Swinnerton: For starters Kevin, where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Grossman: I’m from Visalia, CA, in the Central Valley of California. I grew up there until I left for college.
Swinnerton: Where did you go to school?
Grossman: I went to San Jose State University where I majored in Psychology and minored in Anthropology. I also started, but didn’t finish, a master’s degree in English literature with an emphasis on creative writing.
Swinnerton: What was your first job?
Grossman: A newspaper route where every Saturday was way too early, although the payoff was warm blueberry donuts.
Swinnerton: Can you tell us your career path from that job to what you do now?
Grossman: I was very shy as a child, but the newspaper route when I was 12 gave me the customer service confidence that I just kept building on throughout my teenage years, college, early adulthood and then to my marketing, business development, human resource, recruiting and career management roles I play now.
Swinnerton: Can you tell us about your new book?
Grossman: Tech Job Hunt Handbook: Career Management for Technical Professionals gives practical guidance and recommendations on how to get and keep great tech jobs and other professions throughout your career. It’s a career management book that reflects today’s neweconomic realities. The world of work is constantly changing, and staying professionally relevant while competing for more specialized tech jobs in areas like cloud computing, mobile and social applications, and big data in a highly competitive global economy is critical. The world is churning out hungry programmers and developers in record numbers, making the global labor market highly competitive. It is now essential to plan a campaign to get a better job as well as your overall career. Retooling your skills and re-branding yourself is mandatory whether you’re seeking a new job or intent on retaining current employment. Readers of the Tech Job Hunt Handbook will find tools, practical guidance, and recommendations on how to find the best new tech jobs and other professions, how to get noticed, how to ace interviews and get hired, and how to keep those new jobs—until it’s time for a better one. As you will learn, learning how to assess and then invest in career management skills leads to long-term competitive advantage and a happier working life. It’s for recent graduates, risk-taking innovators, and tech veterans alike—shows how to build a comprehensive online professional profile, identify the companies you’re interested in and who you know at those companies, approach interviews with confidence, uncover opportunities in your current company, and understand the new emerging technology markets that could lead to a career rebirth.
Swinnerton: Why did you want to write this book?
Grossman: I’ve been in the HR and recruiting technology space for over 13 years now and I’ve seen the hiring process from the employer side over and over again. Conversely, as a working professional myself, I’ve seen the world of work from a career management perspective as well — and during this latest economic apocalypse, it’s been challenging to say the least. IT pros and most folks in any profession today have to constantly keep themselves developed, relevant and marketable, even if we’re gainfully employed. I wanted to write a book that gave “reality advice” to professionals, but that gives it to them as if a friend was sitting across the table from them over coffee, a meal or a drink. I’ve been there, done that, and am still doing that.
Swinnerton: Can you tell us about your process for writing – Tech Job Hunt Handbook?
Grossman: I wrote the book over a span of six months, much of which was written in the early mornings, at night and on the weekends. You know the joke — can’t quit my day job. I drew from my own experience, previous industry writings and research.
Swinnerton: How did you balance your time writing this book, your normal day job, and a family life?
Grossman: That was tough to do, as I’m a proud father of two little girls. Also, both my parents passed away in 2012, only four months apart in August and December (when the book was published). It was more difficult that I even acknowledged then. But I finished it and dedicated it to my family.
Swinnerton: What kinds of things do you like to do outside of work?
Grossman: Reading and writing of course. And I love drumming, which I’ve been teaching myself for a few years. I also like to be active and run three times per week and cross-train regularly. I have to stay in shape with two little girls running around! I’m also a domestic violence advocate and have volunteered and written on the subject.
Swinnerton: What are your plans for 2013?
Grossman: More writing, please!
The book launch info is here: http://reach-west.com/2013/01/youre-all-invited-to-my-tech-job-hunt-handbook-launch-party/