Tom McKinley’s New Book Gives Career Guidance to Teens

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Veteran iUniverse author Tom McKinley returns with his new book, Make the Right Decisions Early. Here’s Tom to tell us more about his book and inspiration.

Please tell us about your book . . .

Front cover draft - MTRDEMake the Right Decisions Early: Wisdom for Pre-College Students and Other Teens provides advice to teens on majors, colleges, and careers. It is a self-help book, and is as much a book for teens as it is for their parents. If I had two hours to sit down with a high school student to advise them on their future, what I would say is in this book!

More specifically, the book is designed to give high-school students the information necessary to facilitate a smooth entry into the working world after college graduation. Primarily, this means studying majors that will lead directly to jobs.

What inspired you to write your book?

Quite simply, it was seeing the thousands of college students that graduate every year and who then are unemployed, unemployable, or employed but in a job that does not provide them with a comfortable financial future. This is because of the majors which they have chosen: generally, liberal arts majors which do not impress employers. The old advice of “Go to college and major in whatever you want” is extremely outdated, and even dangerous.

In my book, I describe the salary threshold for people who want to live a life that is financially comfortable.  Those who earn less than this amount will struggle. Those who earn more than this amount will have the pleasures of having a disposable income, and will not be stressing and worrying about money all the time.

Tom McKinley sideshot high-res (lighter) cropped 2The way to get this salary, and well above, is to choose a major which leads to a job that will pay it. I identify the majors that lead to financially-rewarding jobs, and also have a separate chapter on Careers. I’ve done research for readers to show them which careers are hot.

Another aspect I touch upon is colleges. Too many high school students focus on getting into a “good” college, not realizing that their choice of major is far more important than their choice of a college.

What is one message you would like to convey to your readers?

Before you go to college, you should know what type of career you want, and it should be one that is numbers-based. The point of college is to prepare you for your financial future, which means that you need to think of college as a stepping stone to a job and a career. Don’t choose a major that doesn’t lead directly to a career. I guide you through all of this in my book. At 120 pages, it’s something you can read in a day or two, and which won’t interfere with your studies.

Book cover 300Make the Right Decisions Early also contains chapters on the social, psychological, and health aspects of these years of one’s life. I discuss how to keep oneself strong and healthy, both mentally and physically, and how to deal with depression and anxiety. In this section, I used some of the observations I made in my previous book, Winning the Fight to Be Happy (also published by iU), while modifying them for a teen audience.

How would you describe your publishing experience?

I’d like to thank the staff at iUniverse for being extremely professional and efficient. As with my last book, they had all the answers to my questions, and got the inside layout and front cover exactly as I had envisioned them.


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