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Courier Article by Sean Davis
Sunday, October 18, 2009

Writers Offer Tips on Succeeding in Business World

The world's job markets are in a very dark place. Unemployment rates are at record highs, government programs aren't panning out, and new jobs are trickling back to the work place. With such big obstacles to finding a job to support one's future, it makes an individual wonder what exactly they can do.

In "You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career" Dr. Katharine Brooks gives college graduates tools to finding their inner wanderers. Examination of your experiential makeup and leveraging this history can help to recreate our number one product: ourselves. Brooks assures the reader that the path may continue all our lives as we move from one career to another depending upon our professional need.

Need seems to be an important distinction in today's job market, as jobs of any kind are in high demand. New York Times contributor Emily Yellin brings to light the many facets of the customer service industry in "Your Call is (not that) Important to Us: Customer Service and What it Reveals About Our World and Our Lives." Many Americans have been on both sides of this nearly omnipresent business. Whether outsourced, automated or quality controlled customer service plays a huge supporting role for every major business. Yellin examines big name failures and why they failed, while ending with positive examples to live by. This last is important for those looking to advance in such fields of business.

Taking this lesson of fostering positive customer service, "Inspire! Why Customers Come Back" seeks to show business folk the way to customer return. Jim Champy is no stranger to facing the hurdles in the way of the business world, and this book proves he is up to a new challenge. "Inspire" brings the reader a positive approach to customer service and business in general that allows for the potential for success. By leading through example and sticking to a path that builds positively, one can inspire in all directions of the corporate chain. Each chapter is a different area of the business to look at for inspiration.

Another place to look for answers to our common problems is our collective past. "Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back" is a look at the creation of the modern business playing field, and how the current financial problems may be a blessing. Douglass Rushkoss tells of corporate manipulation of the mass mindset and how the changes the economy is experiencing may be contractions of the birth of something new. Rushkoss argues a more direct human market is called for if we are to create a system which will sustain ourselves and future growth.

Ever heard the expression, "Don't sweat the small stuff?" Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval may have something to say about that. "The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference" argues that it is in the details where an individual shows the lengths to which they are willing to go. From small talk, to baby steps, fresh thoughts are crafted around old ideas applied in creatively new ways. The authors stress the idea that the small stuff is in fact very important and may be a sign of what you bring to the game.

It is important to keep some of this advice in mind when going to work each day. We are first and foremost represented by the face we put on for the world around us. From here we ride the energy of that projection to a place that is either productive or not. The choice is ours.

Sean Davis is a readers' advisor in the Reference Services Department at Central Library.