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Career Comeback: Eight steps to getting back on your feet when you're fired, laid off, or your business ventures has failed--and finding more job satisfaction than ever before [Paperback]

Bradley Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 6 2004
Career Comeback helps you create a powerful plan to get back on top

The author of the national bestseller JobSmarts for TwentySomethings, Bradley Richardson is one of America’s top career experts. But he also knows what it is like to experience a career setback. When an entrepreneurial effort failed and he was forced to become a job seeker himself, Richardson discovered firsthand the emotional, social, and financial stress that comes with losing a job. In Career Comeback, Richardson shares his years of expertise along with the hard lessons he learned in the trenches to give readers a realistic action plan for taking control of their careers—and their lives.

With empathy and humor, Richardson takes readers step by step through the challenging process of breathing life back into a languishing livelihood. Inside, readers will get indispensable, nuts-and-bolts advice on how to:

•Find solid ground
•Identify where things went wrong
•Establish a support system and stay energized
•Discover what matters most
•Find a new job that’s even better than the last
•Get in stride and stay on track

Job security is a thing of the past, but with Career Comeback readers learn how to rediscover their personal best.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Richardson, currently manager of the recruitment Web site of the Wall Street Journal and author of other career guides (Jobsmarts for Twentysomethings), was looking for work himself in 2000 after his company failed. The practical advice given here is based on his expertise in career guidance as well as on his personal experience finding employment. In addition to providing detailed suggestions for sharpening skills-such as r‚sum‚ writing, interviewing, working with recruiters and networking-he addresses the psychological and emotional problems that often accompany the loss of a job. The author recommends keeping communication with family members open and discussing the positive steps that will be taken to remedy the situation. As soon as you lose your job or suspect it may happen in the near future, Richardson stresses the importance of establishing whatever financial safety net is available, for example, a severance package (that can be negotiated), savings, unemployment insurance or possibilities for temporary income. Although getting support from others who have lost their own jobs can be useful, it is heartening, as well, to spend time with friends who enjoy your company outside of work. Upbeat and clearly written, Richardson's comeback program will be welcomed by many during this continuing period of economic downturn.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Richardson, who wrote a sharp job-hunting guide for college grads called JobSmarts for TwentySomethings (1995), went on to form a career-counseling business and consulted extensively in the field for eight years. But after an entrepreneurial venture failed, he suffered his own career setback and was forced to become a job seeker himself. Despite his expertise, he found himself experiencing the same fears and frustrations as anyone who is out of work. He ultimately did make a comeback and now works for the Wall Street Journal. This guide is unique in that it focuses on how to deal with both the emotional and practical elements of piecing your life together after a major career setback or disappointment. Richardson gives direct advice about recognizing the warning signs of a possible layoff, preparing for an imminent one, breaking the news to family and friends, finding a support system, and turning things around. With unemployment on the rise, this book should easily find its audience. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5.0 out of 5 stars Career Comeback Jan. 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
How refreshing to find a book that deals with how being laid off effects your entire life and the lives of those around you. So often you are led to feel that it is your fault that you were laid off, that there was something you should have done to prevent it. This book helps you to see that even though bad things happen sometimes to good people there are ways to get back on your feet through self motivation and the support of your friends and family. I highly recommend this book if you have been laid off or know of someone who is considering a new start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Someone finally understands how I feel !!! Jan. 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was laid off before the holidays and it has been so difficult since then. I've found plenty of information about "finding a job" but I heard about Career Comeback on the news and I have to tell you, it is the first thing I've found that really seemed to understand what I'm going through....and what my family is going through as well. Finally something that I can really use. I recommend to everyone...especially if you have been laid off.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Career Comeback Jan. 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is well worth reading whether you are looking for a new career or just looking to keep the job that you have. The stress that goes with any change can be overwhelming and the author addresses these changes with positive solutions. The book is like a self help outline for getting yourself back on tract and out of the black hole of despair.
A must read for anyone who has been downsized or is looking to make a change in their career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely on target! Jan. 21 2004
Format:Paperback
Richardson's advice hits home for those impacted by the severe downturn in the economy. Not a sugar coated job search guide to writing a resume, etc., etc., but a roadmap to get on with your life and manage the emotional impact of putting your career back together successfully!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good place to start Feb. 14 2006
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As a career consultant, I'm on the lookout for books to recommend to my clients. Career Comeback passes the test.

One preliminary note: The cover refers to failed business ventures, but this topic does not appear to be covered. Publishers, not authors, usually write cover copy, so we can't fault Richardson. I believe you'd have to make major adaptations to these 8 steps if your business goes south.

The most valuable information comes in the first half of the book: dealing with being fired. I agree with just about everything Richardson says. He's one of the few authors to recommend sitting down with a financial planner right after you talk to your family. His advice on dealing with an employer after being fired is very sound. And many will find the exercises useful: Review what went wrong -- in and out of your control.

So mostly I like Steps 1-4 of Richardson's 8-step program.

Step 5 ("Find out what matters to you") is a good start, but I think Richardson underestimates the degree to which we identify with our professions. "You're still the same person" strikes me as one of those irritating, useless bromides. Many of us will be branded as an "ex" for a long time and will have difficulty losing that identity, no matter how hard we try. And the experience of losing a career we love can change us in deep ways.

"One role is temporarily diminished while another moves into its place..." won't help those who identify strongly with a profession. And your other roles will be affected by job loss. Friends view you differently. You may not be able to afford the activities you enjoyed with your friends and family. Some arts organizations actually encourage high-level volunteers to resign when they no longer hold jobs.

Steps 6 and 7 - "Find your next move" and "Find your next job" -- are necessarily oversimplified because they're single chapters on topics deserving a whole book. "Go back to an old job" is possible but not likely, and you'll be in a one-down position. And downshifting to a smaller company probably won't hurt your career - but it might.

I disagree most strongly with the author's sections on testing. If you're unemployed and money is tight, skip the tests. Some of my clients have paid hundreds of dollars for tests that proved useless. At mid-career, they'll almost always show you're best qualified for the job you have. And most career tests are so unreliable they shouldn't be used for guidance. Read Annie Paul's book, The Cult of Personality, before taking out your checkbook.

The section on hiring coaches and counselors needs to be expanded. Counselors typically are trained in counseling processes and tests, not careers. Many "career coaches" have little experience with careers, except their own. Some offer expertise; others have "training" in asking questions and helping you "find the answers within you." And you have to decide if you agree with value systems like "law of attraction."

The fee range quoted for coaches and counselors is low. I think you should expect to pay a minimum of $125 - $250 for a single session, which often includes follow-ups. I do know of some coaches and counselors who offer lower fees and frankly, you get what you pay for. Packages cost less and (as the author correctly says) are more helpful.

And to choose a consultant, I would not follow Richardson's suggestion to rely on credentials. Instead, I recommend reviewing websites, brochures and other writing. Invest a few bucks in an e-book before signing up. Coaching organizations do not "verify skills" or enforce any quality control. I once tried to report an "accredited" coach's blatant unethical conduct. Both the coaching school and the ICF refused to get involved, let alone take the coach's name off their "recommended" lists.

Step 8, "back on track," is quite good, especially sections on buyer's remorse and admitting you made a mistake. I would add that a return to work, following a long break or layoff, could be the perfect time to start working with a career coach. Learn from experience and make a good first start.

Finally, I don't think we ever make a "complete comeback." We simply make progress. And, as I noted earlier, we're different. And we should always keep a safety net ready.

Despite these quibbles, I'd recommend this book to clients and website visitors who need to go from Setback to Comeback. You could do a lot worse.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding resource for anyone seeking a new position Aug. 31 2004
By Paul Tognetti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Perhaps you were downsized out of your last job. Maybe your previous employer went belly up. Or it could be that you were in business for yourself and your company failed due to unanticipated market changes. Whatever the reason, you find yourself in the unenviable position of seeking a new way to earn a living. You may have been living paycheck to paycheck and need to find a new gig immediately. Or you may be fortunate enough to have saved a few bucks for a rainy day so you have a little time and space to work with here.

Whatever your situation, Bradley Richardson has written a book that absolutely deserves your consideration. "Career Comeback: Eight Steps to Getting Back On Your Feet When You're Fired, Laid Off, Or Your Business Venture Has Failed--and Finding More Job Satisfaction Than Ever Before" was really the end result of the author going through just such a crisis himself. I have read a few of these books over the years and let me assure you this is clearly the best of the bunch. This book is a cornucopia of ideas and useful advice. He points out many of the useful resources all around you (family, friends, church, agencies etc.) and encourages you to make use of them. I was particularly pleased with the dozens of websites that Richardson recommends that are sure to aid the diligent job seeker in his/her search for that elusive "ideal" situation. Whether you are looking for work in the manufacturing or retail sector or are a seasoned executive who was a victim of "downsizing" this book will prove invaluable in your job search. I will be integrating much of what I have learned here into my own job search. Highly recommended.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone finally understands how I feel !!! Jan. 16 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was laid off before the holidays and it has been so difficult since then. I've found plenty of information about "finding a job" but I heard about Career Comeback on the news and I have to tell you, it is the first thing I've found that really seemed to understand what I'm going through....and what my family is going through as well. Finally something that I can really use. I recommend to everyone...especially if you have been laid off.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From "bummer" to "I'm back!" March 24 2007
By RDC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is good guide for handling a career set back and positioning yourself to move forward with confidence. A mix of no-nonsense advice and practicle exercises, I found that Richardson's method added value to my situation. I STRONGLY recommend doing the exercises, especially in the chapter on moving forward. Some of it can seem a little odd (like writing a scathing letter to folks in your past job, then burning it as a form of release from the past) but they actually do help. Finding yourself in the job hunt, especially with little or no notice, is an unpleasant thing, and Richardson helps you look at the many facets of this situation and then develop your plan for moving forward to your next position.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handbook for the journey Aug. 23 2008
By Jeff M. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book at the end of my most recent career-transition period; I wish I had read it at the beginning. The book contains several exercises designed to get you thinking creatively and proactively about your most recent position so that you can move on to your next one. The author also spends a lot time drilling home the need to be persistent, and set achieveable job search goals in weekly increments.

Most insightful for me however, were passages detailing the extent to which friends and family members are affected by the psychological fall out common to all job transitions. If you're facing a period of career transition, you owe it them (and yourself) to read this book.
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