Saturday, June 9, 2012

How would you like it if you never had apply for a job again?

"Never Apply for a Job Again: Break the Rules, Cut the Line, Beat the Rest" by Darrell W. Gurney (Career Press, Feb. 2012, $14.99, 218 pp.)

Wouldn't it be great if you never had to apply for a job again?

Unfortunately, that's not going to be the case for most of us. But not to worry, author Darrell W. Gurney has penned a book filled with advice to help you stand out from the pack of jobseekers.

Gurney, who also calls himself "The Career Guy," has spent 25 years in the career coaching and recruiting business. He knows what it takes to stand out, and also knows pertinent job search facts such as 80 percent of advertised jobs are filled before they're even advertised. Stats like that are a bit discouraging to folks like me who've "followed the rules" all these years. But basically Gurney's message is, stop looking for jobs like you always have and try some new "outside the box" methods that force you to put yourself out there a lot more.

The meat of this book is chapters outlining 10 principles for launching an effective stealth campaign for job searching. Here's a very truncated form of that list:

Principle #1: The Best Way to Get a Job is: Don't Be Looking For One
Desperation in the job search doesn't work, Gurney says. Instead of looking for a job, you should stop looking and start working on your networking skills.

“The minute your outreach to people is that you need a job from them, you will get nowhere,” he explains. “You want to pull people in because of your passion and enthusiasm, rather than [repel] them because of your desperate need.”

Principle #2: An Ounce of Research is Worth a Pound of Job Search
Gurney advises jobseekers to let go of the dual-reality idea that work and your real interests and passions are separate worlds.

"I will begin to accept that there are ways in which those worlds can come together in forms in which I am paid handsomely, and I will begin my exploration to find those ways. I’m different from every other human being on the planet, and there are things that light me up that others may find dull," he said.

Principle #3: A Question-Able Person Creates Enthusiastic Relationships.
Asking the right people the right questions helps you get information. "Opportunities and jobs take care of themselves, arising naturally from the relationships and knowledge" you gain, Gurney said. "To determine where to look next in your career, answer this: What's your pleasure?"

Principle  #4: You Can Never Have Too Much Information … And the Higher the Altitude, the Better
Find research-focused ways to connect with people in high-level positions to get the information you need around your areas of "passionate interest."

Principle #5: A Friend in Need Repulsion Doth Breed
Take every opportunity to connect with those around you. "Everyone is your friend until you see it otherwise," Gurney says. Accept that the “elevator pitch” was created for just this reason.

Principle #6: Call Me Expert, I’ll Open My Door 
Find people involved in your area of interest, and then request to meet. "All you have to do is dig up the folks you will question," Gurney writes.

Principle #7: Eyes to Eyes Gets You the Prize
Turn every current and future relationship, if in any way possible, into a face-to-face meeting. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter "relationships" don't count. Gurney suggests writing to a contact and requesting a five minute meeting on some topic of interest.

Principle #8: Building Relationship Equity…One Meeting at a Time
When you're in the meeting, begin every conversation with a subject that everyone likes to discuss most: themselves. You've landed yourself an interview at this point, and you're asking the questions and listening to the answers. At the end, Gurney suggests, tactfully slipping the person your resume and asking his or her input on some point. Then you ask:

"Your input has been extremely valuable to me as I continue to gather information on this subject. Do you know of others who can be as helpful as you have been with whom I could speak?"

The key seems to be, never let on that you're looking for a job. And then to make them a permanent contact in your life for the foreseeable future.

"It becomes exponential.You begin to form your own career tribe," Gurney writes.

Principle #9: Top of Mind is Easy to Find
Don't let your network die. "You've opened the door, now you just need to keep it open," the author writes.

Principle #10: Treat Myself Like a Business to Stay in Business
Lifetime career management is smart business, Gurney says.

"The small effort and time you invest regularly in maintaining your career tribe relationships can pay big dividends," he writes. 

Win the book:

If you'd like to "win" my brand new copy of "Never Apply for a Job Again," courtesy of Career Press, simply comment on this post with your email address. If you're selected as winner (at random), I'll contact you to find out where to mail the book. If no one comments or otherwise claims the book it will be donated to the Pottstown Regional Public Library.

About the author:

Darrell W. Gurney is founder of and a 25-year career advisor. As a coach, speaker, and workshop leader, he helps people locate their passions and fulfill them whether through a job or their own business. Gurney has consulted for the world’s top outplacement consulting firms, and his first book," Headhunters Revealed! Career Secrets for Choosing and Using Professional Recruiters," was reviewed in Publishers Weekly and won the Clarion Award for Best Book from the Association for Women in Communications. He has served as a guest editor for the industry’s journal, "The Career Planning & Adult Development Journal," and has been featured in, Wall Street Journal’s, BusinessWeek Online, MSN Careers,, and on Wall Street Journal Radio. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Gurney is at work his next book about midlife transitions, entitled "The Back Forty: 7 Critical Embraces for Life’s Purposeful Second Half," due out this year. See more on his website,


Carl said...

What a great set of business principles. I bet they would work in almost all situations. Please enter my name to win this book.

Michelle Karas said...

The winner of my review copy of "Never Apply for a Job Again" is Carl S. of Arizona. Thanks for reading, Carl. The book's in the mail (I already had your address).