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It’s Your Career – Take Control!

-by Catherine B. Beck
Davies-Black Publishing, 256 pages, $14.25

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With New Year’s resolutions still on the front burner, now is a good time to start mapping out your professional future. Whether you are launching a career, changing jobs or interested in revitalizing your existing career, this comprehensive book establishes guidelines to get you where you want to go. Too often, job seekers tend to blame the job market or the timing of their job search instead of focusing on the one variable they really do have control over—themselves.

Catherine Beck draws on her own experience of losing her job and her subsequent search that taught her valuable lessons. Eventually, she became a career coach and decided there needed to be a single book that gathered all information for job seekers together. It’s Your Career-Take Control! contains up-to-the-minute information on self-assessment, resume writing, Internet searching, and networking. The case studies and examples here show professionals in all different stages of the process. Some have a lingering “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up” feeling and others feel they have reached the limit of their career and are looking for new challenges.

Beck believes in creative networking, but when it comes to traditional areas like resumes she doesn’t advise unexpected approaches. “Contrary to the popular trend right now, thinking or acting out of the box may keep you out of the box,” she writes. She does allow for a two page resume in certain cases, but still favors the accepted one page format. Some of the more progressive approaches are reserved for those who are changing career paths and looking to get noticed in a new field.

Especially inspiring to job seekers are the true success stories and the no-nonsense, nuts and bolts approach to landing a dream job. It’s Your Career-Take Control! turns much of its focus to presentation and hints for professionals to present themselves in the best way possible. For example, job seekers are encouraged to go through mock interviews and to record their responses. Afterwards, they can review their performance and mannerisms to determine if they are presenting themselves in a positive light.

This book covers all the bases including insights from HR professionals on the other side of the desk. The tips and tricks here follow every step of the process through the salary and negotiation phases. Professionals considering a job change or college graduates launching a career will find their questions answered and assistance in virtually every aspect of the job search.

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