07 January, 2011

Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door – Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You by Harvey Mackay.

Book Review by Radhakrishnan Chettour

Today I wish to take you through another awesome book – ‘Use Your Brain To Get Your Foot In the Door’, written by one of my favourite authors Harvey Mackay. Once we read the book we will surely feel the subtitle of the book ‘Job search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You’ is really apt. Published during 2010 recession, this book gives very practical and convincing ideas and techniques on how to get and keep a job you truly love, to all age groups.

Mackay begins his magnum opus by stating that this book will teach the sure-fire techniques to secure a job in the worst economy in decades. In a very lucid style he gives us the tools to conduct the life-time search we can expect with three to five career changes and the twelve to fifteen job changes of the typical person’s working life. The whole concept is presented in comfortable bits and pieces by dividing the book into nine major divisions with 63 subdivisions. Brief lessons with suitable examples, anecdotes, moral quotes and well- captioned illustrations make this book really interesting to be delved into. Besides all these, the ‘Quickies’ given at the end of many lessons are superb motivational tips making this book a self-help inspirational book.

In the first section, ‘Dark Days’ Mackay explains how to fight all odds and convert these into opportunities by taking control of our emotions. The techniques to build a ‘personal brand’ are very practical and simple. He says, “Don’t get dejected if you’ve been rejected – just get your new you perfected!” A setback becomes a real loss if you fail to learn something new and important about yourself.

‘Reconstruct your Attitude’ speaks on positive thinking and building yourself by sharpening your axe. Going for higher studies, keeping young and developing better strategies to market yourself are the key to success. In the age of ICT explosion, creating a brand cult for yourself in the web can help you to grab the work you cherish. Mackay advices the readers to be very cautious while using the web. Any activity in the web that can create a negative effect may cost your brand. He says head-hunters generally surf the web to fish your true personality.

Then he delves deep into re-employment strategies and putting together a good network of friends and fans to bolster your chances when needed. ‘Keep cool and be nice to people you meet on the way up, because you might meet them again on the way down’ is his advice to readers. Plugging holes in our resume and understanding our own potential are vital to reach the peak. ‘Mackay 44 – Interview Prep Checklist’ is of course the most significant chip for a job hunter. In chapter forty he briefs on body language that no one should miss.

He guides job seekers on how to attend and present yourself for an interview. Each and every aspect of the interview day is minutely presented and dealt. This part (Chapter 44 to 52) shouldn’t be missed out if you want to get your dream job. ‘The Mackay 22’ will be really handy for every job seeker. In ‘Get Hired’ we get to know about how to convert a successful interview into a bright and ideal job offer. Mackay says negotiation skills is vital at this stage and provides lot of useful tips on the topic.

To stay afloat you have to develop multi-tasking skills. To climb the ladder, you must know how to ask for a promotion or raise and he says that is a skill you can take to the bank! ‘Afterthoughts’ comes with a bundle of tips any one can use. Mackay ends the book with one of his speeches for MBA Commencement at the University of Southern California on May 15, 2009. This is a real piece of true motivation from a great scholar.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. The most important goal to maintain employment is to make yourself indispensable to your employer.

2. Learn to face and control your emotions so that you do not defeat yourself.

3. There is more than one path to success - it may be about becoming an entrepreneur or a consultant, or it may be about being something that does not exist. Break through barriers and go beyond where others stop.

To sum up, finding employment in a difficult economy is a struggle: first, a struggle with yourself, and second, a struggle with the forces that act to prevent you from succeeding. This book is a great place to start in a serious search for finding and maintaining employment. Uplifting, amusing, and jam-packed with proven tips, ‘Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door’ will guide you through the toughest job market in decades. Plus, it is also the definitive A to Z career resource for the rest of your life.

Read, Learn & Flourish!

For Your Success & Glory!