Business

Quick Read

Young, ironic liberal-arts types typically recoil in horror from the earnest advice dispensed in uncool career guides. But these eager beavers, generally clueless as to the ins and outs of climbing the corporate leader, badly need the pointers. Megan Hustad, who toiled in the pretentious rice fields of publishing, surveys a century's worth of career advice from sages ranging from the two Carnegies (Andrew and Dale) to Helen Gurley Brown and Stephen ("Seven Habits of Highly Effective People") Covey. The wisdom she distills, interspersed with telling anecdotes from the contemporary workplace—like why it's bad form to pipe up boldly at meetings on the third day of work—is clever and, as the title promises, useful. The book is an excellent gift for the comp-lit graduate seeking to make it big in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood or Capitol Hill.
—Daniel Gross

According to corporate escapee turned career coach Skillings, 80 percent of the working population fantasizes about leaving their jobs for something better. If that sounds familiar, you'll appreciate her self-diagnostic tools to assess your job's "get-out-now factor" and help you decide if you have what it takes to go it alone. Writing breezily, she addresses both the big picture (how to identify opportunities for self-employment) and the details (how to live on less, where to get health insurance) to plan a successful escape from cubicle purgatory.
—John Sparks

Douglas Andrew employs his sons Emron and Aaron in his Utah-based financial-planning business and also in this book as object lessons in how young people can spin a small salary into a nascent nest egg. Some of the advice is commonplace (cut spending, boost savings, minimize paycheck withholding), but some (load up on cheap tax-advantaged debt and assume house prices will keep rising) seems to fly in the face of the lessons of recent history.
—John Sparks

Editor's Pick