Cheat Sheet

Cool Careers For Dummies

From Cool Careers For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Marty Nemko, PhD, Richard N. Bolles (Foreword by)

Searching for a cool career starts with asking some serious questions to find out what you value in a job choice. When you start your job search make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to create a positive experience. Follow a few guidelines for finding a job in 30 days and utilize some cool career web sites for your job search.

Questions When Considering a Career

When choosing a career you really need to use your head and think about what job logically makes sense. If you’re like most career searchers, you’re not sure. To find out, start by asking yourself these questions about what you really want and need in a career:

  • What are your career non-negotiables? (For example, salary, prestige, location, glamour, short training, using your previous training.)

  • List your life’s major accomplishments. What skills did you frequently use?

  • If you didn’t care what society or your family thought, what career would you pursue?

Creating the Right Mindset for Your Job Search

Approaching your job search with a good mindset makes your search more successful and maybe even fun. Stay upbeat, conquer your fears, and face the job search head on. Don’t get yourself tied up in psychological knots, try these practical tips for a successful job search:

  • If you wait until you actually feel confident, you may be waiting for Godot. Think back to when you were most confident and pretend to be that self.

  • There’s no shame in asking people for job leads — today, it seems like almost everyone is looking for a better job. And you’re imposing minimally: Listening to your request for a job lead takes no more time than when you stopped a stranger on the street asking for directions.

  • Embrace up to 20 rejections. Successful people are often rejected. If, however, you’ve been rejected 20 times in a row, you may need to change your job target or improve your skill set.

Finding a Cool Job in 30 Days

If you spend your time efficiently, finding a good job in 30 days is a realistic goal. Employers may take their time making a decision on hiring but after 30 days you’ve got the ball rolling. It’s going to be an intense 30 days, but well worth it. Use this list as your guide for job searching:

  • Day 1: Create your resume.

  • Day 2: List 50 people who like you and 25 employers you’d like to work for.

  • Days 3–8: Research your target employers. Give your 10-second pitch to the 50 people in your network and ask whether they know someone at the 25 employers or others who might lead you to a job. Contact those leads, and check out the want ads, too.

  • Days 9–11: Contact the 25 employers you want to work for. Give your 10-second pitch. Follow up as needed.

  • Days 12–30: Get ready for interviews. Chances are good that the previous steps will generate them.

Top Cool Careers Web Sites

When searching for your cool career, you have to be extremely thorough. Add these websites to your list of resources when mapping out your job search:

  • The Riley Guide (www.rileyguide.com/prepare.html) is the best portal for those trying to choose a career.

  • Job-Hunt (www.job-hunt.org) is the best portal for those who have a career goal and now are trying to land a job.

  • Statejobs.com is another useful site. Hey, the government may be the last bastion of job security, so why limit yourself to the Feds?

  • Eureka (www.eureka.org) is a fee-based site that helps you identify your skills and interests, and then provides detailed information on well-suited careers.

  • Vault.com and Wetfeet.com are fee-based sources of scuttlebutt on careers and individual employers.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Publications (www.bls.gov/opub/home.htm) offers definitive (but boring) profiles of hundreds of careers and industries.

  • Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) offers extensive information on starting, financing, and managing your business.

  • Salary.com, Salaryexpert.com, and indeed.com/salary estimate salary for hundreds of occupations, adjusted by zip code.

  • U.S. News’s Career Center (www.usnews.com/career) has some of the smartest career advice on the Net.

  • The author of Cool Careers For Dummies, Marty Nemko’s website (www.martynemko.com) has 500+ published articles.

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