What do I want to be when I grow up? This is an age-old question many of us re-visit on a regular basis (I’ve only been working for 13 years, and I’m already on career #4).
For a work project, I recently asked people to share the names of the best career books they’d ever read. Many of the usual suspects made the list, but I thought it was a useful collection to share nonetheless. The main category of books I’d add to this are biographies or autobiographies of interesting people you admire. A few months ago I read Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter, and even though I have no desire to be a chef, it was inspiring to read the story of someone who truly followed her heart.
What career resources are on your bookshelf?
What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers: An oldie, but a goodie, this book has helped millions discover their unique gifts and how to get paid for them.
Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance: Based on the philosophy that we should focus our time and energy on the things we’re naturally great at and love doing, this is standard reading for lots of career gurus.
Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t: Want to adopt some of the personal and professional traits of top leaders? This is a great place to start.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Good basic tips for effectiveness not just at work, but in life.
You Already Know How to Be Great: Is something standing in the way of your goals? Figure out what it is and go after it!
The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career: What’s the key to building a career you’re proud of? Your network (not surprising, written by the founder of LinkedIn)
The Art of Possibility: A story-driven book about the incredible power of possibility, co-written by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and a psychotherapist.
Flow: This isn’t a traditional career book, but it’s a cornerstone of positive psychology and a great read for anyone thinking about how you want to spend your time. I touched on the concept of Flow in a blog post a few months ago if you’re curious to learn more.