Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Prepare Yourself (To Be a Great Publishing Professional: Book-Job Boot Camp, Week 6

This last week is about preparing yourself for the job itself–for the day-in-day-outness of it all. No matter where you are in your job hunt, it doesn’t seem such a bad plan to wrap up by thinking what you want to see in yourself as a book-biz professional—not just what you want the interviewers to see.  


If you’ve read the story of my long slog toward a publishing job that I really love, you know that my “must-haves” the second time around were much different than they were during the first job-search. The first time around, I thought of The Right Job rather the way one thinks of a job-listing: a list with certain important (quantifiable) things that you either have or don’t have. It wasn’t until I got that first job—the one that included everything on my Right  Job description—and found that a checklist wasn’t enough to provide a satisfying job experience, that I started to be consistently interested in how people of all ages find a job that doesn’t send them home at night feeling more like a skinned cat than anything else. Though a lot went into finding another job—and making sure it was a good one—two key questions continued to fascinate me. What’s more, with all respect to the book industry (to whom this blog is related) I suspect these questions and their answers apply to almost any career path. I wanted to know what part of The Right Job I brought to the table, and how I could bring even more of it.

The good thing about preparing to help the job of your dreams BE the job of your dreams is that you can hone these skills (and they do need honing) wherever you are today, no matter where you’re working, or with what people you’re interacting. Plus, nurturing these skills as you’re still interviewing and looking at different job options will help you to start noticing potential for positive or negative interactions right there in the interview room.

What can I contribute to my own job happiness? I can study my strengths and weaknesses in greater detail than anyone else, and to understand how those weaknesses and strengths bear on day-to-day situations. ♦ I can pin down and learn to articulate three things that are crucial for me in a working relationship. ♦ I can practice asking productive questions. ♦ I can learn to anticipate where I make mistakes so I can better prevent them. ♦ I can take time every week or month to evaluate for my own performance and accomplishments, listing three things I’m proud of and three things I’d like to do differently.

What can I contribute to others’ job happiness? I can foster in myself the qualities I most wish I saw (or do see!) in my coworkers, my supervisor, and those I supervise. ♦ I can nurture a passion to always to always listen better and more creatively. ♦ I can study the patterns in interaction that develop between me and those around me–especially the negative interactions. ♦ I can be the one to initiate the conversation that asks: What would you like me to do more of in our work together? What would you like me to do less of?

These are just some answers I’ve found for myself. What ways have you discovered to help create the job you want? What are some ways you or others can practice great professional skills even before The Right Job comes along? And what are some ways for measuring potential interactions during an interview? Please share your wisdom! 

One Comment

  1. Julie t says:

    we have liked your articles and site. I shall return again, thanking you, please keep posting your great articles. Yours Truly.

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