Job market / Self awareness

Top Holiday Reads – Great Careers Resources

If you’re familiar with the adage that people spend more time planning their holidays than their careers, then what better way to combine both activities and taking one of our top Careers resources recommendations on vacation? Whether you’ve recently graduated and have been procrastinating on what to do next, if your parents or loved ones keep asking ‘what you’re going to do with that degree now you owe all that money’ or whether you’re stuck in a job that’s not right for you, our recommendations should help to kick start your career planning.

At Warwick the Careers Team has come up with a list of recommendations.

What color is your parachute? Richard N. Bolles

A  great book if you’ve no idea how to get started on your career planning. Completing a range of activities designed to help you identify your values, motivations, skills and interests you are better placed to explore where you might best find a home for these. The book then moves on to how to develop a network and explores strategies for applying to jobs whether these are advertised or ‘hidden.’

How to Get a Job You Love  John Lees

This book applies similar principles to those in the‘parachute’ book but is written for a UK audience and had great practical tips on applications, interviews, tactics and approaches to take in your job search.

The Success Code John Lees

If you are an introvert and the very idea of networking makes you feel slightly nauseous, Lees breaks down into manageable steps how to approach the development of a valuable network without having to resort to ‘business card speed networking’ ghastliness. Instead of talking about your “brand” it asks what would you like people to be recommending you for when you’re not in the room.  I really liked this notion.

The Confidence Code  Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

If you are a woman who lacks self-confidence,  while The Confidence Code is not strictly a careers book, it does explore how you can develop your self-assurance in the workplace so you are better placed not just to to survive but thrive there and (where it’s possible to negotiate your salary) better placed to do so.

I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was  Barbara Sher

This book explores getting off the fast track and onto the right track, finding your direction, overcoming personal blocks and creating your own luck and opportunities. It’s written in a very encouraging style and may help you think laterally about how to approach your career planning in order to find fulfillment.

Mindset  Carol Dweck

Mindset is currently trending, with many recruiters placing increased emphasis on attitudes and behaviours in the workplace, so a move to greater emphasis on how you come across rather than your transferable skills. Carol Dweck’s best selling book explores how you have the ability to control  your approach to the world and your response what life throws at you. Topics explore ability, leadership, learning, dealing with failure, love and friendships. The ability to be open to learning, change and growth develops your personal resilience and will make you more employable.

From Average to A+ Alex Linley

Explores how you can harness your Strengths and focus on developing those qualities you are both good at and enjoy, combining these in order to develop excellence. Given Strengths is a hot topic, with increasing numbers of the larger graduate recruiters incorporating strengths in their recruitment processes, it’s worth understanding what yours are and how you can describe and articulate these in applications and at interview.

How to Find Fulfilling work  Roman Krznaric

Explores how to find fulfilling work that is of the right status for us, makes good use of our talents and is also meaningful to us, while balancing our needs and pressure to earn money

Talk like Ted: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds Carmine Gallow 

Deconstructs the ingredients of successful TED talks, the principles of which can be usefully applied to any presentation you may be required to give, of any length- not just the standard 18 minutes most presenters must adhere to when giving TED Talks. Helpful for preparing for presentations as part of the assessment centre process, especially if you don’t have long to prepare one. (I have tried these out, by the way and they work really well).

New Scientist  For science students this is a particularly valuable resource. Yes it has a careers section with careers advice and jobs listing which include a great many post-doctoral opportunities but the most valuable thing is to be able to get a good overview of developments in a diverse range of scientific fields. On this blog we often talk about the utility of commercial awareness  and part of that awareness is being able to anticipate what the next big thing might be! Be that defibrillator drones , novel materials made of bacteria or air breathing rocket engines. As careers professionals we are usually pretty good at helping students tackle the graduate job market in the here and now but getting to grips with what the future might hold can be trickier and anything students can do to get insights to this has got to be valuable!


A very practical toolkit that breaks down career planning and applications. Job is a fantastic tool to help people think about their motivation  and evidence for applying. Thinking about the skills you have used and your evidence helps you to think what you have and to think about the skills you would like to develop. It helps you to match up to the skills you need to do a particular role and consider your potential as this will take you from graduate through to senior management and deal with change and transformation

Job Interview Success- Be Your Own Coach Jenny Rogers

Jenny Rogers has been an executive coach for a number of years as well as an accomplished writer. This book takes a down to earth approach, encouraging you to explore whether you actually want the job you’re applying for, and providing wisdom and guidance on how to prepare for interviews and provide compelling answer N.B. Quite a few of these books can be downloaded or purchased second hand.     

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