This debut career guide aims to help readers who are wondering what the future holds.
A career counselor for more than 20 years, Bellows offers amiable advice for organizing a job search, interviewing, and finally landing that dream position. Most of this well-researched manual seems appropriate for readers who have little idea what career they want to pursue. But the author also devotes a couple of chapters to midlife career change and retirement. The book begins with a short explanation of the Holland Code, a system that categorizes human personalities as one of six types—realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. According to Bellows, once people figure out which personality groups best fit them, they can begin to determine their most logical career paths. For example, those who feel most drawn to the realistic group could be athletes or mechanically inclined individuals who prefer to work with their hands. Easy to read and understand—there are plenty of bulleted lists and numbered questions—this handy how-to also includes a variety of exercises for personal assessment. For example, a “Work Values Inventory” chart asks readers to place X’s next to the personal values, such as honesty, or work values—like having a flexible schedule—that are most important to them. With the soft voice of a kindly teacher, some of Bellows’ advice may especially appeal to younger job seekers. For example, in one exercise, she lists being “zany” as a personal strength for some careers (think comedian or children’s librarian). Relevant and up-to-date, this guide includes recommendations for helpful tools, such as the internet job posting and networking site LinkedIn. The book’s appendix also includes links for many compelling job search resources, including one that provides salary information for different careers. To more seasoned job seekers, several of the ideas found here will sound like the lectures they heard at college Career Day, such as the chapter on the importance of networking. And some exercises—like the “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats” or SWOT analysis—can be found on the internet. Still, having this content in one browsable book is convenient.
A gentle and useful manual for nervous job seekers.