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Winter break reading list

December 15, 2010

Congratulations! You’ve survived finals and are hopefully enjoying the relative quiet of winter break. This is a great time to take a breather from your academics and think more strategically about career decisions and the steps you need to take to find meaningful work after leaving AU.

Here is a brief winter reading list to help you think about your future career and the things you can do now to set yourself up for success.

1. You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career by Katharine Brooks

If you’re feeling lost in the chaos of your career search, there are a number of steps you can take now to get some clarity. Of course, you can pay a visit to the Career Center. You can also read You Majored In What?, a book that will help you take a positive approach to career decisions by using your multitude of talents and interests to find clues about potential career paths. Brooks guides you through a series of exercises to help you learn more about yourself and how you can leverage your skills in a rewarding career.

2. Getting From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World by Lindsey Pollak

Author Lindsey Pollak was once in your shoes. She can relate to the stress of making major career decisions, and her book offers a series of tasks that you can undertake to be successful in your job search. Pollak’s advice largely echoes that of your Career Advisor, including maximizing opportunities to network with professionals, taking plenty of time to prepare for interviews and managing your reputation on the Internet.

3. Jobs That Matter: Finding a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service by Heather Krasna

Many AU students have a strong desire to serve others and are therefore attracted to careers in the public sector. Jobs That Matter offers some great tips to help you find and apply for opportunities in government (at all levels), nonprofits and other organizations. The book also features helpful profiles of professionals working in these industries.

4.  Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

While this book won’t help you determine which career is right for you, it will teach you the important skill of negotiation. In their first book, Women Don’t Ask, Babcock and Laschever found that men negotiate salary and promotions at a much higher rate than women. In Ask For It,  Babcock and Laschever offer a four-phase strategy to help professional women improve their negotiation skills. And even though the authors’ research centers on bolstering the bargaining power of women, the advice in this book is equally helpful to men hoping to become more comfortable with negotiation.

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