November 26, 2008

Top 5 Books to Help You Plan Your Career

In my post last week about Transferable Skills, I briefly mentioned my favorite career planning book of all time, “What Color Is Your Parachute.” 


This perennial best-seller has been around for decades and it’s updated yearly, making it both a classic and a timeless work of genius!  The nod to “What Color Is Your Parachute” got me thinking: There are tons of books out there that can be helpful in your job search, but with so many to choose from, where do you start? Voila!  Here is a list of the Top 5 Most Helpful Books for people looking to launch their careers.

All of these books can be found at your local library (or through inter-library loan) and many of them can be purchased directly through the JobMonkey site.  While, of course, I think it’s great if you buy your books through us, I personally recommend checking them out for free.  I usually find that out of every 5-10 books I read free from the library, there are 1 or 2 that I chose to buy for my personal collection. But hey, far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money.  Especially around the holiday season and all 😉

Without further adieu…

1.    What Color is Your Parachute 2009
Yes, I really do think this is the #1 book.  The rest of the books on my list, truth be told, are in no particular order, but this book really earns its top spot on this list. In fact, dare I say, you can probably just go ahead and buy it, skipping the whole check-it-out-first-from-the-library stage.

The best selling book of all time in the job-hunting world, What Color Is Your Parachute is a complete guide for job-seekers at any stage in the process. It has spent more than six years on the New York Times best-seller list and has been translated into 20 languages.  The 2009 edition gives you a detailed plan for changing your life.

2.    Work Your Way Around the World

This book is perfect for all you adventure-seekers out there.  If you want to travel but cannot afford the trip, Work Your Way Around the World will help you overcome this problem with tips for earning a living anywhere on the globe. Find out how to deal with red tape and how to get a job before you leave home.

3.    Resumes for Dummies

I love the Dummies books.  This one is a great guide for all you struggling resume-writers out there.


Whether you are entering the job market for the first time or changing career mid-stream, Resumes for Dummies will show you how to negotiate this new era in job finding. Tips include how to customize your resume for each job opening, how to use meta-search engines to your advantage, and what to do after you send off your resume. The book also has loads of sample resumes, divided by industry and experience level.

4.    201 Best Questions to Ask On Your Interview

We have talked before about how to ace you job interviews, but are you ready for that dreaded question at the end: “Do you have any questions for us?” Here’s a hint: A blank stare is not an impressive response to the question!  This great book by John Kador teaches you how to make the most out of this moment by demonstrating that you have done you homework and will make a good fit for the organization.

5.    What Should I Do With My Life?

Gosh, I love this book. No, it’s not a book filled with tips for acing your interview or writing a killer resume. But it is the perfect book for all of us out there struggling to figure out what to do with their lives.  Whether you are a college student or a mid-careerist, author Po Bronson’s page-turner will give you the inspiration you are seeking.  It’s chockfull of fifty profiles of people searching for their true path in life.  My favorite profile is the LA lawyer who gave up the big bucks for an even bigger calling — he became a priest.

Sign up for our newsletter!