As regular readers know, one of the reasons that I ended up getting The Job Stalker gig here when Julie Wernau got hired by the Tribune was that I had been in three major job searches over the past 10 years or so, and that I'd used various sorts of strategies over those efforts. While my current search is primarily social media and networking based, in my previous searches I had used career coaches, career support organizations, and career consulting firms. Needless to say, all of these cost a substantial amount of money, and (aside from some very useful tools for the job search, such as the tip about putting your "elevator speech"on the back of your networking cards) I really got nothing from those efforts and expenditures.
So, it was with a certain amount of hesitancy that I got into Ford R. Myers' book Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring, as he is coming directly out of that milieu, and, frankly, there were several spots while reading this where I ended up yelling at the page because what was being suggested had been so totally useless in my case. However, there is also a great deal of very good stuff in here, and it occurred to me that picking this up could save a person thousands of dollars versus actually working with one of these consultants or groups.
When it comes right down to it, what you get in this book is pretty much what you would get from those sources, just minus whatever degree of hand-holding might be involved with the personal relationship with an individual coach. The only other thing that I can think of that's not in here are structured networking situations, and (as I have written about repeatedly), there are hundreds of opportunities for that in Chicago every week which are with employed people rather than fellow out-of-work folks!
Anyway, Mr. Myers very kindly answered the interview questions that I sent him, and here's his story:
Q: Briefly, what's your background?
A: I worked for 12 years at three of the nation's largest career consulting firms, and established my own career consulting firm in 2003. In addition to being a highly-experienced career consultant and certified executive coach, I am a nationally-known speaker and author in the career development industry. I also have a licensing program that trains aspiring career coaches to build successful practices quickly and profitably.
Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A: I was trained originally as a graphic designer, and spent 16 years in that field - 10 of those years as owner of my own successful design agency. I sold the business in 1992 and returned to graduate school in Human Resource Development. I switched from Marketing Communications into Career Consulting in 1993. I was able to do this so successfully only because of the help I received from a Career Coach.
Q: Why did you decide to write a job-search book?
A: I could see the "job market tsunami" that was headed our way, and I wanted to provide as much help as possible to as many people as possible. Until the publication of Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring, such information was reserved only for the fortunate executives whose ex-employers paid for them to have exclusive outplacement programs. My book makes these "insider secrets" accessible to the general public for the first time. There is no other book like Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring, because it also integrates vital information on both career management and job search.
Q: How do you see the job market in the next 3-6 months?
A: My sense is that the job market will improve very, very slowly through the end of 2011 - and that it will pick-up more momentum from then on.
Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?
A: The single, most important thing job-seekers can do now is to get crystal clear on the real value they offer to prospective employers. Once this is accomplished, the next priority is to learn how to articulate this value, along with the tangible results they can produce. Finally, the candidate needs to match his or her strengths, assets and experiences to the employer's needs, problems and challenges. If people can do this, they'll always have a good job.
Q: What do you feel makes your book unique?
A: See above (#3). The other thing that makes my book unique is that it is 100% practical - packed with real-world, hands-on strategies that work exceptionally well. Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring takes the complex and makes it simple, with a proven system for career success. In addition, my book includes a comprehensive online resource called the "Job Search Survival Toolkit." This can be downloaded for free at http://www.getthejobbook.com.
Q: Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?
A: I suggest that everyone - employed or not - pursue continuing education in career management and job search. There are endless opportunities to read career books and attend career seminars, webinars, teleclasses, lectures, workshops, and so on. I offer a free, 7-part online career seminar called "Career Success Audio" (http://www.careersuccessaudio.com). There are several other online resources I recommend, which can be seen at: http://www.careerpotential.com/online_search_tools.htm. I also believe that every candidate should be leveraging social media web sites, especially Linked-In.
Q: Any additional words of wisdom?
A: Every company is hiring all the time, if you have what they need when they need it! Even as employers are laying-off hundreds or even thousands of people through the front door, they are quietly hiring people through the back door. Don't look for opportunities; create opportunities.
Again, I have a certain antipathy to the "career consulting" industry in general, but can highly recommend this book in that, for under twenty bucks, you can get 90% or more of what you would get from spending many thousands of dollars on signing up to be coached! Make sure to click through to read the rest of my review.