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Sunday, July 25th, 2010

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2:01a
This we could use!
This is probably the fastest turn-around that I've ever done on a review … as the book in question just came in a couple of days ago, and I only decided that it might make an amusing entry for The Job Stalker today. Fortunately (and, evidently), this was a quick read, and as I'm a scant 36 hours or so away from having a “bookless” Monday (which is usually my day for featuring job-search related books) on that blog, I'm now jumping into the review.

Those who have been reading my scribblings for any length of time will realize that this is not exactly “my sort of book”, but given the gaping hole in my “review schedule” and the fact that it is (sort of) a job-search book, I figured cranking through this over the weekend would be a fun, productive exercise. This was sent to me from the nice folks at Ten Speed Press (who must have also figured that a “career” book was a “career book”), much to my amusement and that of my Daughters (the cats, however, don't much care for the concept). Careers For Your Cat, written by Ann Dziemianowicz and charmingly illustrated by Ann Boyajian, purports to be exactly what it sounds like, a way to get your kitty off its furry behind and out into the workforce.

(what is) your freeloading, fat cat doing? … I'll tell you what she isn't doing, she isn't raising one paw to help you. Nope. … Your cat needs to get off the couch and get a job. Right now!
The book closely resembles (on some levels) the hundreds of “career counselor” books out there, but one penned by a cat specialist, with focus on the particular sorts of positions for which one's feline companions are particularly suited.

Pivotal to this effort is the “Meowers-Briggs Career/Personality Test” that one is directed to administer to your cat (I wonder how the Meyers-Briggs folks feel about this riff on their brand!). Part one of this consists of 16 multiple choice questions to determine if kitty exhibits “Creative”, “Labor-Intensive”, “Intellectual”, or “Inert Introvert” traits (oh, plus one other, but I wouldn't want to spoil the fun). Part two is a brief quiz to determine if your cat is an “Introvert” or an “Extrovert”, producing seven categories (obviously, if the kitty has “Inert Introvert” traits, they're unlikely to be an “Extrovert”). There are five careers suggested for each of the six combined attribute categories, with just four for those motion-adverse “InIs” (who are “not made for jobs requiring stamina and endurance, or even standing up”).

In each of the 30 “combined attribute” career paths that might be open to your feline freeloader, there are four specific attributes that the particular job requires (the “InIs” cats have just two each) that they'd “bring to the table”, from an Interior Designer (a career for a “Creative Extrovert”) who “Can deconstruct a sofa on a moment's notice.” to a Pastry Chef (for the “Labor-Intensive Introvert”) who “Monitors food quality carefully.”, to the CEO (an “Intellectual Extrovert”), who is “Clear about needs and wants.”, to the very sedentary “Inert Introvert” cat whose possible job as a Solar Technician “Sets strong example as a passive solar collector.”.

There is a final section with do's and don't's for the job interview, with such key advice as “Do not sit in the interviewer's lap.” and the essential “Do not attempt any personal grooming at any time during the interview.”. Obviously, War and Peace this is not, but Careers For Your Cat is an amusing, light read that it likely to appeal to anybody stuck in a job search, or stuck with do-nothing felines who could be out there helping with the family finances!

This book is not “officially” out for a week (I hope that Ten Speed doesn't mind me writing about this in advance), so your options for obtaining this are currently of the pre-order variety … but it's supposed be hitting the stores on August 3rd, and I'm sure that your local brick-and-mortar book monger would be happy to reserve a copy for you.


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