Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Favorite Career Related Books + Job Advice From PIYS Readers

If there's one thing that I'm really good about doing in the summer, it's reading. While that sounds like a bit of a brag, I know it's typically because I have more free time and enjoy opening up a new book while sitting poolside. Even though I was in grad school the previous two summers, this will be the first one that I'll be working a 9-5 during (even though I actually work from 7-5 to get half days on Friday). While I wouldn't mind spending the entire summer traveling, I am excited to have a consistent routine during the day and add in fun summer activities to my evenings. For those of you that may be working "fun" jobs or interning but still want a way to stay engaged with the career world, there are so many books that are worth your read during your break from school.

I always get a bit embarrassed when people look at my bookshelf since it's half psychological thriller/mysteries and half self-help/inspirational. I'm not sure what this says about me, but at least I know what I like! When I was going through the process of deciding to quit teaching and search for a different job, my collection of inspirational books began to be more and more focused on careers and jobs. Because of that, I thought it could be helpful to share some of my favorite career-related self-help books with a short synopsis (from Amazon) of what you'll find between the covers. 

"Our "thirty-is-the-new-twenty" culture tells us the twentysomething years don't matter. Some say they are a second adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. Dr. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, argues that twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation, much of which has trivialized what is actually the most defining decade of adulthood.

Drawing from a decade of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, THE DEFINING DECADE weaves the latest science of the twentysomething years with behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely."

"The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:
•    Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there 
•    Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader 
•    Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one. 
Positioning also shows you how to:
•    Use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name 
•    Build your strategy around your competition's weaknesses 
•    Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot 
•    Use your present position to its best advantage 
•    Choose the best name for your product 
•    Determine when-and why-less is more 
•    Analyze recent trends that affect your positioning. 
Ries and Trout provide many valuable case histories and penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and failures in advertising history. Revised to reflect significant developments in the five years since its original publication, Positioning is required reading for anyone in business today."

"In THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL, Fran Hauser deconstructs the negative perception of "niceness" that many women struggle with in the business world. If women are nice, they are seen as weak and ineffective, but if they are tough, they are labeled a bitch.

Hauser proves that women don't have to sacrifice their values or hide their authentic personalities to be successful. Sharing a wealth of personal anecdotes and time-tested strategies, she shows women how to reclaim "nice" and sidestep regressive stereotypes about what a strong leader looks like. Her accessible advice and hard-won wisdom detail how to balance being empathetic with being decisive, how to rise above the double standards that can box you in, how to cultivate authentic confidence that projects throughout a room, and much more.

THE MYTH OF THE NICE GIRL is a refreshing dose of forward-looking feminism that will resonate with smart, professional women who know what they want and are looking for real advice to take their career to the next level without losing themselves in the process."

"The path to your life's work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life's work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It's about the task you were born to do. 

As Jeff Goins explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world do we begin living for a larger purpose. Those who experience this intersection experience something exceptional and enviable. Though it is rare, such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try. 

Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way."

"In Work It, CEO of Likeable Media and popular podcast host Carrie Kerpen shares lessons from her career and an "advisory board" of powerful women in a wide range of industries to help women everywhere make their aspirations a reality. Packed with actionable tips and stories from the likes of Sheryl Sandberg, Aliza Licht, and Reshma Saujani, this inspiring book reveals their counterintuitive secrets for success, including:

- How and when to say "no" – whether it's a dream job that just isn't the right cultural fit or a low salary proposal, as well as when to say "yes"
- How to make your career work for you and your family rather than the other way around
- How to develop your own FAB PAB (Fabulous Personal Advisory Board) – a support network of women – rather than work with a single mentor
- The importance of talking openly about money – from job offer negotiations and cash flow management, to fundraising venture capital dollars
With advice on everything from mastering social media to navigating office politics and the seemingly impossible work/life balance, Work It arms every woman with the courage and skills to achieve success and happiness on her terms."

Some of the other career-related books that I'm eager to read include:

I know not everyone is quite as into reading about these sorts of topics and instead want short, concise advice that they can apply to their lives. Back when I shared some career-related blog posts (Where To Look For Jobs + Resume and Cover Letter Tips, Ways to Make an Impression in an Interview, and How to Set Up Your LinkedIn + Networking Tips) I also took to Instagram and had my followers there share their job advice. I've compiled them below for you to read through as reassurance or motivation!

"Reach out to people who have your dream job and ask for advice."
"Don't approach an interviewer acting like you know more than they know."

"Search for people on LinkedIn who have your dream job and ask them how they got there."

"If you are still undecided on what you want to do try doing work outside of the field you may have in mind. You may discover you love it."

"Use keywords listed in the job posting on your resume and in your cover letter. Also, spellcheck and have someone proof the documents for grammatical errors."
"One of my favorite questions to ask employers is 'what is the best compliment you could receive from a client, customer, or employee.'"

"You don't need your dream job to start. Go for a job in the industry you're interested in and tell everyone what you want to do, they may be able to help you get there."

"Find a team that is a good fit! You spend SO much time at work and liking your team is crucial."
"Don't lose hope and be yourself. They will see you for you when the right fit comes."

"It's important to remember that everything happens for a reason. Stay positive!"

"Never settle. Negotiate your salary, perks, and benefits but never settle even on your first job."

"Always ask questions before, during, and after the interview."

"Show passion for the job throughout the whole process and relate to the recruiter."

"Always write a cover letter."

"Don't discount post-graduate internships if you're looking to go into PR."

I'd love to know what other job/career related content you'd like to see! 


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