I have to admit up front that The Thank You Economy is another book that's not about the job search, it's not going to help you craft your resume or spiff up your wardrobe for an interview ... it may, however, point you in a direction that is going to be a dominant factor in the way business gets done over the next few decades, and if you can figure how your particular skill set can "ride that wave", it could be incredibly valuable to you.
Gary Vaynerchuk has been one of the leading spokespersons for Social Media over the past several years, and stands in a fairly unique position within the field in that he's using these tools to drive his family's wine business, and is not simply pontificating behind a "consultant" shingle.
One of the reasons I feel that these books are important to those of us "between jobs" is that they serve as a very clear roadsign as to where things are heading. Here's a bit of one of his riffs on where business is going:
Corporate America and many private businesses like to live in the middle. The middle is safe. The middle is often quantifiable. And you can reach a lot of people in the middle ... Yet very little in the middle is often memorable, and what is memorable is what sticks. Stories and ideas that catch us off guard, make us pay attention, and show up where we didn't expect them - those are sticky. Sticky stories are the ones that get carried forward, permeating the barrier around the middle and reaching far more people than you'll ever find in that limited space.
You can use a traditional media platform such as television, but marketing victories lie in the extremes, the things that make people look up from their iPads or BlackBerrys and say "What the heck was that?" Quality content is king. Always. But from now quality content must be followed up with quality engagement. You had better be ready and waiting to engage your consumers online when they start googling and tweeting and facebooking to find out more about the awesome content they just experienced, because that's how our consumer culture works now. Anyone marketing in the Thank You Economy has to stay aware of where the culture is going, and go there.
While this is hardly revolutionary (the above passage certainly takes Seth Godin's "Edgecraft" to heart), it brings up a key element: there are going to need to be people in place to make this model of engagement work, which means there are going to be thousands, if not millions of jobs evolving to serve these communication needs.
It is rather telling that in my post here when I looked at his previous book Crush It!, much of what I discussed was how Gary was unable to make time to do an author interview, and I considered the numbers of "engagement points" that he was having to deal with on a daily basis. While it doesn't necessarily fit his personal modality (and, perhaps, budget), Vaynerchuk could easily be able to use dozens of full-time follow-up people for contacts his "communications consumers" want to make with him. While doing that would not necessarily be the most authentic way to deal with having over 850,000 Twitter followers, if he was more of a "brand", this would be the only practical direction to go.
Anyway, The Thank You Economy is a very exciting read, and I highly recommend it; more details are, of course, over in my review (including the factoid that I'd gotten this as a review copy courtesy of Harper Business, just in case the FTC is being nosy).