With so many career advice and career help books out there, it’s hard to know which ones offer valuable advice and which ones only state the obvious. With that in mind, here are few suggestions for career help books that come highly recommended by their readers. These four books are listed in no particular order.
“The Amazing Adventures of a Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use” by Karen Burns
Not many people can boast of a resume like that of author Karen Burns. Over the course of 40 years, Ms. Burns held 59 different jobs in 22 different cities in four different countries. Now that’s a woman who has gotten around in the professional world – and career help ideas are not in short order. What Ms. Burns learned through those four decades of work is revealed through her fictional “Working Girl” character in pithy chapters that are only two to five pages each. Ms. Burns addresses issues ranging from how to get a job to how to walk away from sexual harassment. If readers gain nothing else from this amusing book, they’ll realize that it’s not necessary to have to have a set career path that moves from point A to point B in a straight line with no deviations over the course of one’s working life. With Ms. Burns’ real-life examples, all readers, whether they are “working girls” or not, will realize that pursuing your passion is easier and less complicated than many people make it out to be.
“The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People” by Carol Eikleberry
Some people are content with a simple, 9 to 5 job that doesn’t require much creativity from day to day – career help is not a consideration. They clock in, they clock out; they pick up a paycheck every other Friday. However, some people can’t stand this notion of a career. Sitting in an office chair under buzzing fluorescent lights for the next thirty years may as well be a death sentence. For those who thrive best when they are creative, and for those who don’t swim so well inside the mainstream, Carol Eikleberry’s guide for the creative and the unconventional is perfect.
This book is not written for people who are interested in climbing the corporate ladder. It is not written for those who want to make a million dollars before they turn 30. This book is written for music majors, English majors, visual arts majors and the like who covet one of those hard-to-find careers in a highly creative field. For those who are or who would be artists, Ms. Eikleberry’s guide offers excellent insight and career advice.
“The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Any Top Tech Company” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell
If the last book mentioned was designed specifically with artists in mind, this book has been designed with a different type of artist in mind: the software artist. Software programmers, computer engineers, IT professionals and others who desire a career at a top-tier tech company should definitely consider reading Ms. McDowell’s book.
Why listen to this writer? When she was an engineer for Google, Ms. McDowell took part in over 120 candidate interviews. Furthermore, she served as an intern at both Microsoft and Apple. As such, she has first-hand experience about what it takes to get a job at one of these high tech companies. Readers will walk away from this book capable of formulating a specific game plan for how they can get themselves a job at one of the companies mentioned above.
“The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice” by Brendon Burchard
Mr. Burchard had a near-fatal car accident when he was just 19 that made him reevaluate the direction his life was taking. While lying in his hospital bed, he asked himself if he had really been living his life to the fullest and taking advantage of all that was available to him. Since surviving that accident, Mr. Burchard was determined to make the most of his life; by most measures, he has. He has amassed millions as an author, speaker and life coach. In his book The Millionaire Messenger, a New York Times bestseller, Mr. Burchard describes how everyone has the potential to both help others while simultaneously making a living as a coach, mentor or speaker.
Readers should know, however, that this book is not truly a “how-to” book. You will not read this book and immediately know how to monetize your own life story or expertise. Instead, Burchard uses this book mostly to reveal that such a thing is a possibility; he wants to inspire you to think about what you have to offer to others and encourage you to take the next step.
Conclusion: Pick a Career Help Book and Start Reading
Somewhere in this list, there is a book for you. If you’ve already had a long and successful career and are wondering what to do with all the expertise you’ve amassed, consider becoming a coach or consultant using the advice in The Millionaire Messenger. If you haven’t yet begun your career but you’re majoring in a high-tech field, pick up The Google Resume. If you’re feeling lost because you want to follow your artistic leanings rather than the “safe” route recommended to you by your parents and your peers, dive into The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People. If none of those books apply to your own situation, you’ll still be able to get something out of the first book in this list, The Amazing Adventures of a Working Girl. Happy reading!