Monday, May 25, 2009

Kennedy, Susan and Baker, Karen. The Job Coach for Young Professionals: the Workbook for Landing the Right Job.

Intern Bridge, Inc.. 2009. 144p. ISBN 978-0-9799373-5-4. $19.95

Here experienced cofounders of Kennedy Baker Associates (now known as Career Treking, LLC)-- a career coaching organization designed to assist entry level job candidates though the job hiring process—Kennedy (B.A./B.S. Psychology/Elementary Education) and Baker (Bachelor’s degree) partner with Intern Bridge, a leading college recruiting research and consulting firm, to provide recent college graduates and young professionals who have been working for a few years with an empowering, interactive handbook filled with useful resources that will assist them in finding the right jobs in any job market. While college graduates usually are able to find employment after they graduate, the high turnover rate of 64% within the first three years of employment indicates that many young professionals graduate without the life skills that they need to begin and develop their professional careers. Here Kennedy and Baker walk young job hunters through the job search process and help them master skills they will need throughout their professional lives. Organized into 4 parts presenting the proven strategies that the authors have used to coach entry level job candidates as part of their job coaching business, this guide sets forth four steps to being successful: Assess Oneself, Prepare Oneself, Sell Oneself, and Succeed. While this workbook is not divided into chapters, its arrangement follows the aforementioned steps. The authors cover most relevant topics, not limited to envisioning one’s future, completing skills and values inventories, researching jobs, industries, and companies, setting goals, developing one’s story, writing resumes, cover letters, and thank you notes, interviewing, networking, creating a job search action plan, securing the right job, and managing one’s career. Filled with examples, diagrams, worksheets, reproducible forms, and more, this publication unfortunately lacks an index and a select bibliography of helpful, proven, printed and online resources for job seekers. Concise, clear, well- organized, and easy-to-read, it will benefit many college graduates, young professionals, and even experienced workers. Highly recommended for general readers and many public library collections (even though it primarily is intended for personal use and consumption)—C. A. Lajos

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Green, Tena. Your First Year as a Principal: Everything You Need to Know that They Don’t Teach You in School.

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2009. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-220-7. $24.95.l

Here former substitute secretary, teacher’s aide, and intervention specialist Green, who also is a novelist (The Catalyst, A Woman’s Touch, X-30), provides first-year principals and some principals in their positions longer with a guide to surviving and making their first years as school leaders easier and more effective. Green attempts to present new school executives with all the information that they did not learn in school as well as with the advice of veteran principals. In Chapters 1-3, she lays a plan for new school administrators, discussing how they need to assess the situations in which they find themselves, analyze the gaps between where their schools are and where they should be, and move forward to initiate and effect changes. In Chapter 4, Green briefly covers laws and litigation affecting the administration of schools, including the No Child Left Behind Act (2007), the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She includes a section on politics in education and the influence of various entities such as legislatures, special interest groups, tax payers, the media, superintendents, teachers unions, parents, private enterprises, and more. Chapters 5, 6, and 7 encompass various topics not limited to the responsibilities of principals-- dealing with teachers, parents, students, and the media—closing the gap, and end results. Chapter 8, the longest chapter, organized in a question- and- answer format, enables Green to set forth the advice of veteran principals in response to her questions on many subjects. Not a how- to- or step- by- step manual, this book provides new school leaders with the general overview and preliminary guidelines that they need to get their jobs done and be successful. It also presents some great advice from experienced school leaders. Well- researched and concisely written by a non-educator who has worked in schools in a variety of roles, this publication will serve as a useful companion to providing valuable insight and peace-of-mind. New principals should read it from cover-to-cover and learn as much as they can from it. While some new school administrators may wish to keep a copy of this publication on or close to their desks, the format and content of this book may make it slightly unwieldy as a reference tool or handbook. Recommended for first- year principals as well as for school and public library book collections-C. A. Lajos

Blacharski, Dan. The Savvy Business Traveler's Guide to the Customs and Practices in Other Countries

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2008. 288p. photogs. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-013-5. $24.95.

Here world traveler, author of six books, and professional freelance writer, Blacharski ( attempts to provide mostly business travelers from the United States but also Americans traveling abroad for pleasure with a comprehensive, concise guide to the business customs and practices in over 40 different countries worldwide. Dividing his book into seven sections, in chapters one through four, Blacharski first offers some sound advice to American business travelers. He stresses that in foreign countries business is never just business but may be personal and involve an understanding that business is about more than the bottom line. It may involve eating and drinking the oftentimes difficult- to- stomach foods and beverages of host countries. Blacharski advocates adopting an open attitude and willingness to try to assimilate with foreign cultures. Courteous business travelers also will attempt to learn a few words of the languages in which their foreign business counterparts converse as well as respect local customs and practices regarding bribes, gifts, religion, etiquette, and more. The author extrapolates on how a little common sense goes a long way toward being courteous and successful. He emphasizes that in the global economy, the American “way” is being displaced by many ways about which knowledge and insight are needed. The remaining sections of Blacharski’s guide cover the business customs and practices in various geographic areas of the world-- Asia and the South Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Americas, and Africa and the Middle East—while separate chapters examine the business dos and don’ts in specific countries or in the case of South Africa, regions. Each chapter includes sections on the economy, greetings, foods, religions, etiquette, business practices, and common customs. Traveler’s Tips interspersed throughout the text as sidebars present the first-hand experiences and advice of Blacharski and others. Not exhaustive in scope or depth and seemingly based upon the author’s first-hand experiences, Blacharski unfortunately omits many countries to which U.S. travelers may embark. Some of the more important countries not covered include Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Nepal, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Cuba, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, and more. A bibliography of print and Internet resources should be added as well as appendices and a glossary defining unfamiliar cultural and religious terms. Finally, while the pictures accompanying this publication are attractive, they should be in color and appropriately placed at the beginning of chapters rather than at their ends. A useful but not definitive, authoritative guide to world business etiquette, travel, intercultural communications, and corporate cultures, this book will serve as a starting point for many travelers. Recommended for general business audiences and many public library collections-C. A. Lajos

Biase, Anita. Your U.S. Citizenship Guide: What You Need to Know to Pass Your U.S. Citizenship Test with Companion CD-ROM

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc. 2008. 288p. bibliog.. index. ISBN 978-1-60138-135-4. $24.95.

This is a very useful publication for individuals thinking about, beginning, or completing U. S. naturalization, the process of becoming a United States citizen. Here Blaise (freelance writer; former teacher and author of a story in Chicken Soup for the Souls of Mothers and Sons) divides her book into three parts that are intended to make the oftentimes daunting, overwhelming, and lengthy process of naturalization seem less intimidating, simple, and achievable. In Part 1, she guides readers through what they need to know to become U.S. citizens and explains the processes they will have to complete to achieve citizenship. Blaise covers the definition of a citizen and explains the various types of applicants for citizenship. She discusses eligibility requirements as well as methods for obtaining a green card. She examines the application for citizenship (Form N-400), the citizenship test, the interview before an immigration official, and what happens after the interview. In Part 2, Blaise provides a study guide to the citizenship test, including chapters on American history and government, English- language skills, the U.S. Constitution, and the New Citizenship exam. In her final chapter of Part 2, the author presents case studies of individuals who successfully became U. S. Citizens. Blaise’s book also consists of nine appendices, a selective bibliography, glossary, and back- of- the book index as well as a companion CD-ROM that features the Form N-400 (Application for naturalization) with instructions, a 10-minute multimedia presentation on the naturalization process, naturalization guides, study materials, and more. Featuring many supplementary resources, the appendices and CD-ROM nicely complement and enhance the text. While not necessarily a definitive work, this well- organized, concisely- and clearly- presented publication belongs in most public libraries and many school libraries. Recommended-C. A. Lajos