There’s no question that times are tough in the U.S. job market these days. Employment statistics are down and the outlook is gloomy.

The upside, though, is that it may mean it’s a good time for you to think about a new career and there are plenty of resources available to help in the search.

Of course, most people who are looking for a job don’t want to spend money on books, so it’s important to know what works and what’s best left on the shelf. Below, we take a look at five books with proven track records for helping people find new careers.

1. 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal

It’s true that the U.S. is facing some serious economic uncertainty, but perhaps more importantly for people seeking new careers is that a part of this is due to a transition in needs in the country’s workforce. Advancements in technology and changes in how people communicate are revolutionizing how we work, and what we do for a living.

Career counselor Dan Miller tackles this issue by encouraging readers to explore themselves, and examine how their skills, personality traits and desires fit in with an evolving work culture. Readers are asked to leave traditional notions of work behind and be prepared to embrace the “new normal.”

2. The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know

Anyone who has ever asked for advice on how to find a new career has inevitably been told of the power of networking. For some people, networking is Holy Grail of success: “It’s all about who you know, not what you know.”

Bob Beaudine, headhunter and CEO of Eastman & Beaudine, insists in his book that you already know everyone you need to know to find the job of your dreams. It’s a radical claim and unbelievable on its face, but Beaudine backs up his belief by providing readers with a detailed plan on how to allow their current connections to lead them to career success.

3. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today

The “Guerrilla Marketing” series and other books by authors Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry are considered by many to be among the best tools for getting the job you want by skipping the pie-in-the-sky inspirational fluff and sticking to real tried-and-true methods and strategies for competing in the job jungle.

Version 3.0 incorporates new ideas about how career seekers can use social media and search engine optimization (SEO) to find and get dream jobs that are in high demand. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are now a part of the career landscape and “Guerrilla Marketing” helps readers survive and thrive in this brave new world.

4. What Color Is Your Parachute? 2012: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

The 40th edition of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” brings the tried-and-true career advice for which it has always been known into the Digital Age with new recommendations on how to apply skills in a job market that is being reshaped by technology and a revolution in the work products employers seek.

From starting your own business to positioning yourself for success in a new career field, this book is a vital top-to-bottom resource for anyone looking for a career change. It acknowledges that knowing yourself is the first step, but doesn’t place limits on people who may not be there yet.

5. Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want

This New York Times bestseller from career coach Barbara Sher has been helping people discover 1) what they want and 2) how to get it for more than 20 years, and is hailed as a triumph in the self-improvement and career success genres.

“Wishcraft” has been described as a stripped-down version of “What Color Is Your Parachute?” for people who are looking for pragmatic and sensible advice on how to make a career change. The book provides a roadmap to readers that they can use to find their strengths and use them to get where they want to go using simple but effective methods.

About the author: James Madeiros is a staff writer for Masters in Accounting, an informational career site for individuals interested in a masters in finance or accounting degree.


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