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Book Review

Career Bounce-Back

by J. Damian Birkel, Stacey J. Miller
Career Bounce Back, Inc.; 2nd edition, 152 pages, $10.47

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Today more than ever, careers are works in progress and transition is the keyword. Author J. Damian Birkel is founder of PIT (Professionals In Transition), the first nonprofit job-support program that employs a step-by-step program for practical action during a career transition. "Don't dismiss the idea of transferring your skills to new, emerging businesses because you don't have professional experience in them," writes Birkel. When it's time to shift gears, these are some of the steps Career Bounce-Back recommends:
  • Figure Out Where You've Been - what did you like best and least about your last job?
  • Find The Professional You - assess yourself as a person and employee
  • Dream A Dream - explore hobbies and interests
  • Survey The Field - do the homework on various fields
  • Create A Personal Mission Statement - be ambitious about where you want to go

The book advocates using low-cost/no-cost job-hunting resources like the Internet and encourages career seekers to find recruiters that don't charge a fee. Other good advice includes the importance of staying in touch with your career consultant and not waiting around for them to call you. AppleOne fits these criteria and practices the belief that "The candidate is the center of the universe." Career Bounce-Back states that, "A solid relationship with a recruiter begins with a good rapport between two professionals. Don't settle for less." AppleOne thrives on the unique bond our Account Executives have with each of their associates.

The importance of rebuilding a network of allies can't be underestimated. Birkel believes that the building blocks of every network are informational interviews because you learn from them. He suggests asking for 20 minutes of someone's time and being flexible. "Do it in person and regard it as a dress rehearsal for a job interview," he writes. Ask them how they got started in the industry and what qualifications are required to be successful.

Career Bounce-Back is loaded with practical advice and guerilla tactics for career seekers. If you find yourself sinking too much time into cover letters and resumes, keep in mind that they are only your admission tickets into the job-hunting arena. Once you are inside, how you conduct yourself is more important. "Don't bite the baited hook by admitting to any major weakness in an interview," Birkel writes. Guerilla tactics he advocates include volunteering, using large mailing envelopes (to distinguish yourself), and staying proactive during a job hunt.

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