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30 Great Books For Job Search, Career And Life

This post offers 30 great career books for your review.

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I used to be a really big reader.  I loved the feel of all those new ideas and perspectives filling up my brain cells.  And being provoked to think in a different way.

Since starting the blog a few years ago, time seems to be running away from me.  It’s one of the few negatives of writing or producing content.  You have less time to consume it.

But today I’d like to share 30 of my favorites with you. 30 great career books that added value to my job search, career or life at different times.

I hope you find a few in here that help you. And give you some ideas on how to spend that pile of gift cards you get each year.

Here are the great career books based on their primary subject:

Great Career Books: Job Search

Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million+: Your Insider’s Lifetime Guide to Executive Job-Changing and Faster Career Progress in the 21st Century by John Lucht

A great book for executive-level job seekers looking to optimize their career or job search strategy.  Also check out John’s career website.

Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn: An Unofficial, Step-by-Step Guide to Creating & Implementing Your LinkedIn Brand by Neal Schaffer

So I’d like to re-introduce you to a book from fellow Orange County resident and networking pal, Neal Schaffer.  Neal found a way, despite a very busy life, to write a fantastic book on LinkedIn. Practical and now Amazon’s #1 book on Linkedin.  My complete review: Introducing The New “Everything You Wanted To Know” About LinkedIn. Read Neal’s Windmill Networking blog.

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0: 1,001 Unconventional Tips, Tricks and Tactics for Landing Your Dream Job by Jay Conrad Levinson, David E. Perry

Another top seller on Amazon, this book focuses on the unique ways you can impact your job search.  A great book for our competitive times.  To help you stand out in a crowded market.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles

Hard to write a review on the book that started it all.  The best selling job search book of all time. I remember seeing this title on my Dad’s bookshelf when I was a kid. Updated for 2011.

30 Ideas:  The Ideas Of Successful Job Search by Tim Tyrell-Smith

Hey, this one’s mine. How did it get in here?  🙂 Learn more about my 30 Ideas book.

Great Career Books: Career/On-Boarding

The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results by George B. Bradt, Jayme A. Check, Jorge E. Pedraza

This book highlights an incredibly successful on-boarding process for new leaders.  You can lead with confidence knowing knowing that you have a great system behind you. A small but powerful investment in your next job.

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies For New Leaders At All Levels by Michael Watkins

I bought this book on CD right after accepting an offer and it helped me think through my approach in my new role.  To have the right impact in the first few months.  Very helpful.

Great Career Books: Career/General

Relational Intelligence: How Leaders Can Expand Their Influence Through A New Way of Being Smart by Steve Saccone

I interviewed Steve Saccone of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles in late 2009. A great guy with a powerful idea. It will give you a great mindset for networking!  My interview and book review: A New “Must-Have” Networking Tool: Relational Intelligence.

Batteries Not Included by Thom Singer

From my friend, Thom Singer, here are 66 tips to energize your career.  You can read my detailed review of Batteries Not Included.  This a great resource.  Easy to follow and practical! Read Thom Singer’s blog.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Seth Godin asks a great question.  Read this book and learn how to stand out and to create a solid place for yourself in the workplace.  There are no employment guarantees any more, but Godin’s book will help you add big value while you are there. Read Seth Godin’s Blog.

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design by Laurence G. Boldt

This is a big workbook that helps you through the process of creating a career.  Lots of worksheets and practical tools.  If you like being walked through a detailed process, this is a great choice.

How to Find The Work You Love by Laurence G. Boldt

One of my absolute favorites, this book helped shape my view of “career”.  Highly recommended if you are looking for your true spot in the world.

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar

Are you on the wrong road? A great quote from this book: . . . “since we learn early to act on what others say, value, and expect, we often find ourselves a long way down the wrong road before realizing we did not actually choose our work”.

The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use by Karen Burns

Karen Burns has a fascinating story.  After 59 jobs, Karen shares her lessons learned and some great career advice. Read my larger review: 59 Jobs: The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl.  You can check out Karen’s Working Girl site.

Great Career Books: Career/Networking

UnMarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging. by Scott Stratten

I saw Scott speak at Blog World and he blew me away.  Powerful ideas delivered with a great energy.  If you are in marketing, sales, social media or need to promote yourself, read this book.  Read my application of Scott’s ideas to job search: How UnMarketing Can Help You Find A Job.  Read Scott’s UnMarketing Blog.

The ABC’s of Networking (Kindle) by Thom Singer

Another from my good friend and old college buddy Thom Singer, this book delivers on the subject.  Creating contacts with Attitude, Brand and Creativity. And helping you interact with more purpose. Anything from Thom will make you incredibly good at networking.

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need by Harvey Mackay

A great book on building and utilizing networks.  I found this full of useful tips valuable to a job seeker, career strategist or a sales organization.

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets To Success, One Relationship At A Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

A great concept and a very popular book. One that would make a nice home on your desktop!

Great Career Books: Career/Entrepreneur

Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner To Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim

Pam’s book helped me make the leap to pursue my ideas.  While I wasn’t in a cubicle, I certainly appreciated her thoughts and cautions on my big decision.  Learn more about Pamela Slim.

Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathan Fields

I had the opportunity meet Jonathan at Blog World 2010. I bought his book just a few months prior as I was looking to leave my company and start my own.  It helped me get past my hesitation.  Read the blog of Jonathan Fields.

Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To CASH In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

A great book on a topic that many of us are thinking about these days.  How do I make money doing what I love?  Read Gary’s story to get inspired and get started. Read more about the Crush It book.

Never Get a “Real” Job: How to Dump Your Boss, Build a Business and Not Go Broke by Scott Gerber

I just got this book a week ago and am still getting through it. But I can already feel it impacting my efforts. Learning from his mistakes and successes. I think you’ll like it. Learn more about Never Get A Real Job.

Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies by Michael E. Gerber

If you’d like to take your business dream and turn it into reality, Gerber’s book helps you down the path.  From the author of the E-Myth, he helps you figure out the hole in the world that your idea can fill.

The Art Of The Start by Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki’s book is full of great, simple tips that many entrepreneur’s need to hear.  His message is to “get started” instead of dying in the business plan stage.  Very practical and a great first book to get you headed in the right direction.

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated by Timothy Ferriss

So, this one’s been a big seller though I don’t know anyone working four hours a week.  But I do like the concept!  This book got me thinking how I could spend my day more purposefully.  I no longer watch CNN.  🙂

Great Career Books: Life

First You Have To Row A Little Boat: Reflections On Life And Living by Richard Bode

Yes, I love this little book.  It uses a sailing metaphor to describe our ways to navigate through life.  One of my favorite annual reads!

Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Through one man’s spiritual survival of Nazi death camps, learn how to discover what is most important in life.  The book suggests (from the back cover) that “the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful” in life. We can also find the meaning of life in our ideas.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

I can best describe this book as calming, pleasing and arresting.  A rags to riches to rags story of a man working to find self-knowledge and his destiny.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Not sure I need to introduce this one.  But, if you’ve never read it, you should. Tells the story of a rebellious and inspired seagull who decides to live his own life rather than the one others expect him to live. A classic!

Halftime: Moving From Success To Significance by Bob P. Buford

An incredible, life changing book.  If you are feeling stuck between a career and a desire to give back, this book will be incredibly helpful.  A major influence on me.

So that’s it for this list of great career books – almost.

You can also consider HeadStrong: The Keys To A Confident And Positive Attitude During Job Search. That’s my other book. 🙂

I hope you enjoy this list!  And burn up a few gift cards in the process.  🙂

What books make your favorite list of great career books?


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Advice

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