Reads to Help You Brave the Job Market


Photo: Anna Bryukhanova/ istock

Analysts say the economy is on the rebound already but just try telling that to someone without a full-time job. Some dyke-friendly cities, like Portland, Ore., were hit especially hard and lesbian-owned businesses have been seriously affected as well. While lesbians there are turning unemployment into opportunities for networking, volunteering and no doubt far too many afternoons of Fat Tire Ale and daytime trash TV, many are boning up on workforce 2010. 

In this new economy, experts say that those now under 30 will hold 20 to 30 jobs before retirement, and most will have at least two, if not five, distinct careers. For mid-career dykes (especially those with only five years left to retirement) the job prospects can be even more daunting.

With back-to-school afoot, now is a perfect time, however, to map a life path, find yourself, bone up for a new job and perfect your career skills. A handful of books will get you on the right track.


Strategies for Successful Career Change
Martha E. Mangelsdorf
Ten Speed Press
Mangelsdorf’s book couldn’t  have come at a better time, with record unemployment hitting women across the country. In it, this seasoned business journalist walks through lessons learned about career changing quoting a wide array of individuals. Among the most important tips: How to change your career while still paying your bills and how to explore new careers in low-risk ways. A solid and interesting read for anyone who hasn’t aligned their professional goals with their personal life. (


How To Get Any Job: Life Launch and Re-Launch for Everyone Under 30
Donald Asher
Ten Speed Press
In this second edition, subtitled, “Or how to avoid living in your parents’ basement,” the author argues that virtually any life-goal can be reached from virtually any starting point. The importance is doing the plan as early as possible so you can hit the ground running—either after college or the minute you get canned. Some helpful tips include how to prove you have skills that don’t show up on transcripts, how to get experience if you can’t get a job and, for anyone who isn’t a co-ed, how to hit restart after you’re stuck in a dead end job. (


One Year to an Organized Work Life
Regina Leeds
Da Capo Lifelong Books
Whether you’re juggling multiple jobs or one big chaotic one, organization is critical, and Leeds best-selling guidebook is a handy week-by-week guide to eliminate office stress for good. The author recognizes that in today’s world the workplace often becomes our second home—and is equally messy. The tasks help readers to learn how to get out from under the crush of paperwork, take back your space, pack for business travel, and even how to ask for a raise (though this may or not be the best time to do that latter thing). (


The End of Work as You Know it: 8 Strategies to Redefine Work On Your Own Terms 
Milo Sindell and Thuy Sindell 
Ten Speed Press
Husband and wife career experts offer eight strategies to alter their workplace experience by sharing expertise, initiating change, demanding autonomy, creating meaning, sparking creativity, seeking recognition, maintaining balance and building a legacy. They are that its not a perfect job that makes work rewarding but the way you engage with your workplace activities. (


The Compromise Trap: How to Thrive at Work Without Selling Your Soul
Elizabeth Doty
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Utilizing interviews with 50 plus business people. Compromise Trap offers guidance for those trying to work with integrity while still getting ahead. Promotes the idea that businesses can act with integrity in the world. (


Dealing With the Tough Stuff: Practical Wisdom for Running a Values-Driven Business 
Margot Fraser, Lisa Lorimer 
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Part of the Social Venture Network Series that provides how-to-guide for running a socially conscious business. (


Start & Run an Adult Boutique
Karen Bedinger
Self Counsel Press Business Series
Step-by-step guide to breaking into the billion-dollar adult boutique industry; starting with writing a business plan and moving through legal issues, where to get product and how to market your business. Includes a CD-ROM with an additional resource guide. (


It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor
Rebecca Shambaugh
McGraw Hill
President and CEO of Shambaugh Leadership argues that the real reason women represent barely 5 percent of the top earners among executives has nothing to do with a glass ceiling and everything to do with seven “self-imposed career blocks” that prevent women from moving up. Getting off the sticky floor, Shambaugh claims, is made up of  balancing your work and life, embracing good enough (combating perfectionism: if not essential to the organizations core growth, delegated), making the break (staying in one place too long, being too loyal always look to next position, have a plan), making your words count (improving communication), forming your own board of directors (developing strategic relationships), capitalizing on your political savvy (having sources of reliable informationso u can keep on top of coming changes) and asking for what you want. Although not pegged as a sticky floor, Shambaugh spends first two chapters on knowing and being oneself (identifying the kind of values and beliefs other advisors pinpoint as essential to career success).


Lavender Road to Success: The Career Guide for the Gay Community
Kirk Snyder
Ten Speed Press
Based on two year study of 300 LGBT alumni from University of Southern California, first career guide written specifically for queer community. Overcoming homophobia in the workplace, financial benefits of being out at work (Snyder’s research suggests it could mean earning up to 50 percent more than closeted peers). Also found out that level of bias experienced by trans folk 3 times higher than lesbian and gay. Overcoming barriers like gender appropriate jobs, being told second class, overcoming discrimination, beoming an agent of change. (


This Is Not the Life I Ordered: 50 Ways to Keep Your Head Above Water When Life Keeps Dragging You Down
Deborah Collins Stephens, Jackie Speier, Jan Yanehiro, Michealene Cristini Risley
Conari Press
Over 10 years ago these four women (award-winning filmmaker, business writer, journalist and U.S. congress person) began meeting to share wisdom and advice for dealing with life challenges. Share that advice, clever cartoons and inspiring quotes by famous women. (


The Artist’s Guide:  How to Make a Living Doing What You Love
Jackie Battenfield
Da Capo Press
Inspiring photographs of eclectic range of art pieces. How to sell yoursell with samples of work, artist statements, resume and biography.  Networking with peers, exhibiting in nonprofit spaces, how to earn money (diversify, barter, make sure benefits are included in your pricing) or find other funding (grants, etc), contracts and legal negotiations. Homework assignments. Quotes from other artists. Bios of the artists included. (


Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place
John Abrams
Chelsea Green Publishing
Cofounder and CEO of South Mountain Company and author of 2005’s Company We Keep Here’s the revised edition with a broader focus on employee ownership and workplace democracy. Eight guiding principles (sharing ownership, cultivating workplace democracy, challenging growth, balancing multiple bottom lines, celebrating spirit of craft, practicing community entrepreneurism, thinking like cathedral builders (taking a long view), and committing to the business of place. Includes appendix with lot of resources, notes and suggested reading list. (


Volunteering Around the Globe: Life-Changing Travel Adventures
Suzanne Stone
Capital Books Inc
Illustrated with photographs. Want to have an unusual vacation or work opportunity. Volunteer opportunities around the world but recognize that this doesn’t mean “free” most charge fees for travel, food and lodging. Advice on practical issues and break down of organizations to contact 


Gap Years for Grown Ups
Susan Griffith
Crimson Publishing
Once only for high school graduates dreading the immediate enrollment in four more years of education, the idea of taking a year off is gaining momentum among middle-aged workers and sparking a new trend in travel. Nuts and bolts how to take off such a year (who will pay your bills? Can you keep your job?) and then how to use it—doing something meaningful like volunteering overseas; working and living overseas and travel and adventure, education. Taking your family and returning to life after your remarkable year. Second, revised edition 


Leading With CARE: How Women Around the World are Inspiring Businesses, Empowering Communities, and Creating Opportunity
Mary Cantando
Real life stories of women in the developing world lifing themselves our of poverty and improving their communities. CARE is a global humanitarian organization fighting poverty by giving women resources to change their lives. Interwoven with these stories, are profiles of five female executives at American companies talking about what business folks can learn from these women in developing countries. (


Hands-on Holidays: Charitable trips, Rewarding adventures and Volunteer Breaks
Guy Hobbs
Globe Pequot
Those who want to do something on their holidays get another book filled with photos and first person stories from those who volunteer on everything from archaeological digs to wildlife research. (


Stoking the Creative Fires: 9 Ways to Rekindle Passion and Imagination
Phil Cousineau
Conari Press
Award-winning author and filmmaker Cousineau offers advice on recovering from burnout and rekindle passion. Divided into three parts:  Inspiration, perspiration and realization. You can’t create inspiration, but you can be ready when it strikes. Exercises and inspirational quotes (a fave: Failure is not falling down, it’s staying down—Mary Pickford) to spark your creativity (


Public Speaking in an Instant
Keith Bailey & Karen Leland
Career Press
60 tips and techniques to give a good speech, step-by-step from knowing your audience to crafting your speech and overcoming unexpected interruptions. (



The Elements of Great Public Speaking:  How to be Calm, Confident, and Compelling
J. Lyman MacInnes
Ten Speed Press
Award-winning author MacInnis has made 5,000 TV and radio appearances and 1,500 speeches. With the premise that you can never be a leader if you‘re not a persuasive speaker, MacInnis presents advice for preparing, giving and leaving a memorable speech--whether the speech is impromptu or career-making. Each chapter ends with a “In a nutshell” repeat of  the most important points; making this a great reference book. (


Be Heard the First Time: The Woman’s Guide to Powerful Speaking
Susan D. Miller
Capital Books, Inc
While most books on speaking focus on preparation and delivery of a scripted talk, Miller takes another approach. She provides pointers for improving your posture, pitch, articulation and pronunciation. (


Ready, Set, Talk!: A Guide to Getting Your Message Heard by Millions on Talk Radio
Ellen Ratner & Kathie Scarrah
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Political Editor and DC Bureau Chief of Talkers magazine Ratner has provided a handbook on utilizing talk media to promote an issue, a product or candidate. The book teachers readers how to research media targets, create media events to gain attention and continue exposure. Guidelines for using new media outlets, prepare for interviews, and putting on a promotion and managing media crises. (


Transformational Speaking: If You Want to Change the World, Tell a Better Story
Gail Larsen
Celestial Arts
Transformational focuses on how to access your own “true” voice to speak effectively and change minds. Dispels myths about successful speaking, showing the true power is accessing and sharing the stories unique to you. With passion and addressing an audience open to your cause can change the world. Bibliography, resources including speaker fees and communicating with speaking venues.(


Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now
Jane B. Burka, PhD & Lenora M. Yuen, PhD
Da Capo Lifelong
Creators of the first procrastination treatment group, these two psychologists examine the reasons behind procrastination and offer techniques for overcoming it (including breaking things into smaller goals and using just 15 minutes to get started). (


Facing the Lion, Being the Lion: Finding Inner Courage Where it Lives
Mark Nepo
Conari Press
Inspirational stories of ordinary people who summon their courage in the face of obstacles and make an impact on the world.(



101 Toughest Interview Questions...and Answers that win the Job!
Daniel Porot and Frances Bolles Haynes
Ten Speed Press
Revised edition offers four or five answers to 101 interview questions, and warns you which ones might raise red flags. Questions split up by those answering Can you do the job? Can you fit with the company? Who are you? And how much will you cost us? (


201 Knockout Answers To Tough Interview Questions: The Ultimate Guide to Handling the New Competency-Based Interview Style
Linda Matias
Based on the assumption that more and more employers are asking competency-based interviews (aimed at proving job seekers have the skills they claim to have) this book provides answers to likely questions (that aren‘t industry specific). In addition, Matias offers suggestions for developing a competency-based resume and how to follow-up after the interview. (


How to Find Work in the 21st Century
Ron McGowan
Self-Counsel Press
Contending that the future will see a workforce of contractors, McGowan devotes most of this book to advice on marketing and selling your unique skill set. Helpful reminders like remembering to include the costs of benefits in your consulting fees. He also demonstrates that traditional resumes are no longer effective and offers other approached including creation of a brochure advertising your skills. Includes CD-ROM with additional examples. (


Fearproof Your Life: How to Thrive in a World Addicted to Fear
Joseph Bailey
Conari Press
Bailey, author of Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, shows that fear is like stress—a warning signal that we need to react. Unfortunately in our modern world fear is a constant prescence. In fact, Bailey argues that fear is addictive because it gives us the illusion we have control over life—and we‘re all hooked. Bailey teaches how to fight the fear that paralyzes so many of us and actually limits our ability to see real options. Essentially drawing from meditation, Bailey proposes acknowledging fearful thoughts as thoughts and letting them go. (


Less is More: Embracing Simplicity For a Healthy Planet, A Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness
Cecile Andrews And Wanda Urbanska, Editors
New Society Publishers
In this anthology authors present voluntary simplicity as the cure for modern ills and the solution of environmental issues, economic instability (personal and global) and spiritual antipathy. (


The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide: How to Find Hope and Rewarding Work Even When “There Are no Jobs”
Richard N. Bolles
Ten Speed Press
If you can only buy one career advice book this year, make it this concise reference by What Color is Your Parachute? author Bolles. Not only does this distill the most important elements from his annual guide, it addresses topics no one else is tackling—including ways to reduce your expenses (become frugal), how to survive your 21 weeks of unemployment (first catch up on your sleep) and how to keep hope alive in these trying times (have alternatives). He demonstrates that there are hidden jobs out there and shows you how to find and get them. And he reminds you that today’s resume is everything your future employer finds when they Google your name. (


Feng Shui For Success: Simple Principles for a Healthy Home and Prosperous Business
Kurt Teske
Penguin Group
Beginner‘s guide to the ancient Chinese system of designing your physical environment to maximize your energy and quality of life by using Taoist principles to create harmony and balance. Aimed less at telling you which furniture to place where and more at teaching readers to understand chi, the five elements (fire, water, earth, wood, metal) and how those can impact feng shui. (


Y in the Workplace: Managing the ‘Me First’ Generation
Nicole A. Lipkin and April J. Perrymore
Career Press
How to manage the 75 million strong Generation Y that is demanding dramatic changes in the workplace (and has the clout to get what it wants). Born with cell phones in their hands and never allowed to fail these self-inflated new employees have a sense of entitlement and expect to text in meetings, wear facial piercing to work, to catapult into leadership positions within the first year of employment, work to be just one part of life and to only receive positive feedback. This book provides the psychological reasons for certain workplace behaviors and offers coaching advice that can keep you sane and may make a dent on their wok habits. (


6 Steps to Free Publicity Third Edition
Marcia Yudkin
Career Press
Find news angle, press release, support with media kit, publish articles yourself, staging events, speaking for free or fee, get on radio show or web coverage, testimonials, capitalizing on search engines. (


Simplify Your Time: Stop Running & Start Living!
Marcia Ramsland
W Publishing Group
This 2006 book from author of Simplify Your Life offers four main categories assigned over 4 weeks and broken down further by day to day tasks. Includes 101 time saving tips. (


Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?: Get Your Company, Your Cause, or Yourself the Recognition You Deserve
Howard Bragman
Penguin Group
Arguing that traditional advertising no longer works and that pr is cheaper than advertising. It‘s not what you have to offer, it‘s how you get the word out. Bragman details the making of a successful media campaign—and offers real life blunders by celebrities. (


Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes
Mark J. Penn
With E. Kinney Zalesne
Twelve Books
Pollster Penn and Janet Reno‘s former counsel Zalesne predict 75 patterns they believe with shape our future. Some of the most intriguing predictions: women will take over word-dominated fields, at the same time more and more women will pursue physically demanding careers; growing numbers of late-bloomer LGBTs and those who reject gender binaries. (


What Color is Your Parachute?: 2010 A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
Richard M. Bolles
Ten Speed Press
You don‘t sell 10 million copies and have your career guide translated into 20 languages without having something to offer. Bolles has an advantage over others because his a new edition of his book is published every year. Bolles‘ main approach is to help job seekers self evaluate to determine their favorite skills, expertise, type of people to work with, critical values, favored geography, working environment and salary. If this seems like a lot of work to get a job that‘s because Bolles is really pushing you into your dream career. But Bolles argues that this is also a more successful job seeking technique than more traditional efforts like using resumes or responding to job ads. So how does Bolles‘ 2010 differ from 09? For one, it‘s a 100 page lighter (half of which were trimmed from the appendices—even more when you consider that Bolles moved the old chapter 12 into the appendix) and contains far fewer illustration. Otherwise he’s tightened everything up, editing little bits out here and there. But really, this year’s version is very much like the one from 2009—because by then he’d already started responding to the current economic crisis for example by adding a section on dealing with rejection shock. The downside to Bolles’ career-guide bible? Religion. Over the years, Bolles has gone from career coach to minister and he brings his Christianity with him—especially into the  chapter 12/appendix A “Finding Your Mission in Life.”  (


Telecommuting: Managing Off-site Staff for Small Business
Lin Grensing-Pophal
Self Counsel Press
Handy guide for managers to understand the advantages and costs of telecommuting and how to train and manage off-site employees.  Appendix includes sample agreements, checklists and other resources. (


Marketing in the New Media 2nd Edition
Holly Berkley
Self Counsel Press
This guide shows business owners and marketing professionals how to use social networking, mobile advertising, audience participation and branding to integrate new media into traditional advertising efforts. (


Thriving During Challenging Times: The Energy, Food, and Financial Independence Handbook
Cam Mather
Aztext Press
Maintaining that we‘re on the verge of peak oil (after which our access to fossil fuel—and, Mather maintains the modern lifestyle it‘s afford us—will disappear) Mather imagines the future as more like our pioneering past than sci-fi futures. He offers practical advice on developing independence by paying down your debt, growing your own food and integrating renewable energy into your home. (


Independence Days: A guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation
Sharon Astyk
New Society Publishers
A handy companion piece to the book above, and pulling from the theory that we’re 9 meals from anarchy, this book provides step-by-step details for how to store food for that post-apocalyptic world (or just a natural disaster, or an extended period unemployed). In addition to canning, dehydrating techniques, Astyk offers advice on preserving food on a community level and reducing your reliance on industrial agriculture by creating local economies. (


Green Careers: Choosing Work For a Sustainable Future
Jim Cassio & Alice Rush
New Society Publishers
Great resource for those seeking environmentally conscious jobs. Starting with an industry by industry overview of green jobs which includes short interviews with people actually in specific jobs, the book then provides additional resources including online resources and websites for literally  hundreds of potential employers. (


Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren
Career Press
Authors of The 2-Second Commute present a unique guide to working at home. Starting with a series of quizzes to determine if you actually are cut out for working at home, the book then suggests you try to get your current job turned into a telecommute position. If that doesn‘t work, they provide in depth resources for getting all types of part or fulltime paying jobs that you can do from home. (


The Secret Pulse of Time: Making Sense of Life’s Scarcest Commodity
Stefan Klein
Da Capo Press
Translated from German, written by author of Science of Happiness, this academic tome is a brilliant treatise on time itself. Not so much self-help, but rather an explanation for why 10 minutes of dancing at a club with your girlfriend goes so much faster than 10 minutes in line at the DMV. Pulse will have you rethinking the concepts of time and how it applies to your own life. (

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