Archive | April, 2012


11 Apr

Type the word Careers into the Books section of Amazon and you will be presented with a startling 102,866 results. Which are the best ones to read?

Sometimes I meet people from different occupations and at varying stages in life, who are considering a career change or an entirely new vocational direction, or simply want to reflect on their choice of career so far. Is this career still right for me? If circumstances dictate that I must stay in this job for the time being, what can I do to make it a more rewarding experience for everyone? I need to build a new career. What can I do? I hate my job but I need the income! How can I reconcile the two?

There are plenty of excellent blogs and websites, and good careers advisors and coaches about. But if you are finding it difficult to make time to meet with a careers advisor, books remain excellent value in terms of quality careers advice and exploration and can give valuable insight into what makes you tick in terms of career and job satisfaction.

So if you don’t have time to browse through the 102866 publications on Amazon or elsewhere, here are some well regarded books currently available and worth seeking out:

1    What Color is My Parachute? 2012 by Richard N Bolles

Now in its 40th year and as the title indicates, updated annually, Parachute is an international best-seller published in over twenty different languages. This practical manual tackles everything from cv’s, to networking, to starting your own business. It helps you to identify your skills and find your mission in life. There is even a very helpful guide on finding and chosing a good career advisor. Tailored versions of the book for teenagers and those approaching retirement are also available.

2    The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success: Nick Lore

‘Go for Vitality – not Comfort,‘ is the advice of this long-time career coach, who is highly regarded by everyone from senior executives, at the very pinnacle of success to midlife career changers, to students preparing to embark on their first career journey.

3    One Person / Multiple Careers: The Original Guide to The Slash Career: by Marci Alboher

It’s becoming more and more common for people to build a livelihood from an array of occupations, allowing them to tap into a range of skills, competencies and genuine passions. Sticking a single career label on any one individual is never advisable and Alboher’s book and blog is full of insight and advice for what she terms slash careers – those with slashes in their job descriptions – doctor / musician / lecturer – TV producer / farmer / columnist. One Person/Multiple Careers is a good read if you are a career slasher or think you may become one by choice or necessity.

4    Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type: Paul D Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger

Also aimed at the midlife job seeker and built around the Myers-Briggs personality Indicator (MBTI). Full of tips on identifying what type of person you are, how you make decisions and interact with the world. There are guidelines on how to play to your strengths and how to manage your weaknesses in the job application process.

5    Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success: Penelope Trunk

Penelope Trunk is a breath of fresh air in the Careers world. Her blog is full of thought-provoking and surprising advice such as: Don’t go to Grad School &Don’t do what you Love. Not everyone agrees with Penelope – but she’s worth reading. Her advice is often sound and will definitely make you think.

6    The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Mid-Life: Marc Freedman

If you have reached middle age and maybe even passed it but you are not yet old or ready to take up permanent residence in the armchair, Freedman’s book with inspire and re-energise you. He identifies this stage of life as a potential ‘sweet spot,’ where wisdom, ability and impetus combine to make the beyond mid-life stage potentially one of the great opportunity moments in our lifespans.

7    Flourishing: Maureen Gaffney

Not specifically for Career Changers but a useful book for those facing adversity in their careers and working lives or elsewhere. Gaffney, a clinical psychologist, gives the psychologist’s perspective on why it is important to do what really makes you happy, to take on what she calls life projects. She writes well on the joy of losing your self in doing the things you enjoy, activities that offer some challenge and that require skill. Whether you are seeking to build a career, to change career or to manage a life change, Gaffney’s book is full of wisdom and useful reflection.

8   Me 2.0 Revised and Updated: 4 Steps to Building Your Future: Dan Schawbel

Schawbel is a renowned expert on Personal Branding through the internet and Social Media. He gives excellent tips on how to build your career by discovering, creating, communicating and maintaining your own brand. The book also contains good practical advice for job seekers and potential entrepreneurs.

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time: Keith Ferrazzi & Tahi Raz

Takes the slimy connotations out of Networking and shows how good Networking is about real connecting, being generous, respectful and genuine, about helping other people and not keeping tabs on the score. As the title suggests – eating alone is a waste of a networking opportunity – unless you’re a writer or an artist – or a lighthouse keeper – in which case it’s often a necessity.