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Why I Hate All Career Guide Books
on June 10, 2008
I do hate all career guide books.
Except this one. Short. Focused. Keeping it real. And no worksheets.
As an executive working for top Human Resources management in a Fortune 100 company, I have read many career guides. And I have been asked to recommend career guides by concerned friends, usually for their kids. And they are all padded, boring, time-wasting books. Especially the ones with tests and worksheets. Did I mention I hate worksheets?
Here is a book based on a special perspective -- Shelly Cryer is a professional who is in the streets 24/7 with the real people who really know what it takes to work in the nonprofit sector. She is an expert communicator, and impatient to get her ideas across to you -- you'll feel like she is talking to you as a best friend with inside information as you read. And it is a pleasure to finally read a book not filled with true, but tired tropes about networking and how to inflate your resume.
This book is down in the trenches where a good first impression counts, but communicating accurately and tersely gets you noticed. Nonprofits after all have to do more with less, and that includes less time for fluff. Here are two examples which I know to be true from experience, and have never seen in another career book: Do not use the static-ridden, dead-voice cell phone for outreach, stick with a conventional land-line for important calls to get your human nuances across. And here is a big clue, email is a great way to communicate instantly, but do not take any less time crafting your email than you would a serious business letter. How true; email's spontaneous nature seems to sap politeness and logical structure from so many communications I get.
The index. This book has an index. Why should a slim volume like this (less than 300 pages) need an index? Well you can not live without Google can you? Think of this intelligently indexed book as having a built in search engine. So many books skimp and think they can get by with a table of contents with cute chapter titles.
This book is hard-hitting, with career profiles and interviews with true leaders in the nonprofit sector about their own careers. As proof that Shelly Cryer is saying "yo listen up my peeps!", each chapter has a quick review at the end which makes you really think about what you have just read. Not just the usual warmed-over summary, but a superb safety net to make sure you have caught on.
Want to do good in the world?
Want to wake up happy to go to work every day?
Buy this book; you may find your life's calling here.