Book Review: “Career Building”

I generally do not waste time reviewing job search books that have not been written, or at least updated, since 2009. The practice of job searching is so much more difficult now than it was even five years ago. To be successful today, you have to put much more thought and intentionality into your job search than you might have had to before the Recession.

Career Building, published by the editors of CareerBuilder.com, mines its vast database of employers and job seekers to come up with job search tips, up to 2008. Indeed, Section One, “Finding the ‘One'”, dealing with how to find jobs, feels a bit superficial given the current realities of the job market.

The book really adds value, though, in Section Two, “Tough Love At Work – Workplace Fundamentals,” and Section Three, “When Your Job Isn’t Working Out.”

Fair or not, legal or not, some employers have a practice, if not a policy, of not hiring those who have been unemployed for a period of time. The fear is that those who have not been working, have forgotten how to work. I can’t say whether the fear is valid or not, but I do believe it is the responsibility of everyone who is successfully hired to “pay it forward” to other job seekers by not giving the fear any credence.

Section Two, “Workplace Fundamentals,” spends almost 100 pages giving fundamental, common-sense, excellent advice about how to keep the job once you get it: show up on time, get along with your colleagues, don’t abuse email, leave company property at work, etc.

Section Three deals with how to know when it is time to leave your job, how to professionally exit when it is time, and how to tell the warning signs that things are about to go bad. I see signs that many current employees, who have held onto their jobs through the bad economic times, will begin to seek other employment opportunities, and the advice in this section is particularly relevant.

I do recommend the book, especially if you have been unemployed for a period of time. Skim through Section One, but pay particular attention to Sections Two and Three.

Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.

The Editors of CareerBuilder.com. Career Building: Your Handbook For Finding a Job and Making It Work. New York: Collins Business, 2009. Print.

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