My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
If you’re a mid-level executive and feel that your job may be in jeopardy, then Over the Gap by Dave Patterson is required reading. Patterson, a certified business, executive, and career coach of D. Patterson & Associates in Raleigh, NC, knows how to help executives leap over the gap of career uncertainity and fear. Through instrutive text, case studies and practical examples, Patterson drives home the points of thinking of yourself as a product and a brand who can solve a client’s (or an employer’s) problems, can deliver a benefit to the client.
He takes the reader through the specific steps of personal branding, creating the 60-second elevator speech, the interview process, and idenfifying your target market. He also covers the how-to’s of branding which include issuing press releases, giving talks and writing articles. Resumes and cover letters are also covered with Patterson sharing his insight by telling the reader to use Monarch-sized stationery since it’s smaller than most stationery and will be more likely to catch the recruiter’s eye. His chapters on cover letters, resumes, and networking were especially strong because he included examples and he gave an excellent definition of what networking is. It is “relationship building and is about exchanging information. Networking creates value for both parties involved. The key to successful networking in helping others.”
After reading this book, the job seeker will know that they must do their homework and their research with their prospective company and must be fluent when telling others about what value they offer. Patterson emphasizes thinking like an entrepreneur and not thinking like an employee. An entrepreneur is in business to solve problems and to offer value to the client; he or she’s not merely there to take a paycheck home. Patterson says that despite the weak economy, there are companies that need motivated and experienced employees who will be good investments and help their company grow. By working through Patterson’s questions, his worksheets at the back of the book, and by doing a thorough self examination, formerly employed people can get back on track or they can restart their career in a new field. Over the Gap shows you the how’s along the why’s of networking and branding, blending more instructive narrative than case studies, to produce a valuable and handy resource. I highly recommend this book if you are in the midst of a layoff or career change; there’s no fluff, just straight advice and tips to help you navigate today’s tough job market.