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March 10, 2009

Jack Covert Selects: Rebound by Martha Finney

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 2:00 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

Finding a great new book that we love around here usually brings us nothing but joy... and ideas, and answers, and motivation, and positive reinforcement. A recent book by Martha Finney, however, has been somewhat bittersweet. It has everything we love in a book--it's wonderfully written, timely and helpful. But, alas, in the current economic climate, "timely" and "helpful" does not necessarily mean pleasant. The book I'm referring to is Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss.
With our sister company, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, closing it's doors at the end of the month and the recent thinning in our own ranks here at 8cr, this book has been passed around our company more than the pigskin on a winter Sunday. (And if you ask me, having your book passed around amongst booksellers is the ultimate form of flattery an author can receive.) It has also received quite a bit of press, and rightfully so. Time magazine recently interviewed Finney on how to handle a layoff, covering everything from what you should do with your files to what you should tell your kids. That interview begins:
TIME: What if someone tells you that you're being let go? What do you do and say at that awful moment?

Finney: Keep your mouth shut. Keep your hand away from the pen. Sign nothing. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Ask questions. At the risk of sounding adversarial--and I don't like to do that because I'm a huge booster of the HR profession--these people have a script.

She's been asked her opinion on everything from blogging, from the Christian Science Monitor:
It's an excellent way for job seekers to demonstrate their passion, smarts, and dedication to their profession over time, regardless of what their immediate job status is. If hiring managers find their material fascinating to read, perhaps even educational or groundbreaking, they're going to want to bring these people in for interviews.

to volunteering, from the Tribune Media Services:
Self-esteem, role in the community, personal value, all those pieces are still in place. If there is one thing that our generation can teach the next, [it's that] intrinsic value survives any job. I think that volunteering should always be part of life's activities. But if you find yourself flat out of work, it's far better to use that time to benefit someone else than to sit there shoveling chocolate in your mouth.

Her book, Rebound was a Jack Covert Selects last month. I've reposted that review below for easy reading.
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Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss by Martha I. Finney, FT Press, 208 pages, $16.99, Paperback, February 2009, ISBN 9780137021147
The current economic climate carries with it certain unpleasant realities that we are now all too well aware of. We have felt it hit especially hard in our little corner of the world, where our sister company is closing its four bookshops, succumbing to both the economic downturn and massive shifts in the publishing industry. Regrettably, for many people, the changes in their employer's fortunes ends in job loss. Martha I. Finney's Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss is an invaluable resource that the newly unemployed worker can use to make sense of his or her situation, confront the mixed feelings that come along with it, and understand the new rules of careers so that he or she will be well-equipped to develop a plan of action and find a new job.
Finney, a workplace consultant and expert in employee engagement and leadership communications, offers readers relevant, immediately applicable advice on how to deal with a job loss, from understanding your rights, to protecting your reputation, to determining how to talk about the loss in your next interview, and even to knowing what to tell family and friends. Each chapter ends with a three-part summary: "The best thing you can do," "The worst thing you can do," and "The first thing you should do." Readers are encouraged to take proactive steps in anticipating and managing this difficult change, such as controlling spending, using social networking to find a new job, and guarding against future unemployment.
Finney's tone is personal and sympathetic. For instance, she writes: "You've been laid off. And your career is the accordioned wreckage joining the heaps of thousands of other careers piled up at this very same wall. Your job may have come to an unexpected, abrupt halt. But your heart and mind continue to surge forward at the same rate of speed as before, and you're in for some internal damage" (4). Her words don't sugarcoat, but all is not hopeless; in fact, Finney acknowledges that her stories intentionally end on a positive note because "your own laid-off saga can also end on an up note" (xx). It is unfortunate that the times necessitate such a thing, but Rebound is an excellent companion to have during these uncertain, difficult times.
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Keep up with Martha at her blog, Rebound Your Career.