When I was laid off from my aerospace job in 2014, I was faced with a tough challenge.
How to convert my experience and expertise into something valuable in the broader economy?
I had to expand my options because I had moved to a new city due to a family relocation. There wasn’t a large aerospace presence here.
In startup vocabulary, I had to make a major pivot.
I also realized that the traditional methods of looking for jobs online, applying to jobs online — those are for suckers.
Too harsh to say?
At least you have to agree that that is the process that 99.9% of job seekers are doing. How well does it work for that 99% ?! Not good, as a rule!
That’s what I call a losing strategy.
How to accelerate the process and dramatically increase your odds at a win?
Even better – what is one thing you can do that has very little risk and investment, with many possible up-sides or benefits?
The answer, I found out, is to write and self-publish a book of your own.
Thanks to Amazon and some other alternatives in our modern economy, anybody can do this today with a modest investment in time, energy, and money. Mostly it is time and energy if you are willing to learn how and do the work yourself. For the tasks or expertise you don’t have, you can find and hire someone. Or you can be innovative and barter or trade with those people.
For instance, you can be the expert – or simply the person telling your unique perspective on a topic – who writes the content of the book. Cover designs need a completely different skill set. Think about artistic friends or colleagues you have who might want to build their portfolio. A job to design a book cover that gets published on Amazon is a great opportunity for someone early in their career.
There is a list of tasks required to get a book written and published from start to finish. After doing this almost a dozen times by now – between my own books and helping other people with theirs – I have built a convenient checklist for all these tasks.
It’s a long list, I grant you. But it does have a start and finish! It is a finite list.
When you are done, you now have something that separates you from 99.99% (at least) of the other people in the world. You have the boost in credibility and pride that comes from someone who is a published book author.
If a recruiter is reading your resume, how often do you think they find one that says the person is a published book author?
When you are sitting in an interview, how many candidates are able to pull a paperback book out of their folder, plop it on the table, and say, “By the way, here is a book I wrote about the topic we have been discussing.”
This also creates more exposure for you too. It opens up many doors for introductions, word of mouth conversations, and calls out of the blue.
That’s where this blog article is going.
If you are in northern California on Saturday, April 27th, the Folsom Public Library near Sacramento is hosting a Local Author Expo from 11am to 3pm. Not only can people meet and talk 1-on-1 with authors from a wide range of genres, there will be three panel discussions:
- Paths to Publication
- Writing a Memoir
- Writing a Book to Grow Your Business
The third panel will also help anyone who wants to write a book to advance their career. That’s what I’ve done. Twice, actually. (I’ve had to make two pivots in recent years. Each time a book worked beautifully, although for different reasons I won’t go into here. The first book is what led to this website. The second book is about drones and civil engineering. You can find it here.)
Wrapping up the point and proof of this article – when the library assistant director was in the early planning stages of this author expo, I received an email from him. He knew about my books and my help with other authors and entrepreneurs for their books. He invited me to consider if I would be on a panel to talk about that.
Fortunately I could say Yes. So I did! Now I’m looking forward to this event next week. If you want to learn more about it you can do that here: Folsom Local Author Expo. If you happen to be close enough to attend, please let me know ahead of time. I would love to meet anyone in person who is reading this blog.
Here are some of the topics I am considering to address on the panel:
- What are the essential ingredients of a nonfiction book for business or career growth?
- How long does it take to write and publish a book?
- How much does it cost to write and self-publish a book?
- What are the biggest challenges with writing and publishing a book?
- How has publishing a book helped other people?
If you have been wondering about any of those questions, please let me know. You may also want to look at a list of resources I have made for other career-focused authors. I have listed those on my Alignable page. If you aren’t familiar with Alignable, it is a local community-based professional networking site.
I’ll admit to you that my page on this site is a safe-to-fail and small-scale test of my ghostwriting and independent publishing services. Check it out while you can. 😉 I appreciate any look and engagement you make with me over there.
If the idea of your own book sounds appealing to you, get my attention with a comment below or send a private note to me here. If you are able and interested in attending the Local Author Expo at the Folsom Public Library on Saturday April 27th, 2019 near Sacramento, California, be sure to let me know!
Take care and take charge,