Book review - Mind Flip: Change the Way You Think About Yourself and Reinvent Your Future by Zena Everett

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Title: Mind Flip: Change the Way You Think About Yourself and Reinvent Your Future

Author: Zena Everett

ISBN: 9781911425700

Reviewer: Charles Goff-Deakins

Reviewer’s Rating: 4.5/5

Mind Flip book cover

‘Mind Flip’ is a book that aims to talk you through the stages of assessing your own skills, expertise and goals in order to sell your professional self.

Through her no-nonsense approach, the author pulls no punches in delivering messages you really ought to hear in order to get yourself in check before looking for a new job, promotion, or taking the next step in your career.

As a former recruiter, Everett gives you an insider’s view to how recruiters find talent for companies. What took me by surprise is how effectively she points out the flaws we’re all prone to, unbeknownst to us, and shows you what the recruiters think.

The book relies on the old faithful ‘what can you talk about a lot?’ and ‘what can you do better than everyone else?’ in an attempt to discover what you should specialise in.

She states that no recruiter is ever on the hunt for someone who can ‘work alone, as well as part of a team, and is always ready to help’ (a typical standby phrase used by candidates). Instead, they are after specific solutions to organisations’ problems, and this book helps you identify what you can offer and how best to articulate this.

The book is also punctuated with case studies, some of which are hypothetical, and some come directly from her clients, each perfectly illustrating the key points in an impactful way.

Heavy on the clichés

Unfortunately, there are areas where the fresh new energy of this book is quickly quashed by leaning on outdated advice, which was sometimes disappointing.

Demonstrating what problems you can fix for your ideal company, and being ‘marmite, not vanilla’ (i.e. someone with a specific set of skills rather than an all-rounder), you begin to adjust your way of thinking in order to really shine

In parts, I found myself get excited with the book until it then hit a wall of clichés – for example, providing the advice of ‘fake it until you make it’ for returning mothers. Personally, I don’t find this sort of advice empowering.

The book relies on the old faithful ‘what can you talk about a lot?’ and ‘what can you do better than everyone else?’ in an attempt to discover what you should specialise in.

These sorts of questions don’t cut it when a reader is frustrated having heard this time and time again elsewhere. These took the innovative edge in a few parts of the book.

Revamping your CV

In addition to really incredibly helpful tips on how recruiters work, personally, I think the book really shines when it comes to putting together a CV. This isn’t just formatting (which the book does cover); it also talks you through the process of defining your skills through a skill audit, identifying your transferable skills, and how you should sell yourself in very specific ways.

There are regular touch points to how recruiters work and putting together a CV is no exception. Having read this book, I decided to update my CV as a test drive, and I am blown away by the results.

Demonstrating what problems you can fix for your ideal company, and being ‘marmite, not vanilla’ (i.e. someone with a specific set of skills rather than an all-rounder), you begin to adjust your way of thinking in order to really shine – your mind begins to flip the situation around.

A great pep talk for job hunters

It’s great to see the book end on a high in the final section, ‘Fulfil it’. It provides a solid grounding to your thinking after the strenuous but powerful thought processes you go through throughout the book. It’s almost as if it’s a last minute pep talk before taking on the world and your career with both hands.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about job hunting and developing their professional identity.

If you have a good idea of what you want out of your career or next job, this book will help you through the thought processes to articulate your goals, while helping you ‘play the system’ to get the best results.

About Charles Goff-Deakins Assoc CIPD

Charles Goff-Deakins portrait

Charles Goff-Deakins is an associate member of CIPD and works as a senior HR officer, having a particular interest in HR policy, learning and development, and employee engagement. As well as writing for HR Zone, Charles also writes about career management and professional development on his blog The Avid Doer

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