Chau shares her own story and advice on getting back into the job market in this debut self-help guide.
“It happened so fast,” the author recalls about her termination, in her 50s, from the unnamed company where she’d worked for nearly 20 years. In this guide, she takes readers through her journey of receiving the news (“I cried, I couldn’t help it, but held myself together and went bravely down the elevator”), telling her family, using her company’s career-transition firm, networking, and, eventually, landing her next job. Chau organizes her narrative into 33 brief chapters, which relate her personal saga largely chronologically but also focus on specific, practical topics, including “Employment Lawyers—Do You Have a Case?,” “Creating a Personal Brand,” and “Going Back to School.” Other chapters acknowledge and address the emotional consequences of being downsized, such as “The Hurt That Never Goes Away.” Most end with several bullet-pointed “Lessons Learned,” including the necessity of talking with someone about one’s problems and of being honest about gaps in work history. She concludes the book with tips regarding the contents of one’s job-hunting “Toolbox”: a resume, a cover letter, a reference list, business cards, a prepared 90-second introduction for interviews, a marketing profile of skills and strengths, and more. Chau, a longtime personal journal writer, has crafted a clear, conversational guide that provides basic yet bracing advice on how to handle a job loss. Although many of the tips are obvious, such as to include contact information on one’s resume, the book does effectively walk readers through the routine yet important tasks of a job search. Best of all, Chau speaks with the authority of a survivor who, while offering few details about her own professional life, ultimately serves as an inspirational model of positivity and perseverance.
Solid, well-structured support from someone who’s gone through the downsizing process.