The 8 Best Books for Choosing a Career

Classrooms Team

Dec 1, 2021

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Whether you’re a high school student, a college student or even a recent college graduate, picking your career path can be a bit daunting to say the least. Between finding a field that you truly care about to considering all of the other factors that go into picking a job — such as schooling and wages — you can find yourself in a bit of a pickle more often than not. No matter where you are or what your goals might be, there’s always room to do a bit of self-reflection. Here are a few of the best books for choosing a career.

1. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincerio

Getting things started with a little bit of overall motivation, You Are a Badass is one of the best books for encouraging you to find the confidence to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true. Even though this book isn’t entirely centered around professional development, it can definitely come into your own mentally and emotionally, so you can prepare to go after your dreams.

2. You Majored in What? by Katherine Brooks

This book is a great choice for the recent college grad who feels a bit lost, even if they have a degree they love in hand. There are plenty of majors and fields of study that are fantastic in academia, but don’t always translate directly into a specific career. English, communications, history and many of the softer humanities can give way to a variety of career options, and this book is designed to help you navigate them.

3. Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger

If you love personality typing, this book might be right up your alley. This book is all about suggesting career paths based on your personality type so you can look into options that are best for you on a statistical level. Although it may not be a perfect method, it can be awesome for ideas.

4. What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles

This is one of the classic books that come to mind when considering career choice, and it holds up year after year. If you’re looking for a good place to get started with your career search, this book can be a wonderful read to kick off your reading and your brainstorming. 

5. The Power of Purpose by Richard Leider

What about when it comes to finding purpose in your work and in your life? This book is all about finding purpose, and the power and fulfillment that comes with engaging with your professional passions. This book is also about the balance of finding passion and devoting yourself to it in both a professional and personal capacity.

6. How to Find the Work You Love by Laurence Boldt

This book focuses not just on finding the work you love, but also on how that relationship with your work develops with time. Industries are consistently changing, and that means that our relationship to work also changes alongside it. If you want to think about your career path in the moment and in the long term, this might be a great book for you.

7. I Can Get Paid for That? by Jo Stewart

A bit more on the lighthearted side, this is one of the best books for choosing a career. It’s chocked full of ideas for different jobs you may not have thought about before. Quite literally, this book is both inspirational and practical, detailing unexplored career options that you may never have even thought about before. Although this might not give you an exact direction immediately, it can definitely get your juices flowing and start you on the process of brainstorming for your next career move.

8. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

This book is yet another one that doesn’t focus solely on career, but instead takes a look at what a balanced life looks like, which includes finding a career you love. It’s important to remember that your career will never exist in a vacuum. There will always be factors from your life that influence your work and factors from your work that influence your life. This book is a great reminder of that relationship.

Finding Your Career Path

There are so many books out there that can help you find the job that’s right for you. From lighthearted books that detail interesting career options all the way to more serious examinations of what your life might look like when you follow your dreams, you can use reading as a way to explore the world of professional development. Which of these best books for choosing a career looks like a good option to you?

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