As a professor, one of the things keeping me up at night is the following: what are colleges doing to help students not only get a good education in order to obtain “a job”, but more importantly to “make and grow jobs” for others and be self-sustaining?
I’ve ranted several times and several of my blogs that the days of the 30-year-gold-watch-at-retirement- work-for-one-company-for-the-rest-of-your-life-career is so over, we need a new word for over!
So, being the avid reader that I am (OK, I read a lot of the non fiction books in lieu of reading my law school homework and cases, so I’m a bit of a slacker myself sometimes! ha!) , here are 5 books that I think every senior graduating from college (and for that matter, high school) should be reading right now in order to prepare themselves for the sometimes crushing blow of the real world:
1. Crush It! By Gary Vaynerchuk – I first was introduced to Mr. Vaynerchuk through his video blog on wine…I found them highly entertaining. Now, we are all lucky enough to hear about his success in marketing himself and his personal brand equity strategy. This book helps peeps unearth their passions and making money around them. It won’t tell you what your passion might be, but Gary will tell you what he did around his passions to create his own multi million dollar empire.
2. Strengthsfinder 2.0 – I’ve already discussed this book til I’m blue in the face, but I really don’t care. It is incumbent upon each of us to know our own strengths. That will make your life a whole lot easier! AND, it helps you tell your own story if you know what your strengths are. For example, my #1 strength is “Futuristic” – I love talking about the future. So, guess what my articles and projects are about? Yup! You guessed it! THE FUTURE!
3. Drive – By Daniel Pink – Intrinsic motivation – that’s what this book is all about. Figuring out again what makes you tick by doing some exercises in this book will set you up as a new employee to excel on your own terms and in your own way. Your boss isn’t going to hand you your very own dream job – you need to go out and make it.
4. Linchpin – By Seth Godin – This book helps you discern how to make yourself indispensable at work. Very UN-Office Space, (i.e. doing just enough work not to get fired.) This book instead is about how to be a rock star at work.
5. The Whuffie Factor – By Tara Hunt – Dang, if only someone had told me when I was in high school or college the value of social networking and the rules associated around it like this book does, I would have been LIGHT YEARS ahead of where I am now. I cannot emphasize enough to the students in my classes that they have to start building their networks YESTERDAY and fully understand the power and etiquette around them.
Resumes are DOA in employers’ databanks. Even job postings online are almost the way of the dodo–the best jobs are NEVER POSTED…because they are either hired by word of mouth, or are CREATED by rock star individuals rather than posted for the masses. It’s time for students to understand that creating social networks N-O-W, figuring out their own individual STRENGTHS and what MOTIVATES them, creating their own authentic BRAND, and working smart and hard will get the rock star students on top.
And if you’re a mom or a dad of a college or high school student – do your child a favor – buy them these books to read or grab them from the library STAT!