How My Favorite Author's Work Has Changed Me

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Starting with an exercise to describe your favorite person, Finding a Job in Tough Times by Dr. Tim Johnson leads the reader on a journey of self-discovery. Through introspection, reflection, and self-direction, the book challenges the job-seeker to become more emotionally fit to weather the disappointments of the search for employment.

Through the series of exercises, the author lays out a blueprint to improve not just your job skills but also your attitude and mental health. It contains passages to inspire and encourage the reader. There are 48 exercises to align your inner self with your career goals and your ambitions, along with a detailed biography of Dr. Johnson’s life to show that the advice is not just academic.

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What is unique about this workbook is that its exercises are not the typical mishmash of how to write a résumé. Instead, Dr. Johnson asks you to examine your own thoughts, motives, and feelings to construct a genuine reflection of the person you want the prospective employer to recognize. This method is as helpful to the new prospect as it is to the currently employed. It should lead to a career, career advancement, or career change.

There are many positive points about Finding a Job in Tough Times. The author intersperses the list of questions to ponder with anecdotes and personal revelations. Noteworthy is the fact that the careful thought requested is not an inventory of your good and bad points. Dr. Johnson shows great sympathy for the fragile ego of the unemployed. From reading about the author, you can tell he has been there himself.

I liked that he dedicated the book to his readers. I also found it endearing that his cover art is by Avery Johnson, age 9. Is she a daughter or granddaughter, I wonder? Her watercolor is called, “Seashore.”

If there was one part of the book that I could have skipped, it is the chapter on feedback. I understand the concept that goals need to be refined and re-examined over time, but I could have done without the lecture on systems approach, complete with schematics. Where Dr. Johnson is sincere and sensitive in other areas, his writing here takes on a tedious note.

The formatting of the book was perfect, and it was professionally edited. The most likely audience would be college-educated readers looking for their first job. It would also be useful for any career-minded people seeking to advance themselves. The book gets my vote, 4 out of 4 stars. It is one of the most introspective self-help books that I have ever run across. This one is worth keeping.

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