REVIEW: “The Christian’s Career Journey: Finding the Job God Designed for You”

Susan Britton Whitcomb (JIST Works), 308 pages

If there’s but one word to describe Susan Britton Whitcomb’s discourse, it’s detail.
Other reviewers offer apt words of assessment like biblical, inspirational, interesting, invaluable, practical, helpful and a must-read. But the overarching descriptor of “The Christian’s Career Journey” is detailed. Readers will benefit from the insights and expertise that have earned Whitcomb top-rank among her peers, and will have at their fingertips one of the most complete job search guides with a Christian perspective to be found.

Packed comfortably and completely into 14 chapters, the book is divided in three sections:

? “Responding to the Call”;

? “Creating Your Campaign and Creating Your Career Marketing Documents,” and;

?”Executing Your Job Search.”

Each section is punctuated with sub-topics that educate the reader with in-depth information, and with text boxes offering relevant quips and tips. Also included are what Whitcomb dubs “Pocket Prayers,” which relate directly to the text’s and job-seeker’s objectives. For handy review each chapter concludes with “10 Quick Tips” that provide an overview of the chapter.

Whitcomb devotes the first section, “Responding to the Call,” to make the biblical case that God equips and calls people for specific purposes, and bolsters this position by citing Bible passages regarding 10 persons God called upon himself for significant tasks. She also posits, however, that God is initially more interested in one’s availability than ability. Significant to her position is what she notes are God’s four purposes for work, three of which are: a faith-growing experience, training to increase one’s capacity and influence, and the opportunity to reflect God’s image.

The second portion of the book provides workable tools to help determine career choices and craft effective job searches. Whitcomb advises how to formulate “SMART” career goals, with SMART as an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-specific.

Of particular interest in this section is Whitcomb’s counsel about creating a career brand, which for the work-a-day Christian starts with Christlikeness. Branding also includes the abilities, attributes and advantages that comprise the job searcher’s desired reputation to be used in self-marketing, and represent the unique combination of skills and competencies that draw premium salaries. Whether planned or impromptu, readers will learn how to communicate their brand effectively and succinctly on paper or in person.

The book’s final section is replete with information on job search strategies, mistakes and misconceptions to avoid, maximizing active and passive job searches and more. Whitcomb doesn’t treat the requisite resume and interview components with tip of the hat. Rather, her pen bears hard on the paper, inking every detail necessary to encourage and equip readers to make each word?whether written or verbal?carry significant weight and count for all it can.

Whitcomb doesn’t shy away from talking about money, but enables readers to cash-in on her five truths of salary negotiations that will spawn strength, confidence, integrity and optimism.

Concluding the book is an appendix listing the contact information of more than two dozen certified career coaches from across the U.S., and a helpful topical index. Before reading the want-ads, read “The Christian’s Career Journey” by Susan Britton Whitcomb.

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