True Grit

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

For those of us based out of the Central Library, the last few weeks have been interesting. Suddenly displaced, trying to conduct our business as close to normal as possible, and dealing with the highs and lows experienced by our friends and neighbors, this crisis has really made me think: What allows some to adapt and cope better than others and what keeps us from feeling helpless, hopeless and powerless and instead be able to push forward and thrive?

“In the worst of times, there is always that person who, through amazing grit, shines, who makes ‘it’ happen in spite of all adversity….and that means using your grit to finish strong, even when the winds are blowing you back.”

The above quotation comes from Put Your Mindset to Work, a great career book that provides fascinating insights into the mindset it takes to win and thrive in a job. It provides sound strategies that can be applied to a host of challenging situations. And it’s much more than a positive attitude. Authors Reed and Stoltz start with the studied premise that “96% of employers picked mindset over skill set as the key element in those they seek and retain. Mindset utterly trumps skill set. Not by a little but by a landslide.”

The authors list the 3G Mindset for Success: Global (vantage point), Good (bedrock) and Grit. They expand on each of these three areas by focusing both on what employers are looking for and also how these mindsets can help employees retain and excel in a great job.

It was the Grit section that called me back over the last few weeks of turmoil. I agree that it’s our grit that can fuel us with what we need to forge ahead and make it through challenging times. According the authors, grit is comprised of our growth, intensity, tenacity and resiliency and their book provides tools, quizzes, worksheets and advice on how to explore, reflect on and improve these traits. Without a doubt, it’s that resiliency that’s proved so valuable to many of us in these past weeks, and will continue to be relevant in many facets of our lives.

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Job Interviews—the 4 Ps of Successful Interviews

by Janice - 2 Comment(s)

During Career Tours at the Central Library, I often ask the participants how many enjoy the interview process. Generally one or two brave souls will raise their hands. The rest of us look at job interviews as something we have to endure.

So what can we do to help ensure a positive job interview experience? According to the ALIS Tip Sheet: 4 Ps are key to a successful interview:


1. Prepare

  • Know yourself
  • Know the organization and the job
  • Know your accomplishments

Pre-interview preparation can be the key to a successful interview. The Library has have books, articles, databases and programs to help you research a job, industry or employer and better understand yourself and your accomplishments (as applicable to job interviews). Contact us to get started.

Two databases to start your employer or key contact research:

  • Reference USA: Canadian Businesses
    This database includes more than 1.5 million Canadian company profiles, providing information on type of business, company size and key contacts.
  • Canadian Newsstand
    These databases allow access to full articles, columns and features from major Canadian dailies and smaller regional daily and weekly newspapers, including full text of Calgary Herald articles from Dec 7, 1988.

2. Practice

As I say to customers, most of us don’t have much practice in selling or marketing ourselves—this is why practice is so important. The library runs programs on preparing for interviews and has books, ebooks, DVDs and other information sources to support you. I always suggest having a friend, colleague, classmate or family member do a mock interview with you. Give them a list of typical interview questions and answer as if you are in an actual interview. The more often you practice answering these types of questions, the more likely you’ll be able to answer similar questions well in real interview situations.

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3. Participate

Participation is how you present yourself in a job interview, from your appearance and how you greet the interviewer(s) to how you behave during and after the entire interview process. Hiring managers often get an impression of you in less than 2 minutes so be sure to make those first minutes (or seconds!) count. Preparation is another aspect of participation: if you have researched the employer and position, you’ll have targeted responses to the interviewer’s questions and have prepared intelligent questions for the interviewer.

Forbes 5 Ways to Make a Killer First Impression

What You Wish You'd Known Before Your Job Interview David Schepp AOL Jobs

4. Be Positive

Remember to always remain positive, both during the interview process and afterwards. View an interview that doesn’t lead to a job as practice, learning or even networking for future potential positions. Interviews can be stressful and not getting a job can often be a big blow to the ego. Talking about the experience with others can help you realize that most of us have stories about “interviews gone wrong” or “the perfect job that got away.”

Our popular Strategic Networking program is a great place to come talk to others and get some positive support in your career journey.

What Color is Your Parachute? (2013 ed.)

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Making the cut on Time magazine's All-Time 100 Non-Fiction Books, What Color Is Your Parachute has set the standard for career-help books for over forty years.

Richard Bolles keeps up with current issues in the job-hunting and career fields and adds and updates information in the book every year.

What's new in the 2013 edition? According to the publisher:

"Inventions in the book this year include a brand-new transferable skills grid, a novel way to discover what fields you would most like to work in, and a revamped version of [Bolles'] famed self-inventory instrument, the Flower Exercise."

What Color Is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers (2013 ed.)

2013 Table of Contents
Preface- I’m Desperate: How Can a Book Help?
The Basics for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
Chapter 1 How to Find Hope
Chapter 2 The Seven Secrets About the Job-Market Today
Chapter 3 The Best and Worst Ways to Look for Jobs
Chapter 4 Life/Work Planning: Designing a Plan of Attack
Chapter 5 You Need to Understand More Fully Who You Are
Chapter 6 Networking and Social Media
Chapter 7 Five Ways to Choose or Change Careers
Chapter 8 Do I Really Need a Resume?
Chapter 9 Sixteen Tips About Interviewing
Chapter 10 How to Deal with Handicaps (Real or Imagined)
Chapter 11 The Six Secrets of Salary Negotiation
Chapter 12 Starting Your Own Business

The Pink Pages
Appendix A Finding Your Mission in Life
Appendix B A Guide to Dealing with Your Feelings While Out of Work
Appendix C A Guide to Choosing a Career Coach or Counselor
Appendix D Sampler List of Coaches

Bolles' supports job-hunters and career-changers with free information and helpful links on his site, JobHuntersBible.com. If you're feeling stuck in your job or are needing support when looking for a new career, you may want to check out What Color Is Your Parachute (2013 ed.).


Calgary Public Library offers information and support for job-hunters and career-changers through our Information Desk and programs. Contact us at busn@calgarypubliclibrary.com or 403-260-2782 for more information, or browse through our Career programs online.

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Trying to Decide on a Post Secondary Destination?

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Which university is best for you or your child?

Choosing the right university is a big, serious, expensive decision. But take heart.

The Library's new edition of the Maclean's 2012 Guide to Canadian Universities is a readable, comprehesive overview of 81 schools. Along with updated rankings, the publication offers insights into financial considerations and options such as scholarships and residency.

To further your research, Maclean's On Campus website offers even more information on rankings, campus life and student satisfaction surveys. Their scholarship finder is easy to use, along with blogs and posts that offer insights, including some not-so-serious sidelines. For example, I was drawn into the video featuring Ryerson University's new Quidditch team, of Harry Potter fame.

Worth a read.

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NextReads: Career and Job Search newsletter

by Janice - 0 Comment(s)

Sign up for our NextReads Career and Job Search Newsletter for monthly reading recommendations!

Each month on our Career & Employment blog we highlight new and popular titles of books, ebooks, dvds and other useful career resources. Now we have a better way for you to find out about these items.

Our NextReads newsletters are delivered right to your inbox and make it even easier to hear about—and place holds on—new and great items at the library.

If you would like to see an example of the Career and Job Search Newsletter, or prefer to view the newsletters on our site instead of through your email, click on the NextReads image to the right to see all current and archived newsletters.

Click here to view our newest edition of our newsletter: Career and Job Search Newsletter (July 2012), for some current recommended reads about resumes, interviews, LinkedIn and more.

To sign up to have the Career and Job Newsletter delivered to your email inbox each month, click on the sign up button below and click the box next to Career and Job Search. Then type your name, email address and make up a password and click subscribe. You'll start receiving regular Calgary Public Library NextReads recommended reads by email. Click on other subjects to get more newsletters on a variety of fiction and non-fiction topics for both adults, teens and kids. You can cancel or change your subscription preferences at any time.

For more suggestions on what to read (or watch or listen to!) and to keep up to date on library programs and news, visit our library blogs and follow us on Facebook (be sure to let us know what you're reading!), Twitter and Pinterest.

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Hot Off the Press: February 2012

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

ACT: Strategies, Practice, and Review 2012

This essential ACT guide provides focused strategies, practice, and review so candidates score higher on test day--guaranteed. This book covers all material tested and includes two full-length practice tests, an online diagnostic quiz, detailed answer explanations, and more.

New GMAT Premier, 2012-2013

The GMAT is changing in June 2012. The new GMAT will have a new Integrated Reasoning section that will have interactive questions that test a student's ability to analyze and interpret charts, spreadsheets, graphs, and data. This book will help students study for the June 2012 test change and ensure they are prepared.

Business School Essays That Made a Difference by Nedda Gilbert

Most top business schools require multiple essays, and this book is your best bet for acing them all. This book contains actual student essays that tipped the balance between admission and denial, as well as interviews with admissions pros and with students who've been through the process and made it to business school.

Job Interviews for Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy

Does the thought of interviewing for a new job send shivers down your spine? It doesn′t have to! Whether you′re searching for your first job, changing careers, or looking for advancement in your current line of work, this book shows you how to use your skills and experiences to your advantage and land that job

Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? by William Poundstone

Poundstone guides readers through the surprising solutions to dozens of the most challenging job interview questions, Zen-like riddles, and other interviewing techniques candidates need to know. The book covers the importance of creative thinking, ways to get a leg up on the competition, and much more.

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko—the last career advice you'll ever need

by Janice

Poor Johnny Bunko. He got a proper education and landed a great job but despite excellent planning and years of hard work he's unfulfilled professionally, unsuccessful and—worst of all—completely miserable.

Sound familiar?

Either you've been there (can I see a show of hands?) or, and I hate to be the one to tell you, you will be there at some point in your professional life.

Daniel H. Pink has written a few books on life and career. His The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: the last career guide you'll ever need is a fun-to-read graphic novel containing some of the best career advice I've read in a long while (and I've read countless books and articles on career topics).

When the hapless Johnny separates a set of chopsticks to eat his lunch one day, he is magically visited by a beautiful (if somewhat pushy and foul-mouthed) pixie named Diana. (Yeah, that's right, a pixie.) Diana gives Johnny six more sets of chopsticks and with each set of separated chopsticks she reappears to provide Johnny with another invaluable piece of career advice.

Now I don't know about you, but I'd be thrilled to have a brash pixie appear in a flash of light to guide me forward in my career and life. Since I imagine it's unlikely this will happen any time soon, I'm grateful that Daniel Pink created this book.

Johnny Bunko has been billed as "America’s first business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga – and the last career guide you’ll ever need," and won a American Library Association Great Graphic Novel for Teens award in 2009. It is the perfect career book to give to any young person (don't let on that the book is a book on career advice, just let them think it's a purely fun graphic novel) and, surprisingly, a fantastic book with career advice that would be useful for anyone at any age, any stage in their career, and any level of English language comprehension.

About the advice? While I strongly advise you to read the book to get more details and a surprising amount of insight (plus the book is a fun way to spend ten minutes and may just include other valuable career advice), I'll post the six career lessons below (with my responses in italics):

The Six Lessons of Johnny Bunko

  1. There is no plan. Huh? So I've been banging myself over the head for years over not having a stong enough plan for nothing?
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses. I like this one. I’d be happy to think less about my many weaknesses, thank you very much.
  3. It's not about you. Okay. I don't like this lesson ONE BIT. (But I know it's true.)
  4. Persistence trumps talent. I contribute to the Writer's Nook blog and as we constantly say (truly, ad nauseum): you have to actually write (and keep writing) to be a writer.
  5. Make excellent mistakes. Excellent advice about not being a perfectionist.
  6. Leave an imprint. Well. A particularly profound lesson. As they ask in the book: "Did I make a difference? Did I contribute something? Did my being here matter?" For me, the most important lesson in the book.

Sound pretty straightforward? These six lessons apply equally well to every aspect of life: Don't take things personally. Work hard at what you love to do. Don't worry about making mistakes. Follow your bliss. Make a difference.

On his website, Daniel Pink has some free discussion guides for teachers or career practictioners who wish to use to use Johnny Bunko with students or in business settings. This book would be useful for anyone to read as a book of career advice or even as an introduction to graphic novels.

As for me, I plan on taking Diana’s Daniel Pink’s lessons to heart. I may even discreetly put a copy of this book on the coffee table in hopes that my kids will accidentally read it. (And everytime I pull apart a set of chopsticks, a tiny part of me might just be hoping a pixie guru will appear.)

Hot Off the Press: January 2012

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Poised for Success by Jacqueline Whitmore

In these unsettled times, we're all trying to get back to basics and your competitive advantage depends on your ability to use your emotional intelligence and social graces to take your career to the next level.

Reboot Your Career by Peter Fogel

Peter Fogel will show you how to reinvent yourself and unleash your "inner Entrepreneur" so you can quickly attract more meaningful challenges, be in demand, and yes ù make more money at your job!

Your MBA Game Plan by Omari Bouknight

This edition includes even more sample essays and resumes from successful applicants, fresh insight on 35 leading business schools from around the world, and advice specifically tailored to international applicants.

NCLEX-RN : Strategies, Practice, and Review, 2011-2012 edition by Barbara J. Irwin

In order to become a registered nurse (RN) in the United States graduates must pass the NCLEX-RN test. Kaplan NCLEX-RN 2011-2012 Edition with CD-ROM is the only book to combine test prep strategies with a comprehensive content review designed to meet the challenges of this rigorous exam.

ACT Strategies for Super Busy Students

The ideal ACT study tool from Kaplan, the test prep experts, created specifically for the busy student who wants to get the highest score possible but is low on time.

USMLE Step 3 Qbook

Containing Kaplan-exclusive strategies, new practice questions, and thorough review, this book contains more than 850 exam-like questions, detailed answer explanations, access to a sample online Question Bank, updated test-taking and strategies, and more.

Mcgraw-Hill's Nursing School Entrance Exams by Thomas A. Evangelist

Up-to-the minute preparation for the nursing school entrance exams--from the most trusted name in medical/nursing publishing!

Hot Off the Press: December 2011

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Fashion Design by Sue Jenkyn Jones

This book offers a thorough grounding in the principles of fashion design, describing the qualities and skills needed to become a fashion designer, examining the varied career opportunities available, and giving a balanced inside view of the fashion business today.

Cracking the New Job Market by R. William Holland

Everyone knows that safe jobs and lifelong careers are long gone. So why do most job seekers and employment experts cling to outdated tactics for landing a good position?

The Academic Job Search Handbook by Julia Miller Vick

For more than 15 years, this book has assisted job seekers in all academic disciplines in their search for faculty positions.

Starting & Running a Sandwich-Coffee Bar by Stephen Miller

A UK-based insider guide. Self-started sandwich bars are a huge growth industry in UK currently - this book is topical, up-to-date, thorough and extremely practical.

Hot Off the Press: November 2011

by Cher K - 0 Comment(s)

Going Pro : How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer by Scott Bourne

You’ve got the gear, the training, and the technology. You’re ready to make the leap from aspiring to professional photographer. Now what?

Barron's Nursing School Entrance Exams by Corinne Grimes

A multi-part model exam plus many shorter tests in each of this book's chapters will give nursing school applicants orientation and preparation before they take an actual nursing school entrance exam.

Medical-Surgical Nursing by James Edward Keogh

This book contains 375 review questions with answers and concise explanations of all course concepts.

The Fashion Careers Guidebook by Julia Yates

The fashion industry is exciting and glamorous--but very tough to break into. That's all the more reason why ambitious young men and women who hope to succeed in that dynamic business take their first step to success by reading--and re-reading—this book.

MCAT : Medical College Admission Test by Jay Cutt

Completely revised and expanded, this book provides test takers with an in-depth, easy-to-use science review and a set of often-neglected but critical time-management strategies for test taking that cover reading comprehension, essay writing, and scientific problem solving.

Knock 'em Dead 2012 : The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin John Yate

For more than 25 years, bestselling author Yate has shown the way for millions of job seekers. Now readers can turn to him for a proven method to put their career on track.

Careers in Sport, Fitness, and Exercise by Shirl J. Hoffman

This book is your guide to landing your dream job in one of today's most exciting, popular, and fastest-growing industries!

The Big Book of Jobs

Whether you’ve recently earned a degree, decided to change careers, or re-entered the workforce after an extended absence, this is the guide you need to make the right decisions—the first time around.

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