Sometimes our career paths are not quite a path, but more of a twisty walk through a confusing and sometimes mystifying forest, and while that can often make it feel like you might be lost, we promise you’re not. With the help of seven authors who have made it their business to guide you through these dark woods, we’re here to share their advice that will not only help you to find your way out, but will inspire you to hustle harder, dream bigger and climb higher than you could have imagined.
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1. The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman
Looking to connect with your inner entrepreneur? Then this is the book for you. Advice comes courtesy of author and LinkedIn Co-Founder and Chairman, Reid Hoffman, and includes his tips and tricks to help you build, invest and take strategic risks in your career in the same way he went about building his successful Silicon Valley start-up. You’ll find yourself inspired by his story, for sure, but the opening quote, written by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, is what entrepreneur dreams are made of: “All human beings are entrepreneurs. When we were in the caves, we were all self-employed … finding our food, feeding ourselves. That’s where human history began. As civilization came, we suppressed it. We became “labor” because they stamped us, “You are labor.” We forgot that we are entrepreneurs.”
2. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger
Reading this book is basically like having a conversation with the self-help coach you wish you had. The authors take a deep dive into how our personalities play a major role in our ability to love or hate our jobs. Sounds obvious, but have you ever really stopped to think about how you truly interact with the world on a daily basis? This book helps you get down to the nitty gritty of your specific personality type through a series of quizzes and workbook exercises. And don’t worry — even if you’re not ready to make a major career leap quite yet, Do What You Are also includes suggestions on how to make your current job more enjoyable through the lens of personality.
3. The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World's Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan
The Third Door starts with a powerful premise: “Life, business, success… it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in. There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where the line curves around the block; where 99% of people wait around, hoping to get in. There’s the Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires, celebrities, and people born into it slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always … the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen — there’s always a way.” There’s a few things to know about this book, first, it’s not your typical career read. Rather it’s more of a rollercoaster ride filled with revealing interviews with some of the world’s most interesting personalities including Lady Gaga, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Maya Angelou and many more. We don’t want to spoil it, but the lengths that Banyan went to secure these interviews is certain to inspire you to take whatever brave next step you need to move towards your best career.
4. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink
You’ve probably heard the expression “timing is everything”, right? Well, in Daniel H. Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, the scientist-turned-author argues that this is far more than just a common expression — it’s a fact. To back up the claim, Pink breaks down a myriad of facts, research and scientific experiments to explain in the simplest terms for both how and why timing impacts our career productivity. He also advocates the necessity of daily naps for peak performance. Amen, right?
5. Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts by Daniel Shapiro
In this fascinating read, Shapiro breaks down the ways we can deal with the greatest conflicts we’re likely to come up against in our lives. From a high-stakes hostage negotiation to asking for a raise to fighting with family members, expect to soak up both the theoretical underpinnings of how humans approach conflict as well as a ton of practical advice that will both help you resolve current conflicts and better prepare for the future.
6. Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by Jenny Blake
At a crossroads in your career? Feel like you’ve hit a plateau you can’t overcome? According to author Jenny Blake, that means it’s time for you to pivot. This comprehensive read is filled with exercises to help deconstruct your current career obstacles in order to guide you towards your next step. How? Blake has readers fill out a series of personal assessments designed to teach them to pivot from a place of their personal strength instead of fear. In other words, she shows you that you have all of the information and skills you need already inside of you.
7. Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention by Ben Parr
According to author Ben Parr, in today’s information-overloaded society, attention is one of the most precious currencies there is (thanks social media!). Parr dives deep into the science of attention, talking with a variety of experts and visionaries (including Sheryl Sandberg and film director Steven Soderbergh) about exactly how and why some people are better at not only getting — but keeping — attention.