Three Gotta Read Books for the Serious Job Hunter
For this article, I went through the dozens of books I’ve reviewed in Career Jockey’s Book Review topic and forced myself to pick only three books. I had to make some tough calls, but these are the ones that together contain the meat of what every job seeker needs to know.
Book #1 – What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles
I wrote my What Color Is Your Parachute book review within three weeks of launching CareerJockey.org. I’ve recommended it to almost every Back on Track Network job seeker I’ve met. (Back on Track Network is the nonprofit that lit my passion for helping job seekers.) Every one of my networking articles and presentations references the book’s first chapter to explain why networking through contacts is your best job hunt technique available.
I’ve developed several job hunter and career changer presentations using material from different this book. They are:
- The Five Worse Ways to Job Hunt. The Five Best Ways to Job Hunt
- The Importance of Goal Setting
- Finding Your True Calling
- Career Crossroads? Let Me Show You What One Looks Like
In Finding Your True Calling, I put myself through a Parachute’s career discernment exercise that helped me discover how strong a set of interpersonal skills I really had. It inspired me to consider a career change from software engineering to technical sales and marketing a few years back.
You can find What Color Is Your Parachute 2010 on Amazon.com or at any book store. You can find older copies in just about any used book store. You don’t even need the current year’s version. I still use my 2008 version because I can’t pry myself away from all the book marks, highlights and dog ears that help me get to the sections I need quickly.
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi
A sales lead exchange group buddy of mine recommended this one to me a few years back. “It’s a great networking how-to book,” he told me. As a software engineer turned technology sales rep, I thought this was an area where I needed help so I went out a got me a copy. (This was also first Audible.com book downloadfor listening on my IPOD – great for the car.)
In Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi explains how his networking skills helped propel him from his blue collar upbringing to his Yale, Deloitte and now Ferrazzi Green Light successes. This book is NOT a how-to book on better brown-nosing and kissing up to people in a self-serving way. It is filled with practical advice including how to effectively work a room and how best to follow up and stay in connected with people.
More importantly, Never Eat Alone shows why it’s important to understand people’s needs and take an interest in sincerely helping them. He stresses how people can see through hypocrisy so your work must be driven by a desire to serve others. That’s the quality that leads to networking success.
In my Never Eat Alone book review I explain how I have used what I learned in my personal and professional dealings and how it can fuel a job hunt.
(I’ve also reviewed Ferrazzi’s Who’s Got Your Back and met him in July during his book tour. Follow these links and you can see Keith’s Good Morning, America appearance and his Larry King’s Ferrazzi interview.)
Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life by Dr. Phil McGraw
Losing a job can be one of life’s most punishing blows. It strikes at the core of how many of us define ourselves. It forces us to grieve, face our anger, consider our inadequacies and outright messes with us close to home. A former work associate of mine took his own life and his unemployment played a part in that.
Please don’t discount this book because of its author. Dr. Phil’s done a good job here. It made my list.
I read and reviewed Dr. Phil’s book this past Spring (2009) and really like how to laid out the grieving process that goes on when one suffers a loss. Four out of the book’s seven most difficult days address issues most or all job seekers experience and especially those like me that have dealt with more traumatic firings involving personal friends. (We can sit down when you have some time and I’ll share my story with you.)
Together this collection of books covers three areas job seekers need to master in order to get through it all successfully.
Hope this helps.