I am always on the lookout for interesting people who then decide to write a book.
Because, generally speaking, if they are interesting, their book will be, too.
I found one of these interesting people in the person of Deb Angel, who is one of the two authors of this book. When I met her, she was leading a seminar at a careers conference that I have attended routinely for many years, mostly because they invited me back to be the keynote speaker year in and year out. At the conference, I’d prowl the halls long before and long after it was my turn to speak. All kinds of job-hunting seminars would be going on, and I would drop in on one, listen for a while, then go see if something more interesting was happening in another room, farther down the hall.
What was I looking for? Well, I’ve already said it: interesting people. But, more than that: new ideas. Interesting, innovative, and helpful new ideas.
I had a peculiar handicap in this search: I was an author myself, and in fact, my book was the first bestseller in the field of job hunting or career changing, thus kindling publishers’ interest and sparking their search for other titles that they could publish in this field. By the time I blundered into Deb’s seminar, my book, revised annually, had already sold millions of copies around the world, and there were now literally thousands of career books out there, when there had only been twelve when I fi rst began. Over the years my ideas had been copied by so many authors, many of whom didn’t even know where the ideas came from, that the careers editor at the San Francisco Chronicle once wrote: “If Dick’s ideas were removed from the thousands of careers books that are out there, we would be left with a very small library indeed.”
Well, this summation is all very nice for my ego, but that’s not why I’m telling you this. I want you to understand that when I was eavesdropping on one job-hunting seminar after another, looking for new ideas, I was handicapped because I kept hearing what were primarily my own ideas, in one form or another, again and again. But then, one wonderful day, I dropped in on Deb Angel’s seminar. And I was astonished! I heard one new idea after another, from Deb and her teaching partner, Elizabeth Harney.
I started scribbling like mad, jotting down one new helpful idea after another. It was the most rewarding day I ever spent at that particular conference.
So, I had found my “interesting person.” Naturally I talked with her and later had lunches with her and Elizabeth, then I befriended them and tried to learn as much as I possibly could from both of them. They had written a book. I devoured it.
When I heard these interesting people were writing a new book, I begged to write the foreword. And here it is. I can’t tell you strongly enough how highly I think of Deb and Elizabeth. Or how much I think you will profit from reading any book, and most particularly this one, written by these interesting women. If you’re out of work, or working with those who are, or if you are interested in the so-called forgotten marginal people who most job-hunting counselors and the media never talk about, then you
simply must read this book.
Incidentally, I do know that Deb married a careers man, brilliant and famous in his own right in Scotland, and so her legal last name isn’t Angel anymore; it’s MacDougall. (I was, after all, at Gordon and Deb’s wedding at St. Andrews in Scotland.) But I still like to think of her as Deb Angel. After you’ve read what she and Elizabeth have written, and most especially if you’ve been “hangin’ on the ropes” and these ideas rescue you, you may think of her as an angel, too.