Cathy Wasserman and Lauren Weinstein’s new book is expertly summarized by its title, arguably concurrently something of a log line: The Empowered Job Search: Build a New Mindset and Get a Job in an Unpredictable World. Expanding upon that, Wasserman and Weinstein’s book in detail is a comprehensive guide to maintaining a mindful and successive psychology when job searching, obtaining interviews, and ultimately being faced with the reality of realizing the job you’ve worked for and wanted all this time.
Ultimately as far as the authors are concerned, such a process needn’t be daunting nor overtly difficult. All it requires is a series of steps one runs through their head, a sort of militant but self-compassionate drill instruction (what is job one, job two, job three etc.). The thing setting the book apart from its peers however is the amount of self-love and self-respect Wasserman and Weinstein aren’t afraid to advocate for. Whereas many leadership advice books adopt the ‘tough love’ tonality – i.e. a sense of having to maintain a chilly perseverance despite all the odds, The Empowered Job Search instead provides up to four specialized chapters detailing the emotive aspects of the job hunting process.
Heck, chapters one and two are titled Emotionally Prepare for Your Job Search and The Emotional Breakthrough Process respectively. In the spirit of this, Wasserman and Weinstein are conscientious enough to advise against even the likes of what they call ‘work trauma’. “It’s surprising how many clients we’ve worked with who have had (work trauma) but haven’t realized it or have spent years denying it,” the authors state in this vein. “…These experiences negatively impact your sense of self….If you’re part of a group that’s historically oppressed, you’ve likely experienced some form of work trauma, such as not being included in a major team decision or being overlooked for an internal position. This not only affects your self-perception but also makes it more difficult to work with your emotions if they’ve been denied in the past.”
By putting a human face on otherwise potentially dry, informative but viscerally dreary statistical analyses, Wasserman and Weinstein succeed with what it seems they have set out to do. They also succeed at making everything they advocate for come full-circle for the reader. There’s never a sense of a question unanswered, or a part of the conceptual room not overturned. The book is thorough while never outstaying its literary welcome.
Wasserman and Weinstein are no-nonsense with their approach, but never in a way that isn’t so surprisingly loving, or empathetic to the sometimes stressful nature of the job hunting market(s). “Most people tend to hide their vulnerabilities when they’re looking for a job, but they can be an asset when you know how to work with them,” the authors write. “…When you’re in a growth mindset, you’re always looking at ways to use your vulnerabilities to learn and develop…It’s a courageous act just to face your vulnerabilities! Sharing them takes even more courage and thoughtfulness. As you explore your vulnerabilities, carefully consider what you feel comfortable communicating that will help other people understand your unique value.”
It is unique focal points like the select aforementioned elevating The Empowered Job Search to new levels. Whether you’re a young buck or an experienced veteran, it’s required reading for today’s age…