Q & A: Build Your Career
We wrote Creating Career Success to help you build a meaningful and rewarding career. We look forward to being part of your success!
Q How should I begin to explore a new direction or launch my career?
A Planning your career can be exciting, but it can also involve challenges, especially in a difficult economy. You may be starting your career planning with a clear idea about your career interests, and looking for help in your job search. Others are not sure where to start, or what career to pursue. In our current economy, even if you have a clear idea of your interests at this point in your life, you will likely change jobs and possibly careers multiple times. For this reason, everyone can benefit from a deeper understanding of career development. With this insight, you can learn to see opportunities when they come up, and build skills and connections for long-term career success. You can also cycle back through the steps whenever you have decisions to make or new choices to consider. Creating Career Success (2014) is organized into three sections that reflect a step-by-step approach to help you build your career and create success throughout your lifetime.
Q How will the book help me create a successful career?
A Creating Career Success is divided into three sections that make it easy to address your most pressing career questions and take action steps to move forward. In the first section of the book, “Know Yourself,” you will assess your skills, interests, and values. This is an important first step, involving honest self-exploration and reflection about what you want for yourself and what worked for you—or didn’t feel as comfortable—in your experiences. During this phase, career assessments may help you identify career fields to explore. Two online assessments come with the book on CourseMate, and, in addition, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®Complete (MBTI®Complete) instrument can be bundled with the book. In the second section of the book, “Explore Your Options,” you will be guided through career research, networking, and decision-making. During this phase, you consider if your next step will be an internship, job, further education, or a different type of interim, skill-building or exploratory experience, such as a gap year, shadowing, or another activity. Finally, prepare to “Market Yourself” in the third section of the book, by creating a strong, targeted resume, online profile, and cover letters, along with effective job search and career management strategies. You can read Chapter 1: Prepare right now, to learn more about this step-by-step approach.
Q I am considering taking a career course. Are they helpful?
A Having taught courses, workshops, and seminars for many years (more than 10 years each!), we have seen career courses help students expand their career skills, sharpen their job search tools, and become far more open-minded about their opportunities. Moreover, courses often allow you to learn from your peers, since you will discuss career topics and share ideas and questions. Other students with similar concerns can offer support, insight, and even connect you with their social networks. In fact, we were inspired to write this career book and program because of the success of our students and workshop participants.
Q I’m in college, and I want to start planning for my career. What can I do?
A College is a great time to explore and pursue your interests, and also take risks by trying activities or subject areas that may not fit into the larger picture of your career interests—yet. For instance, the story of how Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, took a calligraphy course and the course’s later impact on his interest in fonts is now a frequently told tale about the relationship between unexpected ways that interests and skills intersect. In fact, before Jobs made font selection possible in Apple’s personal computers, few people even knew what a “font” was! Not sure which major to choose, activities to join, or how to spend your summer? By exploring what you like, what’s important to you, and leaning what jobs and activities are out there, you can begin to make decisions and pursue opportunities. There may be many valuable resources available at your college, including career counseling, a career and internship center, academic advising, and more. Visiting these offices early in your college experience can help you learn about programs and deadlines. Some of the programs that might interest you are recruiting opportunities for internships and jobs, mentor programs, alumni networking events, practice interview sessions, and employer visits. Of course, taking a career course can also be a helpful way to explore career directions and learn to more effectively identify and market your assets.
Q I recently graduated from college. Can I use the book to help launch my career?
A Creating Career Success is a complete career book and program that you can use in a course, on your own, or with a career counselor or coach. The book is written to help you follow a step-by-step approach, with a flexible plan to fill-in at the end of each chapter. You’ll also be guided to create a career portfolio, to which you will add each chapter’s Plan of Analysis or Plan of Action, results from your self-assessment, networking materials, and job search materials such as a targeted resume, cover letter, and elevator pitch. The book will help you explore what you need in a career to be satisfied, and then teach you the steps needed to create it. We also recommend using college services for alumni and community resources. You may find that career workshops, career counseling, networking events, and other services are available, often for free or at a low cost. We give suggestions for college and community resources in Chapter 1: Prepare, and have a complete Career Development Calendar that you can fill-in in the book’s appendix.
Q & A: Teaching & Coaching
Q I am interested in using the book in my course, but would like to review it before making a decision. Is a review copy available?
A Yes, instructors and career professionals can obtain a review copy of the book as well as access to the online resources. Visit the book’s page on the Cengage website by clicking here, and click “Request an online copy for review.”
Q What resources are available to help me use the book in my course?
A There are extensive resources to help you develop your course and engage your students. In addition, we share new content on our social media pages so that your course can include the latest research and insights from best-selling authors. As an instructor, you can create an account to access the Instructor Companion Site to explore the resources listed below.
Here are some of the tools and resources available for instructors:
- Instructor Resource Manual (IRM)
- Classroom activities and ice breakers
- Sample syllabi for full semester and shorter length courses
- Sample syllabi & teaching strategies for online and hybrid courses
- Ideas for integrating technology into your course
- Course assignments and grading
- Strategies for working with special populations
- Custom books
- Single chapters available (less than $5 per chapter)
- PowerPoint presentations for every chapter
- Interactive Chapter Quizzes & Tests
- Suggested online videos
- Sample Career Portfolio
- Two Online Career Assessments included in CourseMate:
- Knowdell™ Motivated Skills Card Sort
- Knowdell™ Career Values Card Sort
- MBTI®Complete Instrument can be bundled (this option has an additional cost)
- Social media with current ideas maintained by the authors (Facebook, Twitter, blog)
- New webinars from the authors that highlight teaching concepts
Q I am teaching an online course. What resources are available?
A There are many resources that will be especially helpful for an online course. In the Instructor’s Resource Manual, there are syllabi for online and hybrid courses, as well as suggested activities and assignments for an online course. In addition, many of the other teaching resources are accessed online, such as suggested videos, career assessments, podcasts, and more. Visit the Instructor Companion Site to explore the online resources for the book.
Q I work with non-traditional students. Will the book fit my student population?
A The book was written to address the needs of the broadest possible range of today’s students. The book features career profiles and case studies highlighting the experiences of current students and recent graduates as well as adults who have returned to school and changed careers. Examples include students who attended two-year and four-year colleges, plus students who obtained graduate degrees or specialized career education. Many of the career profiles illustrate significant challenges—from unemployment to gaps in employment to lack of career direction—and discuss how these obstacles were overcome. The book also includes features in each chapter on embracing differences and using technology, and has suggestions for special populations, including ex-offenders, veterans, welfare-to-work populations, and parents returning to work after a gap in employment. In addition, a wide range of careers and interest areas are explored, including careers in the arts, design, media, healthcare, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, green careers, finance, hospitality, law enforcement, politics, sports, fashion, education, and more.
Q I would like to use the program with career counseling or coaching clients. Can you give me any suggestions?
A Whether you plan to use the book in a small group setting or with individual clients, you can choose the topics you wish to cover while also introducing all the steps for a complete picture of the career development process. For example, you can choose specific chapters (or chapter topics), assign relevant exercises, activities, and projects, such as a career journal and/or a career portfolio, all based on the unique needs of your group or client. To help your small group or client move forward, you can introduce the concept of a flexible plan, completing a Plan of Analysis or Plan of Action for each topic. This approach will offer your clients tangible evidence of their career development progress, and also serve as a tool for self-reflection in the future. In addition, some groups or clients may welcome the opportunity to explore new ideas and research, and the Work with Awareness feature offers an opportunity to introduce academic research as well as insights from best-selling authors. This feature can also be used to generate topics for journaling and self-reflection. Activities in the Instructor’s Resource Manual can also be modified for small groups and individual exploration.
Q & A: Consulting & Media
Q We are looking for a speaker for our next event. Are the authors available for speaking engagements?
A Lead author Francine Fabricant is a frequent speaker on career topics, addressing the challenges of career development in today’s economy and helping people discover real-world solutions to their personal challenges. She is available for speaking engagements based on her scheduling, and has served as a keynote speaker, moderator, panelist, and featured guest at such venues as universities, community & business events, and professional conferences. In some cases, her co-author, Jennifer Miller, may also be available. Please contact us directly to discuss your program and our availability.
Q Can the authors provide a staff training or presentation to our team?
A We welcome the opportunity to provide a presentation to help your team use the concepts in the book, or explore a career topic in greater depth. Francine Fabricant and Jennifer Miller are available for presentations, based on their scheduling. After discussing your needs and goals for the program, we can deliver an existing presentation or create a tailored presentation. We can also speak directly with your team via Skype or GoToMeeting, or we may be available to visit your school or organization to deliver an in-person presentation or staff training. Please contact us directly to discuss your program and our availability.
Q I am a member of the media and I am looking for an expert to quote on career topics.
A Francine Fabricant is pleased to serve as a career expert for the media whenever possible, and has been quoted extensively on career topics. She has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, Counseling Today, Fios1 News, Yahoo! Education, and more. For media inquiries, contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have additional questions, get in touch!