This book, “Job Quest for Lawyers” by Sheila Nielsen, is one of my favorite resources that I have reviewed so far. At first I was unsure if I would enjoy it because the book is told as if you are actually on a medieval quest, so it involves a lot of knights/wizards/ogres, which is a little different from the other job seeking books I have read. However, once I read the first few chapters, the quest analogy actually made the book a lot more interesting and entertaining.
The author divides people that you may encounter on your job quest into different categories, including knights, wizards, gatekeepers, and ogres. One thing I really liked about this book is that it gives practical suggestions of how to know into which category the person you are interacting with would fall. For example, ogres are people who are not really interested in helping you in your job search. The author explains that you can determine if someone is an ogre by using the voice test – if you ask a person for help and their voice lowers in tone, it signifies that they are not excited about the conversation and are probably an ogre.
The book also gives helpful suggestions about knowing when it is appropriate to use the “j” word (“job”), and when it will just scare a potential contact away. Chapter 12 talks about when to not mention a job search, how to convert an informal interview into a formal interview, and when it is appropriate to talk about your search for a job right away. Chapter 13 also gives some great advice on what NOT to do on your job search, and how to avoid these mistakes.
Networking and some of the mechanics of meetings and interviews are also discussed. There were a few stories about ways that people could engage in “creative” networking that were interesting. One story that I thought was funny was about a woman who “happened” to be at the dog park at the same time as her neighbor, a management consultant at a law firm she wanted to work at.
Overall, this book is an entertaining read and has some humorous sections, and also provides a lot of really practical information about how to effectively look for jobs. I highly recommend it even for students who may not be actively looking for jobs because it has many suggestions about how to start creating relationships with your “knights” and “wizards” now, so that when you begin looking for jobs they can be there to guide you.