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Friday, October 18, 2019

8 Books on Personal Growth That Can Help Launch Your Career

No matter the trajectory you intend for your career, each of these books offers excellent guidance and tools to continue down any path.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Professional development and career growth can be daunting—but with the right resources and preparation, the only constraint preventing you from getting where you desire to be is your own ambition.

That’s why we should never say no to that extra push, and reading books that inspire us to get further might just do the trick.

With so many resources and opportunities at our disposal, building a successful career in just about any field is quite possible. By the same token, it is also easy to move to a different field altogether and rebuild your career from the ground up. Because it’s never too late to grow professionally and to broaden your experience, the eight books listed in this article may serve as both inspiration and guides that could truly kickstart your new life.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Said to be one of the greatest books ever written, author Stephen Covey communicates the power of personal worldview and how our perspective greatly influences our behavior. Focused on changing ourselves to transform the world around us, this book highlights key characteristics in our own control that we can adapt to influence our surroundings.

When looking at some of the reviews of 7 Habits, you can tell that the book truly helped readers to become better—not only as professionals but also as human beings. Perhaps, you, too, could benefit from reading it.

2. Think and Grow Rich

A book cultivated on principles to become a more successful person, Think and Grow Rich curates the habits of the wealthy and successful, breaking them down into executable objectives that are easy to implement in our own lives. Three of the most impactful habits demonstrated in this book are autosuggestion (or self-fulfilling prophecy) to visualize your goals into reality, sticking and standing by your decisions by filtering cheap opinions, and joining a mastermind group of people working toward the same goals.

If you’re looking for something clever that is also accessible, this handy guide will do the trick.


3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Focused on getting you where you want to go by shifting your habits, this book shows us that our habits comprise the majority of our decisions. So when we become stuck in a routine that is leading us nowhere, the book helps us to focus on making conscious changes to have a lasting effect. The book also discusses the importance of establishing willpower through delaying gratification, such as training for a marathon or following a strict diet to build consistency over time.

These lessons are important and useful to everyone, so even if you’re not trying to change careers at the moment, you will be able to take something positive from The Power of Habit.


4. The Slight Edge

Considering the fact that we make numerous decisions on a daily basis, The Slight Edge presents the argument that our decisions can be harnessed to create a compounding effect, resulting in the lives we truly desire to live.

Because every bit of information we need can be grasped at our fingertips, this book attempts to instill the philosophy that success is achieved by winning everyday battles, focusing on how repeated behaviors can help us achieve our desired outcome.


5. The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating your Career

Ultimately, determining what we actually want to achieve can be one of the most critical aspects of planning our career’s trajectory. Therefore, this book targets different ways to discover your strengths in order to build a fulfilling career.

With a methodological approach, The New Rules of Work is an excellent career resource, walking readers through a precise system of steps that will help them choose and refine their profession.

6. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

A fascinating read, this book debunks the myth that following your passion is key to a fulfilling career.

Instead, author Cal Newport articulates the important idea that how you do what you do is far more significant than what you do—arguing that passion comes after discipline and that skills that make you an expert are far more valuable, especially during the preparation process.

To some, the truths in this book might be somewhat hard to swallow. Nevertheless, the reader walks out with the feeling that, at least, he knows what he needs to do to get his career on the right path.


7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*** positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, s*** is f****d and we have to live with it.”

In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to better stomach lemons. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f*** about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better because true wealth is about the experience.

A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

8. Bossy Pants, Tina Fey

Tina Fey isn’t a beauty queen, she’s a comedian. But more than a comedian, she’s the boss. With Bossy Pants, Fey teaches the reader that managing a team as a woman isn’t as easy as she makes it seem, especially in the wilderness that is the entertainment industry.

In her book, which many believe to be a simple memoir, Fey offers pearls of wisdom in the form of condensed one-liners, producing an effective—and funny—how-to guide that teaches the reader to be an effective leader without having to rely on the drama.

We all need a little more comedy in our lives, and Fey makes it a business model. Needless to say, she nails it.

No matter the trajectory you intend for your career, each of these books offers excellent guidance and tools to continue down any path.

As she so eloquently puts it in the book, we should never waste our energy “trying to educate or change opinions.”

“Go ‘Over! Under! Through!’ and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”

Whatever the case, Fey gives the unlikely new boss of his own career a foolproof blueprint, and one that doesn’t center around blood, sweat, and tears, but fun, sarcasm, and wit.


For any readers desiring career advice, these books provide more than a sense of direction, as they also offer a framework that helps the reader find passion in any career path.

No matter the trajectory you intend for your career, each of these books offers excellent guidance and tools to continue down any path. Now it’s up to you to decide which one speaks to your needs and faults and let the book do the talking.

  • Chloe Anagnos is a professional writer, digital strategist, and marketer. Although a millennial, she's never accepted a participation trophy.