THE (Non-Profit) JOB SEARCH CHECKLIST - Book Review

Book Review - The Job Search Checklist

(Special thanks to Amacom Books for providing a complimentary copy for review).

Our current economic situation has impacted many in several fields, and non-profits/social good especially so. With increasing numbers of people either being laid off due to funding cutbacks or struggling to find work, it becomes critical to have a systematic approach to finding employment. (I should know - I am one of those very job seekers.. Thankfully, Damian Birkel's The Job Search Checklist does an extraordinary job of outlining a procedure for non-profit job search success.

Written in a straightforward style, The Job Search Checklist focuses specifically on layoffs in the business world, but much of its content easily applies to those working in the non-profit field. (For startups and social benefit-oriented businesses, this becomes even more critical). Birkel takes a compassionate yet methodical approach, encouraging recent layoffs to focus on adjusting to their jobless status as well as planning and executing a formal strategy. Unlike many bloggers and "experts" in job transitions, The Job Search Checklist never feels unnecessarily punitive or dismissive, nor does it suggest that job seekers do more with less. The book is clear, concise, and serves as a very solid guide for those seeking employment.

(Ironically, I found myself not only nodding in affirmation, but also realizing that I had been practicing Birkel's principles in my own search without realizing it).

With the increasing professional attention and focus on non-profits, many people seeking work in that field have a unique set of challenges. Dependent on external funding, employment is perceived as a bit less lucrative, and networking within non-profits is often challenged by "gatekeepers". Although social ventures, benefit corporations, and other mission-driven businesses may be a great alternative, networking within those structures can be rather challenging, despite a state task force driving social entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth. Birkel's book provides an extremely critical edge in formalizing and breaking the process down into concrete steps. Although the book does not promise automatic success, it cuts through the din of "career coach" conversation to provide a real-world guide for making headway into finding gainful employment.

Damian Birkel's The Job Search Checklist is a must-read for any job seeker - it does not promise miraculous results, but it does take a compassionate, empathetic, yet realistic approach to finding employment. For those laid off, the book serves as a mandatory guide for working through the emotional consequences of job termination while establishing the groundwork for finding new work. For those working in fields geared towards social benefit, it provides a critical edge that allows for potential success.

Have any thoughts about job seeking in the non-profit or social venture arena? Please feel free to leave them in the comments below, or post them on our Facebook page. You're also more than welcome to reach out to me privately either via Linked In or private e-mail. (Just be sure to mention One Cause At A Time when making a connection). And as always, thank you for reading!

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