Looking for a job and not sure what to do with all of the downtime between interviews? You could binge watch the first three seasons of House of Cards, become your favorite pub’s MVP (most visible patron) or tend to your collection of rejection letters. Or, you could do yourself and your career a huge favor and read a book or two. Don’t head to the career aisle in the library just yet, though. There are a zillion job-related books out there to choose from, and some are more helpful than others.
So we’ve done some of the work for you and offer the following recommendations:
1. What Color is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
This best-selling career guide is updated annually and offers proven strategies on finding a job even in tough economic times, as well as a wealth of advice and wisdom from career expert Bolles.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
The old standby in books about getting it done, The 7 Habits has been a bestseller since it was first published in 1989 and continues to inspire and influence CEOs, presidents and everyday people who want to live and work more effectively and with more integrity.
3. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
Written as a follow-up to their successful book First, Break All the Rules, authors Buckingham and Clifton focus on discovering and nurturing strengths versus identifying and eliminating weaknesses. The bestselling book also includes a Web-based interactive component, where readers can use a Gallup-developed questionnaire to identify their five innate strengths.
4. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Originally published in 1936, How To Win Friends is marketed as a self-help book, not a career book. But it has infinite value for jobseekers nonetheless. Why? Despite the rather dated and corny title, the book makes promises and delivers on several themes central to those looking to get hired--how to get out of a mental rut and gain ambition, how to handle conflict, and how to inspire enthusiasm among others to name just a few.
5. Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark
Are you where you want to be professionally? It’s the question that begins this book, and author Dorie Clark focuses on building a personal brand as the strategy to being able to answer that question with a confident yes. Clark offers advice for jobseekers and career-changers alike, mixing in personal anecdotes from well-known influencers like Mark Zuckerberg and Al Gore.
6. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance--What Women Should Know by Katty Klay and Claire Shipman
Klay and Shipman offer insight and advice on what they see as the primary barrier to women achieving more at all levels of their career--lack of self-confidence. The Confidence Code combines research in genetics, gender and behavioral science with anecdotal evidence from successful and influential women. An interesting read on eliminating self-doubt--and knowing the difference between bravado and self-confidence--this book’s wisdom serves both women and men alike.
7. Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang
Unsure of how global economics truly function? There’s no better time than now to learn. Chang’s lively prose renders economic theory accessible and even entertaining. Will it help you get a job? This book falls into the “improve your mind, improve your chances” category. Read it for your own good and you never know where the knowledge you’ll find within will take you.
8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
Frustrated that you’re receiving more rejection letters than follow-up interviews? Maybe it’s time to look inward and break a bad habit, or simply tweak it to help you move in a different direction. Duhigg uses scientific discovery to back his argument that the key to transforming anything in our lives is linked to changing our habits.