Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: The Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your Career

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your CareerThe Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your Career by Jennifer Merritt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Career guides are always a risky proposition when it comes to books I review. On the one hand, I feel like I should know what's out there so I can make good suggestions to my clients and my boss. On the other hand, reading bad ones makes me mad. Fortunately, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Building Your Career is a good one and I recommend it to anyone who is considering entering a competitive field. If you're planning on going to college and possibly graduate school or if you graduated a year ago and are wondering when the fun is supposed to start, this is a great book.

What I appreciated the most about The WSJ Guide is it covers the steps to take toward building a career during college as well as how to look for work, and how to make the most of that first job and take control of your career during those crucial first years. Most of the advice in this guide is more realistic than the ego-boosting fluffy career books out there, but it's good information to know. Even if you don't agree with everything in the book, it contains a lot of insight into the inner workings of most businesses, so you can better understand what you will be up against in the beginning.

If you are a non-traditional careerist who waited a while between high school and college, a lot of the information in this book still applies. The only downside is the author doesn't address issues like searching for work as a married couple or balancing career demands with children or elderly parents. However, it's unfair to expect one book to cover everything. The information on office politics, mentoring, and how to strategically plan your career and choose the projects you take on is invaluable for anyone.

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