A Conversation with William Higgins, author of ‘Your Road to Damascus’

 

Bill_About_230px-118x150ABOUT WILLIAM Y. HIGGINS

The seed for this book was planted many years ago. Bill’s journey down his road to Damascus began as a senior in high school when he had his personal encounter with the risen Lord. Immediately upon graduation from high school he faced his first crossroad when contemplating what to do vocationally. He joined the U.S. Air Force because he really wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. It was while in the service that he began to see how his own internal GPS (God’s Positioning System) was calibrated.

As he began to follow the direction of his internal GPS, other crossroads led him to Biola University and Talbot Seminary where he earned a B.S. and M.A. respectively in Christian Education. Upon graduation, the next three destinations on his journey led to local churches in the U.S. and Canada where he served as a Minister of Christian Education for almost 10 years. These were opportunities to use his organizational, curriculum development, instructional design and classroom facilitation skills. These were delightful years.

Bill faced another crossroad at the last church he served when he resigned and then found himself in his prison years. For four years he traveled a dusty, pothole filled road as he consulted his roadmap. During this time he viewed the world from the prison cell of under-employment. His perspective through the cell bars was as an owner/operator of a commercial janitorial business. These were four tortuous years as he saw one opportunity after another disintegrate. These years gave him the ability to relate to others experiencing the same employment imprisonment.

At the conclusion of these four years, Bill faced another crossroad and selected a new direction in his vocational travels; looking to apply his skills and experience in the business community. He made stops along the way as he worked for about six years in three industry leading organizations as a Director of Training & Development, attaining the position of Vice-President of Corporate Training at one stop.

It was also during this time that he took a parallel road into the field of Career Coaching. He has spent over 20 years working with individuals and small groups as they struggle down their own roads to Damascus and conduct their own job searches.

While continuing as a career coach, where he has worked with over 5,000 clients, Bill also embarked down another path by starting his own consulting business, MindWare Incorporated (www.mindwareincorporated.com). MindWare pulled together the specialties of career coaching, instructional design, and technical writing. IN this capacity, Bill has worked with many Fortune 500 companies as well as numerous smaller organizations of a for-profit and non-profit status.

Bill’s writing experience has been primarily in the area of technical and curriculum writing of a proprietary nature. He has written literally hundreds of technical documents and curriculum courseware. This stop, writing Your Road to Damascus, is his first venture into writing for public consumption.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Bill. Can you tell us what your latest book, Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search, is all about?

A:  Your Road to Damascus is a book written to fill a void in the market place for people of faith. It answers the question of what the Bible has to say about a job search; and as it turns out it has a lot to say.

Your Road to Damascus is a book about hope, encouragement, renewal, and revival in the midst of the crisis of losing a job. It integrates biblical principles and strategies with cutting-edge techniques to give the reader a spiritual advantage.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A:  The idea for the book came about while I was working with a client about two years ago. This man was a pastor, and his faith was important to him in his daily life as it is to most Christians, and toward the end of his program it dawned on me that there was nothing in our program for people of faith.

To see what else was available that I might draw on I searched Google and Amazon and could not find a single book that presented what the Bible had to say to people about losing their job or conducting a job search. It was about then I felt the nudge from God to consider writing such a book myself.

YRTD_Cover_Damascus3DQ: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A:  Since the biblical side of a job search was a new subject and there were no other resources to draw on, I had to do primarily biblical research to find examples, principles, and strategies to draw from.

As it turns out, most if not all of the biblical characters in both the Old and New Testaments went through a job and often career change. I focus on Joseph, of coat-of-many-colors fame, and Saul of Tarsus, who later became the apostle Paul. Readers follow them through their lives and how God used various encounters to move them from one job to another.

In addition, there are numerous biblical principles that we weave into the job search context. Such things as being a good listener, being willing to talk about weaknesses, and calling on others for help are all in the text.

Since I have been doing career coaching for more than 20 years and have worked with over 5,000 clients, the technical side of a job search was not new. I drew on my years of experience, and the material we had already been using for that purpose.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  That God is active in their search. He is working and isn’t finished yet, and He wants to have a new encounter with the reader through their experience of their loss of a job.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A:  From Secret 1: God’s Vocational GPS Provides Direction;

How God uses assessments.

Planning for any journey is critical to reaching your destination successfully. You may pull out the road atlas, or go to an online map site, and study the route. You look at the best roads to get to your destination, how many miles you can go in a day, and estimate your expenses. Your job search journey takes just such planning also. But instead of a road atlas, you must consult your internal GPS.

Knowing yourself, your skills and abilities, your goals and aspirations, your strengths and weaknesses is as important in a job search as knowing what jobs to apply for. That’s what God’s vocational GPS is all about. It’s God’s Positioning System (GPS) for your life and career.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A:  When you ask that question, it depends on the approach you are taking to getting published.

Anyone trying to get published following the traditional hire an agent, get a publisher approach is going to have a difficult time. With the challenges publishers are facing today from e-books and self-publishers they are not taking on many new clients. They are sticking with their tried and true.

If you want to publish using various ‘self-publishing’ approaches, the opportunities are unlimited. There are numerous companies that will assist an author willing to go this route. These companies range from the print only publisher, where the author simply submits their work for printing-on-demand, to the vanity publisher, where the publisher will design the cover, do the interior layout, and all the rest for a price.

I am going the print-on-demand route and from everything I have done so far it is going great. Of course, that means I am responsible for working with cover designers, collateral (posters, bookmarks, business cards, postcards, et al) designers, interior layout designers and all the rest to bring the book to print. But it has been great. The team of people I have worked with has produced an excellent result and I am proud to work with them.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A:  since writing is currently my moonlighting job, I do consulting during the day working with clients, and then in the evenings and weekends do writing, design, marketing, and all the rest for my book.

Right now it is Saturday afternoon as I complete this interview, and I have been working on marketing collateral each evening this past week.

Q: What’s next for you?

A:  My dream is to focus on my writing. Within a year I am hoping to be able to work full time as an author. I have over 20 other titles that I would like to write, but that will never happen part time.

The current book will be revised as an e-book, and then repurposed as separate e-books for each chapter. In addition, there will be several others in the series. There are plans for a Your Road to Damascus for college students, for legal offenders, for military personnel and for entrepreneurs. I am doing this because each of these audiences has unique challenges and question they need to consider above and beyond the typical job seeker.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Bill.  We wish you much success!

A:  I want to thank you also for the opportunity to share a little of my story, and to talk about Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search. If readers are interested in learning more about the book they can go to http://www.MindWarePublishing.com.

 

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