Blind-Sided Review
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Losing a job is a traumatic experience. In these rough economic times, we all know someone who’s been laid off, if it hasn’t happened to us directly. However, there is hope. Dr. Roger Hawkins provides a methodical way for the unemployed or underemployed—those unsatisfied with their current job—to take control of their lives and come up with an effective job search campaign in his book, Blind-Sided: Surviving Career Meltdown.

Dr. Hawkins earned his Ph.D. from Illinois Institute of Technology with a specialization in Industrial Organizational Psychology. He has worked with recently displaced workers, assisting them in career counseling. Acknowledging that many emotions come into play during this “meltdown” period, he provides a detailed step-by-step process to keep even the distraught focused on the task at hand.

First, he starts with a thorough self-assessment, which includes worksheets to examine the reader’s strengths and weaknesses, skills and abilities, as well as short- and long-term goals to help the job seeker come up with an ideal work situation.

Then the actual nuts and bolts of the job search begin. A detailed chapter on resume and cover letter preparation includes tips, dos and don’ts, and examples. Even a resume preparation and edit worksheet is provided.

Where do you look for jobs? He encourages opportunities in the “hidden job market,” shows networking pitfalls to avoid, and explains how to detect a company’s underlying motivation in their recruitment method.

Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without tips to help the reader prepare for the face-to-face interview. This is quite comprehensive, as he even includes questions that you, the interviewee, should ask. He poses difficult and sticky questions that a prospective employer may ask and explains the motive behind them. I only wish that he’d included sample answers, as I can see some readers having trouble coming up with adequate responses. However, that’s the only portion of the book that’s lacking. What made up for it was the section on how to interpret the interviewer’s communication style and how to mirror that style in order to make him or her feel comfortable with you—and, hopefully, to consider you a higher-ranking candidate for the position.

What’s nice about this book is that it’s a step-by-step guide. At the end, there are even more worksheets—such as an interview planning form and recap, along with many others. Whether this was Dr. Hawkins’s intention or not, I found that they serve to reinforce the concepts presented in the book, as well as to give the reader a hand-holding guide.

I’m afraid that many who desperately need Blind-Sided won’t seek it out, due to their distressed emotional state. Therefore, giving a copy to a friend would be the perfect way to show them support during this difficult time. It’s better than advice; it’s something that they can actually use.

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