1) "Work Your Strengths: A Scientific Process to Identify Your Skills and Match Them to the Best Career For You" by Chuck Martin, Richard Guare and Peg Dawson (AMACOM, 2010, $21.95 hardcover, 235 pp.)
Publishers' summary: Ever feel like you’re in the wrong job, maybe even the wrong career? You may be right. "Work Your Strengths" helps you avoid “trial-and-error” career moves by matching your strengths to the jobs that call on those skills specifically. Based on the authors’ two-year study of more than 2,000 top-performers at hundreds of organizations of all types, from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits, the book reveals which strengths correlate with success in different jobs.
Take a one-time, free online profile to determine your unique strengths and weaknesses and then use that information to identify your ideal career path. Not ready for a move yet? "Work Your Strengths" can also make a world of difference in the job you’re in now. It can help you not only focus on the projects best suited for you but also recognize skills in others and assign tasks accordingly.
Chuck Martin of Madbury, N.H., is chairman and CEO of NFI Research, a management research firm.
Richard Guare of Rye, N.H., a neuropsychologist, is director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders.
Peg Dawson of Brentwood, N.H., is a psychologist at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. Dawson and Guare are also the co-authors of "Smarts."
2) "From Ramen to Riches: Building Wealth in Your 20s" By James G. Wood (The Tannywood Group, 2010, $11.95 paperback, 188 pp.)
Despite a well-paying job, the author had managed to spend everything he had earned in the five years after college. The meeting with the mortgage officer was his financial epiphany. He finally got serious about managing and investing his money. Now in his early 50s, the author is debt free, owns a house free and clear, and has built a retirement portfolio that will comfortably sustain him and his wife in the coming years.
This book helps people learn to successfully manage their money and avoid the financial mistakes that the author made during those first few years of his working life. In a breezy, humorous, and conversational style, it describes a common-sense approach to spending, saving, and investing your money to get rich slowly, but surely.
About the author: Jim Wood of San Diego retired from his corporate job at age 47 after 25 years in high tech. He held positions as a software engineer, information technology manager, and business strategy manager. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston University. He also holds a master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University.
3) "365 Powerful Ways to Influence" by Donald W. Hendon (Pelican, 2010, $24.95 hardcover, 288 pp.)
Publisher's summary: Marketing expert Donald W. Hendon humorously delivers the instructions necessary to persuade others and achieve desired results in personal and professional situations. Over the course of 19 chapters, he reveals the most effective methods for overcoming every day dilemmas. These techniques will empower individuals to haggle with car dealers, request a raise, or dive into the dating pool.
Following a foreword from Tony Alessandra, the well-known author of "Non-Manipulative Selling," Hendon divides the book into six categories of tactics, for a sum of 365. They include tools to improve overall mental attitude, become more assertive while remaining cooperative, and identify aggressive behavior or dirty tricks. With a tactic for each day of the year, readers will constantly discover refreshing ways to cope with the common obstacles faced throughout life.
The author incorporates tips for turning an opponent into an ally, overcoming bullies, and turning losses into gains. Helpful exercises allow the reader to apply the information, and a complete list of tactics is conveniently located in the back of book for quick reference. At the end of each chapter, a summary of the essentials is included in an easy-to-read synopsis.
About the author: Marketing expert Donald W. Hendon has taught the art of negotiation to professionals in a plethora of career fields since the 1970s. In addition, he has held marketing seminars in more than 35 countries. Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, and Johnson & Johnson are a few of his clients. Hendon earned a MBA in marketing from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in business from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the American Marketing Association and president of Business Consultants International in Mesquite, Nev., where he resides.
4) "Paint Your Career Green: Get a Green Job Without Starting Over" by Stan Schatt and Michele Lobi (JIST Works, 2011, $12.95 softcover, 208 pp.)
Publisher's summary: People's interest in green jobs is soaring, but few books actually address what these jobs are and how they can be obtained. In fact, "Paint Your Career Green" is the only book that offers practical advice on what it takes to transition into a green career.
This book provides a roadmap for people who want to avoid starting over or taking a severe pay cut when they change careers to become part of a growing green industry. Readers will learn about green certificate programs that offer retraining in a short timeframe. They'll also gain practical tips on how to manage finances while changing careers, tools for assessing themselves and building a career-change plan, and advice for using social networking websites to uncover green opportunities.
The authors guide readers through key job search stages, equipping them with resume and cover letter tips and interview advice specifically tailored for career changers.
About the authors:
Michele Lobl is a workforce consultant leading workshops in job search and career development at community colleges and for community-based organizations. She was a Workforce Investment Act supervisor for the City of Santa Clarita, Calif., for seven years and has worked in employment and training for more than 15 years.
Stan Schatt has worked for several leading technology research companies, including Forrester Research and ABI Research. He has focused on green technology and published reports that analyze the progress manufacturers have made in greening their operations. He is the author of 19 books and speaks frequently at major technology trade show events.