Career Transition and Career Guidance : useful reading for service leavers

If you are purchasing your books from Amazon, most have the option of “looking inside” before you buy so you can better judge which book(s) are likely to suit you best. However, I am not on commission for Amazon, so please be aware there are lots of other websites where you can buy books. is a price comparison website which will help you find the cheapest option.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to buy careers guidance books, why not ask at your local library? For example, if you live in Edinburgh, the Public Libraries service allows you to search for and reserve books free of charge.

If you have come across any other books you have found particularly helpful (or unhelpful), why not send me a review to include on our website. Alternatively, add your comments to our discussion thread on the OA Scotland Linked In group.

Happy reading!

The Career Transition Pocketbook (Management Pocketbooks)

by Keith Corbin

£6.29 Amazon

Despite its small size, this is book is a comprehensive resource which takes you from an evaluation of the sort of job you’d like and what transferable skills you can take to it, right through to preparing for and attending interviews.  It also provides guidance on evaluating and accepting (or declining) job offers. If you find weighty tomes offputting this little book may appeal to you. It fits easily in a pocket and so can be picked up and put down when you’ve got spare time – while traveling or waiting for trains and planes.

Careers After the Armed Forces: How to Decide on the Right Career and Make a Successful Transition

by Jon Mitchell

£7.14 Amazon

An easy to read guide for those leaving the military who need a framework to assess their options and generate some ideas about new and relevant careers.

It contains a number of interactive exercises and questions to help you think about exactly what you want out of your career. It can help you work out which of the many skills gained in the military are both transferable and valuable in the civilian world.

The book includes some practical tips on how to make a smooth transition and is good on the importance and practicalities of networking. A couple of points to watch out for – there is an implication that people leave the services because they are disgruntled/fed up – we all know that reasons for leaving are many and varied so look out for this occasional negative slant. One or two of the suggestions may be too effusive for the British character – the book suggests writing to thank interviewers after an interview – while it is always a good idea to thank networking contacts for giving up their time to help you, it’s probably not necessary to do the same for formal interviews.

What Color is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

by Richard Nelson Bolles

£8,46 Amazon

This is regarded by many as the ultimate job hunting handbook, packed with advice, experience, knowledge, and tips. On the negative side, it is written for the American market and is quite a large book to tackle.   Bolles’ personal flower diagram, whereby you lay out your transferable skills, interests, values etc to try and envision the job of your dreams, is a useful tool for career planning.

The book is a relatively easy read, but does have quite a lot of exercises to complete which some readers may find off putting. If you are unsure about what direction to take this book may stimulate some ideas you haven’t previously thought about.

Posted on 26th March 2013

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