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Empowering Reading: Finding the Job You Love

Book Review: The Art of Finding the Job You Love

From time-to-time, as we find useful and empowering books filled with advice for living a happier life -- in this case, helping you find a new job -- we will share them with you.

The Art of Finding the Job You Love: An Unconventional Guide to Work With Meaning, by Cara Heilmann

Reviewed by Randall Hansen, Ph.D.

When you're job-searching, it seems everyone has advice for you. More importantly, tons of career and job-search advice is out there in books, articles, and websites.

My suggestion? Read this book for some wonderfully unexpected and useful advice on how to power up your job-search. In fact, if I were your coach, I would recommend reading this book along with a strong resume-writing book, which used in tandem should greatly increase your chances of finding that ideal job for you.

You need both books because this book is all about guiding you in finding that ideal job and preparing yourself for the job interview; you will need another book to master the intricacies of how to write a resume that breaks through the many barriers employers use to filter applicants.

The author, Cara Heilmann, is a former headhunter and corporate recruiter with 20 years of experience recruiting, interviewing, and placing job-seekers. She offers tips and insights from a fresh and informative angle that will keep you reading and taking notes on how you can improve.

Ready to learn why you should read this book?

Five Takeaways from The Art of Finding the Job You Love

1. You need to narrow your job-search focus. Many job-seekers take a wide swath when job-hunting, applying to a wide variety of jobs that fit, but are not necessarily ideal.

Instead, Heilmann suggests identifying that one ideal job: "Something happens in our brains when we set a goal of our ideal job. Once we identify a target, we begin to move in that direction... find that job that makes your soul swoon."

In other words, do not waste your time and energy applying to jobs that might fit, but are not the ones you want to obtain. Identify the job you really want, set your resume and job-search accordingly, and work toward that goal... and things will move in that direction.

2. The need to be authentic -- and the power authenticity plays in job-search. Employers want to know the real you and understand your real capabilities in the interview. For years now, I have been telling my students and clients the same thing: authenticity gives you power in the job interview -- and many interviewers can immediately spot phonies.

"Your ability to come across as authentic is critical," states Heilmann. "And it starts with making a strong connection with the interviewer, listening (really listening) to them, being focused on others (which is hard in an interview), and being true to yourself."

You'll learn some excellent tips for how to shift the attention from yourself -- and avoid overcompensating for issues -- while winning over the folks interviewing you.

3. Using the power of stories to communicate your key accomplishments. Your resume, which is a series of facts and accomplishments, may have gotten you the interview, but it's the stories you tell that provide insights into who you are and what makes you tick that help you win in the interview.

According to Heilmann, job-seekers need personal stories of "passion, drive, grit, and success." She then shares a methodology for creating these stories to cover the five most common interview questions, with prompts for other stories you may want to create.

As with many things, the process will take you some time as you write, edit, and rewrite -- and then practice over and over again, including in front of a mirror, until you can tell the stories easily and convincingly.

4. Tapping into improv techniques (and classes) can improve your interviewing style. Perhaps it's the most off-the-wall strategy in the book, but also the one with strong and fundamental reasoning. Using improv techniques helps you become more self-aware, and focused on your speech, voice, and body language.

"This system can help you refine and articulate your wide array of skills so that you come across exactly as you intend; perfectly suited for their role... the techniques taught in improv will help you turn your achievements into compelling stories that leave your audience wanting more," states Heilmann.

While I love this advice -- and definitely see the value -- for those a little skittish of this approach, I suggest joining a Toastmasters club. Toastmasters is focused on helping people be more comfortable with public speaking, and their process includes giving speeches using different techniques (such as voice variation, body language, using visual aids, etc.), as well as giving impromptu speeches.

5. Closing your interview with an exclamation mark. My favorite piece of advice in the book deals with how job-seekers can close the interview strongly. Instead of just thanking the interviewers for their time, add one final story to sum up your strengths and fit with the job and organization.

According to Heilmann, this closing story pulls from elements of who you are at your core (from your story in response to the tell me about yourself question), as well as why you believe you are perfect for the job and employer.

Final Thoughts About The Art of Finding the Job You Love

If you are seeking out new ideas and strategies for your job-search, as well as tools that will help you connect and succeed in the interview, read this book.

The Art of Finding the Job You Love is fairly short, easy to read, and provides many excellent examples to help guide you to improving and enhancing your job-search techniques -- and success.

One final note: As I have preached many times -- and Heilmann states in her book -- remember that job-hunting is a lot like dating. Both parties are looking for compatibility, authenticity, and that spark that leads to a beautiful and long-lasting relationship. Find the tools for successfully wooing (and winning over) your ideal employer in this book.

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.


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