TOP 8: The Books for Professional Development

If your profession means more than just a job to you, you want to be the best that can be at it. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there for those who want to get good at what they do and elevate their career. Below, you’ll find a list of eight professional books that dish out some of the best tips to get your professional development started on the right track and stay there. If you’re ready, you can order any of these professional development books on Amazon.

Books for Professional Development

A quick read, Invaluable provides readers with a recap after every chapter to ensure you digest what you read. Both smart and conversational, Maya uses her own personal experiences in her professional books to teach you not only how to avoid mistakes, but also how to correct them and turn them into success.

#2: FOCUS in ACTION Is Great Leadership - 10 Tenets of Leadership & Professional Excellence

By Belinda Johnson White PH.D.

One of the more important professional books that provide you with strategies and tools to position yourself as a priceless employee, Belinda Johnson White’s FOCUS in ACTION targets the millennial generation and helps them transition from followers into leaders ready to face the challenges of the 21st-century workplace. And considering Prof. Johnson White’s background, it pays you better to listen. After all, she’s only the Associate Professor and Management Program Director over at Morehouse College, and teaching a business degree core course Leadership & Professional Development—and that’s just a little sampling of her vast credentials.

A much-needed guide for young people to find it within themselves to commit to excellence, FOCUS in ACTION professional books equip readers with the proper TASKBs (traits, abilities, skills, knowledge, and behaviors) to achieve success not only at work but also at home, with the community, and even in places of worship.

#3: Think Like Socrates - Using Questions to Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom, Grades 4 – 12

By Shanna Peeples

Socrates remains one of the most influential critical thinkers to date, and that’s a remarkable feat, considering that his teachings—basically the “professional books” of his time—are now over 2,500 years old. Shanna Peeples, a student of history, bridges the famed philosopher’s biggest lessons from then till now and gives them contemporary flair. Dubbed as "One of the best Professional Development books of all time" by BookAuthority, Think Like Socrates poses questions on readers accompanied by sample texts and further elaborated with step-by-step lessons to encourage students to be more critical while honoring each other’s thoughts and experiences.

#4: Safety Leadership and Professional Development

Edited by Richard Olawoyin and Darryl C. Hill

Great leadership is key in the safety profession to ensure the utmost wellbeing and protection of those in the industry. With Safety Leadership and Professional Development, editors Richard Olawoyin and Darryl C. Hill bring together a comprehensive guide that transcends the safety profession.

With the helpful input of numerous academics and industry leaders, Safety Leadership and Professional Development books interweave various topics relating to ethics, leadership, and management with the five essentials for the success of occupational safety and health leader, including competent skills, ethics- and moral-based relationships, impressive achievements, and more. Though designed primarily for occupational safety and health professionals, this book is a worthwhile read for any undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, certification trainee, and higher education staffer.

#5: Lessons Learned from the Special Education Classroom - Creating Opportunities for All Students to Listen, Learn, and Lead

By Peg Grafwallner

We can all use a little empathy, and Peg Grafwallner’s professional development books drive the point home emphatically and with composure. Lessons Learned from Special Education Classroom enables all students—regardless of abilities—to create respectful relationships between parents, students, and beyond. Boasting 25 years as a classroom teacher, Grafwallner uses her own experiences and examples to help readers to build classroom community and embrace all kinds of learners.

#6: Individual Development Plan 2.0 - Master Your Professional Development in 4 Practical Steps

By Gonzalo Cordova

From recession to the dawning of the digital age, to the ongoing pandemic—to say that the job landscape has changed drastically is a huge understatement. If you’re one of the millions whose career has been sidelined for stretches, perhaps you’re looking for someone or something to not only point you in the right direction but also help you forge a new path toward success. Individual Development Plan 2.0: Master Your Professional Development in 4 Practical Steps is the book that will change the rules of the game in your favor.

With the goal of helping you identify your strongest and marketable skills, Cordova’s books for professional development teach you how to use those skills to your full advantage and finally take control of your own professional evolution—a crucial skill to have today’s vastly diverse labor market. Consider this book as your ally in navigating and succeeding in the current environment.

#7: Thrive Through the Five - Practical Truths to Powerfully Lead through Challenging Times

By Dr. Jill Siler

Even educators need help. Especially in these trying times, they can certainly use some assistance and guidance if they want to remain good at their craft. Thrive Through the Five helps struggling school leaders overcome the toughest and most challenging situations of work and life—represented by “The Five”—not just to survive, but to thrive, as the title suggests.

In his books for professional development, Siler offers a fresh take on the biggest leadership pitfalls, narrating them with optimism and wisdom that seem to make her biggest hardships a no-sweat job. This book seeks to infect you with her high optimism so you can move forward with grace and confidence through your biggest problems, both in your career and in life.

#8: Blended Learning in Action - A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change

By Catlin R. Tucker, Tiffany Wycoff, Jason T. Green

Sustainable is a word that’s widely thrown around these days but seldom lived up to. What Blended Learning in Action strives for is to reinvent education using a new approach to learning and provide educators with a new skillset—both of which are designed to ensure the improvements achieved are permanent.

In this book, readers will discover the best classroom setups for blended learning, defined as a teaching system that incorporates digital media and technology with traditional instructor-led education. As schools transition from the pandemic, it’s easy to see why this book can be extremely helpful to educators. Combining research and practical examples, Blended Learning in Action career development books provide a compelling and concrete reason why the hybrid method can be more beneficial both to teachers and students alike.

Honorable mention: Theory and Practice of Technology-Based Music Instruction

By Jay Dorfman

Even those in the arts can do with some professional development, and Jay Dorfman’s Theory and Practice of Technology-Based Music Instruction targets those into music teaching, seeking to strengthen their teaching methods with the use of technology.

Theory and Practice of Technology-Based Music Instruction empower music teachers with a framework for theoretical and philosophical foundations of technology-based music instruction (TBMI) while also providing them with materials for teaching, building effective music programs, and more. Needless to say, if you’re a music educator who’s looking to evolve your teaching methods, this is the book for you.

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