Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 Books to Read For Career Success

If you're anything like me, after four years of intense reading and writing, the last thing you want to do is pick up a book. In fact, many of us never pick up a book again, which can be pretty detrimental to our post-grad career. 

I'm not suggesting you read the type of book about cosmopolitanism you were dreadfully assigned in Composition II, half read but still managed to write a killer report on. Nor am I suggesting you pick up a history book. Instead, there are plenty of books written about career advancement and how to survive after college, many of which offer advice and inspiration to us college graduates trying to find their way in the real world.

 Here are 5 books new grads should read for career success. ( Okay, okay, I admit I did not read them all, but a few of them I did, and the ones I didn't were recommended to me by close friends and they are just as great.)

1. What Color is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles

It’s not a book about jumping out of an airplane (the appropriate title for that would be God, I Hope I Have My Parachute), but instead it’s about developing goals and learning about what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s almost like a career journal. The best part is that it’s time-tested: It’s been helping college graduates for more than 40 years, coming out with new editions annually.

I was actually assigned this book in a class I took titled "Leadership Concepts and Cases". The book boosted my confidence significantly as it relates to starting a career path. I highly recommend it.

2. What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson

Whoa. Kind of a heavy question for a book title. But the cool thing about this book is that, through individual stories, it helps readers understand that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do fresh out of college or high school. Sometimes, it’s just life experience that shapes people and how they get to where they are.

3. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

One thing your college or university might not teach you is how to network. They educate you in the ways of book-smarts and facts, but when it comes to having relationships with people, that’s not always on the agenda. This book is out to supplement that education. I spoke about this book a bit in a previous post.

4. Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger

If you like taking personality tests and quizzes, then this is the book for you. Do What You Are’s aim is to help people identify their personality types and from there discover what jobs for which they may be suited.

I just recently finished this book. A mentor of mine sent this with a card on behalf of my graduation. (I wish it was a check... but hey, you can't win em' all) I already had in my mind what jobs I'm suited for but the book helped me reflect on myself and my personality as it relates to my strengths and weaknesses.

5. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Sure, it’s a children’s book, but it offers a lot of amazing adult advice (plus, it’s short!). What’s written can be applied to most any career situation, and it also helps post-grads get out of the “college bubble” their university often unintentionally puts them in.

Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

Me and a BUNCH of my other friends got this book as Grad-gifts. ( I guess its a go-to?) My aunt almost had me fooled in believing it was a one of a kind gift.

It’s good to humble yourself and remember that when you graduate, there are thousands of college graduates in the same boat out there, vying for the same entry-level positions as you. 

Not all of a college graduate’s career questions will be answered in a book, but continuing to read and educate yourself after graduation helps propel you in the right direction toward self-discovery. 

Remember, that after college, the educational journey isn’t over. You are forever learning!

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