Guest Author - Kristy Jackson
Authors: Terese Corey Blanck, Peter Vogt, and Judith Anderson
Publisher: Atwood Publishing, 2006
$17.95 / paperback
When I first heard about this book, one of the authors told me that it was like "career planning on steroids", and he wasn't kidding! This is one of the most detailed and thorough career planning books that I've ever seen.
Some of the specific highlights of the book include: preparing a career portfolio, finding relevant volunteer and internship experiences, networking, researching graduate school options, and of course, seeking rewarding employment.
The authors wrote this book for college students; thus the book is divided into four main sections (Freshman Year, etc.). This book is unique in that instead of just offering up lots of career advice, they also include a "why" and "how" section in every chapter. These features should help students/job seekers to truly understand the importance of every career planning stage. For example, students often fail to make the most of an "informational interview" experience. The authors of this book clearly explain how an informational interview can help a student to better understand the "subtleties and nuances" (p.97) of a specific career field, and then they provide several simple steps for setting up and conducting the interview in a professional manner.
One thing I noticed about this book is that there is a nice balance of information. For students who are really "stuck" and struggling with the career planning process, the authors have written almost script-like information for situations that many students find to be challenging, such as inquiring about internships, developing a relationship with a professor in order to get a good reference letter, and networking in a professional setting. However, they go way beyond the basics so that even students with a clearer career vision will find useful information.
I would recommend this book strongly for current college students, as well as recent graduates who are struggling to find a meaningful career. It would also be quite helpful for people who are thinking about changing career fields because the authors so clearly map out all of the steps needed to explore, experience, and enter a new career field. Even though it is intended for students, the basic process is the same.
On a final note, I wanted to mention that the authors also wrote an additional Roadmap book for parents of college students. It is designed to teach parents how to help their student, without becoming one of the "helicopter parent" horror stories that are in the news so often today.
Without a doubt, the authors know their audience and what kinds of challenges they face. This book should prove to provide a great support for today's college students!