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The Laidoff Ninja 237

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
walmass writes "My first reaction on seeing the book was, 'Oh no, another book with "Ninja" in the title.' But in this case, the authors have established a case for that: they explained that the first ninjas were peasants who could not take the abuse from the samurai anymore and how they used everyday objects as weapons." Keep reading to see what walmass has to say.
The Laidoff Ninja
author Craig Brown and Javed Ikbal
pages 278
publisher CreateSpace
rating 9/10
reviewer walmass
ISBN 1451558848
summary Learn techniques that helped hundreds of people survive unexpected unemployment
The authors are co-founders of The Layoff Support Network, which seems to be a collective knowledge-sharing site for people looking for jobs, and the authors say that the book distills the knowledge from the website collected over the past 2 years. The authors also started off by stating that this is not just a book about finding a job; this is also a book about surviving until finding a job. I think The Laidoff Ninja (henceforth, "LON") fares well on these claims.

The pre-ramble is listed as section zero (0) — perhaps not surprising considering the two authors are techies: information security is their day job. Keep that in mind when we look at what they manage to extract out of LinkedIn.

One thing I liked about this book right out of the gate is what the authors (or their editor?) decided to call "Quick-shot" guides. Instead of traditional table of contents, they have provided a listing of topics they thought might be interesting to the following types of readers:
- Job seekers with work experience.
- Recent graduates with limited work experience.
- People who are feeling "cash strapped."
- People who are feeling overwhelmed and emotionally distraught.

Considering the last bullet, I was not really surprised to see a section titled "Ninja Psychiatry." The authors made it clear that they do not have any formal training in Psychiatry and are not licensed to practice psychology, psychiatry or any mental health related profession. They then proceeded to dispense advice on feelings of Loss, Depression, Anxiety, Financial Worries and how to deal with rejection after interviews. The section ends with an admonition to say no to drugs, and encouragement to say yes to humor.

There are lots of "Guerrilla this" or "Ninja that" related to layoffs and job hunting, but I don't think I have come across any other book that addresses the mental aspects of being unemployed.

The next section, "Survival" contains a chapter titled "Pull money out of your butt." Crude but effective, and while whole books have been written about making money on eBay, LON addresses this in a practical way.

Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.

There are some tips about maximizing your available financial resources by delaying payment on some utility bills. While legally OK, I question the morality of providing such advice to readers.

Part 4, "Getting a Job" is where the book begins to read like a traditional book, but there are some surprises and hidden gems there. The sections begin with a job-applications toolkit that recommends free email services, OpenOffice and other technological free-bees that would be required for a job-searcher. These are items that the typical Slashdot reader find amusingly basic, but would certainly be useful for seekers who have been out of the hunt for a while.

Part 5, "Finding opportunities" focuses heavily on LinkedIn. It contains a useful exercise where a job-seekers "needs and wants" are sorted in a "value sort" to determine what type of job would be suitable. But in the next breath, the authors suggest folding away the values-list and taking a job (any job) that will pay the bills. I fail to understand this contradictory advice, and wish they would make up their mind.

The LinkedIn content is useful, but only to a new user of LinkedIn. Experienced LinkedIn users may miss the nuggets buried among these basic facts.

Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are also covered. The well-known but often ignored warnings about being careful with what one posts on one's social networking profiles are posted here.

There is a scathing chapter on recruiters. While certain good qualities of recruiters are mentioned, it seems the authors generally believe that recruiters are uncaring commission-hounds that just want to place a candidate and don't care about individuals. The brutal honesty was refreshing, and I'd be curious whether a majority of Slashdot readers would agree or disagree with the authors.

If you consider that stress and anxiety for a jobless person comes from being, well, jobless, then Part 6, "Preparing for the battle" is the most important section in the book. It covers the basics like resumes, cover letters and elevator pitches, etc.

The next chapter is "Reconnaissance" and this is where the hacker background of the authors finally shows up. They show, with examples, how to find the name and email address of recruiters and HR people at practically any company. The theory being, if you can directly contact the HR people at a company, your resume will not be lost in the 1000 other resumes that people send in. There is just one problem with this theory being put into practice. The book assumes, and does not make abundantly clear, that without building up your network first to some reasonable degree this isn't easy to do. But after I have spent a few hours inviting people and joining groups as the book suggested, I was indeed able to pull up the names of some recruiters at Apple and Google. That accomplished, based on the techniques suggested in the LON, I was able to figure out their email addresses and email them. I hope spammers and marketing droids will not read this book and find out these techniques.

For example, I did not know that one could search Facebook by email and zero in on any individual. It is also a violation of my social norms to approach strangers on Facebook about jobs, but the authors provided guidance and specific examples on how to do that, and also when to step back and look for alternatives.

But some of the techniques, such as querying "whois" records to find out the email address format used by a particular company may not be for the average non-technical Joe, and also seem to skirt ethical boundaries without exactly stepping over the line.

This chapter alone is probably worth the price of the book

The book is a good value at 278 pages and the authors have not done any "white space tricks" to make it seem bigger. A laid-off person would probably appreciate the price/performance of this book.

Overall, "The Laidoff Ninja" is an extremely valuable resource on dealing with the mental stress and anguish that may come from being laid off. It presents creative and novel ways of finding jobs by leveraging social media. The book is a tool in itself that can help the reader survive and prepare for the battle that is a job-search, and do it in a highly effective way.

This book is an excellent value if you need help dealing with the stress of unemployment, or want an edge in reaching hiring managers or recruiters at potential employers. This book is not meant to teach you how to write your resume or cover letter. It will work for novice and experienced candidates alike, although the LinkedIn tricks would definitely favor a more technical reader. I highly recommend it.

You can purchase The Laidoff Ninja from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews — to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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The Laidoff Ninja

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  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:06AM (#32073446) Homepage

    I was going to try and write a funny post here about taking revenge against your coworkers, but the Onion did such a better job:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/disgruntled-ninja-silently-kills-12-coworkers,1575/ [theonion.com]

    • From the article (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:22AM (#32073696)

      people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.

      Um...no. Starvation drives people to the perfectly-rational extremes of stealing food (or stealing the means of obtaining food). Then, when they get caught, they get sent to jail, where they are provided with food, clothing, and shelter, all at the taxpayer's expense.

      It is a symptom of severe economic decay when crime becomes a rational choice. However, that does not change the fact that a point can be reached when crime is, in fact, the most rational option.

      • by ChipMonk (711367)

        It is a symptom of severe economic decay when crime becomes a rational choice.

        Or, it is a symptom of a broken legal system, in which anyone, on any given day, commits dozens of "crimes."

        As was pointed out right here on /., Terry Childs' reckless accusers did far more damage to the security of the SF emergency network, but he was the one convicted of a "crime."

        • Or, it is a symptom of a broken legal system, in which anyone, on any given day, commits dozens of "crimes."

          So you're saying that in a legal system that is functioning correctly, stealing money and physical goods would not be crimes?

          • by ChipMonk (711367)
            When people who want to be law-abiding citizens, can't go about their daily business without being looked at by their government as criminals, then those people eventually stop caring about what is criminal and what isn't.
            • When people who want to be law-abiding citizens, can't go about their daily business without being looked at by their government as criminals, then those people eventually stop caring about what is criminal and what isn't.

              When the choice is between committing petty theft and starving, most people will choose to commit petty theft, even if they would rather be law-abiding citizens. Trying to implement laws that say "well, he was hungry, so it's okay for him to steal stuff" would most likely be a horrible failure.

              People being forced to choose between becoming criminals and starving is a failure of the social system, not the legal system.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Publikwerks (885730)
            Well, that depends on how you define stealing. One of the oldest sets of laws, the Old Testament, says that your allowed to go into a field and eat as long as you don't take any home or store it. Even the harsh dictates of the Old Testament yields to the fact that allowing your neighbor to starve is a far greater wrong than taking without asking.
      • by eleuthero (812560)
        Is it rational to put yourself and your own needs above the needs of others? You are opting for a yes answer to this question (and given the OP's wording, this is reasonable - weasel-wording arguments is never ideal).

        On the whole, though, society works better and is more stable when individuals put others first (and no, I am not just suggesting this be done for the obvious Christian connections). Putting the group ahead of the individual achieves long term species survival. Can it be said that the individu
        • by radtea (464814) on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:55PM (#32074806)

          Is it rational to put yourself and your own needs above the needs of others?

          In general, yes.

          On the whole, though, society works better and is more stable when individuals put others first

          I'm not aware of any such society as this. Can you point to a single example anywhere in the world that exists today?

          Social/liberal democratic societies don't fulfill this claim, obviously, as they are in general better for everyone than socialist (China) or corporate/oligarchic (America) societies. But neither do socialist or corporate/oligarchic societies count as ones where people put the needs of others ahead of their own.

          The difference between healthy social/liberal democratic societies and sick socialist or corporate/oligarchic societies is not that people put their own interests ahead of others in the latter but not the former. It is the system of checks and balances that exist in social/liberal democratic societies that effectively balances the competing interests of individuals, and a mature recognition on the part of the members of those societies that such a balance is to their own benefit.

          I would have thought that after the blood-soaked lessons of the 20th century no one would be dumb enough to suggest that any attempt to organize a society based on the good of the abstract multitude rather than the concrete individual is a good idea. I guess there really is no limit to the depths of human ignorance, or the willingness of the arrogant new generation to repeat the same errors as the previous generations and still feigning suprise when exactly the same causes have exactly the same effect.

          • by w0mprat (1317953)
            I would contest that society does indeed run at all levels on the good will to others of the multitude and their desire just to do the right thing and be happy with it. On average humans tend do the right thing 9/10th of the time despite possible gains for not. Its certainly not checks and balances, law and order and regulatory authorities that are solely responsible for civilisation holding together and being productive. I would go so far to say that religion isn't even responsible for orienting this mora
          • by Khashishi (775369)

            What is rational behavior depends on certain assumptions. Western game theory usually assumes that people are selfish, and calculates rational behavior based on that. But, game theory fails to account for altruism and teamwork, and often doesn't do a good job of predicting human behavior. This isn't because humans are irrational, but because the theory is based on incorrect assumptions. If my goal is to survive at all costs, then my rational behavior will naturally be selfish. But if my goal is betterment o

        • It's rational to put the needs of society over the wants of its members, but asking people to put their own needs behind those of anything or one else will only select for those that refuse to do so.

          Don't look at the money spent on homeless shelters. It's very, very easy to spend money to zero (or even negative) effect. Look only at whether they're effective or not. Can they guarantee the safety and security of those who use them? Can they guarantee that space will be available every night? Are they within

        • But this does not mean that he should rationally choose to act against what is best for the society as a whole.

          He isn't. In a society where food is privately owned, someone who steals food isn't acting against the best interest of society as a whole. On the contrary, he is only acting against the best interest of a single other individual who owns the food.

          Society's interest is completely unaffected, because one way or the other, one person gets food and one person goes without. It averages out.

      • Not to mention: "desperate" does not equal "rational"...

        It isn't a binary thing, rational one moment stark raving mad the next; but it isn't exactly news that people become steadily less discerning as you put them under greater pressure.
      • In terms of a moral thought-experiment, I agree with you. In practical terms, in first-world societies, however, it is very rare that committing a crime - or, what is more likely, starting a career as a criminal until circumstances improve - is a better alternative than accepting the existing safety nets (as low as they might be), entering a homeless shelter, getting subsidized housing, going to food banks, etc.

        People often confuse a certain down-migration - moving from upper-middle-class to lower-middle-cl

      • Then, when they get caught, they get sent to jail, where they are provided with food, clothing, and shelter, all at the taxpayer's expense.

        Does this happen often?

      • Starvation can even drive people to actually get a job to pay for their food.
        Starvation can even drive people to actually get a lesser paying job to pay for food.

        If it weren't for starvation Humanity just would have stayed in the caves all day untill they all withered away and died. Starvation drives people to Hunt and plant crops, invent the wheel etc....

        So you could say Civilisation is built upon starvation and the threat of stavation.

      • by linzeal (197905)
        There are people with serious diseases doing the same thing. Prisoners in the United States are the only group that has mandated health care.
      • by Quirkz (1206400)

        Starvation drives people to the perfectly-rational extremes of stealing food (or stealing the means of obtaining food).

        Yes, but how often is actual starvation truly a risk (here in the states, at least)? Desperate for money is one thing, starvation is several steps farther down the line, and generally if you're literally starving, you're probably not reading a "how to get a job" book.

    • You beat me to it! My favorite part of that particular article:

      Sales supervisor Irene Young, whose cubicle was directly across from Tenchumaru's and who on several occasions had questioned the wisdom of having an office ninja, was the next victim...

      The Onion's articles are so subtly absurd as to be believable.

    • They also left out the part about stealing epic loots during raids. Damn those ninjas!

  • Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:12AM (#32073536) Homepage Journal

    Yup, I spent some time back in mid-to late 2001 laid off. Sending out hundreds of resumes and follow ups every day without any responses (other than canned messages, or companies that were interested, but weren't willing to hire me because they knew when the economy picked back up I'd be gone) gets really disheartening.

    Luckily for me, I'd planned and prepared for being laid off, and honestly, got lucky that I got a job when I did. A lot of people on here state that you should have 6 months of "rainy day" money saved up for your living expenses. I agree with this 100%...if not for the money I'd set aside, I'd have been homeless most likely.

    That's a scary thought, how quickly you could conceivably go from productive member of society to homeless.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by corbettw (214229)

      Life can be very scary at times. That's why it's so important to be a responsible adult and not leave yourself in a position where you depend upon the kindness of strangers.

      • Re:Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:56AM (#32074114)

        That's why it's so important to be a responsible adult and not leave yourself in a position where you depend upon the kindness of strangers.

        There are times when you don't have a choice. It is impossible to plan for every eventuality and as a middle class person, it isn't possible to save enough money for long term layoff - let alone becoming unhireable. You can save and invest until you're blue in the face and then run into a long lay-off and burn through your savings. It's worse if you have health problems along the way. I don't care how much you save, if you get sick when unemployed, you get wiped out easily and then some. And then, you have crap on your MIB (medical information bureau) file and no employer will hire you because of that - one guy, a college educated guy, had to get a letter from a doctor that his congenital heart condition wouldn't affect his job performance - to drive a school bus. Having insurance, if you can afford it, doesn't make things much better: assuming you can even get it.

        And during bad times, if you've been out of work for a while, employers just start passing you by because they think there's something wrong with you or that your skills are "rusty". They won't even check it out, they don't even bother because they think everyone else "knows" something that they don't know. And if you're middle aged or older; you're going to have some real problems.

        Then there are the folks who say, "Well, just suck up your pride get any job."

        Well guess what, a lot of people are in fact doing that and that's why there's this HUGE problem with under-employment along with unemployment. And that's assuming you CAN get a "lesser" job. I tried getting a roofing job (I grew up in the trades) and they wouldn't even talk to me - even though they have all these Mexicans on their payroll.

        I hear all this talk about being "responsible" from folks who really don't know how bad it is out there and it really gets depressing - like shoving a 9mm in the mouth depressing. Others who are old enough are just retiring early because that's all they can do. And being out of work sucks, btw. The stigma of being an out of work bum or being called "irresponsible" is heart wrenching. Is there something wrong with me? Maybe, but no one ever says anything so you just keep sending out resumes wondering what's happening.

        Starting something one your own? Ha! I started a business and got tons of calls from other IT guys - website designers, admins, you name it - that market for IT support is saturated beyond belief! It was like "dude, I don't need your services. Do you need mine?" Unfucking believable!

        Volunteering is nice and it keeps one busy but the thing is, you can't pay student loans volunteering. And no, volunteering does not lead to employment; at least these days.

        I don't expect anyone to understand - and no one ever does because they've never have had to live it.

        • I tried getting a roofing job (I grew up in the trades) and they wouldn't even talk to me - even though they have all these Mexicans on their payroll.

          If you start your own roofing company (get a few friends, or whatever), you will have no problem getting jobs (at least around here in CA, and the housing crisis wasn't much worse in other places), if you manage to do good work, be on time, present yourself well, don't rip people off, etc. There are a lot of people in construction who have personal issues that get in the way of their work, it's really depressing. If you don't, you are ahead of a LOT of people.

        • I've been there and I feel for ya, for what that's worth.

          Back in 2006 I got my first job as a full time software developer as an actual hired on employee. This was after about 2 years working as a high level support (working directly with developers watching network traffic and debug code to see if the code they wrote was responding properly, etc) with some simple development. I was at the company for about 6 months and they had a major layoff and being one of the newest and least experienced developers,
        • I understand friend.

          When I tried self employment as a contractor, I got interviews from small time IT shops, that turned out to be attempts to sell me their business as a going concern. One was bold enough to suggest its a great opportunity for those finding it hard to get work.

          The side effect for me after being out of work after a car accident, 3 months recovery, but 2 years out of work, I now see my current job as critical. Over everything. Despite this period being 6 years ago, I am basically shell s
    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      Doesn't your country have a welfare system?
    • by Itninja (937614)
      Homeless? What country do you live in? I pay a significant portion of my earning so as to avoid being homeless upon unemployment. I would probably lose my house and car and have to live in some cheap subsidized housing (or maybe with family), but I would never be a sleeping on a park bench somewhere.
    • Re:Yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:54AM (#32074088)

      I talked with a friend that has been out of work for 1 year now... he talks about how hard it is to make ends meet, yet he still has Cable TV and him and his entire family have iphones. I give him no pity. Drop Cable TV, Drop netflix, Drop everything you can. take the phones away from the kids he is off contract so he can drop them all and go to a simple plane for him and nothing for the kids. etc... They live in a 4500 sq foot mc mansion.... the electric bill is over $300 a month because they wont turn off their junk.

      I dont feel bad for him as he dug the hole he is in. they did not need that house, they wanted to look rich. Nope no safety fund of savings...

    • That's a scary thought, how quickly you could conceivably go from productive member of society to homeless.

      I spent some time 2 years ago in that rut, About August 2008 to January 2009. Being a recent Graduate, I didn't have the experience other laid off people had, so I found it extremely difficult to find a job. Monster.com, Workopolis, newspapers, billboards, anything and everything. I put my heart and soul into finding a job, but everyone wanted 5+ years experience in this or that.

      However, I had a few really good breaks that helped me get through it.
      #1) I got a job at Chapters (Indigo), for 10 bucks an hour r

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      I ran into a similar issue in the days before computers existed. We had an awful local recession with a really absurd lack of available jobs with numerous employers shutting down. Everywhere I applied I got the answer that I would not be hired as I had skills and would quit as soon as jobs opened back up again. Oddly those with zero skills were in better shape as there were jobs designed for them all over the local landscape.
      After I had had enough suffering

  • If you were going to post "Oh my god another review that's a 9/10... why don't they use a scale that doesn't give every single book a 7 or higher" boy have I got good news for you! I am in the process of writing a review of the 2009 Danielle Steele novel "Matters Of The Heart". I don't want to spoil the review (or the book) but I will say that I am prepared to give it a 4/10 for it's lack of detail and an unconvincing plot.

    • I would imagine that the publishers do a pretty good job of keeping books off the shelves that score on the low end of the scale.

      Now if you bought an ebook or something off lulu, then maybe it might have a chance at scoring a 2...but a low score is going to be truly awful to the point where it wouldn't be worth finishing and reviewing let alone publishing

      • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:37AM (#32073874) Homepage Journal

        If every book that gets reviewed receives a 7 through 10, what is the point of having a 1-10 scale since you could just as easily express it via a 1-4 scale, or better yet a 0-3 scale and store it directly in a two bit integer.

        As an engineer (of any sort, even the armchair type) you should feel compelled to seek out the simplest method that gets the job done. While this may be a situation where aesthetics is called for over simplicity, that shouldn't stand in the way of a joke.

        • by mooingyak (720677)

          Think of it as an edge case rather than a non-existent one. Poor reviews are rare, but exist.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          If every book that gets reviewed receives a 7 through 10, what is the point of having a 1-10 scale since you could just as easily express it via a 1-4 scale, or better yet a 0-3 scale and store it directly in a two bit integer.

          Oh, see, and I thought the point of your original post was that the observation that most every book reviewed gets a high score was silly, because generally terrible books aren't reviewed by a lot of people, because few people care or want to hear about those books; e.g. nobody on /.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by jeffmeden (135043)

            Don't suppose you even got to the last sentence of my post... Let me reiterate: "While this may be a situation where aesthetics is called for over simplicity, that shouldn't stand in the way of a joke." You may now begin regretting the 10 minutes you wasted writing that novella.

        • by c++0xFF (1758032)

          Interestingly, this is basically how GPA schemes work. Grades start on a percentage scale from 0% to 100%, but then are reduced to a 0-4 scale*, where everything below 60% is lumped together as a 0.

          Maybe the reason we see books rated 7 or higher is for the same reason you don't see resumes for people with a GPA lower than 2.0: at some point, that's not a career you should be in.

          * Yes, other scales exist, but this is the one I have experience with.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          If every book that gets reviewed receives a 7 through 10, what is the point of having a 1-10 scale since you could just as easily express it via a 1-4 scale, or better yet a 0-3 scale and store it directly in a two bit integer.

          That will just lead to 3's or so.

          The problem is, no one wants to do reviews on crappy books - it's tedious and rather dull work. And you have to justify your reasons for the poor grade, which is still more work. End result is bad books don't normally get reviewed (there are a few, but

      • "I would imagine that the publishers do a pretty good job of keeping books off the shelves that score on the low end of the scale."

        I'm sure they do, but a 1-10 scale for books seems to rate books relative to other books since there is no well defined or accepted rubrik for what defines a good or bad book.

        If all books reviewed are above average, then the review really doesn't say anything because general perception doesn't distinguish a 7 from an 8, or an 8 from a 9 or 10.

        Now, it might be the case that a 7 i
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I recently rated a Dean Koontz book 1 out of 5 stars, and hated it so much I was driven to write my first product review ever on Amazon. People think anyone who gives a super low rating are just bitter people, so I broke it down as to why it sucked so bad.

        It was worth finishing because the suckage came at the end, and it was worth reviewing for the same reason it's worth taking the time to post a "Danger - Quicksand" sign.

    • If you were going to post "Oh my god another review that's a 9/10... why don't they use a scale that doesn't give every single book a 7 or higher" boy have I got good news for you! I am in the process of writing a review of the 2009 Danielle Steele novel "Matters Of The Heart". I don't want to spoil the review (or the book) but I will say that I am prepared to give it a 4/10 for it's lack of detail and an unconvincing plot.

      Would you prefer a scale that goes to 11?

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:16AM (#32073608)
    They were assassins who had to hide their weapons in plain sight, so they used farming implements and straight swords (Ninja-to) that could be hidden easily. They weren't the "Rebel Alliance" rising up against the evil Empire.
    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:27AM (#32073754)
      It said the first ninjas were peasants, not all of them. Do you have an alternative history of their origins you would like to present?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tetsujin (103070)

        It said the first ninjas were peasants, not all of them. Do you have an alternative history of their origins you would like to present?

        Well, the Oedipus arc in the original "The Tick" comic covers it pretty well, I'd say...

        (We are a hedge. Please move along.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285)
      Also, I would hardly compare a laid off worker to an oppressed peasant. The only peasents, at least in the US, are those that choose to think of themselves in that way. If one works day in and day out, and thinks that the job is an entitlement bestowed by a lord, then that is more a problem with the worker, maybe beginning with their education. Too many people ignore the free and cheap education, knowing that they will be given an unskilled job. Even twenty years ago in the large urban district that I wen
    • Originally the people that became "the Ninja" were peasants. Peasants were not allowed to own swords or other weapons. Their weapons were not developed so that they can be in "plain sight", it was because they had no other choice. For example: The rice harvesting tool became nunchucks. The incentive to develop weapons was pretty high as the Samurai were allowed to practice on the peasants by riding horses and loping off the peasant's heads. Since they were small in number, Ninja got pretty good at being
  • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:21AM (#32073676)

    There are lots of "Guerrilla this" or "Ninja that" related to layoffs and job hunting, but I don't think I have come across any other book that addresses the mental aspects of being unemployed.

    My book is going to be "The Zen Ninja Guerrilla's Tao of Job Hunting and Getting Rich Quick in Real Estate."

    Then I realized that it was an overused use of terms. So, I changed the title to "The Ch'an Kung Fu Guerrilla's Tao Guide to Job Hunting and The Way of Getting Rich Quick."

    No hyperbole for me!

  • by whitroth (9367) <whitroth&5-cent,us> on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:27AM (#32073756) Homepage

    "Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person."

    So, the author of the review implies that you should only commit crimes when you're *not* desperate for money? Then only rich people would, oh, right, Goldman Sach, Enron, the S&L debacle (33% of that was white collar crime)... I guess he's right. Get rich, *then* steal.

                        mark

  • Ronin (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034)

    A "laid off ninja" is called a ronin. But using that as a title would have given the wrong impression.

    30 years ago, the chance for an individual Americans of experiencing a 50% reduction in income in any given year was a few percent. Now it's about 20%. The normal case today is that being laid off means a permanent reduction in income.

    The people who post on LinkedIn all seem to be looking for work. Typical job descriptions: "Consultant; Marketing Strategist; Social Media Architect", "Community leade

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A "laid off ninja" is called a ronin. But using that as a title would have given the wrong impression.

      Wrong impression indeed, as ronin were samurai, not ninja.

    • by carleton (97218)

      Pretty sure ronin = laid off samurai, not ninja.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      And lawyers. Lots of lawyers.

      \

      For great justice?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mjwalshe (1680392)
      a Ronin Is a masterless Samurai - in theory they where suposed to kill themselves on losing thier master.
      • Isn't that a bit extreme...

        Shouldn't they at least look under the pillows on the couch first? I tend to find my lost remote there quite often...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Very true, people that are now finding work are taking salaries lower then the salaries of their previous jobs. It is also less likely that they will jump to a higher paying job in the future (for fear that it will not workout). If you get a chance, read my editorial called "The Hole" on The Layoff Support Network.
  • by thewiz (24994) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:29AM (#32073782)

    Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.

    Unfortunately, there are people that do become irrational when they lose their source of income. I have had several ex-coworkers call and ask for monetary assistance. There was one that pulled a knife on me when I told him I couldn't help as my wife had lost her job the previous week.

    It's never easy to be laid off. It took me being laid off of several jobs to realize that the company isn't angry at you, it's just that the PHBs want to save their own asses by cutting staff. However, I've seen many otherwise rational people become irrational when they are told that they're being laid off. I've seen adults beg, cry, plead and throw temper tantrums to keep their jobs. It's at times like these to remind them to act like adults and it's not the end of the world.

    • by NFN_NLN (633283)

      Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.

      Unfortunately, there are people that do become irrational when they lose their source of income. I have had several ex-coworkers call and ask for monetary assistance. There was one that pulled a knife on me when I told him I couldn't help as my wife had lost her job the previous week.

      Seriously, what kind of place do you work at, are you a carny for a traveling circus?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Un pobre guey (593801)
      When it gets bad enough that your family can no longer predict when they will have their next meal, or if eviction is imminent, or if any of a variety of such extreme cases occur, believe me, you will start thinking of criminal activities. At very least you will seriously consider stealing groceries.

      Never say never. Things can always get worse.
  • Committing crimes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:31AM (#32073812)

    Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.

    How about because inciting a person to commit a crime is a criminal offense? And the authors like to stay out of pound-the-arse prisons?

  • by CityZen (464761)

    > But in the next breath, the authors suggest folding away the values-list and taking a job (any job) that will pay the bills.

    You'd think that they'd relate this to the bootstrapping process: A fancy filesystem (desired job) that's well-thought out is nice and good, but when you've got no OS ($) loaded, you need to get that code loaded by any means possible first, such as reading in the first few blocks off the boot drive (taking any job you can get). Once you've got a good base of code loaded, you can

  • by Anonymous Coward
    All of the Job recruiting firms I've worked for (Mww, Yhoo, ETFC) are sales driven, and we were trained to meet numbers or find another job. Every quarter, if your numbers aren't met your gone, no warnings, they tell you up front, if you don't sell enough job ads, or place enough folks your out, minimal severance if any. It's numbers numbers numbers, especially if unemployment is down, the stock is down. I quit working for each after a short while, no one else at these divisions or companies(monster) matter
  • Interviews (Score:2, Insightful)

    by physburn (1095481)
    What about Interviews, being a geek, I give terrible interview. I also seem to sit with bored interviewers, and try and catch there interest something that oft seem impossible.

    ---

    Job Hunting [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

    • Re:Interviews (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:00PM (#32074162) Homepage
      Treat the interview the same way you would treat a technical discussion among coworkers: keep it light and relaxed, but make sure you know what you're talking about. It's often difficult to be relaxed in an interview, especially if you're currently unemployed and it's the first interview you've had in months. However, being a nervous wreck who can't answer any questions without stammering will sink you faster than anything, even if you are technically competent. Try to tell yourself that, although you might want this particular job, not getting it isn't the end of the world. There will always be other opportunities. It may be hard to convince yourself of that, but unless you're actually living in your car and you just sold your left shoe for a loaf of bread, it's probably more true than you realize.

      Interviewers, especially in the technical interview, are looking for people they want to work with. This means they want people who are technically competent, but more importantly people who they can get along with. The better you are at being the kind of person most people (at least most people in your field) can get along with, the better off you'll be.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:51AM (#32074060)

    Frankly, I was a bit surprised to see LON come out and suggest people should not commit crimes when they are desperate for money. I think this would be obvious to any rational person.
    Unless of course, you're laid off form the banking industry, in which case, you can start a hedge fund. After all, if you're going to commit a crime, start with the legal ones.

    There are some tips about maximizing your available financial resources by delaying payment on some utility bills. While legally OK, I question the morality of providing such advice to readers.
    Good lord, aren't we all just a bit past that sort of sanctimonious BS? The banks and credit card companies would dig up sell our dead grandmothers for hamburger seasoning if it helped their quarterly numbers a bit. Do you think we really owe them *any* moral consideration?

    • by ktappe (747125)

      There are some tips about maximizing your available financial resources by delaying payment on some utility bills. While legally OK, I question the morality of providing such advice to readers.
      Good lord, aren't we all just a bit past that sort of sanctimonious BS? The banks and credit card companies would dig up sell our dead grandmothers for hamburger seasoning if it helped their quarterly numbers a bit. Do you think we really owe them *any* moral consideration?

      Perhaps the reviewer meant it is immoral to suggest anyone get themselves in arrears and thus in danger of losing their electricity/water. At least that's how I read it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "The banks and credit card companies would dig up sell our dead grandmothers for hamburger seasoning if it helped their quarterly numbers a bit. Do you think we really owe them *any* moral consideration?"

      Of course not, but you do owe it to yourself.

      There's an old story about a New York Feminist coming to Atlanta for a business meeting in the 80s and getting offended when one of the locals held a door open for her. She snapped at him "You don't have to hold the door for me just because I'm a lady!"

      He looked

    • by tool462 (677306) on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:33PM (#32074538)

      The banks and credit card companies would dig up sell our dead grandmothers for hamburger seasoning

      Oh good lord! So you mean there actually was a Mrs. Dash?

  • recruiters (Score:5, Informative)

    by thoth (7907) on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:10PM (#32074278) Journal

    There is a scathing chapter on recruiters. While certain good qualities of recruiters are mentioned, it seems the authors generally believe that recruiters are uncaring commission-hounds that just want to place a candidate and don't care about individuals. The brutal honesty was refreshing, and I'd be curious whether a majority of Slashdot readers would agree or disagree with the authors.

    I found recruiters to be entirely self-serving. Last year when I was looking for a job, the ones I dealt with seemed to have a strict "two and out" policy: they present you to two companies MAX, and if those interviews don't go well, it'll be months if you ever hear from them again - i.e. you got dropped, they stopped trying to market you. One recruiter totally shoehorned me into an interview for a job I had no background for. Another set an interview up and the phone screen didn't go well. In both cases, I didn't hear from those recruiters again.

    Yet another tried to convince me to move for an opportunity (I balked due to various expenses that weren't covered, plus the loss on selling my home) and the next interview they lined up was a 2 month scripting contract at a game company, and after that... never heard from them again. The way they handled the first job (that required the move) was totally fishy - they wanted me to agree that I'd accept the job and move IF there was a job offer, while I pushed back I can't pre-accept what doesn't exist especially without even meeting or talking to the group first. They wouldn't even set the interview up so I had more info for the decision. I figure there must have been something weird about their finder's fee and what sequence of steps or how far along things were before payments were exchanged or refunds made, etc. I think they were afraid if the company and I contacted each other (i.e. I interviewed) without an agreement in place for the recruiter, the company would somehow be able to duck their fee.

    • by TheLaidoffNinja (1803406) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:33PM (#32076682)
      My name is Craig Brown and I am one of the book's authors. I admit outright that I am biased against recruiters. In my 25+ years of work in high tech, I have never been placed by a recruiter. I have met with hundreds of them and have heard countless stories about questionably ethical behavior by a recruiter. After writing the chapter, I read it over and it was pretty obvious that my experiences had not been positive. So, I turned to Javed (my co-author) to wrote a "counter point" to my "point". He couldn't do it. We have both had similar experiences with recruiters. I attended a job hunting Meetup last week. About half the attendees were recruiters. They all seemed nice and vehemently denied that they would ever do anything like the examples I cite in the book. Recruiters are just like us, they are trying to scratch out a living. The problem I have with recruiters is that we work with them when we are desperate and at our weakest point. We believe the things they say because we WANT to believe them. I don't fault recruiters for aggressively trying to succeed. I fault them for out-right lying. A recruiter told me that he brings people in even if they clearly are not a good match for the position they think they are applying. He said that it works out good for them because if another position comes along, he can suggest them for it. No, Thank You! You are not doing me any favors posing as my salvation and wasting my time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yukk (638002)
        I have also worked with many recruiters. The way I look at it is similar to what you say. They are out for themselves. Fair enough. If I'm talking to them I'm out for myself too. Using recruiters is similar to using Google. Well, maybe Bing. You are looking for something and they are offering. They won't always offer exactly what you want so you will need to screen for yourself and don't be afraid to say "No, that job is a poor fit." You don't always use the first link the search engines give you d
    • The way they handled the first job (that required the move) was totally fishy - they wanted me to agree that I'd accept the job and move IF there was a job offer, while I pushed back I can't pre-accept what doesn't exist especially without even meeting or talking to the group first. They wouldn't even set the interview up so I had more info for the decision. I figure there must have been something weird about their finder's fee and what sequence of steps or how far along things were before payments were exchanged or refunds made, etc. I think they were afraid if the company and I contacted each other (i.e. I interviewed) without an agreement in place for the recruiter, the company would somehow be able to duck their fee.

      It's more likely that they didn't even have a contract with the hiring company and needed a few more candidates before they got everything signed. Having just recently finished a job search, I can attest to this being this being a common occurrence. I had two different recruiters phrase things in a similar manner, just without the relocation. Most reputable recruiters will court the hiring company first, then court candidates. You can easily use that to your advantage.

      Unless a recruiter is contacting

  • The next chapter is "Reconnaissance" and this is where the hacker background of the authors finally shows up. They show, with examples, how to find the name and email address of recruiters and HR people at practically any company. The theory being, if you can directly contact the HR people at a company, your resume will not be lost in the 1000 other resumes that people send in.

    Allow me to present the other side of the coin: I am not HR, never been HR - while I review resumes *after* HR has filtered them (to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      "AND the "client" get blacklisted by our HR department when I forward the message onward."
      you fucking asshole.

      Why would you black list their client? IT's not their fault, there not breaking any rules.
      The assumption is their some magical way for them to KNOW how your company goes through this process.

      It's like you coming to a job interview and me not hiring you because didn't like the way your company behaved.

      What that? you worked for Hershey? well 40 years ago they accidental harmed some people they where a

  • by TheLaidoffNinja (1803406) on Monday May 03, 2010 @03:10PM (#32076396)
    My name is Craig Brown and I am one of the book's authors. First, thank you all for discussing our book! I'd like to address some of the comments that were left about some of the things I have said (both in the book and on The Layoff Support Network". Crime: First, I clearly say don't do it. But don't think I haven't spoken with at least a dozen guys that had considered it. You can argue "right and wrong" all you want, but I would be willing to bet that the discussion would be completely different if you were truly desperate. Your level of desperation would depend on your situation. If you are a young single guy, your situation may only be effecting your own life. But if you have kids, the prospect of having your kids become homeless (or suffering in any way) is unbearable. Believe me, I know what I am talking about (see what I wrote on the site). What about healthcare? If you miss one Cobra payment, you lose it. For me, it was over $1,000 per month. What if you have a sick kid? My point is that if you are a rational person in a bad situation you may consider doing something that you normally would consider irrational. I know that we have helped people by allowing them to run through a scenario and realize it would not be beneficial to anyone in the long run.

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