Our Favorite Career Books

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Looking for some good resources to kick-start you career search? Wondering what’s right for you and not having much luck at the library or on Google?

You are not alone.

What follows is our short list of great books to help with you career and job search. And believe us, we’ve read and reviewed a lot.

Why books? Because this is a complicated topic, and although you can pick up lots of good pointers and resources on the web, sometimes it’s great to have a comprehensive overview of the topic.

Here’s our list, that we recommend to clients.

Think something is missing? Feel free to contact us on our Contact Us Page => here

ps. although we provide links to Amazon, please note we don’t make a commission on anything, and there are other cheaper places to buy used copies if you are on a budget. Try Thriftbooks, or SecondSale.

Career Classics That Have Stood the Test of Time

What Color is Your Parachute

by Richard Boll

This is a classic. Richard basically defined the field of career transitions 20 years ago and his books is updated annual, for marketing reasons mostly, but also to stay current.

Basically, this is the DIY of how to get clear on your career direction, complete branding and run an outstanding search.

But even more important than all that, he frames it in a positive and wise way. He gets the basic concept that this is as much about finding what’s right for you as it is for what is out there in the market.

A timeless classic and well worth it. And No, you don’t need the latest version.

find it on Amazon => here

find it at Thriftbooks => here

Free at your local library => here

Getting Unstuck

by Tim Butler

O.K., Tim nailed the title on this book (we like the cover too), and the the larger concept, that being that a career search is about connecting with your deeper mission, purpose and calling in life. And if you don’t do this, well, it will just keep calling to you until you start to answer.

More important, he gets the idea that this as much about the subconscious (if not more), than the conscious plan or story that we carry in our heads.

It’s is packed with wisdom and some practical examples – that we use with our clients too!

find it on Amazon => here

find it at Thriftbooks => here

Free at your local library => here

Clever Reads that Hit the Mark

I Don’t Know What I Want But I Know It’s Not this

by Julie Jansen

Julie first published this book in 2003, and there are have been two updates since. She navigated multiple career changes and now works as a career and leadership coach supporting transitions.

What we like about the book is it’s structured approach – she provides a great foundation for assessing where you are now, i.e. what’s working and not working in your current role, including lots of questionnaires to assist with self-assessment, – her tools for assessing and understanding values, attitudes and ability to experience (and presevere) through change, and finally, here an assessment of the different attitudes and mind-states of how we look at our career.

Leveraging her experience as a coach, she classifies some (not all), of the major personality of career dissatisfaction, includeing those of us…

  • Seeking meaning in the workplace
  • Bored or experienceing loss of challenges – but not ready to give up money for a far off dream
  • Bruised or gun-shy from a past layoff, demotion or other perceived failure
  • Bored and feeling plateaued
  • Yearning to be on your own and realize the entrepreneurial dream
  • Looking to wind down career and acheive a vision for retirement

Along the way she also digs into success factors and goes through the nuts and bolts of how to look for a work.

Although it feels a little formulaic at time, through her experience, she shines insight into pockets of the career journey and provides solid tools that allow for acceptance and clarity on next steps.

find it on Amazon => here

find it at Thriftbooks => here

Free at your local library => here

How Big Is Your But?

by Rene Brent

Keep hitting blocks in the workplace? Do the internal repetitive patterns of fear, shame, low self-confidence keep rearing their ugly heads over and over?

Rene Brent is a no-nonsense fasten-your-seatbelt transformation coach who has strong opinions about how our internal thinking can dominate, and full-on stop, progression of personal development.

In her book she takes the ‘inner-critic’ head-on and provides, what many are starting to find, are the latest tools for connecting the parts of yourself that need to be accepted, heard, parented, integrated and hopefully ultimately healed.

She provides tools and exercises for finding and naming blocks and fast-paced approach for building and achieving transcendence. Which includes, (ho probably guessed what was coming), mindfulness, using your body to read and connect with emotions (‘the felt sense’), using imagery to build visions of improved outcomes.

Drawing on her clinical experience as a nurse and hypnotherapist provides an clear, practical approach to overcome those nagging and repetitive blocks that prevent our achieving true potential.

We like this as a on-point thought-provoking primer that allows you to identify your inner-critic and lays out a roadmap to change. We also suggest listening to one of her podcasts.

As coaches ourselves, we also appreciate that achieving habit-change requires effort well beyond books.

find it on Amazon => here

find it at Thriftbooks => here

Free at your local library => here

Podcast interviews can be found => here

Career Books That Bend the Mind (and Call the Soul)

The Great Work of Your Life

by Steven Cope

It’s a pretty daunting task to try and summarize this book.

This a tour-de-force interpretation, dissection, and illustration of one of the great literary works of all time, The Bhagavad Gita also just know as the Gita.

What relevance does this have to finding your career path?

Somewhere between everything and nothing at all. And that’s the whole point.

Stephen seems to have spent a good portion of his life peering deep into his own, and others, subconscious, to try to understand the deeper motivation that comprises, makes-up, and composes the origins, shape, nature, and progression one’s life calling.

In the Great Work of Your Life, he takes on the amazing task of reinterpreting the personal life-quest journeys of some of the create luminaries of our time, including the likes of Gandhi, Walt Whitman, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, and Thoreau, not to hold their acheivements as beacons of aspiration or to elevate high moral personal standards, but rather exploring their internal relationships with their struggles, doubts, and suffering, as they wrestled to find and realize the powerful internal callings that were seeking voice.

Along the way, he intertwines this rich narrative with his own personal journey, his experience as a Yoga teacher, and witnessing the unfolding of similar discernments with us mere mortals.

The only small thing that might be missing is a deeper attempt to try to integrate emerging thinking from the field of Psychology which, in addition to the acknowledgement of mythological and archetypical unfolding of the Hero’s Journey, also acknowledges the emerging understanding, and impact that ‘effective memories’, and the evolutionary environment of childhood, have on shaping our quest and life-long strivings.

Like poetry, and the Gita itself, The Great Work of Your Life is a book you will read more than once.

find it on Amazon => here

find it at Thriftbooks => here

Free at your local library => here

Podcast interviews can be found => here