5 Inspirational and Aspirational Books to Shake Up Your Career

Job hunting can be a lot of fun or it can be a lot of work. Just kidding. It’s pretty much never fun. It’s a lot of work. The good news, however, is that there are many resources out there to help you. Whether you need inspiration, know-how, guidance, or a challenge, these 5 books will give you a little shot in the arm during your journey as you seek out and nab the perfect job. Don’t forget to check out our post, 5 Life-Changing Books to Catapult Your Career.


Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way to We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Brene Brown is one of the most inspirational speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing live. In this book, she describes what it means to be vulnerable: and it probably isn’t what you think. Vulnerability is not about winning or losing; it’s about showing up even when you can’t control the outcome. It’s about being fully present and available to others, especially when that’s hard. And when it comes to career, vulnerable people make the best leaders, because they’re the ones who ask for help, who seek the wisdom of others, and who aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and work. This is an amazing book.  


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson explains in his classic book that life is a struggle–nothing comes easily. But that’s okay, because you just have to fight the right struggle for you. Struggling for the sake of struggling isn’t the point. The point is to use life’s natural slings and arrows to become stronger and more capable–and at the same time, more able to shrug off the things that ultimately don’t matter. For anyone who has ever thought, “Screw this sh*t,” this book’s for you.  


Good to Great

Jim Collins shares real-life stories of people who took their companies from surviving to exceeding. He explains how the thought processes management uses can make or break a company. Using this wisdom, job seekers can show hiring managers that they have a real understanding of how to make the organization succeed. This book is a business classic, and for good reason.  


Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

Amy Cuddy rose to international attention with her TED talk on body language and how changing our body language changes our brain and mind as well. While scientists aren’t sure that her theory is sound, job seekers around the world disagree. Cuddy’s techniques of adopting power poses to give a boost before challenging situations like interviews have helped thousands of readers reduce stress and speak more calmly and eloquently about themselves, their work, and their contributions. Hey, science doesn’t know everything. Sometimes, the proof is in the pudding!  


David & Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

Malcolm Gladwell is something of a pop-culture guru, and he’s always bringing fantastic insight into otherwise humdrum aspects of life. In this book, he examines how being the underdog can often be advantageous, and why pursuing the most prestige isn’t always the best answer. He examines where and how we cultivate self-worth and confidence and the situations and circumstances that lend us our sense of power. And sometimes, it’s not from being a member of the best club in town. Sometimes it’s being the president of the smallest club with the most passion.