19 Apr 2018
There are tons of books out there meant to give you advice on how to find a better job or change the trajectory of your current career. But even though you can choose from books both old and new, sometimes, there's just no substitute for the classics. If you're just starting out or planning career shift, here are some good reads for you. Use them to inspire you to get hired on your dream job or get a raise or promotion in your current one.
1. How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie (1936)
Undoubtedly the biggest classic on this list, Carnegie's book contains plenty of practical tips that teach you how to maintain healthy relationships both in work and in life. Considering that the book was first printed almost a century ago, it's amazing how it manages to remain as relevant as before. This book contains a lot of essentials for honing your people-skills and make almost any situation work for you.
2. The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success, Nicholas Lore (1998)
Many career shifters and college graduates consider this book as a 'bible' of sorts. No matter what phase you may be in your professional life, Lore's enduring work will help you make the right choices moving forward. Put simply, 'The Pathfinder' can be the book that helps you create a rewarding career path that holds the most meaning for you.
3. Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks (1969)
Longtime contributor to The New Yorker John Brooks compiles twelve timeless stories detailing what life is like in the American corporate and financial industry. Although quite the entertaining read, it would be a mistake to take 'Business Adventures' at face value, because it provides valuable insights on the world of finance, such as an in-depth look at the 1962 stock market crash, how a seemingly formidable brokerage firm failed, and more. A must-read for those whose idea of a career change is to start their own business.
4. The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster, Steve Dalton (2012)
Although you can't call a book written less than a decade ago a classic, Dalton's already has the makings of one. As we are now in the digital age, this book offers plenty of useful tips for a successful job hunt as you sift through tons of internet job postings. You'll learn to harness digital and online tools such as Excel, Google and LinkedIn, as well as alumni databases to target employers, communicate with them effectively, and convince people to provide you with referrals.
5. Steal the Show, Michael Port (2015)
Another recent release that can easily be called an instant classic, 'Steal the Show' offers a well-thought-out program full of essential advice on how to make the biggest impact, win hiring managers and interviewers over, and make them believe that you're the right person for the job. Port wants you to treat every face-to-face interaction as a performance, and proceeds to teach you how 'to bring the crowd to its feet,' the crowd here being the people looking to hire you. Use the book's practical tips to excel even in the most intimidating job interviews.
6. What Color is Your Parachute?, Richard Nelson Bolles (1970)
This proven manual for writing compelling resumes and cover letters is quite the different beast from the books on this list, because although it was written back in 1970, it has been updated every year since 1975, and some of the edits have been substantial. Although the book is heavily revised, it remains a useful guide toward fulfilling and prosperous work, whether you're searching for a first job or longing for a career change.
7. Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey (1989)
Stephen Covey's bestseller eschews the pop psychology trends and reminds us why time-tested principles of honesty, integrity, fairness, and human dignity always work. In the book, Covey shares methods that has made others so successful. But before you can incorporate these methods in your life, Covey wants you to take what he calls a 'paradigm shift,' where you'll need to review your perspective regarding time management, productivity, positivity, etc. and make the necessary changes for his methods to work.
8. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, David Allen (2001)
If time management is your biggest problem, then this is the book for you. Career advancement relies a lot on maximizing productivity, and so this is one thing you should definitely work on if you want to get ahead in the rat race. This book will teach you how to get time management and organization right, as well as guide you through a career transition with its tips for reassessing and staying focused on your goals.
9. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill (1937)
When Napoleon Hill says 'rich,' he's not necessarily talking about income. Although the book does offer plenty of tips on growing your assets, Hill's words also work as a guide for personal development and self-improvement. If you've ever wondered how illustrious men such as Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford found success and wealth, this book lays down the nitty-gritty.
10. The Elements of Style, William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White (1918)
Writing a resume and cover letter is essential in the job search process. When submitting these documents, you need to make sure they are completely free of any grammatical error. Like Bolles' 'Parachute,' this American English writing style guide has endured numerous updates. As the only style manual to ever appear on a bestseller list, Strunk and White's guide will help you improve your knowledge and understanding of grammar, punctuation, and the English language in general.
Some of the books on this list has been around since the early part of the 20th century. The fact that they're still in circulation only attests to the timelessness of their content. Read up on these classics and stay on top of your career.