Summer Reading? Try Career Advice
Summer is often the time when we look to finally settle down with a few of the latest novels, detective stories and thrillers — to relax and move away from the daily grind. But summer vacation can also be a great time to think about our lives and careers in a relaxed way, viewing our roles from a bit of a distance and thinking about what adjustments might need to be made.
There are many career-related books on the market, both old and new, and one or two of them might be worth adding to your summer reading list. For those seeking a better understanding of how to identify and develop your talents and improve upon your career direction there are books like What You’re Really Meant to Do: A Roadmap for Reaching Your Unique Potential, by Harvard Business School’s leadership expert, Robert Kaplan; Po Bronson’s What Should I Do with My Life? The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question, a New York Times bestseller when it came out in 2002; and for those boomers still seeking meaning for your careers (as many are!), there is Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose and Passion After 50, by David Corbett.
We all need some guidance when actually conducting the job search; as I tell my clients, “Conducting a job search is not a natural skill.” And although an abundance of online resources is available, there are also some excellent books that provide guidance in the specific steps to take to reach your goal. Some of the best recent books written are: The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search by Orville Pierson; Get the Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring by Ford Myers; and Strategies for a Successful Career Change by Martha Mangelsdorf, a journalist who wrote a monthly column about successful career changers.
A great book about networking and personal branding (crucial skills in a successful job search) is Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door by Harvey Mackay, popular author of Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. And last (and you may want to make a book cover for this one if you take it to the beach or pool), there is Fired, Laid Off or Forced Out by Richard Busse.
Finally, for those not seeking a job change but who would like to find renewed passion and purpose, there are a few books worth reading: Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith, and Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths by Timothy Butler. So perhaps it is time to get to the library or fire up those tablets and take a chance on improving your career this summer!