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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman, Library Director
For: Red Rock News
Date: August 28, 2009

Labor Day & Employment

With Labor Day around the corner, this week we’ll take a look at the world of employment. But first let’s give credit to those who gave us this holiday. The same folks who gave us the weekend are also responsible for this day, which is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s a creation of the labor movement. And for most of us, it’s a day off from work.

Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

In this changing economy, landing a job can be a challenge. The library can be a starting point for those who are exploring job possibilities. A new arrival to our collection is “100 Fastest-Growing Careers: Your Complete Guidebook to Major Jobs with the Most Growth and Openings” by Michael Farr. This book is designed to give you facts to help you explore your options. Look to the healthcare area as the most rapidly growing field. Most of those jobs require training or education beyond high school.

The classic book on exploring careers is still “What Color is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers.” It was chosen for the Library of Congress list of Twenty-five Books That Have Shaped Readers’ Lives. Author Richard Nelson Bolles gives the following advice: “Remember, job-hunting always involves luck, to some degree. But with a little bit of luck, and a lot of hard work, plus determination, these instructions about how to get hired should work for you, as they have worked for so many hundreds of thousands before you.”

Once you’re at the point of applying for a job you’ll need to tackle the resume issue. Two books that take their titles from the boxing world are “Resumes that Pack a Punch” and “Knock ‘em Dead Resumes.” While they take a general approach, you’ll also find books aimed at specific types of audiences: engineers, blue collar workers, people without a four-year degree, and managers to name a few.

Do you know that if you’ve been invited for an interview you’ve most likely beat out eighty percent of the competition? You’re most likely one of the top five or six candidates still in the running for the job. If you’ve landed an interview, you might want to consult some books to help you summarize your skills and get tips for setting yourself apart from other candidates. Try “Next-Day Job Interview: Prepare Tonight and Get the Job Tomorrow” by Michael Farr and Dick Gaither or “The Everything Job Interview
Book : Answer the Toughest Job interview Questions with Confidence” by Bob Adams.

Look in the Spanish collection for “Como Conseguir Trabajo en los Estados Unidos: Guia Especial para Latinos.” Author Mariela Dabbah faced many of the same uncertainties that thousands of new Latino immigrants encounter when starting a life in the United States. Her book addresses the fears and questions related to a job search, how to understand what the language barrier means and how Latino immigrants can use their strengths as an advantage.

There are also books that help guide people who are ending their working careers, but not quite ready to totally leave the work place. In “Don’t’ Retire, Rewire!” Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners offer five steps to fulfilling work that fuels your passion, suits your personality, and fills your pocket. Marc Freedman‘s contribution to the subject is “Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life.”

Want to learn from the experience of someone else? Take a look at “There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile: Lessons on the Road from Dreams to Destiny.” Rickey Minor, the musical director of American Idol, talks about his own journey and also offers behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Idol contestants and the keys to their success.

Finally, if you’re just looking for a fun read about quirky characters in unusual professions, try “The Butterfly Hunter: Adventures of People Who Found Their True Calling Way Off the Beaten Path” by Chris Ballard. You’ll meet characters such as Spiderman Mulholland, a former Marine, who rappels to suicidal spots on sheer building faces to assess damage or make repairs, and Phil Devries, The Butterfly Hunter, who spends time in the jungles of Costa Rica and Southeast Asia. The book’s lesson: “There is no proper balance for everyone’s life, only a proper balance for each individual’s life.”

Virginia Volkman, author of this week's article,
is Director of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.