"Going to interviews is FUN! There I get to talk about myself, talk about things I'm good at, talk about things I like to do and meet new people!"
My friends and family thought I was a little crazy when they heard me say that. I had been struggling with the interview circuit for some time, and had to take on a new approach or simply burn myself out. No one understood how I came to this conclusion, why I came to this conclusion and why in the world anyone would feel that way about something that 99.9% of the world find completely stressful and want to avoid more than the plague.
Now I think I found someone who relates to me and probably endorses my point of view! Reading Yolanda M. Owens book How to Score a Date with Your Potential Employer was refreshing and actually reminded me of how I concluded that job hunting is fun.
I have to admit, however, that I was skeptical about how ‘finding the right one’ in the dating arena has anything to do with ‘finding the right one’ in the job market. But, as I read through the book, I slowly and surely understood the connection. As I read further into the book, the connection not only became clearer but it made so much more sense! I wondered how she discovered these connections and quite frankly how no one else had made these connections before! Reading her book was like uncovering a lost treasure. I read it… with rapt attention… not once, but twice! If I read it twice or thrice more I would find some more amazing lessons that I missed out in the first two readings. I’m happy today to share with you three of the lessons that I have taken away from reading this book:
Lesson 1: Finding a Job is like finding a relationship - it can be FUN!
Maybe one reason no one has been ‘brave’ enough to equate dating and job hunting is because dating is generally seen as a ‘social and fun’ activity while job hunting is a ‘scientific process’. But why can’t dating be ‘scientific’ and job hunting ‘social and fun’? Why can’t job hunting and dating share the same elements? I think this is what Yolanda is trying to communicate in the book. Yes, there are processes we need to follow to land a job - as we do to land a perfect date or mate. But that shouldn’t mean that it doesn’t have to be fun. After all, if we understand the kind of job we really want and start looking for it, shouldn’t going after what we want be a journey of fun? Some may frown on this and wonder if equating the job hunting process with ‘entertainment’ takes the seriousness or gravity out of it - and I think not. Throughout the book, Yolanda balances the fun and seriousness and you begin to realize job hunting can be both serious and fun - or seriously fun!
Lesson 2: On the Journey to the “Perfect Job”, Self-Awareness is Key
Most self-help books guiding us through the job hunting process have the reader examine answers that interviewers will ask like, “What would you like most about this position/company?”, “What are your strengths?”, “What are some of your challenges or weaknesses?”, “ What are your career goals in five or ten years?” These questions are posed but a bit differently in Yolanda’s approach. Getting to these answers is important but rather than ‘get to them’ through the scientific approach or some kinds of ‘scripted answer formula’, Yolanda stresses on getting to the answers to these questions through self-awareness. If we step outside our comfort zone, try new things, meet new people outside our regular social circle and really sit and examine questions about ourselves personally and professionally, we will get to the answers of those questions in a much more comprehensive way that makes sense for the long haul. She continues to stress that this approach helps us see long term results which can be much more satisfying than short term successes that may not provide as much personal or professional satisfaction.
In this journey towards self-awareness, Yolanda shares that the job seeker should take an inventory of their personal qualities and marry them with the ‘ideal’ employer qualities. This can be a long and arduous process, but with the aid of a career or life coach, the results will produce a better professional fit. I actually agree with her point of view and whole heartedly endorse it. As I told her, I only wish that it was something I had found out about a lot sooner!
Lesson 3: A Keen Sense of Adventure
Though there are references to ‘fresh college graduates’ and ‘international students’ in different areas of the book, by no means is the message within the book limited or restricted to college students or fresh college graduates. Lessons about ‘finding fun’ in our life’s path through ‘landing a good job’ and self-awareness are pertinent to us at any age – they bring intrigue and a continuous sense of adventure into our lives at anytime, at any age.
Having a successful career as a college recruiting specialist, Yolanda intermingles heavy doses of reality check throughout each of these lessons. Within the book, readers will be pleased with her ability to guide job hunters through the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the job hunting process, including cover letter and resume writing, interviewing strategies, etiquette tips for all categories of interviews, and follow-up strategies. This book is the ‘perfect marriage’ of the ‘fun’ and ‘serious and scientific’ elements of the job hunting process found in a hand-held easy-to-use and practical book of under 100 pages. I am honored to share the lessons I have learned with you here in this book review and hope that it inspires you to incorporate them in your job hunting process.
Thank you for reading this review.
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(Author, Jennifer Kumar, is a cross-cultural coach, helping people plan for their moves between India and America. You can reach her for personalized or small-group coaching services at authenticjourneys@gmail .com )
Visit her Blog : http://authenticjourneys.blogspot.com/
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