Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Deck: Burned out, then trying not to look foolish while looking for a job.

The following exerpt is from the Associated Press' "Watercooler" column, which runs Fridays in The Mercury's business section. Coincidentally, this book, "Job Search Bloopers: Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide ... and How to Avoid Them." is sitting on my desk right now, waiting to be reviewed. I'll make it my next review after this Saturday's (planned, barring any major crazy Wall Street development) column, on "Escape the Mid Career Doldrums: What to Do Next When You're Bored, Burned Out, Retired or Fired," as they kind of go together, yes? And on deck on the fiction side, but totally business relatable, is Joshua Ferris' "Then We Came to the End."

Anyway, here's the Watercooler excerpt:

BLOOPERS: Picture this: You're in the shower, and you hear the kids fighting over which channel to watch. Then your teenage daughter bursts into the bathroom announcing there's "some guy on the phone." You take the call — and realize the man on the other end of the line is a potential employer for a job you've applied for, sounding as confused as you do embarrassed.

That's just one example of a humiliating job-hunting mistake pulled from the recently published "Job Search Bloopers: Every Mistake You Can Make on the Road to Career Suicide ... and How to Avoid Them."

To sidestep the above blunder, job seekers should establish a strong support system and make sure their family is aware they are expecting a life-altering phone call, according to one of the book's authors, Laura DeCarlo. All calls should be handled professionally; if that's impossible on a home line, then set up a voice mailbox, call forwarding or special ringtone on a cell phone.

"There are so many outrageous ways to mess up getting the job you want," said DeCarlo, who is president of Melbourne, Fla.-based Career Directors International. "It's the small details that can make or break the job search."

Other examples in the book, drawn from real-life stories told by resume writers and career coaches, include everything from those who go to job fairs unprepared to those who show up at a job interview ridiculously overdressed.

"With this book, we hoped to take stories that are frustrating and even torture to endure, but feed them back to the reader as tips for what to avoid in a way that will make them laugh rather than cry," DeCarlo said.

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