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The Best Career Book

by Randall Craig on August 26, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

If you were to write a book on your professional expertise, what would you call it? If you’re not exactly sure, then you’re not alone. In a certain sense, many of us go through our entire careers like a book without a title. Or a book with a poor title. (Or for some people, a book with the wrong title!)

Last time you went to the bookstore or library, did you ever consider the actual names of the books on the shelves? Could you imagine if they had titles like the following:

  • A smart but apparently discredited guy unearths old secrets. (Da Vinci Code)
  • A magical boy fights against evil, and ultimately triumphs (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
  • An architect navigates the intrigues of church and state, eventually building a church (Pillars of the Earth)

While the book titles of Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, and Pillars of the Earth might be more familiar, the titles are designed to be short, catchy, and representative of the content.

When it comes to our careers, we can learn a lot from books – but in a decidedly different fashion. Consider the following elements:

  • Book Title: Represents what is in the book: short, snappy, intriguing.
  • Front Cover: First impressions.
  • Back Cover: A few paragraphs about the book itself, designed to stimulate interest.
  • Copyright Year: Is it up-to-date, or out of date.
  • Content/Story: When it comes right down to it, the contents of the book determine its value to the reader – just as your performance determines your value to your employer.

This week’s action item: What is your career “book” about? This week, work on the title, front and back covers, and most importantly, the story. When you do this, you’ll have a bestseller career book – your own.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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