Heading into fall, consider catching up on reading aimed to solve problems in your career. Here some 2009 titles that fill that bill.
-- "Fired to Hired: Bouncing Back from Job Loss to Get to Work Right Now," by Tory Johnson (Berkley Trade). After being fired at the tender age of 22, the author founded Women for Hire, a career services resource for women, and pole-vaulted up to become "Good Morning America's" workplace contributor.
-- "Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design, 2010 Edition," by Laurence Boldt (Penguin). The first part of this classic, philosophical book helps readers identify the work that they really want to do, while the second part provides action steps to finding or creating that work.
-- "Flight Plan: The Real Secret of Success," by Brian Tracy (Berrett-Koehler). The author, a well-known motivational speaker, explains how to chart a course to greater success with a 12-step process. The aeronautical metaphor emphasizes the importance of measurable goal-setting and making course corrections when needed.
-- Five new or revised books for ex-offenders, by Ron Krannich and other authors (impactpublications.com). This unique collection of authoritative re-entry workplace guidance can be purchased as a package or by individual volume. (A thoughtful welcome-home gift!) The titles are:
"The Ex-Offender's Quick Job Hunting Guide," "The Ex-Offender's Job Interview Guide," "The Ex-Offender's Re-Entry Success Guide," "Best Jobs for Ex-Offenders" and "The Ex-Offender's 30/30 Job Solution: Your Lifeboat Guide to Re-Entry Success."
-- "How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships," by Leil Lowndes (McGraw-Hill). Sample trick: To exude a more authoritative air, nod up, not down. Begin with your chin parallel to the floor. To express acceptance or agreement, lift your chin up and bring it back to normal several times. You are conveying confidence.
-- "Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur," by Pamela Slim (Portfolio). The author, a management consultant, offers everything readers should know before making a major career change -- not just the nuts and bolts of starting a business, but a full discussion of the emotional issues involved. Find Slim's blog at EscapeFromCubicleNation.com.
-- "Undress for Success: The Naked Truth about Making Money at Home," by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish (Wiley). This guide will interest those who hope to become e-workers, whether you want to freelance, operate your own business or stay fully employed. Lister is an authority on the small-business side, while Harnish is an expert on the technologies that make home-based jobs possible.
-- "You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career," by Katharine Brooks (Viking). The author, who directs career services for liberal arts students and graduates at the University of Texas-Austin, explains her system for mining career gold from academic and life experiences -- no matter your major. Her creative techniques include visual mapping, storytelling and experimenting.
-- "Get More Money on Your Next Job ... in Any Economy," a revision by Lee Miller (McGraw-Hill). The author, a careers columnist and former human resources executive, is an expert negotiator who shares his expertise on how to maximize your earning potential under any conditions.
-- "The Power of WHO: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know," by Bob Beaudine (Center Street). The author, a leading recruiter in sports and entertainment, uses two decades of experience to turn conventional wisdom about networking on its head.