My most recent book is Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game. The job search game has definitely changed. In “Career Sudoku” job seekers get well-organized strategies focused on how to beat the competition in today’s high-stakes playing field delivered in 9 easy-to-read and follow ways starting with creating a modern résumé that rocks and lands you an interview. Career Sudoku gives you the skills, personal branding tips, interview advice and tools you need to know how, when and where to network for job search success. You’ll never again wonder what role Google, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn play in your efforts or if mailing a follow-up thank-you note even matters (hint: it does). When that job offer comes your way, these proven negotiation strategies get you what you want and need—even in trying economic times. After you start at your new company, discover just what to do during your first 90 days to ace your first performance appraisal.
Tell us something about yourself.
A native Chicagoan raised in the suburb of Arlington Heights by a single mother, I dedicated “Career Sudoku” to my mom. At the age of 19, I left the University of Dayton after just a semester to move across the country to Denver, CO where I lived for ten years and enjoyed every minute of it. In 2005 I moved back ‘home’ to Chicago when my brother and sister-in-law began having children. My nephews bring great joy to my life and being close to them is one of my greatest blessings. When readers dive into “Career Sudoku” they will find out that my first job was in a pizza parlor at the age of 11 years old although I quickly gave up the restaurant industry for recruiting, human resources and career coaching. I fell head over heels in love with business and after a successfully climb up the corporate ladder, I chose to follow my passion for career coaching. People called me crazy; maybe I was but I was focused and on a mission. I loved it then, I love it now and twelve years of coaching culminated in the publication of “Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game”. It’s been a great ride and I’m looking forward to an even better ride ahead.
What inspired you to write this book?
“I’d love to work with you but I just can’t afford it.” I heard that over and over when the economy really started to turn south. I’m a career coach because it’s what I love to do; this is my passion. I love helping people transition into new careers and land new jobs. Hearing this response really pulled at my heart strings and I wanted to do something about it, without sacrificing myself. That was what inspired this book. Writing a book that gave people the expert advice, inside tips, resources and tools they need to truly WIN the job search game and for only $17 meant that now they COULD afford it. I felt so inspired that the words just flowed out of me. I wrote and wrote and wrote for hours on end and I would smile like a kid in a candy store while writing. I loved it.
How did you choose the title?
On a napkin in a Starbucks. I was sitting there having coffee, as I do every morning, with the same group of guys and I wrote it down, passed it around and asked “Has anyone read this book?” They all answered “No, but sounds good.” I thought, “That’s it.” I love playing Sudoku because it takes a strategy to win yet everyone who plays has a unique strategy unto themselves and the same philosophy applies to the job search game. Each person has their own strategy yet to land a job it takes a strategy to win. In the game of sudoku you can only use 9 numbers so that’s the connection with the 9 ways.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
If you want it, do it. Never give up because the day that your published book arrives will be the most accomplished feeling you ever have in your career. There is a great difference between a writer and a published author. It’s a true accomplishment to be a published author, people look at you differently and give you a different sense of respect. I had no idea what I was getting into and I am so grateful I did it.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Plan more time from the start date to the launch date. I definitely thought the process could be accelerated (can you say Type A?). This is one process that takes time and will only go as fast as ISBN, Proofing, Copyediting, Formatting, Cover Designing and Writing can move. If you want it done right, and you do since this is your name in print forever, give it time. You’ll thank yourself later.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have just begun working on my next book and the thrill of it is in my fingers again. I can tell you that it’s a tell all book about the good, bad and downright hilarious life of a career coach and there’s a chance you, or your readers, can be included. Anyone with a great job search story has a chance to be in my next book (anonymity included). Story submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org please.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Patience and perfection are unique to one another. Publishing, whether self-publishing or with a publishing house, is best done when given time. Utilize your network to find the best resources available, which may not always be the most expensive by the way. Give yourself the time to have a book that you are proud to show your family, friends and colleagues. Your name is on the cover and likely, your picture is on the back. Love your work and it will love you back.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Those who are looking to make a career change in the near future or who are currently looking for a job. Recent college grad to management-level professionals across all industries will find this book relevant and as the reviews say, it’s a “MUST READ for any job seeker”.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?