Career Guidance for High SchoolStudents
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Roadmap To Career Success" by John G Bendt.] 4 out of 4 stars
College is a tough time. It's often the first huge decision a person makes in life, and it ends up being more than just a single choice - what college should I go to? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? These are questions that John G. Bendt seeks to answer in his book, A Roadmap To Career Success, 25 Tips For College Bound Students, just not in the same way many books do it.
I've seen numerous college advice books that are thick enough to kill the fiercest Australian spiders, so I was surprised that this book was only around 80 pages. Despite the short length of this book, it's packed with information that will encourage and inspire children to plan for their future from the time they begin high school. John's strategies will have students far more equipped with "skill advantages" than the average student and prepared for the competitive world of getting into college and job hunting.
John begins by recommending that people begin figuring out what they want to do with their lives when they begin high school. This isn't just "make a list of everything you might want to do and then throw a dart", it's rather thorough, including: choosing some potential fields of interest, networking, interviewing people who already have that job to see what exactly they do and whether it's something you'd be interested in. He continues on through a total of eight chapters, from defining hard skills (skills specific to an occupation or industry like programming C++) and soft skills (skills that are important for any occupation like being a team player), learning how to improve and develop those skills, learning to market yourself for colleges and businesses and then the actual job searching itself.
The author does an excellent job of going step-by-step through these processes, and includes all sorts of methods to determine what career a person may be interested in, and then collecting life experience to best set oneself up to get it. The way he breaks it down is really awesome - it's essentially a solid method of making a to-do list for your future. Sure, some of these are covered elsewhere; who hasn't been told about the importance of extracurriculars for getting into college? But John breaks it down more - he explains WHY they're important, both for college and a future career, and which ones are best for which skills. One of my favorite tips is to keep records of "how you used soft skills in your activities and jobs" so that you can refer to them freely in the future.
Aside from the six errors I found - half of which were so minor they barely even made it as errors at all - there was only one negative I found. While John manages to go through everything thoroughly and keep things moving smoothly most of the time, there was once in the last chapter that he mentioned questions one should ask an interviewer at a job interview to ensure the business has growth potential and the right culture for you. However, two chapters before that includes writing a resume and preparing for an interview. This recommendation two chapters later feels like it was out of place.
Aside from these very minor issues, I really enjoyed my time with A Roadmap To Career Success, 25 Tips For College Bound Students. Heck, even as someone in my mid-30s I was inspired to begin my own research, find my own dream job and work on the skills I need to get it! I'm definitely rating it 4 out of 4 stars and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has kids in high school or college, or to anyone who is in high school or college themselves. John says he used this method with his own four children when they were entering high school, and as thorough and all-inclusive as it is I believe him.
Elisabeth Bennett, PH.D., Associated Professor, Gonzaga University, Licensed Psychologist, Washington State.)
“A Roadmap To Career Success is packed with information for anyone preparing for a successful work life. From early exploration of potential careers through skill building to job attainment, the 25 tips provided in this text are sure to create a successful scenario for high school and college students looking toward their working futures. I wish all early high school students could have this information in a format like this that is easy to read, understand, and implement. This text will bring clarity, decrease anxiety, and generally provide insight necessary to career success. This is definitely a book I will recommend to students and clients. I’ve already passed it on to my high school freshman daughter!”
Steve Wehrenberg, Executive Vice President, Director of Strategic Planning, Campbell Mithun, Minneapolis, MN
As someone whose career has depended on the quality of our people, I applaud John Bendt’s Roadmap to Career Success. He’s written a simple, easy-to-read eye-opener for young students who want to understand a world that often seems way too far over the horizon. John’s insights from his years in the business world and deep passion for helping young people come through loud and clear.”
Deb Crapes, Career Specialist, Spokane, WA.
“Mr. Bendt has provided a great resource full of helpful tips for students. Chapter 2 with information on hard and soft skills is a ‘must read’ for anyone entering the world of work!”
Roger E. Wenschlag, Self Employed HRD Consultant & Trainer -- Former teacher, vocational school director, naval officer.
“John Bendt’s, A Roadmap To Career Success, is a goldmine of career achievement tips, techniques and tools all young people should know, but few do. Consistently applied, this book will help young people find the right career, and establish competitive advantage in the job marketplace. Bendt’s forty years of solid business experience serve to make the book practical, realistic and credible. It reads like a personal conversation with a mentor. Buy a copy for your ninth grader – I’m buying copies for my grandkids and any other kids with whom I come in contact.”
Thomas Brinsko, President / CEO YMCA of Greater St Paul, MN
"Today"s competition for the best jobs is tremendously fierce and competitive. John Bendt has presented a roadmap of 25 steps to help guide the reader through career discovery, selection, preparation and networking to achieve success in their career choice. He presents a practical set of steps that will guide the reader in building the skills necessary to college students who are interested in moving to the front of the line to accomplish a successful career choice. I strongly recommend this book to all who seek to create the best opportunities in their career selection."
Lois Neaton, Physical Therapist, Manager, Minneapolis, MN
"As physical therapists, we have the advantage of entering the job market with a board exam and a good college degree. Our hard skills are strong. It is the soft skills that sets one therapist apart from another. Communication and teamwork will make or break one's effectiveness in working with patients and other health professionals. This book provides students with an excellent understanding of soft skills, and teaches them there is more to a career than the textbooks"
Daniel O. Adams, Mechanical Engineer & Consultant to medical device companies, Minneapolis, MN. Inventor of 45 U.S. Medical Device Patents. Former Vice President of Research & Development, Boston Scientific, and Vice President of Research & Development of ev3, Inc.
"Technology is affecting all of us on a daily basis. The rate of change is on an exponential scale, and we must all adapt to be successful. Career planning has never been more important for youth today. Emphasis should be given to building basic hard and soft skills that will allow one to adapt to changing conditions. " A Roadmap To Career Success" is a straight forward approach to identifying your strengths and understanding how to acquire and improve skills for a career in a field that is interesting, challenging and rewarding to you. If you love what you do, it's not work. Taking a few minutes to read the "25 Tips" will put your career on the road to your desired destination. Enjoy the ride."