Book Review: How to Get Any Job with Any Major

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How to Get Any Job with Any Major by Don Asher

This book review is a guest post by Makafui Fiavi. She is a Junior Policy Analysis and Global Health major at Cornell University. One day, she would like to work in the area of healthcare delivery for an international organization such as the World Health Organization, World Vision, or CARE. In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with friends, reading, and learning how to play the guitar. If you would like to guest post for One Day, One Job or One Day, One Internship by writing a book review, employer profile, or blog post, please e-mail info@onedayonejob.com.

If you’re browsing the library or bookstore shelves this summer for career advice, you should definitely check out How to Get Any Job with Any Major by Donald Asher. I was personally drawn to the book sub-title, Career Launch and Re-launch for Everyone Under 30 (or how to avoid living in your parents’ basement). For someone who believed for a long time that the choice of a major in college defines or delimits the types of jobs you have in the real world, I was curious to see what insight the author had to offer.

Who Is Donald Asher?

Referred to on his website as “America’s Job Search Guru”, Donald Asher is a nationally-known speaker who has given lectures and workshops at major universities across the nation. Along with being a career consultant, Donald Asher is a contributing writer to many publications including, Managing Your Career magazine, the Wall Street’s online career site, monstertrak.com and wetfeet.com. He has also written several other books on higher education and careers, such as Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t and Why and From College to Career: Who Gets Promoted.

What’s It All About?

The first chapter lays out the purpose of the book by explaining the difference between career development and getting a job, the latter being the end-product of the former.

Divided into 3 parts, How to Get Any Job with Any Major takes the reader through the journey of (re)-affirming career interests and values, matching those interests to real-life opportunities (volunteering, networking, internships, etc), and finally getting the job to match those interests.

Reading the book, you feel as if the Donald Asher was talking directly to you. To make it a fun read, the writing is broken up with quotes from famous and ordinary people, case studies on different situations, as well as cartoons. All the advice is both detailed and practical. In my favorite chapter on “Networking”, the author made a list of 49 types of people that are part of your networrking circle, including “every funeral director known by anyone you know” and “every bartender at every club you shouldn’t be hanging out in anyway”.

The highlight of the book is the assignments at the end of the book. Donald Asher urges readers to start a career journal, in which they should complete the assignments.

What I Think

How to Get Any Job with Any Major is a great read for both college students and college graduates. However, if you’re simply looking career advice, feel free to bypass the first 2 parts and go straight to the 3rd part. The assignments seem a bit too extensive (some involve outside research), but they will give you a nice opportunity for introspection. My advice? Do as few or as many of the assignments as you want, but you should realize that some of the later chapters build on the assignments from earlier chapters.

Go ahead and pick it up. I think it’s worth reading!

How Do I Get It?

Neither Amazon nor Better World currently has Don Asher’s book in stock. Your best bet is to buy it used through Amazon’s Resellers or to check it out of the library.

If you just want to give the book a quick skim, you might be able to get by with this extensive free preview on Google Books.

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4 responses to “Book Review: How to Get Any Job with Any Major”

  1. Thanks Mak for a great review. So far every guest post that we’ve had here has been by a Cornell student! Hopefully we’ll see some students from other colleges and universities share their writing skills.

  2. Reviews like this are great. Mainly because a lot of finding job book reviews that i have read are usually by people who have jobs and seemed to have had them for a while. It great to have a review from a students perspective. Sometimes I feel that they forget the initial struggle that you go through to find something relevant to what you studied.

  3. Hen says:

    I agree only with this guy about the book.

    By rumpelrumpel – See all my reviews
    ANY job with ANY major, huh? I agree with everyone else that the book merits 5 Stars, but only coincidentally, because it has little to do with what one might think, from reading the title. The world is NOT wide open to you if you have a liberal arts degree. As you would suspect, one way or another, you will have to do what everyone else does for so many fields: get another degree. Alan Greenspan was only a music major, the back cover crows, huh? Yeah, Wikipedia says he studied the clarinet for two years. And then he got a BS in Economics, a MS in Economics, and a Ph D in Economics. Somehow, I’d suspected as much. Along these lines, it could just as easily have been entitled, “How to Get Hired as a Surgeon if You’re Only a High School Dropout.” Well, first you get your GED, and then…

    It would also have been much more useful if the author had gone through the Occupational Outlook Handbook and listed those careers that *normally* require a specific degree, but where he knew that, in certain situations, hiring exceptions are made for non-specialists who were somehow able to learn enough on their own (and how they did this).

    Yes, some good examples are in the book, but only as motivators – one still won’t know exactly which fields are closed off to nonmajors, and which aren’t. Any Job With Any Major – yeah, right!

  4. You can’t blame the guy for writing a sensational headline/title… “How to Get Some Jobs with Some Majors” would be a hard sell.

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