A self-directed, interactive manual that should benefit experienced and new job-seekers alike.

MASTER THE INTERVIEW

A career coach offers solid job-interview advice in a workbook format.

Segal’s debut work is divided into five parts, each addressing a different aspect of the interview process. Overall, the book offers some familiar material, but it’s all packaged in a helpful way, effectively integrating open-ended questions and self-assessment exercises into each chapter. This is probably the strongest aspect of the book, as these queries immediately immerse job-seekers in the interview process so that the event itself will seem less formidable. The first part of the book covers general preparation and includes chapters on networking and interview strategy. Part 2 is about developing a “personal value proposition” and identifying one’s core competencies. The third part concentrates on specific questions that employers are likely to ask; a particularly helpful chapter discusses how to answer the toughest ones, such as “What are your weaknesses?” Part 4, the “Unwritten Rules of Interviewing,” is a self-contained primer on such basics as attitude, dress, and courtesy and how to adopt an appropriate interview style. Part 5 tackles “Final Considerations,” including how to deal with potential negatives, such as being underqualified or overqualified for a position; it also offers insight into how hiring decisions are made and wise counsel on what to do after the interview is over. One of the more valuable chapters steps through “nine common blocks” and how to overcome them; for example, for “Fear of Failure to Measure Up,” Segal advises that one realize that an interviewer “should not have enough importance in your life for you to worry whether you will be ‘worthy’ of a certain role or advancement.” Also helpful are the author’s observations about making career changes, dealing with a disability, or having a “questionable element in your background.” Throughout this book, Segal consistently offers positive, uplifting guidance while adopting an objective yet empathetic tone.

A self-directed, interactive manual that should benefit experienced and new job-seekers alike.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5391-6516-3

Page Count: 226

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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