What are the best career books? 14 popular classics & modern tips
Are you tired of your monotonous job and daily routine? Or are you fresh out of school and trying to land a career? Whatever the case may be, you can benefit from career guidance. While there are many successful career coaches out there in the world, hiring one can be both time consuming and costly. Turn to more traditional career books instead written by some of the most successful CEOs, life coaches, and media moguls out there.
With so many options out there continuing to grow, choosing a career can seem overwhelming. Whether you are looking for a job or hoping to switch careers, we’ve put together a list of the best career books for women and men to help you through the process. The selection of books ranges from timeless classics to modern tips that every professional should know.
Best Career Books 2017
1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Kicking off our list is a standard text that everyone should read wherever he or she are in his or her career. Covey has selected the seven behaviors exhibited by successful people such as being proactive, thinking win/win, and opening your mind to new possibilities. This book isn’t just a quick fix to your job issues, but focuses more on changing your overall outlook of the world in order to help you succeed.
2. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Effective communication and strong relationships are the premise of this next business book to read for your career. Keith Ferrazi used his personal connections to coast from a small town to Yale and eventually to attain a Harvard M.B.A. True to its name, this book provides guidance on how to establish meaningful interactions in person and on social media. It’s insightful tips puts the book alongside classics like ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie, but also features strategies to say connected in the modern world.
3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
This isn’t your typical career book, but Sophia Amoruso isn’t your typical CEO. As founder of Nasty Gal clothing, Amoruso made her way to the top by using her entrepreneurial skills as an outsider. #GIRLBOSS shows that success doesn’t always come from a degree or popularity, but focuses on playing to your strengths and learning from mistakes. This is honest advice that anyone at anyplace in their career can benefit from. We think it’s one of the most interesting and best career books for women.
4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
While this book isn’t specifically career-focused, this 1930’s classic remains relevant today for those searching for wealth and success. Hill outlines a 13-step approach to sharpen both professional and personal skills in order to achieve in life. This book uses private interviews with money moguls such as Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford to reveal the secrets to success.
5. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcom Gladwell is known for his engaging works and conversational writing style—‘Outliers’ is not different. This book delves into the idea of outliers being exceptional individuals such as scientists and professional athletes. It is important for those who are trying to identify their own strengths and how they compare to others.
6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Another career classic that has stood the test of time, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ is dedicated to helping you create and strengthen relationships around you for personal gain without directly manipulating people. You will learn how to succeed in your career and life by winning people over and influencing them with your own way of thinking. This is another must read for those who want to find success in their careers.
7. A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
Subtitled ‘Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,’ this book by Daniel Pink shows the dominating role that right-brainers possess in the modern world. Using research, Pink supports his explanations of six fundamentally human abilities that are required for both personal and professional success. A popular read in the business world, ‘A Whole New Mind’ analyzes the high importance of right-brained minds and provide methods to develop these powerful skills.
8. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
How to drive your career and create a remarkable future: True to its name this book calls into question the role you play in the world, and how vital it may be to others. Godin believes that it’s crucial for people to become a linchpin if they want to succeed. A linchpin is the cornerstone of powerful businesses that connects, creates, and encourages in the workplace. They love their jobs and taking charge so that they become indispensable. It’s one of the best career books for those who want to strengthen their role or establish one in their career.
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Before writing ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow,’ Daniel Kahneman won the Noble Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in behavioral finance and hedonic psychology. In this book, he takes us on a journey through the mind for an in-depth look into the way we think. Thinking combined with reaction shapes that we are everyday and especially in the workplace. With practical techniques to help the decision making process, this book will ultimately change the way you think for the better.
10. The New Rules of Work by Kathryn Minshew, Alex Cavoulacos
The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career: While some of the classic career books on our list are great references, ‘The New Rules of Work’ provides insight on the modern workplace, making it an essential read. Technology has created new jobs and obstacles for those who are not so savvy. In this book, you will learn the ‘new rules’ for choosing the right career, earning the best job, and enhancing your current career, including tips and practical exercises.
11. Find Your Perfect Job: The Inside Guide for Young Professionals by Scott Smith
Scott Smith not only boasts a law degree and an MBA, but he also has authentic experience working in a range of networks. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, Smith reveals secrets for success in any working environment. This book is perfect for young professionals searching for a job or starting their career. It provides tips on job hunting, resumes, and interviewing tactics.
12. What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles
This book comes highly recommended as ‘The Best-Selling Job-Hunting Book in the World,’ which it continually lives up to. Bolles premise is that those who get hired aren’t always the best ones for the job, but they understand the most about getting hired for it. He touches on every aspect of the job and career world, including finding your ideal career, creating an impressive résumé and cover letter, improving your selling, networking, and interviewing abilities.
13. Love Your Job: New Rules for Career Happiness, Kerry Hannon
In this must read, Kerry Hannon takes us through the steps of revitalizing or reigniting the passion we have for our career. Although you may have started out loving your job, years of routine, schedules, and patterns can turn it into a nightmare. By adjusting your habits and breaking out of a daily agenda, you can bring more purpose and in turn more happiness into your life. This book focuses on reinventing the way you feel about your job rather than giving up on it.
14. Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach by Lisa Quast
Quast provides her clients with simple job searching strategies that work every time. She guides them to avoid solely using flashy tactics and opt for a better-rounded approach. In this self-help guide, you will feel like you have your own career coach to aid along every step of the way in the job search process. This book is great from everyone—from those young professionals trying to land their first job, to those looking for a career switch, even to those senior administrators trying to understand what makes a good employee.
Best Career Books 2017 – Summary
From CEOs divulging their secrets to career success to techniques for working your way up the corporate ladder, or landing your dream job, our extensive list covers topics in every part of the career and job world.
Start with some of the classics such as ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie and ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ by Stephen R. Covey, and then work your way to more modern pieces such as ‘#GIRLBOSS’ by Sophia Androus and ‘A Whole New Mind’ by Daniel H. Pink. All of these texts are worth a read as they provide advice and instructions for success strategies, career selection and reinvention, and refining your entrepreneurial skills.
What are the best career books in your opinion? Please share the ones you like most in the comments below.