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If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map?
     

If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map?

by Anne Fisher, Anne Fisher
 

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Here, finally, is the essential guide for navigating the tumultuous, often exhilarating, and sometimes perplexing job market of the New Economy.

Inspired by the questions and concerns of her millions of readers and fans, Anne Fisher, author of Fortune magazine's immensely popular column "Ask Annie," has woven together the advice and expertise of countless

Overview

Here, finally, is the essential guide for navigating the tumultuous, often exhilarating, and sometimes perplexing job market of the New Economy.

Inspired by the questions and concerns of her millions of readers and fans, Anne Fisher, author of Fortune magazine's immensely popular column "Ask Annie," has woven together the advice and expertise of countless professionals (along with the personal stories of both entry- and upper-level employees) into a comprehensive career guide. "Annie" uses her sassy, engaging, and funny voice to take you from your first job out of school to the big corner office.

If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? offers unique advice on:

  • what to do after graduation
  • how to move your career ahead
  • dealing with toxic colleagues
  • failing or being fired, and how to bounce back
  • useful tips for new and seasoned managers

Fisher also provides an appendix with further sources of information, including websites, books, trade associations, and professional groups, and a detailed index that allows you to quickly zero in on the answers to your particular concerns.

Along the way, Fisher addresses such issues as figuring out what you really want from your career and your life; asking for a raise or a promotion (but only if you know you really deserve one — and how to tell whether you do); identifying skeletons in the closet; getting an MBA — and whether you really need one; working from home; networking (even if you're shy or if it feels "fake"); dealing with stress; knowing when it's time to move on to your next job — or your new career; and knowing how to hire the best and the brightest (and how to keep them!).

Fisher shares fresh and surprising insights into how technology and the internet have shaped your role as an employee and offers tips on how to use the Web to get a job that's really right for you.

If My Career's on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map? is full of levelheaded advice that will help and reassure anyone who wants to get ahead in his or her career and have some real fun with it, too.

Editorial Reviews

Steven Berglas
Anne Fisher has revealed the essence of what careers are all about in a style and tone guarateed to enrage self-impressed career-placement experts and elate everyone who knows that there is no such thing as a predictable career trajectory. If it is possible to create a 'page turner' in the business-book genre, Anne Fisher has done so!
William A. Schaffer
Written with wit and flair, this really is a must-read for those people who want a comprehensive look at what 'career' means in today's volatile world.
Tom Peters
I've worked for myself, mostly happily, for the last 20 years. So I don't need �career advice'. Yet I always go first to �Ask Annie' when I pick up the latest issue of Fortune. Anne Fisher is a wise human being and a heck of a writer-communicator. This is a very special book. For all of us!
Richard N. Bolles
Anne Fisher's new book is wonderfully fascinating and helpful. Her wisdom, balance, broad perspective, knowledge of statistics, interviews with employers, and sensitivity to real questions from the workplace, make this book a treasure.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fisher (Wall Street Women), career columnist ("Ask Annie") at Fortune, counsels fledgling employees. She interviews experts, breezily covering salaries, benefits, work relations and getting a raise. Asked for the perfect interview statement, Fisher replies, "there is no magic bullet"; they want to know "what you expect to contribute to the company's success," rather than the other way around. Her solid tome will benefit June graduates. (May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Fisher (Wall Street Women) is a career advice columnist for Fortune magazine who also maintains a popular web site, www.askannie.com. Like Fisher's columns, this book is written for college graduates who are on the corporate executive track. Within this context, Fisher's book covers a wide variety of topics, as the titles of the various chapters indicate (e.g., "So You've Graduated from College. Now All You Need Is...More Advice?"; "Now That You're the Boss"). Fisher frequently cites the readers of her column by reproducing, as sidebars, the questions that they have posed and her responses. Her advice is honest, balanced, and diplomatic throughout, particularly in the section on online job hunting and in the chapter on how to cope with difficult bosses and co-workers. Many readers will appreciate her advice on cubicle etiquette ("Pretend you overhear nothing, ever, in a cubicle or anywhere else"). Fisher's references to dotcoms and the ongoing labor shortage make the book current but may also date it rather quickly; however, the extensive appendix, which lists the print resources to which she refers and annotates the electronic ones, is valuable in and of itself. Suitable for career collections in public and academic libraries but also for career counseling centers. Cheryl Van Til, Kent Dist. Lib., Grand Rapids, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688173876
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.97(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

So You've Graduated from College. Now All You Need Is . . . More Advice?

Okay, I know: if you're a recent successful (or even halfway presentable) product of a U.S. institution of higher learning, you're already stuffed full of more advice — most of it well-meaning, some of it astute — than you could possibly absorb in a lifetime, or would want to. Everybody's got an opinion, or a bias, or a factoid: teachers, friends, guidance counselors, friends, parents, friends, campus recruiters, friends, professors, friends (you know I'm repeating friends because their opinions tend to count most, for better or worse, at each step of the way) ... and then there's the Web. Hey, is there anything you don't know yet? You've looked into your options; you've listened (at least some of the time); you've worried; you've plotted; you've studied; you've planned. You've partied. You're good to go.

Right?

Well, maybe. And maybe not.

Congratulations! You're a Scarce Resource

Weird as things are, cheer up. You do have certain advantages. That college degree really is (surprise!) every bit as valuable as your parents kept telling you it would be. Three-quarters of Americans aged eighteen to thirty-four don't have one, and that is significant. JobTrak.Com — a vast on-line job listing service for college students, MBAs, and the alumni of more than nine hundred U.S. colleges (www.jobtrak.com) — reported that as of graduation time in 1999, employers were holding out 317 percent more jobs for new college grads than they had just one year earlier. Let me repeat that, because it isastounding: Between 1998 and 1999, on-line job listings for people fresh out of college rose 317 percent. The number of new grads during the same period, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, went up just 7.2 percent. I'll save you the trouble of punching that into your calculator: The ratio of jobs to grads was 44 to 1. And 1999 was no fluke. In January 2000, job postings for new grads were 40.3 percent higher than that 317 percent leap. Sometimes, the sky really is the limit.

So if you've got lots of great offers to choose from, it's thanks to an imbalance between supply and demand that has lately reached historic proportions. Never forget that economics is classically defined as the study of the allocation of scarce resources. Hmm. Any scarce resource is implied, and not just (as later definitions have narrowed it down) money, but also — and no less important — time, effort, talent.

You yourself, as an energetic, bright college grad, are a scarce resource right now. Even better, you're likely to remain one for a while: The absolute number of people in the full-time workforce who are between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four has declined about 12 percent since 1990, and demographers say that — thanks to low birth rates in the mid-to-late seventies — the age group will continue to shrink for several more years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2006, the number of available jobs will have risen by 19 percent since 1996 — while the workforce grows by just 11 percent. The most severe shortage of skilled workers is expected to hit in 2005. "All you have to do is look at the numbers," says Ray Marcy, chairman and CEO of worldwide human-capital consulting firm Spherion (formerly Interim Services Inc.). "Seventy million Baby Boomers are heading toward retirement, and only about 45 million Gen-Xers are stepping into their shoes. So twenty-first-century employees will experience a version of paradise as companies clamor for them, offering top dollar, stock options, and beefy bonuses as ammunition." Paradise? Wow.

This isn't a big news flash to many of my readers, who are twentysomething years old, swamped by opportunities, and wondering which way to turn — a lovely problem to have. Yep, you're hot stuff. You're in demand. You're what everybody's after. You're young, you're cool, you're happening. You're also likely to be far less expensive than somebody older.

Want to choose wisely? First comes an exercise in empathy and imagination. Do your best to see yourself as prospective employers see you. (And if you can cultivate this skill now, it will serve you well throughout the rest of your career — and your life — even if you work for a hundred companies and live to be ninety-nine. But more about that later.) The people who are interviewing you are making at least one big assumption about you: As they see it, even if you're not a techie, you probably know something about computers. You're not intimidated by new technology. And you're eminently trainable. So don't be too surprised if, in a job interview that is supposed to be for a position in sales or finance or public relations, you suddenly start hearing lots of questions about how good your computer skills are. That's because companies are desperate for people well versed in information technology — or failing that, able and eager to learn.

What People are Saying About This

William Schaffer
Written with wit and flair, this really is a must-read for those people who want a comprehensive look at what 'career' means in today's volatile world.
—(William A. Schaffer, author of High-Tech Careers for Low-Tech People)
Steven Berglas
Anne Fisher has revealed the essence of what careers are all about in a style and tone guarateed to enrage self-impressed career-placement experts and elate everyone who knows that there is no such thing as a predictable career trajectory. If it is possible to create a 'page turner' in the business-book genre, Anne Fisher has done so!
—(Dr. Steven Berglas, author of Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Cope with Burnout)
Richard N. Bolles
Anne Fisher's new book is wonderfully fascinating and helpful. Her wisdom, balance, broad perspective, knowledge of statistics, interviews with employers, and sensitivity to real questions from the workplace, make this book a treasure.
—(Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?)
Tom Peters
I've worked for myself, mostly happily, for the last 20 years. So I don't need 'career advice'. Yet I always go first to 'Ask Annie' when I pick up the latest issue of Fortune. Anne Fisher is a wise human being and a heck of a writer-communicator. This is a very special book. For all of us!

Meet the Author

Anne Fisher is the author of Wall Street Woman and has written for Inc., Ms., The New York Times, and Barron's. Her column, "Ask Annie," appears biweekly in Fortune. She lives in New York City.

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