Why is choosing a career so hard?
Even if you think you have it figured out before you get to college, there’s a good chance you’ll change your mind along the way–and that’s totally okay!
The path to success looks different for everyone. If you need help deciding what to do with your life, here are 5 books you should check out to help your career.
Now What?: The Young Person’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore
Most of us don’t have everything figured out by the time we get to college. Not to mention, college seems to offer endless options that make it even harder to figure out what path we want to take.
According to Nicholas Lore, only 30% of college graduates are satisfied with their careers. His book aims to change that.
Now What? Is a guide written to help you decide what you want to do with your life. The author designed the guide to be 100% interactive with charts, worksheets, and quizzes. (Who doesn’t like taking quizzes?) The idea behind this being that the more we connect with the book, the more actionable the advice become.
It’s a solid read for a wide range of young adults, from high school students to college students to brand new graduate who’ve already begun their career.
Want to work in tech? Not just any tech company but the TOP ones:
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Snapchat…
The list goes on. But the point is, it’s not easy to make it into these companies. However, with the right approach, you can become a standout applicant.
Gayle McDowell previously wrote another book on how to break into the tech industry back in 2004. She discontinued it and published this version to keep the advice up to date. As an insider to the tech industry herself, the author gives you real-life examples with a straightforward glimpse into the tech culture.
This book provides the advice they don’t teach you in class:
- How to write your resume
- What to include in your cover letter
- The best way to prepare for an interview
- How to handle your job offer
- The details on salary negotiation
- How to map out your long-term career path
Cracking the Tech Career is best suited for current students or brand new graduates. (If you already work in tech, you probably know a lot of the information!)
Written by the team behind the documentary Road Trip Nation, this book is a really unique career guide.
The authors acknowledge that it’s totally fine to not understand what we want out of our futures yet–but the main idea behind the book is taking action. Oftentimes, we fail at achieving our dreams only because we take any action on TRYING to accomplish them.
What makes this practical guide so awesome is how they provide you with inspiration with a lists of projects for you to try out. These projects are designed to help you figure out where to start, which is why I love it.
The authors take this big idea–what do you want to do with your life–and explain how we just have to start with baby steps. Those first baby steps will help us figure out what the next baby step is. They offer tons of quotes and examples, but the overall mood of the book is 100% positive.
You Majored in What?: Designing Your Path from College to Career by Katharine Brooks
Not sure what kind of job you can get with that English degree? There are more opportunities out there besides just teaching.
(Not to say teaching isn’t an incredible field–it definitely is–but you don’t have to feel boxed into that career if it’s not the right fit for you.)
We don’t walk away from college knowing everything. Actually, we don’t walk away from ANY job knowing everything, even with years of experience. Therefore, landing a new job is all about how to market yourself to potential employers.
The author teaches you how to make your education a selling point in job interviews. She explains you simply make your experiences, both personal and professional, relevant to whatever job you’re interviewing for.
This book was written with current college students in mind–students who might not even have their major figured out yet. The questions and exercises here are designed to get you exploring the themes and interests of your life to define your true dreams.
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by Jenny Blake
Jenny Blake is the author of The Life After College and runs a podcast also titled pivot. This read also includes exercises (Are you sensing a pattern? Take action!) but they’re grouped into a 4-step method that’s easy to follow. The author fills the book with detail, anecdotes, and interviews.
A lot of us get started in a career that we thought we wanted, and we realize that the reality wasn’t a part of our dreams. but it’s tough to figure out what we want to change.
Jenny Blake acknowledges that it’s okay for us to change our minds and take a step back before we figure out what’s next.
These exercises are designed to motivate you to take the first step toward deciding where to go next. The action steps push you to do more than just read the book. She wants you to actually take the next step, however small it is.