Calgary at a Crossroads

It's hard to shop for that special someone who's been tossed out of work. As Calgary goes through a recession, there's a whole lot of people with a whole lot of time on their hands. 

But there's always hope, perhaps a chance for career reinvention. And Christmas is a great time to sit back and read your way to a better future.

1) For the job-seeker

Knock 'em Dead: The ultimate job search guide, 2015  by Martin John Yate

Knock  ‘em Dead: the ultimate job search guide, 2015

Job interviews are a lot more than just simple answers to simple questions. The newest edition in this popular series provides excellent advice for job seekers on all aspects of the search.

2) Slim-pickins' out there

What color is your parachute? A practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers by Richard N. Bolles

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016

We've all heard this common gripe uttered during a downturn: "There are no jobs out there." Whether you are looking, or just trying to figure out where you want your career to go next, this excellent series has sold more than 10 million copies since it began being published in the 1970s.

3) Aim to win

Strategize to Win: The new way to start out, step up, or start over in your career by Carla A. Harris

Strategize to Win: the new way to start out, step up, or start over in your career

Climbing the career ladder isn't what it used to be. If you want to make a change, you're going to need a plan. In this book Carla Harris coaches readers to identify their strengths, avoid common pitfalls and work toward the results they want in their careers and lives.

4) Attitude is everything

Who moved my cheese? : An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life by Spencer Johnson

Who moved my cheese? : an a-mazing why to deal with change in your work and in your life

Good or bad, change is a fact of life. In this book, Dr. Spencer Johnson covers strategies for coping with and managing uncertainty and he uses the charming metaphor of mice and their desire for cheese.

5) Budgeting better when broke

Brokenomics: 50 ways to live the dream on a dime by Dina Gachman

Brokenomics: 50 ways to live the dream on a dime

Dina Gachman details how a small budget can translate into big results. With a little humour along the way, she provides examples of how to stretch your dollars and live life to the fullest.

6) Meals made easy

Good and Cheap: eat well on $4/day by Leanne Brown

Good and Cheap: eat well on $4/day

Eating on the cheap doesn't have to taste like it. This cookbook provides easy and healthy recipes to do on a dime, and tips on how to be a budget-conscious shopper. 

7) Thrifty theories

Frugal isn't Cheap: Spend less, save more, and live better by Clare K. Levison

Frugal isn’t Cheap: spend less, save more, and live better

Clare Levison's financial advice book argues that making room for little indulgences along your saving journey will help you feel better about your choices.

8) Personal potential

The  Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life by Kimberly Palmer

The  Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life

If you are wanting to supplement your income by establishing a microbusiness, you'll find plenty of ideas in this book. Kimberly Palmer believes anyone can do it.

9) The path to happiness

The Happiness Project: Or why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project: or, why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight

Can money really buy happiness? Do we need to radically change our lives? Popular author Gretchen Rubin describes her year-long journey to discover how to better enjoy her life and become a happier person.

10) Don't give up

Rising strong: the reckoning, the rumble, the revolution by Brené Brown

Rising strong: the reckoning, the rumble, the revolution

Like the old adage "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" Brené Brown asks a variety of people to share their inspiring stories of conquering difficulty and how they became stronger out of the process.

11) Trials become triumphs

Not quite a baker's dozen, but here's a bonus book for good measure.

The School of Greatness: A real-world guide to living bigger, loving deeper, and leaving a lasting legacy by Lewis Howes

The School of Greatness: a real- world guide to living bigger, loving deeper, and leaving a lasting

When author Lewis Howe's career as a pro-athlete was suddenly cut short by an injury, he didn't let that stop him. Readers are brought along his journey of finding purpose and redefining success.


CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.