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

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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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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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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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