4 out of 4 stars
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College is a tough time. It's often the first huge decision a person makes in life, and it ends up being more than just a single choice - what college should I go to? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? These are questions that John G. Bendt seeks to answer in his book, A Roadmap To Career Success, 25 Tips For College Bound Students, just not in the same way many books do it.
I've seen numerous college advice books that are thick enough to kill the fiercest Australian spiders, so I was surprised that this book was only around 80 pages. Despite the short length of this book, it's packed with information that will encourage and inspire children to plan for their future from the time they begin high school. John's strategies will have students far more equipped with "skill advantages" than the average student and prepared for the competitive world of getting into college and job hunting.
John begins by recommending that people begin figuring out what they want to do with their lives when they begin high school. This isn't just "make a list of everything you might want to do and then throw a dart", it's rather thorough, including: choosing some potential fields of interest, networking, interviewing people who already have that job to see what exactly they do and whether it's something you'd be interested in. He continues on through a total of eight chapters, from defining hard skills (skills specific to an occupation or industry like programming C++) and soft skills (skills that are important for any occupation like being a team player), learning how to improve and develop those skills, learning to market yourself for colleges and businesses and then the actual job searching itself.
The author does an excellent job of going step-by-step through these processes, and includes all sorts of methods to determine what career a person may be interested in, and then collecting life experience to best set oneself up to get it. The way he breaks it down is really awesome - it's essentially a solid method of making a to-do list for your future. Sure, some of these are covered elsewhere; who hasn't been told about the importance of extracurriculars for getting into college? But John breaks it down more - he explains WHY they're important, both for college and a future career, and which ones are best for which skills. One of my favorite tips is to keep records of "how you used soft skills in your activities and jobs" so that you can refer to them freely in the future.
Aside from the six errors I found - half of which were so minor they barely even made it as errors at all - there was only one negative I found. While John manages to go through everything thoroughly and keep things moving smoothly most of the time, there was once in the last chapter that he mentioned questions one should ask an interviewer at a job interview to ensure the business has growth potential and the right culture for you. However, two chapters before that includes writing a resume and preparing for an interview. This recommendation two chapters later feels like it was out of place.
Aside from these very minor issues, I really enjoyed my time with A Roadmap To Career Success, 25 Tips For College Bound Students. Heck, even as someone in my mid-30s I was inspired to begin my own research, find my own dream job and work on the skills I need to get it! I'm definitely rating it 4 out of 4 stars and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has kids in high school or college, or to anyone who is in high school or college themselves. John says he used this method with his own four children when they were entering high school, and as thorough and all-inclusive as it is I believe him.
A Roadmap To Career Success
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