Two #SAGrad Must Reads If You're Job Searching

By Luis H. Garay

If you're on the job search and on social media you have probably seen your fair share of articles, blog posts, and other information about the job search. My blog post this week is meant to add to that collective. More so than that, it is to draw attention to two books which I believe can help student affairs graduate students (#sagrad) who are soon-to-be student affairs professionals (#sapro).

The two books are Job One: Experiences of New Professionals in Student Affairs (2004) and Beginning Your Journey: A Guide for New Professionals in Student Affairs (2009) published by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) professional organizations respectively. The 2nd years in the College Student Personnel Association (CSPA) program are reading these texts as part of our seminar classes for this semester.

As someone who is job searching both of these books provide insights into job searching and first job experiences focusing on different topics such as dual job searching, politics, ethics, and handling job offers--alongside many other topics. What really makes both of these books stand out is the invaluable perspectives each book provides in their own unique way. I don't know about any other SAFirstYear Readers but I really enjoy reading how others experience the job search. In reading different perspectives I can see where others had similar thoughts, fears, and excitements. Truth be told, it also helps normalize the experience. It can be very easy to feel isolated while job searching.

Each book has their own distinguished way to present the job search experience to its readers. The Job One book takes a more story telling approach. Each chapter is written by a professional. They detail their experience and in their story the author(s) share pieces of advice. I really enjoy this type of perspective to job searching because with each author’s story comes just that, perspective. Perspective to me in each of these chapters affords me insight to how someone else has experienced this job search. Sometimes the feelings and journey is similar and other times it is not. I find value in every story and I take away what I like to call nuggets of knowledge.

Beginning Your Journey is written with a slightly different approach. Similar to “Job One” each chapter is devoted to a topic. Whereas the narrative of the chapter author is the crux of the chapter in “Job One,” here different stories are used to discuss one topic. For some stories the reader reads couple of sentence confirming or negating what is being discussed within the chapter. Other timers the reader gets a much larger reference of the story. This style took a little while to become accustomed to.

As someone in the job search, I enjoy reading people’s experiences. Most of my reading has been in the form of blogs and other anecdotal information shared via the #sachat, #sapro, or #sasearch hashtags. Reading these books for my class adds to my feeling of preparedness towards the job search.

For those who are job searching, what other sources are you using for tips, tricks, and advice? Any other good books, blog posts, or website to use? Tweet these to me at @LuisHGaray or comment below. As always, thanks for reading! :)

Student Affairs - the First Years

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