Customer Reviews: You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career
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on June 15, 2009
I have been a career counselor for almost fifteen years now, and my shelves are filled with everything from "What Color is Your Parachute?" to "Do What You Are" to "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was". Until recently, I felt that most every career exploration book was retreading the same ground, connecting your skills, values, and interests in a linear way to matching job titles. Or, at the other extreme, telling you to just think happy metaphysical thoughts to change the universe and manifest prosperity.

Then I read "You Majored in What?" - and I was blown away by a radically new approach to career exploration, based on Chaos Theory and what the author calls "Wise Wandering". It takes into account the fact that nobody follows a linear path to a lifelong career that fits perfectly. Instead, it leverages the seemingly random events in your life to provide clues to your attractors.

Thank you, Dr. Brooks, for giving me a new set of tools to use with my clients. It's opened me up to new approaches, and reminded me that, as Tolkien said, "Not all those who wander are lost."
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on August 11, 2009
Having just been fired from my new job, I was despondently wandering around the public library looking at books in the career and job-hunting section. I picked up a few, but, as is always the case, they were dry & uninspired, didn't apply to me or my situation as much as I'd hoped, and, frankly, made me feel even more despondent. Then I came across "You Majored in WHAT?" in the new books section. I resonated with the question as I'm a double-major in English and Philosophy with a minor in Anthropology ... living in an area where having a college degree has gotten me kicked out of more interviews than I can count (you don't need a degree to use a cash register or fry a burger). I thought it might be a book that was sympathetic to my situation (over-educated in an undereducated town) and would, at least, entertain me for an hour. I was wrong! It was so refreshing, positive, interesting, and inspiring that I actually got tears in my eyes. It gave me hope that somehow, somewhere, someday I'll be working in a job - a career - that makes use of my mind, my education, my talents and my interests. It's okay that, since my graduation, I've been wandering, trying to figure out where I belong and what I should/could be doing. It told me that my way of thinking has NOT been wrong these past few years - I'm allowed to try different things, I'm allowed to be confused, I'm allowed to still be figuring out what I want. Best of all, it showed me that there are others out there like me, those who are wondering what to do with their chosen majors, if it was all worth it, if everything will work out in the long run. This book is long, long overdue and so needed. A breath of fresh air in the all-too-stale world of work. This is a book that I will purchase and refer to again and again when the chips are down, and will recommend to many.
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on May 28, 2009
"You Majored in What?" walks you through the entire career process and the brainstorming before trying to make your career goals come to life. The Wise Wanderings career method removes the anxiety and stress from the career search process. This book is like therapy and career coaching in one. It is great for planning, identifying your strengths and allowing you to pursue more than one career path at once. The book has great resources for interviews, resumes, cover letters, grad schools, etc. I have recommended this book to all my friends that are professionals. This book is great for professionals and students.
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on July 31, 2009
"you majored in what?" provides a fresh, detailed approach to career research. about 22 years ago, i needed a career change. i attended counseling classes, and also went through the then-current volume of bolles' ubiquitous "what color is your parachute;" although i was successful in my effort, i wish this book and approach had been available then (yes, even though this book is aimed at graduating college students, i think career-changers could benefit equally from its content). the WCIYP approach is terrific as far as it goes, but it is not as straightforward and freeing-from-stereotypes as would have been helpful to me. "you majored in what?" is an open-ended brainstorming of a sort, with a framework laid out to really allow me to link experience,strengths and interests. the author uses the term "wandering map" to describe the basic tool upon which the "search" is built. "wandering" sounds a little too unfocused to me; i think it really works more like a "brainstorming map." other reviews here provide terrific detail on the content, so i'll stop here.

the book is easy to read and follow, and yet is a complete, detailed description of a confidence-building career search process.
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on February 20, 2010
Even though this book is marketed (and written) for high school and college students or recent graduates, as a person who recently re-entered the job market (after staying home and raising my daughter) I found this book extremely helpful in shaping my ideas for what I could "do" and how to promote myself to an employer. Making the various maps was a lot of fun and I learned things about myself that I had never thought about before. The chapters on resumes, cover letters, and interviewing were full of great ideas and I produced a targeted resume that got me interviews immediately. Even better, I got the second job I applied for-- despite this terrible economy! Highly recommended for anyone at any age.
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on August 27, 2009
Have you ever glanced through a book in an attempt to glean the few nuggets it contains? Not this one. "You Majored in What?" breaks the 80-20 rule as it's JAM-PACKED with insight, knowledge, and self-guided exercises that will give you real clarity about your direction in life.

If you're a student, the parent of a student, a returning student, or just wondering what to do now in your life - GET THIS BOOK.

Dr. Brooks is one of the most gifted and intelligent people that reads everything, knows more than most people, and has genuine soul and heart - and it comes through in this book. She is not stingy and freely gives away her knowledge in a language that's easy to understand. You're going to love it.

I wish I had a book like this to read this years ago! In fact, I'm going to spend the weekend curled up on my sofa with my favorite music playing in the background and try out her "mental wanderings" exercise. (Oh, and who knew about not using a highlighter when studying?? Read the book to understand why. :))
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on July 27, 2009
"You Majored in What?" is not your parents' job search manual. Providing a systematic, non-linear approach to career planning and professional assessment, Kate Brooks walks the reader through her "Wise Wanderings" method. The process draws on chaos theory as a metaphor for an entire career thinking process from brainstorming experiences, interests and strengths to setting goals and actionable plans allowing for multiple career paths.

"Wandering Wisely" is a career approach for the 21st century. The chapters are rich in resources, creative strategies, and exercises that are the heart of the process. Reading "You Majored in What?" will surely make you think about your career and work in a new and exciting way. If you are looking for work now or considering a career change, take the time to do the exercises, embrace the chaos, and chart your options and actions with confidence and clarity.

At any stage "You Majored in What?" will help you better:
# Make new connections between your past studies and research, life and work experiences, and possible career paths going forward.
# Articulate what your experience and interests have to offer the workplace.
# Develop compelling stories: a vital skill in this social age, stories engage your audience from interview to professional networking situations, as well as project or executive presentations and conferences.
# write a powerful resumé and cover letter
# Plan for the unexpected, see new opportunities
# Move more confidently into the future.
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on July 25, 2009
As the mother of a college student, the former director of a Business School program that partnered with Corporations to teach B-school students real life job skills, and a liberal arts major turned software project manager - I can honestly say that this is the BEST career advise book on the market, not only for college students, but for anyone who is looking for a job these days. This book is particularly useful in the current economy when even people with linear and 'safe' degrees are facing a difficult entry level job market, and more experienced job seekers are finding themselves back in the job market unexpectedly.

You Majored in WHAT? teaches us that we shouldn't limit ourselves, or define our marketable skills to what's written on our diploma.
This is the first career advise book that offers a path for those of us who didn't have a clearly mapped path and those who want to explore strengths beyond their degree. I wish it had been available 20 years ago and I find it equally useful as a mid-career adult.

I would recommend this as the FIRST book to read for anyone looking for their first job, or but also for anyone who needs a fresh perspective on their skills at any point in their career
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on August 19, 2014
This book is out of touch. You don't have to convince English and History majors that our skills transcend our major -- it's employers that we can't convince and this book does nothing to help the new grad awash in the sea of endless online job applications navigate the reality that faces Liberal Arts majors in a world dominated by STEM and Business grads. This book tries to make the reader feel good about our unmarketable majors.

It's not hard to sell hope to Liberal Arts majors, as we're pretty desperate bunch, but do yourself a favor, save your cash and get this one from your local library.
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on August 6, 2009
I had the privilege of assisting Dr. Brooks with her Majors in the Workplace course over two semesters at The University of Texas at Austin and saw, first-hand, the amazing results she was able to provoke by exposing the principles in this book to college juniors and seniors. Not only did these students complete the course with greater self-confidence, but they hugely broadened what they believed was possible for them to achieve in the world of work, and had honed and refined the practical skills of resume and cover-letter writing that supported those aspirations.

At a time when career centers typically remain 5-10 years behind the curve in terms of adequately preparing college graduates for the 21st century marketplace outside of the narrow confines of academia, Dr. Brooks offers refreshingly innovative yet hugely practical insights into making the most of any liberal arts major in any kind of job.

Buy this book; apply its principles; then discover how you too can be attractive to today's employers by creating your most compelling self.
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