Author: Jay A. Block
Publisher: McGraw-Hill – 194 pages
Book Review by Nano Khilnani
As I browsed through this book, I went straight to look for the list of the 101 best ways mentioned on the cover. And I was not disappointed. It begins with a highly inspiring and motivational piece of encouragement in No.1: Develop a fearless constitution as a first step in landing a new job in troubled economic times.
But Jay’s approach to helping job seekers land good jobs is not just motivational but highly useful, as in No.3: Change how you think about a job search – look at it as an easy five-step process that is a well-planned and well-executed campaign.
When reviewing a book, I typically next read about the author and his qualifications. And not only was I not disappointed, I was impressed by his background of success. Jay has written and published 15 career and motivational books, 10 of those by McGraw Hill, one of the world’s most respected publishing houses. Among his other highly essential – and utilitarian – related books that jobseekers must get hold of are: “101 Best Resumes” and “101 Best Cover Letters.”
While he is described as an “industry pioneer” and “one of the nation’s leading executive career and empowerment coaches” (I am often skeptical of descriptions – who writes them – if not the authors themselves?) what is important is that the other things he does proves he takes his own career of helping people find jobs, very seriously.
For example, he has created four international certification programs, travels the country sharing his ideas with job seekers and career trainers to get their own input and learning from them. I believe one of the best ways to learn is by asking questions of others and listening closely to them, no matter how much you know about your field.
His website www.jayblock.com is a very well-developed one and provides many resources and tools to help the jobseeker find a job quickly or a job of his or her dreams with adequate preparation. For example it is worthwhile to read the “5 Steps to Rapid Employment” tab on his site.
While providing useful tools, Jay is also a realist about the job market in the U.S. that is facing intense competition from billion-plus jobseekers in China and India alone and billions of others elsewhere. A must-read on his website is his “Why There Won’t Be Any Change in the Job Market in the United States,” wherein he writes “The truth is that the job market (in the United States) will not improve significantly in terms of creating real jobs paying real wages in our lifetime. In fact, it will get worse. This is NOT being negative… it’s simply stating the truth.”
And under the heading America is under siege, Jay writes:
“For the first time in our country’s history, we are under siege economically, from real competition that is not only here to stay, but that will become more competitive in the years and decades to come. While America becomes an apathetic, ambivalent, and lazy nation, billions of people in developing countries around the globe are enjoying their new-found freedom and are prepared to work as hard as it takes to overthrow us economically.”
Getting back to his book, the reader gets a huge dose of reality and an overview of the road ahead in his path to employment right in between the Acknowledgements and Introduction. On that page is a list – Definition of a Job Seeker – of no less than 24 areas in which the job applicant needs to be highly proficient at. Yes, two dozen areas, from goal-setting, self-analysis, researching job availability to buckling down to writing, editing and proofreading resumes and cover letters, to cold calling, interviewing. negotiating and decision-making.
While laying out the difficulties of finding a good job in today’s tough economic climate, Jay not only provides hope but the essential tools needed in the mission of job search. He enlightens you by writing:
“Very few people, including employment professionals, ever analyze and appreciate the complexities of one of life’s most necessary skills – getting a job. This book acknowledges those complexities and breaks them down into an easy five-step process.”
So, I say to the tens of millions anxious job seekers out there: get this all-essential book now and arm yourself with the right tools to fight for the job you qualify for, and deserve.