Dig This Gig: A New Kind of Job Advice

20-something author Laura Dodd discusses her new book, "Dig This Gig," -- job advice for other 20-somethings.

NBCPhiladelphia: Tell me about your book, Dig This Gig.
Laura Dodd: “It’s a collection of profiles of 20-somethings working in various jobs all over the country. It’s organized by industry, so there’s an Entertainment section, Government gigs, Health care professionals and many more. There are eight chapters in eight different industries. There are four profiles of 20-somethings and then there is also a mentor component at the end of each chapter with a leader figure from that industry. So for example, at the end of the Entertainment industry chapter, there is an interview with the CEO of OWN Oprah Winfrey Network, Christina Norman. It’s just a really is a powerhouse lineup.”

NBCPhiladelphia: Why did you want to write a book like this?
LD:  “Well, it was a book I wish I had out of college. I graduated in 2003, and while it was an exciting period for everyone, we were all paralyzed by all the job options out there and didn’t truly know what each one meant. Basically the book is just a compilation of conversations with professionals in a very casual environment, there’s no agenda, no pressure, it’s not an interview, just a conversation about career choices."

NBCPhiladelphia: How long did it take to write?
LD: "It was two years in the making."

NBCPhiladelphia: What makes your advice different from all the other “find a job” books?
LD: “To start, it’s not your typical 'What to Wear to an Interview' book. I mean, there are so many books like that out there. This is just stories of how your peers have done it and what they might change if anything.”

NBCPhiladelphia: Tell me about your site digthisgig.com. It says it’s a new kind of career site. How so?
LD: “This site is definitely tapping into a new way to find jobs. Right now it's just excerpts from my books. But, you know, one day, I hope my site to be something like Wikipedia-meets-Monster.com-meets-Facebook -- a site where people can look into a day in the life of hundreds of different jobs."

NBCPhiladelphia: It sounds a lot like a bunch of informational interviews?
LD: "Yes, absolutely except it is informational interview over a beer, or over a coffee, and it is very candid, very very candid."

NBCPhiladelphia: I saw on your website that you want your book to “demystify job titles so folks can make informed career decisions.” Can you just dive deeper into that?
LD: "Yes, people should know what they’re getting into before you can make a huge decision.  I know a lot of people who went to law school right out of their undergraduate for example and maybe they didn’t really see the other side of things, and it took years to find out what they want to do. I want to try to show people the other side and help to not waste the time, money and energy doing things that aren’t necessarily right for them.”

NBCPhiladelphia: Would you say this book is aimed toward people right out of school or those who have held a few jobs and are now maybe looking for a career change or is it really for anybody?
LD: “Well, at first I really was aiming to reach the 20-somethings age group, but you know I just received so much feedback and now adults say to me all the time, 'I need this book!'  It’s just ageless; it really is a resource for anyone. And it’s funny because I learned that I have really tapped this chord in which everyone is searching for their passion and what they really want to do." 

Dig This Gig is available in stores on March 29th. There is also a discounted pre-purchase available now on Amazon.

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