Top 5 Career Books
You may wonder which books I recommend to my clients or what I have been reading. It may surprise you that none of the books I am going to recommend from my list are conventional career books.
Let’s get started.
Note this post was originally published in October of 2015. It was updated in April of 2019.
#1 on Career Pivot Career Books List
While endings are a natural part of business and life, we often experience them with a sense of hesitation, sadness, resignation, or regret. But consultant, psychologist, and best-selling author Dr. Henry Cloud sees endings differently. He argues that our personal and professional lives can only improve to the degree that we can see endings as a necessary and strategic step to something better. If we cannot see endings in a positive light and execute them well, he asserts, the “better” will never come, either in business growth or our personal lives.
In this insightful and deeply empathetic book, Dr. Cloud demonstrates that, when executed well, “necessary endings” allow us to proactively correct the bad and the broken in our lives in order to make room for the professional and personal growth we seek. However, when endings are avoided or handled poorly – as is too often the case – good opportunities may be lost, and misery repeated.
This book has been life-changing for myself. It is one of the reasons that my wife and I now reside in Ajijic, Mexico. It got me to question why we were still living in Austin, Texas, a city that had changed extensively since I moved there in 1978.
#2 on Career Pivot Career Books List
The book that started the Quiet Revolution
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
This has been a life-changing book for several of my clients. It has given them permission to be themselves within a corporate environment. It also gave a name to something I have been recommending to my clients for some time—a restorative niche. I am writing this post as part of a restorative niche.
#3 on Career Pivot Career Books List
In his popular Stanford University lectures, Shirzad Chamine reveals how to achieve one’s true potential for both professional success and personal fulfillment. His groundbreaking research exposes ten well-disguised mental Saboteurs. Nearly 95 percent of the executives in his Stanford lectures conclude that these Saboteurs cause “significant harm” to achieving their full potential. With Positive Intelligence, you can learn the secret to defeating these internal foes.
This book is about identifying and naming your saboteurs. Once you have done that, you will be more aware of when they pop up in your thinking.
Even if you do not read the book, I recommend you take Shirzad Chamine’s Saboteur Assessment.
Many in the Career Pivot online community have either gone through the author’s program or are working through the book.
#4 on Career Pivot Career Books List
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant
For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But today, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that at work, most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.
One of the most important concepts I extracted from this book was weak ties. Weak ties are those people you do not know well…those people with whom you only have a casual relationship. Those relationships are invaluable in managing your career because they run in different social and professional circles. WOW…this concept proved invaluable to a 59-year-old client this year who harvested lead after lead from his weak ties.
#5 on Career Pivot Career Books List
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. It’s about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
A good example of how this book can be used is in the post Learning to Say “No” and Not Feeling Guilty. Many of the concepts from this book can be applied in your everyday life.
Career Books List
With all of these books, I have either listened to them via Audible.com or read them on my Amazon Kindle device. In the last year, I have become a huge fan of Audible.com. You can blame my son for that!
You will find these books and others that I recommend on my resources page on this website.
Let me know what you think.
Do you have recommendations for me?
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