Nearly a decade has passed since the Great Recession required many Northeast Ohio residents to reinvent themselves within the workplace. At that time, CoolCleveland decided to provide guidance to those in the job market with its award-winning Career ToolBox column, authored by Alex Sukhoy.
Now the former Lakewood resident decided to combine those columns with added material for the recently released 204-page book Date Your Career: The Longest Relationship of Your Life. In terms of credentials, Sukhoy, who now calls Chicago home, is a highly-successful career coach and owner of Creative Cadence.
As an author, Sukhoy wrote a handful of relationship books, including her most recent, Diary of the Dumped: 30 Days from Break Up to Breakthrough, which garnered national attention.
CoolCleveland proudly talked to one of its own about her new book, which not only features a foreword by CoolCleveland owner Thomas Mulready but also contributing essays/final words from four of her former MBA students: Christopher Connelly, Paul Ibrahim, Eric Dunn and Rachel Pankiw.
First of all, how does the award-winning CoolCleveland Career ToolBox column end up being Date Your Career: The Longest Relationship of Your Life?
The book began with my very first article for CoolCleveland, which was December of 2009. Thomas Mulready invited me to write for the publication It was during the height of the recession, and I said let’s start a column so we can help people get re-acclimated during difficult times.
Why did you feel like you had insight into what it takes for a person to reinvent their career?
My background was 20 years of corporate America. Also, while I was getting my MBA, years before the Great Recession and before the column, I was already working with students helping them position themselves and write resumes. During those years in between, people would just come to me for advice.
So what role does CoolCleveland play in Date Your Career?
Most of the writing originated with CoolCleveland. Some of the other pieces were posted on my own website, CreativeCadence.com, or they were published through LinkedIn. Some were picked up by the Huffington Post. Thomas was the one who supported the project and this past January I gave him the draft. He put on his editor role. He really pushed me hard specifically with feedback, and I incorporated a lot of it.
Looking back, how did Diary of the Dumped shape you as an author?
That book got a lot of momentum. I was doing my sabbatical and literally traveling all over the world when I got a call from the Lakewood Library about doing a reading. It was really exciting. I came back to Cleveland and suddenly boom, it was covered by CoolCleveland, I had library readings across the whole city and radio interviews. That book really propelled me into the next stage of authorship and gave me the confidence to say, “Ah, there’s legitimacy for the words I write.”
Even though you’ve authored many books about relationships and the human condition, did you ever think you had a career-advice book in you?
That’s a great question. I’ve been writing books for the last 10 years, but the other books are all very relationship-focused. This was my very, very first business, career book. So this is a completely different playground than anything I have written before.
When did you decide to move forward with Date Your Career?
I was teaching through Cleveland State University. They would often send me to teach doctors and healthcare professionals at the Cleveland Clinic. One of my students, a doctor, said to me, “Don’t you have any business books?” Honestly, it kind of hit me. I was like, “Why don’t I have a business book?” That’s when the momentum really kicked in.
So, let’s talk about Date Your Career. The press materials say the book caters to everyone from a recent grad to a mom thinking of heading back into the workforce or a mid-level manager looking to make a change. What’s the common denominator among those disparate people?
It’s transition. Transitions are hard, and transitions are really, really scary for people. It’s amazing how scary they are. It doesn’t matter if somebody is so freshly minted and new or if somebody is about to make a big decision. These things are scary. I know they’re scary because I’ve gone through a million transitions in my life. Right now, I’m a single mom of a toddler, I’m running a business, I’m teaching and I’m writing.
Finally, how does one overcome that fear?
All of it is just very scary, and what I decided to do was say it’s not that scary. Here are the tools. Here’s the support system. It’s not going to be perfect and easy, but here’s what you can anticipate.