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Career Guides Logo

Planning a career or a career change?

Whether you're starting or need information to plan your next move. Learn more about requirements, training, outlook and settings.

Career Guides in Libraries


ArrowCareer Software


What Do I Want to DO?

Electra suspects you may be tired of the word, "empowering." Nonetheless, that's exactly what these books are. Do you hate getting up in the morning and going to work? Do you get those Sunday night blues when you think of the week to come? Can work be--fun? Fulfilling? Profitable? Are you ready to take some risks and create your own job? Maybe start your own business?

Any or all of the books on this list will get you thinking and, maybe, get you moving.

Search Your Library What Color is Your Parachute?
Richard Bolles. Annual.
[What Color is Your Parachute? Job Hunting Online gives job search tips and links to websites from the latest edition of What Color is Your Parachute?]

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.
Marsha Sinetar.

Discover What You're Best At.
Barry Gale.

Work with Passion: How to Do What You Love for a Living.
Nancy Anderson.

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was.
Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design.
Laurence G. Boldt.

What's Up with this Crazy Economy?

Search Your Library JobShift: How to Prosper in a Workplace without Jobs.
William Bridges.
Bridges--who is from the Bay Area so he should know--sees the "job" disappearing. What will take its place? And what will that mean to you?

What Do I Do Now? Making Sense of Today's Changing Workplace.
Shena Crane.
Trends in the workplace such as outsourcing, layoffs, new trends on compensation and how you can navigate in the years to come. Includes advice for new graduates, defense industry, disabled, minorities, older workers and women.

Guides for Specific Careers

Looking for something in Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace, Agriculture, Analytical chemistry, Animation, Apiculture, Appraising.... AH!

There are so many of these! Electra will weasel out and pass along tips for finding the guide you need.

Guides to Guides to Careers
(Librarians LOVE this sort of thing):

Search Your Library Job Hunter's Sourcebook: Where to Find Employment Leads and other Job Search Resources.
Titles, dates and summaries for career guides in 165 different occupations. Use the section for each occupation called "Sources of Help-Wanted-Ads" to identify the trade publications in your field.

U.S. Dept. of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Every other year (even years.)
Also available in book form! Profiles for 250 different occupations: nature of work, working conditions, employment, training, job outlook and earnings. "Sources of Additional Information" lists associations and, sometimes, publications for each occupation.

Professional Careers Sourcebook.

Career information sources described for occupations such as civil engineering, law, psychology, public relations and more. Includes licensing agencies and occupational rankings.

Vocational Careers Sourcebook.

Sources of career information for fields such as insurance, real estate, mechanics, armed forces, administrative support, production work and the trades.

Find books on specific careers by searching your library's online catalog.
Search Your Library
  1. Search for a specific title or for keywords such as "accounting career" or "veterinary career."
  2. Search for SUBJECTS such as "vocational guidance" or "accounting" and look for a heading that fits.
  3. Ask your librarian to recommend titles for your specific needs.
  4. Visit your library! Most libraries have a "Jobs & Careers" section where you can browse through the collection.

Career Software

While college and university career centers have long provided software programs so their students can investigate careers, these systems were rarely available to the general public.


Some public libraries and career centers now have subscriptions to EUREKA: The California Information System and Microskills for you to use free of charge. Call your library and ask!

EUREKA is a 21-item computer questionnaire that matches your responses to those of 400 occupations. You can also select level of education and beginning wage levels. Another flick of the keyboard and you can explore each of the occupations: pay and employment outlook, national and international settings, preparation or licensing and which industries employ that occupation. EUREKA is a California product, produced in Richmond, and it contains data specific to California and updated every year.

Microskills is a related program (from the EUREKA folks) for the experienced worker. Are you thinking of a career change? You can select and rank the skills you enjoyed in past jobs (and might find enjoyable in a future job.) Microskills will then select jobs that require a similar pattern of skills. Microskills can help you strengthen your resume too! Once you know the desirable skills you bring to your new career, you can highlight them on your resume, cover letters and in interviews.

PERSONAL NOTE: Electra has taken lots of these computer tests! EUREKA and Microskills did NOT suggest she become a yak-trainer or a college football coach! Her results showed, that in addition to being a librarian, she might enjoy (and do well at) market research, college teaching, computer consulting and nonprofits management. Electra loves what she does...but if she were looking for a change this might be where she'd look.