Archive for July 24th, 2008

Review: Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak: Career Advice that Transcends Generations!

To top off my “getting organized for your job hunt” blogs, I thought this would be a perfect time to review and recommend Lindsey Pollak’s book, Getting from College to Career.

Lindsey is an author, speaker and consultant specializing in career development for college students and young professionals. In Getting from College to Career, she warmly and generously shares personal experiences and stories from all types of professionals covering topics such as: figuring out what you want to do, how to market yourself, where to look for opportunities (including entrepreneurship) and how to prepare for interviews.

While the book targets college students and recent grads, the advice transcends generations! Lindsey acknowledges her “obsession with taking action, trying new things, meeting new people and having a wide variety of experiences” to enhance a job hunt. She notes (and I agree) that you can’t plan your career by sitting around and “thinking really hard.”

Her first tip – “Start Wherever You Are” – is a perfect opening for the job seeker who thinks he or she needs more – more information, more advice, more research, before REALLY starting a successful search. My first boss on Wall Street always said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” In other words, if you wait for all of the stars to align before starting something, you’ll never get off the ground. If you want to drive your own career bus, you first need to put the key in the ignition and turn it – no matter where you are parked!

Lindsey reminds her readers that “Action always yields rewards” and emphasizes the importance of taking action on behalf of your career every day. Make a call, write a note, send a follow-up email, attend a networking event…You can’t underestimate the value of every action you take to move your search forward.

How does Lindsey suggest you get organized for a job search?

  • Buy a notebook (with a cool cover) to record ideas and information.
  • Develop a filing system to keep all of the key paperwork that will pass through your hands.
  • Keep a calendar with ALL of your appointments to avoid double-booking.
  • Start a log or spreadsheet for all of your interactions with employers and networking contacts.
  • Create a database system to track everyone you meet along the way!

One of my favorite tips? #27 Relax. A Job Is Not a Soul Mate. The fact is, with workers expected to have 9 careers in a lifetime and an average of 3 jobs in each one (with 50% of those careers not even discovered yet), don’t think of a job as a marriage. If you make a mistake, you can take your transferable skills and move to another opportunity.

Getting from College to Career is a terrific resource, full of tips to guide job seekers along a successful path. I highly recommend it to anyone getting ready for a job hunt!

Ready to take the plunge and look for a job? Still need a great resume? Some help to write the perfect cover letter? I’m here to help! Write to me.

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