WHY DID I WRITE THIS BOOK
I remember that summer morning, a couple of weeks before my 16th birthday when I went inside a small local bedding store. The owner didn’t believe me when I said to her in broken English that I knew how to use a sewing machine and that I was looking for a job. She pointed to a nearby sewing machine, gave me two small pieces of fabric, and asked me to sew them together. Remembering everything my mother had taught me, I sat down nervously, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and then did everything with that machine that my mother had shown me. You can’t imagine how proud I felt as I came out of the shop with packages of pre-cut materials ready to be sewn. There I was, a little more than a year after walking out of a refugee camp, I had a job in my new country: sewing duvets on consignment!
Actually, my employment journey started when I was 13 working in an electronics factory in Hong Kong. Since I arrived in Canada, I have had many jobs, sometimes concurrently or at minimum rates. Some of the other jobs I had were: tax preparer, waitress, bartender, receptionist, office clerk, administration assistant, computer support/specialist/trainer, and real estate agent/broker. I’ve also held executive positions that plan and manage finances, human resources, and relationships. Currently, I manage information technology projects for a large organization, earning a six-figure salary with benefits and an exceptional pension plan.
In my 40 plus years in the workforce, I worked at each job long enough to be ready for a new experience. With each job, I learned different skills and a little more about myself. I used the tools outlined in this book to help me move from one position to another. Every new job has helped, prepared, and led me to a better one to keep me feeling worthy, happy, and fulfilled.
I want to inspire you to do the same. You can change the course of your career for the better.
I’ve had my fair share of interviews, both as an interviewee and as an interviewer. I want to share my knowledge and experiences to help you be strategic in your career. The tools provided in this book will teach you a methodical approach to finding, applying for, and landing a job. I will show you how to package your experience to increase your chance of getting your next job where you feel happy and valued.
In my previous book, Because Money Matters: The 8 Principles to Build Your Wealth, I shared the principles my mother gave me to build wealth and sustain financial success. In this book, I want to share the knowledge and experiences I’ve shared with my teenage daughter to help prepare her for her future career.
About this book
Landing a job offer involves more than picking the format for your résumé, deciding on what to include in your cover letter, and preparing for your interview. I will share tips and tools that will make you a striking and desirable candidate. More importantly, I will demystify the job-search process and give you a method you can use to increase your chance of landing the job you want, whether it is your first job or your dream job.
With practical real-world experience, I’ve developed this Competency-Aligned Skills & Traits (CAST) method that I used to continuously and successfully transition to better jobs. The method borrows the “plug-and-play” and “building blocks” concepts in computing. In plug-and-play, a user only needs to “plug” a device into a computer and it will start working or “play”. This ability increases efficiency and standardization. Each step in the CAST process acts as a building block which can then be integrated as part of a versatile and dynamic system. The method also uses the “build once, use many” approach to simplify the job applying process by making each piece of information reusable rather than compiling information for every job you plan to apply. You build your CAST profile only once, keep it current, and then choose the different pieces for different jobs. The method is useful for any job seeker, especially for those who struggle in getting interviews or getting job offers and for those who often avoid applying for jobs because of the effort- and time-consuming process. You will be able to use the insight and knowledge you gain throughout your working life.
This book isn’t about figuring out which career is right for you; it’s about getting a job in the career you desire. It covers the traditional hiring process where an applicant applies for a position by sending his/her résumé and cover letter, gets interviewed, then gets a job offer. It is intended to be used as a workbook and for people seeking non-managerial office jobs even though it can be applied to other positions. Among many other things, you will learn:
The three key concerns that every employer has and how to address them.
- How to align your qualifications with the 28 most-common core competencies that employers look for.
- How to assess your technical ability.
- How to turn your past experiences into impactful qualification statements.
- How to create convincing stories of your experiences that highlight your competencies.
- How to formulate your unique qualification statements and interview answers using fill-in-the-blank templates.
- How to incorporate keywords to create impressive and effective personal brand statements, résumés, and cover letters that emphasize your competencies.
- How to prepare for and use the ABC principles to handle interviews with ease, confidence, and without stress.
- Questions you should always ask and questions you should always avoid.
- How to deal effectively with any salary questions to preserve your negotiating power.
- How to properly accept or decline a job offer.
Plus, you’ll also gain free online access to all templates, checklists, and other bonus materials to give you everything you need to help you through each step.
Of course, reading any book will not guarantee you a job, but I hope reading this book will show you the ways to increase your chance of getting the job you qualify for and make your job searching journey less overwhelming. You will be proud of your accomplishments, encouraged by the possibilities, and excited about the prospects.
Let us do this together.