Navigating Career Crossroads (Jane Jackson)

book review Jan 07, 2021
 

Our careers are often not linear as intended. Gone are the days when we worked for the same company for decades. The need for change and adaption is obvious, especially in the ever changing world of employment opportunities. Given the disruptive pandemic, Sydney based career coach Jane Jackson reworked her best-selling guidebook “Navigating Career Crossroads” to encourage professionals on their transition from survive to thrive – and to reform their relationship with change.

Jane Jackson is one of the most well-known and highly respected career management coaches in Australia. Beyond the technical elements of supporting jobseekers, her specialty is the guidance during a career transition and corporate redundancy. Worth to note that Jane took her power to help others from her own process out of a divorce in Singapore to a new life in Sydney. Her coaching style uncovers clarity towards the confidence to get on the mission together. Jane is also a sought-after public speaker, the co-host of #LinkedInLocal Sydney and runs her own career podcast in addition to her advisory.

Her book describes the career transition journey on seven chapters whose first letters form the word CAREERS as overarching umbrella. They cover the topics confidence, assessment, resumes, express a professional image, explore job search, relate values and strategies for career success. The real value of the book is the discovery process, the inner journey to prepare for the transition, paired with the confidence to follow through the change curve. The practical elements include resume and cover letter tips as well as an improved LinkedIn guide – the showcase into the world of personal branding.

Some quotes stand out during the flow of the book, especially when the compress a complex scenario in a short sentence such as “Change is an external event leading to internal transition”. The next one might be a shocking wake-up call for many: “When looking for a job, remember: you are now in sales.” One of my favourites is “I believe that anyone who lacks confidence, passion and direction is capable of rediscovering the person they forgot they are.”

The first edition of Jane’s book already helped me successfully during my last job change using the practical tips especially for updating my unified professional image and the resume. Using her strategies, my cover letters finally opened doors which seemed to be closed before engaging her. Sharing the progress with fellow jobseekers in her group coaching calls helped my progress while the book served as the guide on that journey.

The encouraging empowerment to stand up against resistance and reluctance makes this book so special. Many professionals fear the unknown, the loss of control and the bad timing. Can it be a worse moment than now to seek a career transition? The most adaptive will come out even stronger out of massive macro changes. We observe more redundancy situations in our environment than ever before and need to develop the skills to get over them quickly. I went through the same process moving from Switzerland to Australia and wish I had her book for my own journey.

What can future business book writers learn from “Navigating Career Crossroads”? First of all, I like the structure in seven chapters which describe the keyword CAREERS. My next book might follow a similar principle. Jane supports the practical aspect with useful checklists and grey boxes for further reading as well as useful quotes to get into the chapters with bitesize paragraphs. I also like the workbook character – who only reads it without writing at the respective pages, misses the possibility to get into the flow of applied learning.

This updated second edition is a timely welcome to help those who want to take the changes in the workplace as a chance to pursue their dream.

Q&A with Jane Jackson

1. What was the deciding moment to write (and rewrite) this book?

As a career coach and corporate trainer, I’m passionate about coaching one-on-one and delivering group workshops. However I know that there are many more people who need career support and yet are not able to afford one-on-one coaching.

I’m passionate about making careers guidance accessible and affordable to all, and the way to reach a global audience in need was to write a book. The release of the first edition of Navigating Career Crossroads was in 2014.

In 2020, with all the changes to share with job seekers (especially changes LinkedIn has implemented for job seekers recently), plus with the global Covid pandemic affecting so many jobs worldwide, I knew that it was an important time to release an updated version.

2. How long did it take from concept to launch?

It took me almost a year as there is so much to do when it comes to writing a book. From coming up with the initial concept, to conducting research to ensure relevance, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!), staying focused on my mission, revising my initial ideas, editing, proof reading, designing the cover, planning the launch, and so much more it’s not something I took lightly.

3. How did you perform the research to create the practical content?

I would say that I’d been conducting research for the 15 years I’d been career coaching at that time. Every client I’ve worked with provided me with valuable insights into what I had to include in Navigating Career Crossroads. Their concerns about career transition, their stumbling blocks, what motivated them, what didn’t, how their felt about redundancy, their confidence level, what held them back, all of that has been included in my book together with quotes from many clients whom I interviewed specifically for the book too.

4. What was the biggest challenge along the process?

I would say that my biggest challenge was to believe that what I wanted to share was really relevant to my audience. There’s always that self-limiting belief that whispers, “Who would want to read what you write?” or “What have you got to add that hasn’t already been written?” I overcame that by reminding myself of my mission: To make careers guidance accessible and affordable to ALL who needs it. I know that if my books make a difference to ONE person, it will have been worth it.

5. What was your own reflection along the journey?

Writing a book really is a journey. It’s not an easy journey. There were many times when I wanted to give up as it took up so much of my life at that time. What I learned about myself is that I am determined, I can overcome self-limiting beliefs, and as long as I know WHY I am doing what I am doing then I am on the right track.

6. What is the outcome in having this book available?

The outcome of having Navigating Career Crossroads available is that I’ve been asked to speak, the book sales continue, there are companies that have ordered hundreds of copies at a time for their staff and I am now known as the ‘career transition specialist.’ As there is much more than just job search information in the book (there’s a lot of self-reflection and analysis that helps people at all stages in their careers), this book has helped so many professionals get their careers back on track.

7. What would you advise others about writing their book?

Understand WHY you are writing your book. What purpose does it serve? Who is your audience? Is there a need for what you are about to commit to? Is your book to be a self-help book, a business book, a novel or a work of art? Understand the mission that you are taking on because writing a book requires commitment, determination and a real desire to make a difference.

Jane Jackson: “Navigating Career Crossroads”, Sydney: Omne Publishing, ISBN 978-0-648-47906-2 (Paperback) or Kindle

Jane’s Career Support Resources incl. the book

Media kit about the book

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