In the course of working with hundreds of clients I have discovered that what works with one person doesn’t necessarily work with another. As a result, I have developed a list of favorite career tools from which to draw ideas and better serve my clients. Today I will share a few of my current favorites.
“Cool Careers for Dummies” by Marty Nemko. Yes, it is one of the Dummies books; I only wish I had written this one.
Chapters 2 and 3 are, in my opinion, the most valuable.
Chapter 2, “The Cool Careers Yellow Pages,” is a great resource for job seekers who don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. It includes job descriptions and online information about 500 current (and pretty cool) careers. The career synopses are pithy, on-point and sometimes humorous. This is the chapter I most frequently direct clients to when they want to explore career options.
Chapter 3, “The 35 Most Revealing Questions about You,” helps you identify your values, take stock of skills and identify achievements. While not every question provides earth-shattering clarity, most are worth considering.
The appendix is fun and organizes careers into creative categories including: Make a big difference, easy-to-transition-into careers, For new liberal arts grads, Boomer bests, etc. You get the picture.
“The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You Will Ever Need”by Daniel H. Pink. Told in the Japanese manga comic book style, this quick read is perfect for those just starting their careers. The seven short chapters are packed with great advice including, “Persistence trumps talent” and “Make excellent mistakes.” Now that I think about it, my more mature clients can benefit from these lessons, too.
For those a little further along in their careers I recommend “RISE: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader and Liking Your Life,” by Carmel Valley resident, Patty Azzarello.
Patty ran a $1 billion software business at thirty-five and became a CEO at thirty-eight. She clearly knows her stuff. My favorite chapters are 11 (“Your Personal Brand”) and 19 (“Going Big”). This is a must-read for anyone who is serious about moving up the corporate ladder.
Do you know what you do best? Do you have the opportunity to use what you do best every day? “StrengthsFinder 2.0,” by Tom Rath is a great way to discover your strengths. Included with the book is access to an online assessment that helps you uncover your strengths. The book and multi-page report generated after you take the assessment provide insight into using your unique talents, ideas for action and suggestions for how to work with others more effectively.
The O*NET (www.onetonline.org) is the United States’ primary source of occupational information. It contains information on hundreds of occupations. Access to this database is free to the public and is continually updated to reflect current information. Use it to browse occupations, focus on occupations requiring use of specific tools or software, identify occupations which require your skill set, and find related occupations. While I find the volume of information on this website overwhelming, others appreciate the O*NET for its breadth and depth.
Use these five great tools to reinvigorate your job search this summer.
Mary Jeanne Vincent is a career expert and strategist with a private coaching practice in Monterey. She may be reached at 831.657.9151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.