Establishing a new career, either due to a job transition or the post-college leap, can be stressful and frustrating, and even those pursuing minor career changes can use support and encouragement.
Spencer Bauer and Jeanie Nishime provide just the right mix of insight and cheerleading to help readers alleviate career anxiety and set realistic goals. The husband-and-wife team has experience in corporate human resources departments and academic positions and takes on the topic of career satisfaction from a Christian vantage point.
Using biblical passages to underscore their advice, Bauer and Nishime manage to impart a strong message of community while still tackling thorny job-search issues. For example, in a chapter about building a résumé, they provide exceptionally detailed insight into what should be included in the document while also lifting the reader’s spirits with a mention of Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”
The breadth of advice included in Make Your Way is impressive. The authors cover such topics as networking, job searching, interviewing, and negotiation, among others. Several sample career plans and cover letters will undoubtedly prove useful to those who need a starting point, and an extensive bibliography provides additional valuable resources.
Throughout, Bauer and Nishime strike a conversational tone that works very well with the potentially overwhelming amount of guidance offered in the book. Their focused and friendly writing style is appealing and imparts a blend of career coach, personable pastor, and trusted friend. Use of bullet points, charts, to-do lists, and other formatting techniques helps keep the content organized.
One of the most appealing chapters for Christian readers will likely be “Biblical Importance of Self-Images.” By turning to the Bible for guidance, the authors write, people can “intentionally override counterproductive self-images with a new, stronger imprint.” The issue of self-image is crucial for many job seekers and those involved in career transitions because rejection can be crushing enough to cause many to abandon their plans. Bauer and Nishime cite four major Bible passages that can be related to replacing old self-images, expanding a comfort zone, and establishing new self-talk. Wisely located near the end of the book, the chapter will serve to buoy spirits, counseling readers to stay positive even in the midst of potential stumbling blocks.
Although the guide is deeply rooted in Christian philosophy, readers don’t need to be Christian to gain valuable insight into new career directions. Those seeking a biblical lens will likely get the most out of Make Your Way, but anyone can benefit from the practical, detailed advice offered here, especially in areas like career development and goal setting.