Choosing a Career

Posted on May 5, 2023. Filed under: Information, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Do you need help choosing a career? College is the best time to rethink your choices and decide what career path you want to follow. There are many great tools available for free to help you narrow down your choices and help you decide the ideal job or career that suits you and your skills.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has several great assessment tools to help you choose a career. Here are just a few:

  • Reality Check: This helps you calculate how much money you need to make in order to support the lifestyle you desire.
  • Career Cluster Inventory: This helps you rate 80 activities on how much you would enjoy doing each one.
  • Interest Profiler: This helps you organize your interests and match them with possible careers.

The Oakton library also carries a variety of vocational guidance handbooks. The Des Plaines library has its own career section with a variety of books on various careers and job related materials as well. Career books relating to specific fields such as healthcare, the arts, or entrepreneurship can also be found in the career section at the Des Plaines library. Check out some the general career books and databases in our collection below:

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center

Provides detailed profiles of more than 3,300 jobs and 94 industries, invaluable advice on career skills, and more than 55,000 career resource entries.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook provides information to people making decisions about their future work lives, including training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions in a variety of occupations.

Now What, Grad?: Your Path to Success After College
by Chris Palmer

“Many soon-to-be graduates are worried about their future. They stress about whether they’ll find a job, if it will be fulfilling, whether they will earn enough to pay off their student loans, and whether they will fail and disappoint their families.

Young people need to learn many things that colleges don’t teach, including how to behave professionally, how to collaborate, how to be life-long learners, and how to be resourceful, resilient, and ethical. This book will teach students the things they need to succeed in the real world, such as how to organize a job search, how to ace job interviews, how to manage time effectively, how to manage and reduce stress, how to be an effective leader, how to run a meeting well, how to survive a bad performance review, how to become a powerful speaker, how to network, and many other skills that are the keys to success and fulfillment” (Amazon).

What Color is Your Parachute?: Your Guide To a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success
by Richard Nelson Bolles

“For more than fifty years, What Color Is Your Parachute? has transformed the way people think about job hunting. Whether searching for that first position, recovering from a layoff, or dreaming of a career change, What Color Is Your Parachute? has shown millions of readers how to network effectively, compose impressive resumes and cover letters, interview with confidence, and negotiate the best possible salary—while discovering how to make their livelihood part of authentic living.

More than a job-hunting book, Richard N. Bolles’s timeless wisdom and famed self-assessment exercise clarifies seven key dimensions, so you can uncover your greatest passions, most valued traits, and transferable skills to design a life that enables you to flourish.

With the job market in constant flux, people everywhere have found that understanding who they are—what they care about, where and how they do their best work, and the most effective way to express their abilities—is the best compass to navigating an ever-changing and challenging professional landscape. It is also how their work can become part of a life filled with passion and purpose” (Amazon).

Ultimate Interview: 100s of Great Interview Answers
by Lynn Williams

“In today’s ultra competitive job market, only the best prepared candidates have a chance of standing up to the competition and progressing through the various stages of the interview process. From the best-selling Ultimate series, Ultimate Interview will give you all the background information that you need as well as essential practice to successfully navigate the interview rounds and secure that job offer.

Uniquely among interview guidebooks, it organizes common interview questions according to specific job types, such as management, sales and marketing, administrative and clerical. Each section looks at the thinking behind the questions, and suggests an effective method of answering by utilizing your experience and skill set, and demonstrating your ambitions. This new edition also focuses on how to transfer the crucial softer skills associated with successful interviews such as how to convey your alignment to your future employer’s values or demonstrate that you are the most willing rather than just capable candidate. With additional advice on researching the background to a vacancy, and how skills and characteristics can be assessed and developed, this book is a must-have for all serious job hunters.” (Primo).

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success
by Nicholas Lore

“This completely rewritten bestseller is THE career-design bible for midlife career-changers and college students alike.

Based on breakthrough techniques developed by Rockport Institute, an innovative and award-winning career consulting and coaching network that has changed the lives of 18,000 one-on-one clients since 1981. This book coaches you through the career design methodology commended by President Clinton, and taught at Stanford. The Pathfinder takes you step-by-step through your own career design project that leads to making a career choice for both fulfillment and maximum success. It provides invaluable advice and more than 50 self-tests and diagnostic tools that will help you choose an entirely new career—or a change within your field. It is also effective for people who have no idea what to do ‘when they grow up’.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional in search of a career change or a beginner just entering the working world, you want to make the right choices from the beginning. No matter where you are in your journey, if you want work to be more of a dance than a drag, The Pathfinder will expertly coach you through the process of designing a career you will love” (Amazon).

5 Steps to Rapid Employment: The Job You Want at the Pay You Deserve
by Jay A. Block

“…In today’s job market, you have to separate yourself from the competition with crystal clarity—which means approaching your job campaign strategically.

In 5 Steps to Rapid Employment, veteran career expert Jay Block reveals his proven system for finding and getting the job you want, whether you’re just out of college or transitioning into a new career. Follow Block’s simple process to:

  • Manage fear and negative emotions that impede success
  • Define clear job and career goals
  • Create high-impact self-marketing tools
  • Develop strategic action plans that will become the job seeker’s GPS to the next job
  • Take action and master self-marketing skills” (Amazon).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider, Huma Abdulaziz, and MyEva Newsome


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