Author is 'Getting Back to Work'

The book by Ashland career consultant Linda K. Rolie — which was previously self-published and sold 1,500 copies — has been snapped up as "Getting Back to Work" and published by McGraw-Hill.

Subtitled, "Everything You Need to Bounce Back and Get a Job After Layoff," the $15.95 book ($9.95 on Kindle) is being marketed to bookstores, listed on Amazon and marketed to scores of media outlets, journals, TV channels and talk shows. It was agented by Ashland publisher Steve Scholl.

Rolie, a native of Jacksonville and graduate of South Medford High School and the University of Oregon, wrote the book over the past decade as a handbook for clients — both individuals and groups of people sent to her by employers, including Southern Oregon University, Asante Health System and St. Andrews Society of San Francisco.

Although McGraw-Hill was "inundated" by job-seeker books in the present recession, they rushed hers into print for the fall release season, she notes, because it was the only one to address the potentially crippling emotional dimension of layoff and to spell out job-seeking strategies in such detail.

"They thought there wasn't really a comprehensive book on the market that addressed both the emotional and practical aspects. They were impressed I'd sold 1,500 already. They said they were thrilled," a clearly delighted Rolie noted, adding, "I'm astounded. It's my dream come true."

The book, which offers many exercises to get you ready to re-enter the workforce, can be used solo or as a companion to her 12-hour workshops.

The book is grounded in common-sense confidence-building approaches, tells job seekers how to network, make cold calls, manage stress and emotional ups and downs, write a good resume and cover letter and prep for "the five questions you'll always get asked in an interview."

The five questions? Tell us about yourself and what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, what qualifies you for this job over other people and what salary are you looking for?

A clue, Rolie notes, is when they ask you to describe yourself, they're not asking about your marriage, family, recreational interests and how you got to Oregon. They want you to describe yourself as the perfect employee for this job — and they want you to describe weaknesses in a way that makes them look like strengths, such as "I can work too hard and ask for too many people's inputs."

As for the salary, don't go there. Yet. You tell them you'll discuss it when you know the responsibilities of the job, when they know the experience and education you bring to it and you'll need to check and other sources for what's about right.

In her earlier self-published book, called "Catch Me When I Fall: Smooth Landings for Job Seekers," Rolie included many references to spiritual guidance — a favorite was "God is never early, but always on time" — but McGraw-Hill wanted the book to be secular. Rolie is now thinking about writing a spiritually-based book on finding the right work in life.

"This book is designed as inspiration that you can get the job that satisfies and fulfills you, that taps into your heart's desires — and offers strategic methods to beat the competition for the job," said Rolie.

"It's a confidence-builder that overcomes the negativity and doubts around the bad economy. It's not just about the employment numbers and mass-mailing resumes. It's looking at the new job growth, targeting job titles that are suitable for you and drilling down getting hired doing that."

Rolie will sign copies of her book Sept. 12 at Barnes & Noble in Medford and Sept. 24 at Bloomsbury Books in Ashland.

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