REVIEW: by @K_Stokes_Smith
Animal's The Psychology of Job Hunting reads a little like a first draft -- it seems to be finding its thesis from beginning to end. And, while there's some useful psychological observation, Animal doesn't have the professional credibility to write a book about psychology because he's a recruiter, not a psychologist.
Animal's street cred is in the field of recruiting. His book would have be strengthened immeasurably if the narrative had been guided by a firmer editorial hand, and driven by his online personality.
Part of Animal's appeal (and mystique) is his considerable internet following as Recruiting Animal (few even know his real name). His Internet persona has gained notoriety for his no holds barred style of calling people out. He is the Howard Stern of recruiting and BlogTalkRadio (minus the bawdy content).
Disclosure: I was disappointed because I wanted (and expected) more Animal content in his book. The job hunters self-help book genre is saturated at present. Animal's book could have stood on it's own as a job hunter's guide and an autobiography, if Animal had optimized his internet celebrity and written a book in the style of, say, Chelsea Handler's Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea (perhaps a Are You There Trenta? It's Me, Recruiting Animal?)
The title, The Psychology of Job Hunting is a misnomer that even Animal seems to recognize when he writes:
"It's called The Psychology of Job Hunting but it's really about the fear of cold calling and networking...It's (sic) focus is self-image and boundary issues. That doesn't sound interesting but I tried to make it very colloquial and enjoyable to read."
To tell his story, Animal uses dialogue between Lewis (a job hunter) and Morris (a 70-year-old, retired sales VP). Reminiscent of My Dinner with Andre, Morris is the Gregory to Lewis' Shawn. As in the oft-parodied My Dinner with Andre, The Psychology of Job Hunting focuses on Morris' life experiences, observations, and wisdom to move the plot along. Rather than a chic New York restaurant as a backdrop, Morris and Lewis meet at the Starbucks at Bathurst and Wilson (the locale of an actual Starbucks in Toronto). While Morris' observational and experiential advice for Lewis has value for job hunters, the meaty bits were lost in the plot device -- a fictional retired sales executive/mentor discussing sales, job hunting, and psychology with an unemployed job hunter.
Animal has some real nuggets for job hunters. The biggest problem with the book is that its strengths are overwhelmed by the chosen plot device and the loose editing.
READ WITH A HIGHLIGHTER, AND SKIM THIS BOOK.