3 out of 4 stars
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“Have you thought seriously about what you want to do for a living, and what it will take to get a great job after college?” John G. Bendt questions the reader pointedly in his opening preface. “Do you want to have a career full of work that you love to do? Or do you want to end up like many college graduates who have no clear direction, or take jobs that are not what they really had hoped to do?”
Bendt asks you the reader to imagine yourself as a recently graduated college student at your five-year high-school reunion. Like many college grads, things haven’t worked out for you the way you hoped and the job that you were able to get is “not your first choice.” But also at this party is a fellow classmate of yours and according to all your friends, he has “made it.” He’s got a great job, he’s making money, and he’s even got a brand-new sports car to show off at his high-school reunion. What did your classmate do in high-school—that your imaginary self in this scenario didn’t do—that got him to where he is now?
John G. Bendt’s A Roadmap to Career Success is a manual specifically geared towards high-school age individuals and is designed as a practical, step-by-step guide to lead young adults towards success in their future careers. Small but potent, Bendt’s book is chock full of excellent, real-world advice. His chapters are organized in a way that makes it easy to just jump in and reference whichever topic best applies to you, and he writes in a manner that is simple, to the point, and easy to understand. He also lists many different sources that readers can use to get access to more helpful information.
Several of the author’s tips stood out to me, including his counsel in chapter three to “bundle” your skills—meaning that an individual should carefully research, choose, and then mindfully develop both the hard and soft skills that are best suited for the job that he or she wants to have. Bendt’s advice on keeping a career journal for reference in order to create a better resume is an awesome idea, and I also thought his injunction to collect letters of recommendation from former supervisors is very savvy. Of most interest to me personally, as someone who is already well into her career, were chapters five through eight, where the author talks about how to hone your professional skills post-college, how to market yourself to employers, and how to further build on your existing career.
I think books like this should be mandatory reading in high-schools. I really like how the author states that he gave the same advice in this volume to his own four children and that each of them is now, as he states, “happy and doing well in their careers today.” The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes. I give A Roadmap to Career Success a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. I really wanted to give this practical little manual four stars, but unfortunately had to bump it down because of the many grammar errors throughout.
Bendt sums up the spirit of his book well in his preface when he cites this quote attributed to Confucius, “If you enjoy what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” This was an excellent book—with great advice even for people who are long past high-school—and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
A Roadmap To Career Success
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