I am an avid reader and really into professional development. I believe that the right book can spur deeper thoughts within a person and inspire them to be greater at what they do both in life and professionally. So these are my top five picks of books that will boost your career.
1) Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career & Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht:
This is trusted insider advice presented in a truly honest way. While it is focused on the fashion industry it is written by one of the top PR reps, and when looking for a job essentially you are marketing yourself. She shows you how to leverage social media, how to transition between seemingly unrelated careers, and offers general advice on how to be the best professional you that you can be.
Aliza shows how your career success solely depends on YOU. You need to manage your passions and grab your career by the horns because no one is going to do it for you. The book provides a personal branding blueprint, a communication and etiquette code and the motivation to get up and start living your dream career today.
2) Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do by Chris Guillebeau:
There is a method to landing the perfect job and this book provides the map whether your dream position is with a traditional company for out on your own. It helps provide the path to mixing enjoyment and money through the use of stories from people who actually made it. It also provides actionable tools, thought experiments, and exercises to figure out what your passions are as well as how they apply to your unique skill set and experience.
A perfect book for new college grads, or those still trying to figure out what their dream job is. This book offers a glimpse into the lives of those living their dreams and provides the tools needed to figure out yours.
3) Fluent in 3 Months by Benny Lewis:
I am of the belief that fluency in another language will definitely boost your career. It is an often sought after skill for most companies and being fluent in the most economically friendly languages can open up a whole new door to international career opportunities, something I am personally very passionate about.
Mr. Lewis’s approach to language fluency is more laid back than traditional language books and offers the chance to explore language as a whole before diving into a specific language so you are set with the tools needed to learn a new language. The book covers the entire spectrum of language learning from the tricks to pick up new vocabulary all the way to information from famous polyglots on what it takes to become masters of several languages. A definite must read for anyone attempting to learn a new language.
4) Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas:
This book takes on one true: that good questions are way better than answers. Good questions are thought provoking and inspire others in a way that answers to questions don’t. Think about it, would you rather speak to a boring person who just keeps talking to fill the air? Or how about a disengaged listener who is waiting for you to get to your pitch? This book shows you how to keep those you are speaking with engaged and drawn to you because of meaningful dialogue.
The book is presented in 35 chapters that cover topics and approaches with real life stories that demonstrate the questions one should be asking clients, potential employers, or anyone you want to having a meaningful professional conversation with. At the end of each chapter is “Suggestions for How To Use This Question” where the author offers some addition advice around (A) When to use the question (B) Alternative versions of the question and (C) Follow-up questions you may use in the conversation.
This book is a practical guide where you can put the advice into action and begin building your business acumen, elevator pitch, and other means of communication in the professional world.
5) Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game by Kevin Hogan and James Speakman:
This book is great because it focuses on practical tools that can be used everyday and how to put them into practice that produces results. Like Power Questions, this book too focuses on communication but in a different way. This book helps your communication be more persuasive, whether you are trying to land a sale, or even a new job, the communication tips in this book will help.
The book provides the methodology and tools to be more persuasive but also provides warning signals to watch for when speaking to others so you have more meaningful conversations. It also shows that communication is more than just speaking, there is body language and other tactics in play when communicating. It also can help introverts (just like me) be more personable. Your career and your life is one big sales game and this is the book that shows you how people make “buying decisions” whether they be a client or your friend who doesn’t know where the two of you should eat.