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Navigating a career is a balancing act, and making career decisions can be challenging for several reasons. The fear of the unknown clouds your choices, and you also might wonder if you’re on the right path. But guess what? If you like reading, you don’t have to stress yourself out anymore, as this blog rolls out the best career books to add to your reading list which contains guidance from some of the brainiest authors.  

“Reading is a very necessary habit for every successful businessperson, it broadens your mind, helps with your written and verbal communication skills, and gives you a certain level of understanding and empathy.”    ~ Ellen Parry Lewis  

What does Research Says About Reading?  

People don’t touch books outside of academics because they fail to realize the benefits of reading, which are confined to helping them in their personal and professional lives.  

A 14-year longitudinal research suggests that reading exercise helps older people avoid long-term decline in cognitive development. Another study also reveals that reading can help people live longer. 

16 Books to Read for a Successful Career 

The following books will help you to gain clarity on your career path:  

1. Measure What Matters By John Doerr  

‘Measure What Matters’ informs you how to set up monitoring mechanisms to track your progress and maintain accountability in your life or career. 

The book’s primary focus is objectives and key results (OKRs). OKRs teach you how to aim high and push your boundaries to succeed. They also help you stay on track toward your goal by recording your progress. 

The book lays out well-known methods, one of which is employed by Google, and teaches you how to scale it up and democratize it even further with the OKRs.  

2. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport  

We hear people telling us to pursue our passion. However, Cal Newport disproves the notion that “Follow your passion is terrible advice, pushing people into unrewarding paths because most passion paths are inclined towards art or sports, which may have little to do with well-defined careers.”  

The author wants people to find their unique selling point; hence, the book offers tips on discovering your career path and excelling at what you do.   

3. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek  

Simon Sinek is a well-known American author and motivational speaker. He is highly regarded for his speeches on business leadership, TED Talks, books, and journals.  

This book is intended primarily for students who aspire to become better leaders and build a culture of trust, belonging, and safety in their teams. 

4. Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson  

The author of one of the best-selling books in history contends that we can reflect four distinct personalities with a single personality trait. 

The author outlined crucial fundamentals for better understanding oneself, honing social and communication skills, getting the best out of the people we deal with, and enhancing functionality with one’s manager.  

5. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin  

Are you one of the candidates who strives for success in every aspect of your life? If yes, then this book is for you. Extreme Ownership presents how one might embrace responsibility for every part of one’s life and lead it accordingly. 

6. Becoming a Technical Leader – An Organic Problem-Solving Approach by Gerald M. Weinberg  

In “Becoming a Technical Leader,” author Gerald M. Weinberg presented the qualities of a successful leader. While numerous qualities can turn a person into a successful leader, this book summarizes the vital leadership skills that are effective in a technical environment.  

7. Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein  

This is a strategic book for sportspeople, musicians, coaches, scientists, teachers, and bosses from every group. It provides an enhanced personalized guide on how to become a problem solver.  

8. I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher  

This is one of the best career books out there. Barbara Sher’s New York Times Best Seller is a life-changing guide if you are stuck searching for your direction and passion in a world full of options.  

This book has some of the best revelations on regaining your long-lost goals and leaping the hurdles that ignite your success.  

9. What Color Is Your Parachute? By Richard N Bolles  

Richard N Bolles has fashioned out one of the best career books in history. This book provides a roadmap for a lifetime of meaningful work and professional accomplishment.  

This popular guide is for everyone scouring through job-hunting—whether you got laid off recently, are finding your dream job, are in the process of a career change, or are searching for your first job.  

10. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay  

At some point, every student experiences a quarter-life crisis, which can result in a never-ending spiral of self-doubt. 

In this book Meg Jay discusses avoiding indulgence and turning simple opportunities into golden ones. The latest science of twentysomethings and real-life stories in this book demonstrate how studies, work, networking, and relationships can change the brain game more during this decade, i.e., the 20s, than at any other time in adulthood.  

11. The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman  

In The Confidence Code, one of their popular career books, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman explain why women are better than men in the working world and should be allowed to rule. 

This book dives into how women can harness their confidence to reach their full potential.  

The topics are complemented by cutting-edge research in genetics, cognition, gender, and behavior, along with their own life experiences and those of other well-known women in politics.   

12. One Person, Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success, By Marci Alboher  

It is one of the must read career books for individuals slashing through multi-faceted professional lives.  

This book provides action-oriented suggestions on experimenting, such as managing several identities prior to making significant professional changes and maintaining income streams even while dwelling on multi-layered career pathways. 

13. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch  

This message-oriented book by Randy Pausch (a college professor) comprises perspective reflections on life, death, and the importance of fulfilling one’s dreams.   

“Time is all you have, and you may find one day that you have less than you think.” This quote summarizes the point of life: to live.  

14. The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins  

This book is considered a globally acknowledged bible of leadership and career transitions.  

Are you facing a new, challenging role? If yes, then this book is perfect for you. With new or challenging career roles come career jitters. Dive into this book’s proven framework to tackle your job obstacles within 90 days (about 3 months) of starting a new role.  

15. The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier  

This book is more about turning you into an inspiring leader than making you a coach.   

The author unpacks seven critical coaching questions to show how people can unlock their potential by saying less and asking more.  

One of the most compelling things you can do after asking a question is genuinely listening to the answer. Stay curious, my friend.                            ~The Coaching Habit  

16. Do What You Are by Paul D Tieger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger  

Wouldn’t it be great if you could choose your professional route according to your personality type? This deeply entrenched book reveals the answer to your job path based on your personality type.  

Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger have penned a masterpiece on leveraging personality power to help people achieve job satisfaction.   

Wrapping Up 

Now that you have read the synopsis of the popular career books, you don’t have to rummage through bookstores to find a career book that fits your descriptions. Each book is devised to bridge your career path gap in some way. 

Pick a book from the above list based on your career goals and aspirations! 



A skilled Blog Writer who focuses on SAAS projects. I create interesting and informative content about SAAS technology, trends, and best practices. I'm good at researching, making sure content shows up in search engines, and telling stories that keep readers interested and give them industry knowledge.

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