, and political restructuring. This is a "no excuses" book that stresses the importance of individual choices relating to goals, organization, discipline, and sheer tenacity. It places full responsibility for employment on the shoulders of the individual, many of whom have a history of making bad choices. No one owes anyone a job or career, and few people have valid excuses for not acquiring the education and training necessary to function effectively in today's job market. Therefore, you must be responsible for your own employment fate. You shape your own future by the decisions you made yesterday and make today as well as by those you will make tomorrow. This book is designed to prepare you for turbulent times by providing you with the necessary knowledge to make informed choices about your future. It's all about making better choices affecting your future.
Organize and Discipline Your Thinking
This book should become a flexible guide to your future which you can use over and over again in the coming years. The seventeen chapters that follow move from description and explanation to prediction and prescription. Since chapters are related to one another, it's best to read each section and chapter in sequence. However, you may wish to read them in a different order, or go directly to a few chapters that are of greatest interest to you.
If, for example, you are interested in moving to another community, go directly to Chapter 16 for tips on how to relocate and conduct a long-distance job search. If you are scheduled for a job interview in a few days, examine Chapter 13 on how to conduct an effective interview. And if you are curious about the future, browse through Chapter 3 which examines 33 important changes in the decade ahead.
The book is purposefully designed to be a comprehensive, flexible, and usable guide for readers with different interests and goals. Each part, as well as most chapters, can stand alone in addressing important issues of concern to millions of individuals.
Part I sketches the larger context within which individuals make career choices. It sets the stage for subsequent how-to chapters by analyzing industries and occupations, explaining the educational and job markets, and predicting future changes in occupations and employment. Taken together, these chapters develop a vision of what the future may look like for making career decisions. If read in sequence, this section will help you better understand the how-to strategies and tactics outlined in Parts II and III. But if such contextual descriptions, explanations, analyses, and predictions are of peripheral interest to you, skip this section and proceed to the remaining chapters that offer practical how-to careering and re-careering advice.
If you are mainly interested in prescriptions for finding a job, then go directly to Chapter 5. This chapter provides an important introduction and transition to the seven how-to chapters in Part II. These practical chapters focus on how to develop and implement an effective job search, from specifying a job objective to writing resumes, networking, conducting research, interviewing, and negotiating salaries.
Part III addresses important careering and re-careering opportunities you can create for yourself, from advancing on the job to relocating to another community or starting your own business. Many readers have found this section most instructive because it includes important career and lifestyle issues normally absent in other career planning and job search books.
Part IV addresses the key issue of implementation. It presents practical exercises for putting this book into practice.
Select the Right Resources
We wish you well as you take this journey into an exciting and sometimes confusing world of self-discovery and action. We are primarily concerned with relating key job and career issues to your situations—from understanding the nature of the job market to developing job search skills, acquiring work-content skills, relocating to other communities, and translating this book into action. Many of these issues, which also are job search steps, are outlined in our other books: Discover the Best Jobs For You!, High Impact Resumes and Letters, Dynamite Resumes, Dynamite Cover Letters, Dynamite Tele-Search, 201 Dynamite Job Search Letters, Interview For Success, 101 Dynamite Answers to Interview Questions, Dynamite Networking For Dynamite Jobs, and Dynamite Salary Negotiations. We also address particular jobs and career fields in the following books: The Best Jobs For the 21st Century, The Complete Guide to Public Employment, The Directory of Federal Jobs and Employers, Find a Federal Job Fast, The Complete Guide to International Jobs and Careers, International Jobs Directory, Jobs and Careers With Nonprofit Organizations, Jobs For People Who Love to Travel, and The Educator's Guide to Alternative Jobs and Careers. While available in many bookstores and libraries, these and many other job search books also are available directly from Impact Publications. For your convenience, you can order them by completing the order form at the end of this book.
Impact Publications also publishes a brochure of additional job and career resources. To receive a free copy of this listing, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (#10 business size) to:
ATTN: Free Career Brochure
9104-N Manassas Drive
Manassas Park, VA 20111-5211
You also may want to visit their Web site which includes an online career bookstore for a complete listing of career resources:
This site contains some of the most important career and job finding resources available today, including many titles that are difficult, if not impossible, to find in bookstores and libraries. You will find everything from books on self-assessment, resumes, and cover letters to books on networking, interviewing, government and international jobs, military, women, minorities, entrepreneurs as well as software and video programs. This is an excellent resource for keeping in touch with the major resources that can assist you with every stage of your job search and with your future career development plans.
Redirect and Re-Energize Your Life
The processes we call careering and re-careering emphasize the need to prepare for an uncertain employment future. It requires linking work-content skills to job search skills and relocation issues within the context of a rapidly changing economy characterized by periodic boom and bust cycles. These economic cycles often witness the fundamental restructuring of businesses, jobs, and the job market.
The chapters that follow are all about empowerment—you have within you the power to shape your own destiny. As such, the remaining 18 chapters reveal how you can redirect your life through new and exciting opportunities in the world of work.
Join us as we take you on a powerful journey of self-discovery. We'll share with you proven strategies for turning dreams into new realities. It's an exciting and challenging journey that may well change your life forever. Our goal is simple—to show you how to make a habit of success.
|1||Prepare For the New World of Work||1|
|Welcome to the Future||1|
|The New World of Work||2|
|Power of Choice, Promise of Persistence||4|
|Welcome to the Rest of Your Life||5|
|Shape Your Future||5|
|Examine the Evidence||6|
|Organize and Discipline Your Thinking||8|
|Select the Right Resources||9|
|Redirect and Re-Energize Your Life||10|
|Part I||Prepare For Turbulence and New Opportunities|
|2||Career and Re-Career in a Boom/Bust Economy||13|
|Work and Meaningful Lifestyles||13|
|Working in a Boom/Bust Economy||15|
|Facing a New Cowboy/Casino Economy||15|
|Employment in a Dual Society||17|
|Take Re-Careering Initiatives||18|
|Predict and Prepare For Uncertainty||19|
|Beware of Incomplete Approaches||22|
|Career and Re-Career For Today and Tomorrow||24|
|Approach the Subject Differently||25|
|3||33 Coming Changes Affecting Your Career||28|
|Images of the Future||28|
|Turn Turbulence Into New Opportunities||28|
|Face New Demographics||30|
|Experience the Impact of New Technologies||34|
|Prepare For 33 Coming Changes||36|
|4||The Best and Worst Jobs For the Future||53|
|Beware of Changing Occupational Profiles||53|
|Expect Job Growth For Most Occupations||54|
|Examine Growing and Declining Occupations||59|
|Determine the "Best" Jobs For You||66|
|Look For Exciting New Occupations||68|
|Implications of Future Trends For You||69|
|5||Myths, Competencies, and Planning Your Success||71|
|Careering and Re-Careering Prerequisites||71|
|Understand Key Myths and Realities||72|
|Find Jobs and Change Careers||85|
|Understand the Career Development Process||86|
|Organize and Sequence Your Job Search||89|
|Test Your Careering Competencies||90|
|Career Planning and Job Search Services||91|
|Make Wise Choices||91|
|Consider Alternative Services||94|
|Choose the Best||101|
|When in Doubt, Take Purposeful Action||101|
|Use Time Wisely||102|
|Plan to Take Action||106|
|20 Principles For Job Search Success||108|
|Take Risks and Handle Rejections||110|
|Consider Forming a Support Group||112|
|Part II||Develop Powerful Careering and Re-Careering Skills|
|6||Identify Your Skills and Abilities||115|
|Identify Your Skills||115|
|Types of Skills||116|
|Ask the Right Questions||118|
|Identify Your Skills||121|
|Autobiography of Accomplishments||123|
|Computerized Assessment Systems||123|
|7||Specify Your Interests and Values||126|
|Computer Programs and Online Services||136|
|Your Future as Objectives||136|
|8||Know Your Motivated Skills and Abilities (MAS)||137|
|What's Your MAS?||137|
|The Skills Map||138|
|Autobiography of Accomplishments||139|
|Motivated Skills Exercise||139|
|Benefit From Redundancy||146|
|Bridging Your Past and Future||147|
|9||Develop a Powerful and Realistic Objective||148|
|Goals and Objectives||148|
|Examine Your Past, Present, and Future||149|
|Orient Yourself to Employers' Needs||149|
|Be Purposeful and Realistic||150|
|Project Yourself Into the Future||151|
|State a Functional Objective||166|
|10||Write Effective Resumes and Letters||171|
|Communicating Positive Images||171|
|Types of Resumes||173|
|Structuring Resume Content||175|
|Evaluating the Final Product||177|
|Job Search Letters||179|
|Basic Preparation Rules||179|
|Types of Letters||180|
|Distribution and Management||182|
|Responding to Classified Ads||182|
|Resume Databases and Online Recruiting||185|
|11||Research Alternative Jobs and Communities||201|
|Investigate Alternative Jobs and Careers||202|
|Ask the Right Questions||209|
|Identify the Right Community||211|
|Know What's Really Important||216|
|12||Network For Information, Advice, and Referrals||217|
|Focus on Getting Interviews||217|
|Prospecting and Networking||218|
|Communicate Your Qualifications||218|
|Prospect For Leads||221|
|Handle and Minimize Rejections||224|
|Be Honest and Sincere||224|
|Practice the 5R's of Informational Interviewing||225|
|Approach Key People||225|
|Conduct the Interview Well||228|
|Telephone For Job Leads||231|
|Use Job Clubs and Support Groups||232|
|Explore Electronic Networking||234|
|13||Interview For Job Offers||237|
|New Behavioral and Internet Trends||237|
|Interview For the Job||238|
|A Communication Focus||239|
|Handle Objections and Negatives With Ease||242|
|Encounter Behavior-Based Questions||246|
|Develop Strong Storytelling Skills||248|
|Face Illegal Questions||248|
|Close the Interview||256|
|Remember to Follow Up||256|
|14||Negotiate Salary, Benefits, and Your Future||258|
|Approach Salaries as Negotiable||258|
|Look to Your Financial Future||259|
|Prepare for the Salary Question||259|
|Keep Salary Issues to the Very End||259|
|Handle the Salary Question With Tact||260|
|Reach Common Ground and Agreement||262|
|Carefully Examine Benefits||264|
|Offer a Renegotiation Option||264|
|Take Time Before Accepting||265|
|Know Your Value, Emphasize Your Productivity||266|
|Part III||Create Your Own Opportunities|
|15||Advance Your Career||271|
|Take More Positive Actions||271|
|Be Alert to Changing Job Requirements||272|
|Beware of Office Politics||273|
|Conduct an Annual Career Check-Up||273|
|Use Job-Keeping and Advancement Strategies||274|
|Assess and Change When Necessary||277|
|Revitalize Your Job||277|
|Prepare For Change||279|
|16||Find Your Ideal Place to Live and Work||280|
|Relocate to Career and Re-Career||280|
|Know the Growing States and Communities||283|
|Consider the Best Places to Work||287|
|Find the Best Place to Live||288|
|Seek Out the Best Employers||291|
|Look For Solid Metro Areas||292|
|Select a Location Properly||292|
|Consider Your Financial Costs||294|
|A Web of Relocation Resources||295|
|Conduct a Long-Distance Job Search||296|
|Penetrate the Local Job Market||298|
|Identify Opportunity Structures||300|
|17||Start Your Own Business||304|
|Consider Your Alternatives||304|
|Examine Risks and Motivations||305|
|Possess the Right Strengths For Success||307|
|Look For New Opportunities||309|
|Prepare the Basics||310|
|Get Useful Advice||312|
|Continue Your Success||313|
|Part IV||Take Action to Implement Your Goals|
|18||Develop a Realistic Plan of Action||317|
|Welcome Rejections as Learning Opportunities||318|
|Get Motivated and Work Hard||318|
|Commit Yourself in Writing||319|
|Career and Re-Career For Your Future||320|