Oh, look ... it's Monday and we actually have a book to feature ... and not just a book, but one with an Author Interview! How exciting, right? I know you're thrilled.
It took me a while to plow through Pam Lassiter's The New Job Security, Revised: The 5 Best Strategies for Taking Control of Your Career because, frankly, after 17 months of looking for work, the subject has lost a good deal of whatever fascination it may have had in the past. This book, however, might not have been read at all had it not been the publicist from Ten Speed Press getting back to me (after a somewhat cranky e-mail I'd sent) and suggesting that I take a closer look at the book. At first glance (heck, at second or third glance as well), this book does not look like it's something that's targeted for the job seeker, but once one gets into it, there are techniques and approaches which are very applicable to the job search!
Here are the responses to my standard The Job Stalker e-mail interview that just came in (on Monday night) from the author:
Q: Briefly, what's your background?
A: I've had over 30 years of experience working with professionals in transition plus graduate work in psychological counseling and business management. Whether professionals are leaving companies (outplacement), doing their own career planning privately, moving up in their companies, or planning for an active retirement, there are always career questions to answer and ways to plan strategically that enable you to achieve the results you want. That's where I come in.
Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?
A: My job is not to have notable job transition experiences! Stability allows me to build the expertise that enables me to work with professionals over their entire careers, not just between jobs. Career management is for the long term. I've been coaching professionals since I left the office over career planning in a university many years ago. It's working with the thousands of job transition experiences of others that has allowed me to see patterns of what creates results and what doesn't.
Q: Why did you decide to write "The New Job Security"?
A: I wrote The New Job Security because the pain in the job market is obvious. Few people are trained in career management, but all are affected by it. Where do we get systems thinking that allows us to protect ourselves at mid-career? There are patterns and structures that provide solutions, and The New Job Security translates these systems into a process that all can use.
Q: How do you see the job market in the next 3-6 months?
A: Flat. The job market isn't going to take off any time soon. My clients get jobs, however, regardless of the job market they know that chasing job openings isn't a great use of their time. Only 3% of offers come down through posted job openings. Looking for problems to be solved and becoming the expert in these problems allows you to have conversations with companies early ... before problems turn into official job openings when the competition becomes unrealistic.
Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?
A: Read the book! You get the entire answer in that. If I have to say just one snippet, it's "Stop looking for jobs. Look for problems to be solved."
Q: What do you feel makes your book unique?
A: It's based on product marketing. If you're comfortable considering yourself a product in the market that wants to be consumed, the rest is easy. I can find no one else that actually positions you in relation to your markets and what they want. We now have a whole body of marketing literature, systems and decision making to fall back upon. Suddenly, the job process moves from feeling random to having a structure behind it that puts you in control.
Q: Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?
A: The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the publications in your function and your industry. They reflect trends in the world and in your profession. Trends create jobs.
Q: Any additional words of wisdom?
A: It's not about you. The more you can focus on the target markets, how they are profitable, and what you can do to grow their profitability, the more your own will grow as a result.
Again, I get more into this in my review, but that's pretty much where this book is coming from. I suspect that this is in many ways a "re-imaging" the author's previous book by the same title (be careful when ordering, as both versions are still in print), now focused more on those looking for work rather than those looking to "take control of their career"!