Job Search Books Are Boring
For most of us, reading a book about job search tactics is about as enjoyable as a root canal. And yet, understanding how the world of work has changed and what those changes mean for job seekers is absolutely essential to success.
What should you do? Read a job search book written as a novel. With a plot ripped right from today’s headlines, A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream will entertain and educate you all at the same time.
You can read a free excerpt, click here.
Or, you can go directly to Amazon.com and get your own copy.
A Multitude of Hope will give you the tools you need to succeed in your job search and, equally as important, it will replenish your hope for the future.
A Talent for All
President John F. Kennedy once said that “all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” While he was speaking of his civil rights initiative, his words are also applicable to the challenge of finding a job in today’s economy. All of us should have a chance to express and experience our talent at work, but many, maybe even most of us don’t. Why? Because we’ve been taught that we don’t have talent and, therefore, don’t know what our talent is.
The hidden message in President Kennedy’s words is a repudiation of the notion that talent is only found in a select group of “special people.” According to this view, talent is reserved for professional athletes, movie stars and the winners of made-for-TV dance contests. And, as the President noted, that’s flat wrong.
We are all born with talent. It is an attribute of our species. Talent is the capacity for excellence, and all of us have been endowed with that gift. Like our opposable thumb, it is a characteristic that defines being human. Every single one of us can do superior work.
The challenge for job seekers, therefore, is three-fold:
Let’s look briefly at each of those issues.
First, you have to make sure you have correctly identified your talent.
Talent isn’t passion. You can love to play tennis, but never be good enough to pursue a career in the sport. Talent, therefore, is the intersection of passion and practicality. It is what you love to do and do well.
Some of us are lucky and discover our talent easily. We have “a calling” which points the way. For most of us, however, that voice speaks too softly to hear without some work on our part. We have to invest the time and effort to look around inside ourselves.
In The Career Fitness Workbook, I provide three exercises to accomplish this inner search. One explores what most engages you; a second looks into what is most relevant to you; and a third lets you make an unconstrained choice. Your talent lies where those three dynamics overlap.
Second, you have to make sure you’ve selected a career field in which you can work successfully with your talent.
Not every talent can be used effectively in every occupation. For example, if a person’s talent is communicating complex ideas so that everyone can understand them, they are not likely to be successful in a field which requires the talent of athleticism. They can be a sports writer, perhaps, but not a professional basketball player.
Unfortunately, most of us launch off on our careers before we’ve discovered our talent. As a result, we may become competent or even expert in our profession, craft or trade, but we will never be fulfilled by our work. In fact, more often than not, a lot of us are just plain miserable instead.
How can you figure out if your career field is the right place for your talent? Take a look at the tasks you’ve performed in each of your previous jobs as you’ve listed them on your resume. How close do they match what you love to do and do well? If it’s less than 90 percent, you’re looking for a job in the wrong occupation.
And third, you have to acquire the latest skills and knowledge in your career field so that you can actually use your talent to perform at your peak on-the-job.
Talent is the capacity for excellence, not its achievement. In order to perform at your peak on-the-job, therefore, you have to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to express your talent fully. You must become expert enough to turn your potential for superior work into reality.
A person of talent sees themselves as a “work-in-progress.” They are constantly improving their capabilities because each additional increment of expertise enables them to express a greater dimension of their inherent excellence.
To put it another way, they are so respectful of their talent they never stop trying to perfect it. They don’t wait for their employer to offer training; they seek it out on their own. They don’t put personal development on hold because they are in transition; they use ongoing education to plug the employment gap in their resume.
President Kennedy had it right. We all deserve “an equal opportunity to develop our talents.” And, that includes those of us who are looking for a new or better job.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com
Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites
The American Staffing Association was kind enough to call me the “Zagat” of the online employment industry. And, just as Tim and Nina Zagat used their classic guides to identify the best restaurants, I have published a guide to the best employment sites on the Web.
Called Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web, it’s my pick of the top job boards, career portals and professional networking sites on the Internet.
Every site is profiled with a complete consumer’s guide to its features, services and resources. That way, you can shop smart and pick the sites that will work best for you.
While admitting to some bias, I think Job Nation is the single best way to use the Internet to find a new or better job. And, it retails for just $14.95.
Invest in Yourself
There’s plenty of free job search and career advice on the Web. But, if that’s all it takes to be successful, we wouldn’t still have 13 million Americans out-of-work.
The reality is that too much of what you find online is incomplete (a short article here, a blog post there), out-of-date (posted before the Great Recession changed everything) or just plain wrong. So, if you’re looking for strategies and tips, tactics and techniques that will actually work in today’s tough economy, make an investment in yourself. Get one or more of the books below:
The Career Fitness Workbook. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Think of it as “the habits of highly effective career activists.” It’s a one-of-a-kind program that not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often. And at just $14.95, it’s one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make.
The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.
The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired and Not Be Fired. This anthology collects the best of Peter Weddle’s columns on job search and career success. It is the only book you’ll find that provides a candid and totally up-to-date look at how to get and stay ahead in today’s workplace.
Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.
Remember What Your Mother Taught You
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