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Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke: Career Moves
March 17, 2008, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Books, Careers, Library Science | Tags: ,

This is the second installment of my review of Suze Orman’s The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. The first installment, Know the Score, covered credit scores and reports.

Throughout chapter 2, “Career Moves,” Orman is adamant that 20somethings should be following their passion in life, not chasing after money. Time is on our side in this stage of the game and we should not sell ourselves short by grinding down our energy on a job we absolutely hate. We are far too young to lock ourselves into an unappealing career for 40+ years just for the lucrative paycheck.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what if we chase our dreams and come up short when it’s time to pay the bills? Orman gives us the green light to use credit cards to fill in the gaps. She warns, of course, that we should only charge essentials if we need to and not use the cards to treat ourselves to everything our little hearts desire. We have time, too, to pay off our debts.

Orman offers up some basic job searching advice: step out from behind your computer screen and give potential employers some face time. The internet is a great starting point to find jobs, but you need to show more interest than an emailed resume with a standard cover letter to impress them enough to land the job.  

She also stresses the importance of personal and professional connections. Do you know anyone (or know anyone who knows anyone…) who currently works for an employer you would want to work for? That person could be your foot in the door and be able to offer up some invaluable insider’s information that could give you the winning edge over other applicants.

If you can’t get a full time job in your field of choice, settle for a part time or volunteer position until you can get enough experience and connections to land a salary position. If you have no idea which career you want to chip away at for the rest of your working life, conduct some research on your interests and skills to get some ideas for potentially satisfying careers. For more information about job searching tips and career advice, be sure to read What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles.

Another clear point Orman makes is that we should not use school as an escape route. Only go back to school if you are serious about it and have considered the degree for a long time. To quote from page 71, “If you want to quit your job and go back to school for a degree that isn’t necessary or even related to any specific career, you are in for a bunch of trouble.”

One last bit of advice: be sure to set up an emergency fund for the lean years you will continue to encounter until you figure it all out and get some job experience.

I do not completely agree with Orman on the job search front. For some employers, all they do is online applications and they do not want to speak with you until HR weeds through the applicants. They just don’t have the time to field everyone’s interest in the position. Yet there are still some employers out there who do appreciate face time with potential employees. You need to get a good feel for which type a company is before applying in order to approach them at the right angle.

Boy, am I ever in this job/money pickle. While I in no way regret getting my BA in English, I sure wish there were more job opportunities dealing directly with this field. I am currently considering going back to school to get my masters in library science as it offers a specific career path, but I want to make sure that I truly want this as a career for the majority of my working life and that I’m not just using school as a stalling tactic. I thought about getting my masters in English literature, but that will just put me in the same position I’m in right now: overeducated and underemployed. I’m currently working two part time jobs, one in a public library and one in a bookstore, in an effort to figure out my future and to stay afloat. It certainly isn’t easy, but I’m gaining the experience that I need to make an informed decision about my potential career in library science. I’m keeping my eyes out for any full time positions that are available, but, since I haven’t had any luck snagging one yet, the pickle continues.

Next up for the Money Book for YF&B review is credit cards.

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