These books come up again and again among post-academics seeking a career change.
So What Are You Going to Do with That?: A Guide for MA's and PhD's Seeking Careers Outside the Academy Basalla & Debelius 2001
It's over a decade old and still the go-to guide for post-academics trying to figure out what else to do and how to sell themselves to new employers. The authors are post-academics and drew on hundreds of interviews for their advice. A must have.
What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual For Job-Hunters and Career-Changers Bolles 2013 (updated annually, which is awesome.)
Yes, you're going to feel like a total tool when you buy this, but trust us, this is the best career change manual you can get. Get the most recent version or last year's at discount (this is nice because it actually includes websites, social media stuff, etc, versus a 5 or 10 year old manual that's like "electronic mail, or 'e-mail,' is a new tool for jobseekers..."). If you're floundering in uncertainty about what to do next, this book is full of exercises that can help you learn about yourself, think of possible careers that will be fulfilling, and articulate your transferable skills. This will help you figure out what you might actually like and be good at, versus what sounds cool or neat or you think would be easy to tell people when you quit. Read about Lauren's experience with What Color? here (scroll about halfway down, past the crafty stuff, to get to the review). I decided to move away from freelancing as a post-ac career based on this book, which was wise. Jen, another post-acer who blogs with Lauren @ Mama Nervosa, also found What Color? valuable after she left a PhD program in Women's Studies. This book will probably also confirm your decision to move away from work in academia. So we think it's completely necessary.
More books tba!