Several years ago, I did a workshop for a group of Bentley University alumni.
Right after we finished lunch, just before we started back again, someone expressed frustration with the inefficiency and wastefulness of traditional job-search practices, and I made the offhand remark, “If I had my way, people would throw out their resumes and stop networking.”
An electric charge went through the room. Thirty business professionals, some a few years out of college, others farther along in their careers, all of them well-versed in traditional job-search, came alive.
Somebody had actually said out loud what they instinctively knew, that trying to find work the way we currently go about it is unproductive, frustrating, humiliating, and often downright awful.
A career expert was telling them that it was not only acceptable but also entirely appropriate for them to feel as they did, and it was as if they heaved a collective sigh of relief. “Maybe it’s not us,” they thought, “maybe it’s the methods themselves that aren’t working.”
I wished I could have put aside the agenda I planned for the afternoon to pursue the subject with them. What I suspect would have happened is that they would have told me they follow traditional job-search practices because they don’t know what else to do.
Not being able to answer the question, “What do I do instead?” is the reason people looking for work keep doing the same things and expecting different, less disappointing results.
This book was written to answer that question.