You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career (Hardcover)

Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career

By Katharine Brooks

Viking Adult, 9780670020829, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 30, 2009



Read Katharine Brooks's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Has it happened yet? Have you been asked The Question? You know the one. It's the question that haunts you from your early undergrad days to months, even years, after you graduate... "What are you going to do with that major?" Inevitably this unleashes waves of anxiety, whether you're a liberal arts student unsure what your degree has prepared you for, someone with a "practical" major whose career field is oversaturated (or just unappealing), or a recent grad still searching for inspiration. But take heart - The Question is fundamentally flawed. Your major does not equal your job!

In You Majored In What?, nationally known career counselor Dr. Katharine Brooks dispels the myths and the old-fashioned thinking that can make your transition to the "real world" so daunting and chaotic. Developed from more than twenty years of teaching and guiding students to successful careers, her Wise Wanderings career coaching system helps you mine your academic and life experiences for career gold through creative yet practical techniques including visual mapping, storytelling, and experimenting. Thanks to the Wise Wanderings system, you can forget what you've been told about the job search. You don't have to know where you'll be in ten years. You don't have to have picked the perfect major. The job-finding process doesn't have to be one more burden on your already overburdened schedule. All you have to do is pay attention. Embrace the chaos. Think. Create maps. Construct small experiments. Celebrate your education. Consider possible lives. Tell stories. And start wandering. Wisely, of course. You'll be amazed at what's waiting out there for you.

About the Author

Katharine Brooks, Ed.D. is director of Liberal Arts Career Services at The University of Texas at Austin. A nationally recognized career coach, trainer, professor, and counselor for more than twenty years, she is also the creator of the National Association of Colleges and Employers Career Coaching Intensives, highly successful, sold-out training sessions for career counselors. She has a doctorate in educational psychology.

Praise For You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career

"In times like these it's crucial to look at entering the workplace from a whole new perspective and You Majored in What? accomplishes this! Who cares what your college major is? What is more important are your dreams, values and strengths and this book helps any young person figure these things out and find a career that fits. Buy it now! It's great!"
- Julie Jansen author of I Don't Know What I Want, but I Know it's Not This!

"Kate Brooks addresses the key challenges faced by many college students as they attempt to bridge the chasm between sixteen years of education and the largely unknown world of work. You Majored in What? is truly a great guide for the soon-to-be-launched student. At a time when all job-hunters are going to need to raise their level of job-getting skills, Kate Brooks has provided the liberal arts grad with exactly what they need to compete and succeed."
-Jaye R. Roseborough, Executive Director, Career Services, Middlebury College

"A fresh and encouraging voice in the liberal arts job search wilderness. Extremely helpful exercises and examples. Will be very useful to both students and career counselors. I plan to use it a lot"
-Carolyn Couch, Associate Director of Career Services, Wake Forest University

"You Majored in What? is a lifeline for parents and students who value a liberal arts education. Katharine Brooks offers smart and accessible insights that turn the apparent chaos of a liberal arts major into a "wandering map" to illuminate many routes toward a fulfilling career and life."
-James H. Madison, Professor of History and Director, Liberal Arts and Management Program, Indiana University.

"Students of all ages will gain valuable insight into their own interests, goals, and career aspirations from this book, even if all they do is skim the first 2 chapters. You Majored in What? helps young people find the connections between their interests and the inexhaustible career options available to them. This book should be sent to every student with their letter of admission or given to every first-year student at the start of orientation. I hope to share it with my graduate students."
-Paul Binkley, Director Career Development Services, The George Washington University

"The wisdom contained in this book could not have become available at a better time for the millions of Gen Y college students and recent graduates who are simultaneously struggling with crushing levels of student debt and the desire to find a career where they can do meaningful work that is of benefit to society."
-Steven Rothberg

"An amazing, refreshing new perspective on an ancient question that does not leave sage advice behind! This book takes tried-and-true concepts and adds meaning and organization. One can't but help but think, engage and be encouraged by Kate's valuable wisdom! Useful as a course text, a journal, a job search manual, or what it reads like: a personal career companion, mentor or friend. Born of chaos theory, this book is ready to deliver into the hands of the yearning who are eager to absorb it.

Loaded with images, constructive strategies, and meaningful advice, You Majored in What? is intellectual, but practical, and readers will deepen their appreciation of their majors. With its many examples, exercises, reflections and real life stories, this book has something for every reader to grab a hold of to achieve not only career success, but life and work success."
-Denise Dwight Smith, Director, University Career Center for Work, Service, and Internships, UNC in Washington

"Through the use of positive language, metaphors, and practical application, You Majored in What? is a wonderful guide and workbook not only for the undergraduate student but also for the career center practitioner! Whether a student, mentor, or coach, unquestionably you will be inspired and empowered by the possibilities that will result from the Wise Wandering and mapping activities."
-Meg Flournoy, Associate Director, The Duke MBA Career Management Center

"You Majored in What? will speak to the person in career transition or the college student simply overwhelmed by the options. The tone is light and the exercises are manageable, designed to release your hidden dreams and strengths. This is a fresh and much needed addition to the field of career development."
-Beverly T. Lorig, Director, Career Services, Washington & Lee University

"You Majored in What? is filled with interactive exercises and is written in an engaging and practical way. This book will be a helpful resource for students as they consider their post- college plans."
-Deanne H. Maxwell, Assistant Director, Student and Career Development, Cornell University

"Kate Brooks poses a multitude of questions in "You Majored In What?" Fortunately, she also offers plenty of answers to take willing readers on a journey of self- discovery from chaos to satisfying career choices."
-Skip Sturman, Director, Career Services, Dartmouth