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4 Motivational Books for Frustrated Job Seekers

Kieron graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2000 with a BA in psychology. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics, including job advice.

Not long ago, I sat down at my computer and opened up a copy of my resume. My plan was to update it with information from my latest job, but I found myself staring at it and reminiscing over all my past experiences.

As I went through each section, I remembered the special moments that I lived through during those times in my life . . .

My graduation from Vanderbilt University in 2000. The summer working as a camp counselor at Camp Bob in North Carolina. The year working at home as a software analyst after my daughter was born. And all of the friends and co-workers that I came into contact with along the way.

Although it sounds like my journey was full of clear skies and smooth sailing, there were so many struggles that I had to endure along the way. From figuring out the best way to gain experience when people only wanted to hire experienced employees to deciding between money and passion, the frustrations were endless.

Along the way, I randomly came across four books that helped me to stay positive and focused on finding a job that I could love. I read them, took notes, and to this day, I still work on putting them into use in my daily life. I gave away my physical copies of each book because I think that books are meant to be shared with others, but this article still allows me to "share" them with you with the hopes that they soothe your soul during your job search.

Are You Searching for Your Job the Right Way?

"Everyone knows how to search for a job."

At least that's what I thought when I came out of college.

It all seemed so simple back then. Figure out a career field, create a resume, go crazy sending it out to every company in that field, and then sit back, waiting for a response. If that didn't work, create an account on Monster or CareerBuilder and then go crazy again applying for every job that came up in the search results.

1. What Color Is Your Parachute

Thankfully, my sister had graduated before me and referred me to What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles. She bought a copy of it for me, and I started my mission of finding a real job.

The book not only taught me the ins and out of identifying what I wanted in a job but also how to go about finding it when it wasn't posted out in the open for the regular population to see. It introduced me to the world of networking, which up until that point, was something that I thought only benefited the rich. It also explained how to go about finding more information about career fields and positions before trying to apply for them.

After reading it multiple times, I can tell you they don't call it "The Job Hunter's Bible" for nothing . . .

One of the special things about What Color Is Your Parachute? is that the book gets rewritten every single year.

Not revised . . . rewritten.

Author Dick Bolles explains the reasoning behind this project in the video clip below.

2. The Lost Soul Companion

It takes a special person to work in a village of cubicles day after day and somehow not lose their sanity. However, it also takes a special person to choose the road less traveled instead of drifting towards the white-collar world.

Although society can sometimes make us feel like grown-ups are supposed to strive to be in office environments, it doesn't have to be the only way.

Sadly enough, a lot of the frustrated job seekers I've come across in life are people who would rather die than be stuck in an office building for 8–9 hours a day. Some of them are artists, some are writers, and others just enjoy doing creative things outside. No matter what their career interest is, they all share the desire to do something not considered "the norm" by society's standards.

I came across The Lost Soul Companion while I was dealing with my own struggle over how I viewed working in Corporate America. If anything, this book taught me that it isn't abnormal to consider professions in things that others don't view as "grown-up" enough.

It also spent a good portion of the book reflecting on the depression that creative types often feel as they struggle with the pressures of making their career take off.

A companion in every sense of the word. This book serves as a shoulder to lean on and a kick in the butt for creative people looking for jobs outside of the office world.

Although trying to make it as an artist, musician, or writer can be difficult, it's not impossible. This book's message is that you are not alone in your journey and that you can be successful as long as you stay motivated along the way.

3. Wishcraft

Great people not only make you feel like you can do anything, but they also help you formulate a way to make it happen. For that reason alone, I consider Barbara Sher to be one of the best life coaches and people in general.

My sister recommended Wishcraft to me as a way of figuring out what I would do if I could ever change careers one day. Before then, I was always full of "what ifs" and "could have beans." For every dream, there was an excuse for why I couldn't make it happen.

Wishcraft ended up being the perfect book for me at that time. It had plenty of exercises in it that helped me discover more about myself. It also had plenty of stories about other people and how they discovered what they were meant to be doing.

Ultimately, it may confirm that you are on the right path with your life, but it will also make your alternatives a lot more clear than they have ever been before.

This book made me take a look at myself in ways that I had never done before.

By the end of the book, I had come up with a list of things that I would be doing if I had another life, reasons why I wasn't pursuing them now, and a plan to put them into action.

Every section of the book has exercises (and I suggest doing them all) and stories that you'll be able to see yourself in.

If you've ever wondered about changing careers but fell short for any reason, this is the book for you.

4. Peace Is Every Step

Searching for a new job can be frustrating, especially when you aren't getting the responses you expected from prospective employers. After a while, it could even start to go to your head. You may question yourself and your abilities and also begin to pull back from the world around you.

During moments like these, it's important to stay in tune with the good things that are still going on around you.

I came across Peace Is Every Step when I spent a summer living in Northern California back in 2001. At the time, I was right outside of Mendocino, a place full of natural beauty. However, all I could do was stress out about what I wanted to do next with my life.

Once I read the book and started to focus on being more mindful about the world around me, I noticed a lot of the things that worried me before went away. In turn, I was able to focus on what I wanted my future to look like while still enjoying the present moment.

Although written by a Zen Buddhist monk, this book is rewarding for people from all walks of life.

Consider it your guidebook to living a more mindful existence in life. Taking the time to enjoy each and every moment in life for all its beauty.

While your job search may feel like the end of the world sometimes, you'll realize that there are still great things going on around you at all times. It's bound to re-energize you as you continue on your job hunt.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.