Genève, le 24.09.2012
Bouncing Back. Successfully Negotiating Your Professional Transition Marion Aufseesser
Odile Jacob, 2012
Book Review by Guido Bondolfi
What a strange paradox it is to be confronted with several professional transitions during a lifetime, whenwe are not necessarily programmed for continuous change. But we all know that we won’t spend our entire professional lives in the same location, company or institution. In an intelligent manner andwithout ever using any simplistic shortcuts, Marion Aufseesser provides the key to understanding that “change is possible”, especially when considering a new professional path. “Bouncing Back” brings usto realise that it’s above all within ourselves that the resources for finding work are to be found. At thesame time, it gives us access to a large range of tangible and easily applicable alternative solutions thatwe had not thought of before. This is an invaluable book for facing ongoing professional changes orthose that inevitably await us.
A brief book review of
“Bouncing Back. Successfully Negotiating Your Professional Transition”by Marion Aufseesser. Odile Jacob, Paris, 2012
This self‐helpguide is aimed at people looking for employment due to redundancy,risk of being laid off or desire to change work. Potential readers are legion in this age of ever‐increasing professional mobility and worrisome economic conditions. The author, a psychologist specialising in helping jobseekers, successfully presents in a simple and lively fashion the many aspects and problems associated with this situation in a book of moderate length. She draws attention to the various points to be considered, offers self‐improvement exercises, dispenses practical advice and endeavours to instil hope and sense of initiative.
She advocates action and change to combat the inertia and discouragement that lie in wait for searchers of employment, hence the use of terms such as “rebounding”, “going forward”, “summoning strength” and “discovering new horizons”.
The first chapter analyses the phenomenon of change. Changing one’s job often accepting to change something within oneself. Various exercises drawn from the cognitive behavioural therapy(CBT) approach are proposed. They aim at understanding the links between emotions, thought processes and behaviour in critical situations and at promoting awareness of possible cognitive biases and recurring inadequate behavioural patterns. The instructions and examples at the beginning of the chapter, too concisely presented to allow their immediate execution, are made clear at the end of this section with a large number of models on a chart.
Readers are also warned that change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a whole series of stages(similar to those used for addiction treatment), ranging from simply contemplating a behavioural modification to actions that trigger and bolster the desired adjustment. A subsequent chapter also deals with a necessary initial step, the need to come to terms with the loss of employment. As in all the rest of the book, these theoretical notions are presented and illustrated in a simple and pragmatic manner.
Moreover, the author advises finding outside help by sharing experiences with others in a similar situation and by seeking the counsel and assistance of professionals.
The two following chapters deal with the important questions of self-confidence and of how to build one’s strengths. For these issues as well, it is essential to engage in some sound psychological preparation along with complementary practical measures, the two being interconnected. As an example, one beneficial training recommendation is to undergo mock hiring interviews. A number of suggestions are made to “increase your resiliency” and examples are given to illustrate the fact that one’s strong points can be showcased at any age. In parallel to self-observation and role-playing exercises, the author proposes the technique of mindfulness, whose positive effects on stress management and negative thoughts are well demonstrated. The fourth and last chapter examines in an even more direct and systematic fashion the steps and actions to be taken during a job search. Explicit advice is given for preparing the endeavour in a professional manner, from investigating the sectors and companies to be approached to writing a resume and covering letter.
In conclusion, “BouncingBack” is a highly accessible book for all, not withstanding its in-depth analysis of the jobseeker’s situation. It abounds with useful recommendations and can impart courage and effective strategies to its readers.
Book Review : Marion Aufseesser. Rebondir. Paris : Odile Jacob, 2012
The author invites the reader to a journey of professional career reintegration or reorientation based on severalpsycho-educational, strategic and experiential stops precisely and simply descirbed.
This journey, largely inspired by current state of the art concepts of cognitive and behavioral therapy is accompanied by numerous examples which will serve as a reference to the reader and will help the reader choose which paths to take in order REBOUNCE. The book is pleasant to read and beyond that, useful for people experiencing professional difficulities who will fnd the right answer to their questio in the many models, strategies and examples given, helping them to take a new path life.
REBONDIR is a universal book which, translated in German, English, Dutch, Spanish or any other language, will have the same impact on the reader.
Take it from someone who has lived and/or worked in countries as diverse as France, Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Luxemburg and Japan.
We all read about the macro-‐economic impact of globalization, frequently ignoring the fact that corporate life for individuals is becoming more and more global. The issues you cover will affect individuals, in much the same way, whether they are based in Vienna (Austria), Saint Louis (Missouri) or any other part of the modern working world.
As years go by, less and less people will have a linear professional life, and almost everyone will have been exposed to “accidents”, that is job loss, which, as you prove, do not need to be loss of direction or control of one’s life.
What your book addresses in a very thorough and altogether simple and practical way, is how to deal with such accidents and make sure that they are no more than bumps in the road.
In my forty five years of professional life, I have gone from unloading food trucks at night to chairman of a nanotech company listed on the Nasdaq in New York. It was not very linear, unless you qualify as such a road that took me through doctoral student in law, journalist in the print and audio-‐visual media, head of an industrial company in the design furniture business, managing director and partner of one of the largest and most prestigious European investment banks, or group managing director of a large pan-‐European retail group, as well as running an Italian super-‐luxury yachts shipyard and numerous other ventures.
This has -‐ or so I thought -‐ prepared me to face any new situation.
Reading your book, I discovered that I might have instinctively taken some of the proper steps, but had missed several others and probably stepped on some people’s toes, or tripped on the professional dance-‐floor.
The fact that you were able to accumulate and use such a wealth of real life experiences makes REBONDIR a real life vade mecum and not one of those “how to books” hastily written by a reporter who does not know what he or she is talking about. Your 25 years of experience helping others, show on every page.
What you are showing, preaching and teaching is self-‐help in the best meaning of the word. There is not much we can individually do to fix the world (and this is another debate), but there is so much each of us can do to change his/her own destiny. You give motivation and very effective tools to those who really need them.
Several years ago, I would have disputed the role and usefulness of a coach, but times have changed, complexity has grown and good employment opportunities have dwindled in numbers.
What REBONDIR makes clear is that looking for a job is a professional endeavor in itself where as little as possible should be left to chance.
REBONDIR is undoubtedly a tool many of the numerous candidates I have seen in my life, should have had before I met them. It would have dramatically improved their chances and might have changed their lives.
Marion Aufseesser, you show that, as William Jennings Bryan wrote:
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved”.
Das Buch von Marion Aufssesser besticht in vielerlei Hinsicht. Auf der Grundlage der modernen kognitiven Verhaltenstherapie werden Gefühle, Gedanken und Verhaltensweisen, welche Menschen in der beruflichen Neuorientierung haben, beschrieben und erklärt. Ratsuchende fühlen sich verstanden und es gelingt ihnen, mehr Klarheit in ihrem Gefühls- und Gedankenchaos zu erlagen.
Der logisch strukturierte Prozess der Neuorientierung verleiht weitere Sicherheit in dieser häufig als destablisierend erlebten Zeit. Besonders wertvollist die positive und Mut machende Grundhaltung, mit welcher Marion Aufseesser die Ratsuchenden begleitet.
Die berufliche Neuorientierung bietet die Möglichkeit, sich grundsätzliche Gedanken über sich selber zu machen und Ziele und Bedürfnisse im Leben, die sich möglicherweise in den vergangenen Jahren verändert haben, wahrzunehmen und die Schritte für deren Umsetzung einzuleiten. Menschen, die sich beruflich neuorientieren müssen oder wollen und auch deren Angehörige, die unter Ängsten, Scham- und Schuldgefühlen leiden, erhalten zahlreiche konkrete Hilfestellungen.
Der Autorin gelingt es, ihre langjährige Erfahrung überzeugend und nachvollziehbar mit wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen der Psychologie zu kombinieren ohne anLeserlichkeit einzubüssen. Ein Buch, das auch morgen seine Nützlichkeit haben wird.