I’m a psychologist and career specialist, based in Dallas. I started my career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, helping disabled individuals get back to work. A few years later I went back to school for my doctorate in psychology, so that I could help my clients with the emotional issues they were experiencing as well as their career issues. I now have more than 30 years experience helping adults with career and retirement issues, as well as general life problems, and helping companies find the right employees.
I am recently retired from practice, and am traveling the country with my husband in an RV. In retirement, I am working on books that will impart the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years so that readers can do for themselves what I used to help clients do.
What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
I have recently published Changing Careers in a Changing World: Finding a Job That Fits You. It is a step-by-step guide that shows readers how to assess exactly what they need in a job for it to fit them ideally, identify jobs that will give them what they need, and prepare themselves to compete successfully for those jobs.
What inspired you to write this book?
Several times in my career, clients who found my input helpful told me that I should write a book about the strategies that they found so beneficial. I never seemed to have time to do this. When I retired, I started thinking about it, and decided that this is the time.
You said in your blog that losing your job might turn out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to you. Why do you say this?
Only a few people really love what they do for a living. Most of us end up in jobs pretty much hit-or-miss, or based on general and incomplete ideas of what we might like to do. If we’re lucky, we like our jobs, but chances are, we don’t love them.
If you are now between jobs, this is your chance to evaluate what you really want from your life, and maybe make some changes. What if you could find a career that you found deeply satisfying, a job that you looked forward to going to on Monday mornings?
Losing your job might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if you use the loss to make some important and deeply rewarding changes in your career and your life.
What are the three factors that determine if a job is a good fit?
Good job-fit means how well does a job fit you? To answer this question, you need to know what your needs are. This means assessing yourself in terms of three critical factors:
Interests: what you enjoy doing, what engages your interest
Aptitudes: your strengths (what you’re good at) and your weaknesses (what you want to avoid in a job)
Values: what you believe in, what is important to you, what you want your life to mean
Once you have thoroughly analyzed these factors, you will have the information you need to build a list of criteria for what you need from a job in order for it to fit you in a deeply satisfying way.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that I really enjoy writing, and that even a good book is very, very hard to get noticed. My book is on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other sites, yet you have to type in my name to bring it up. I’m finding that writing is the easy part—promoting the book is the difficult and lengthy part!
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would NOT publish the book in December! I was so frustrated with the time it was taking to get my book print-ready (it was written by August) that when it was finally ready, I rushed it into print. Now my book has a 2009 date, which makes it look older (less fresh) than it actually is, and has eliminated me for consideration in at least one book fair.
I would begin promoting the book earlier, and would hire some PR help earlier!
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have finished the second draft of my new book, “Coping with Layoff: A Guide for Out-of-workers and Spouses.” Just as my first book, “Changing Careers in a Changing World”, shows readers the strategies I have used to help clients find the careers that best fit their needs, my second book, “Coping with Layoff”, will impart the strategies I have taught clients for coping with the emotional fall-out of being unemployed. I am projecting the book to be in print early next year. (No more December copyright dates!)
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
About writing: My field is self-help books. I advise self-help writers to write the way they talk. I presume that they have helped clients with the issues they are writing about; I suggest that they write conversationally in the same style in which they talk to their clients. It makes the writing flow better, and makes the book easier to read.
About publishing: I still don’t know if I took the right step in self-publishing; the jury is still out. I keep reading that self-publishing is a growing trend, so hopefully it will get easier to market self-published books.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My book can be found on Amazon.com.