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15 Best Books For Career Development (2023)

If you’re looking to make career moves in the upcoming year, check out these best books for career development!

Career development is important to consider at any stage in your career path journey.

Whether you are in college looking to start your career soon, change to a new job, wanting a career change, going for a promotion, or something in-between for your professional life, career development can help.

A great way to do that is by reading books. Here are 15 books that you should add to your reading list.

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15 Best Books For Career Development

Finding your dream job takes hard work but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a hard thing when you have the right tools.

Read these 15 best career development books for guidance, inspiration, and a plan.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw

Expect To Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace by: Carla A Harris

If you aren’t satisfied with just getting through the day not really caring about the work you do, which I’m assuming you’re not, you’ll want to read this book.

It’s your time to thrive in the workplace, and the tips that Harris provides in this practical manual will help you get there.

In Expect To Win, Carla shares tips, practical advice, and strategies from her life that have helped her land on lists like Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America, Essence magazine’s 50 Women Who Are Shaping the World, among others. 

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One by: Jenny Blake

Change is inevitable. Even if you absolutely love your current career or job right now, odds are it will eventually change in some way.

 Pivot is a great read if change is a concept that you don’t do well with.

This doesn’t necessarily mean change as in different positions or companies. Business consultant, speaker, and author of this book, Jenny Blake, wrote this book to introduce the Pivot Method.

This method, and book, will show you how even just small changes can lead to great career growth.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success by: Richard N. Bolle and Katharine Brooks EdD

If you are currently job hunting and you get only one book from this list, make it this one.

What Color Is Your Parachute has been revised with the most up-to-date information on the job market for years.

It still remains to be one of the best career guides for job seekers.

You’ll find tips on writing your resume and cover letter, networking, and even topics when you get offered the job like salary negotiating. 

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith

You love what you do but you are ready for a challenge, maybe even the next steps in your career.

If I just described you then you need to read this book. Author Marshall Goldsmith helps you uncover what’s holding you back in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

You may be surprised when you find out what’s been blocking your growth.

Marshall Goldsmith was recently named one of the world’s five most-respected executive coaches by Forbes, so you know that you’re about to get great nuggets of wisdom in this book.

Even the best intentions may lead us astray, so read this for a practical guide to progress.

Presence by: Amy Cuddy

One of the keys to career success is confidence, but it’s also one of the biggest challenges to overcome.

If you can master feeling confident when you are giving a presentation or going in for an interview, that’s half the battle.

In Presence, Amy Cuddy shows us how, by adjusting our mindset and body language, we can change the outcome of difficult moments. Take the research, stories, and tips you learn from this book and apply it to your life, see how different those moments feel.

The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by: Alex Banayan

What do Bill Gates, Pitbull, Maya Angelou, Larry King, and Lady Gaga have in common? They all took the Third Door.

They did what they had to do to find a way and work towards their dreams to get to where they are today. Embrace the power of passion and discover your boldest self.

Author Alex Banayan shares his findings from what he has learned over the years spending time with, and interviewing, all of these big names in The Third Door.

If you have big dreams and want to learn from those that have made it happen, this is the book for you.

Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers — and Seize Success by: Dr. Dawn Graham

If you are ready to change careers but aren’t sure where to start, you aren’t alone.

Luckily, career coach and psychologist Dr. Dawn Graham has written a book that can also serve as a guide to help you navigate this next step in your career. Learning new skills is one of the best ways to propel yourself forward.

In Switchers you’ll learn that traditional job search tools won’t be much help, but there are other things that can help. Topics like transferable skills, rebranding, interviewing, and more are featured in this book.

You’ll definitely want to grab it as you re-enter the job search.

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by: Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger  

Personality tests give us a lot of information about ourselves.

In Do What You Are you’ll discover that a career you’re passionate about may have been within you the whole time. Like What Color Is Your Parachute, this book has been updated to keep current with the times.

This gives you peace of mind that you are getting advice and tips that fit today’s job force landscape. You also get workbook exercises in this book to help you further determine career options that are a great fit for you.

Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting It Wrong by: Jessica Bacal

Mistakes are going to happen. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

Before I lose all of the perfectionists reading this right now, believe me when I say, I don’t like writing it any more than you like reading it.

Mistakes mean that tough conversations will most likely need to be had, and those make me anxious.

Just know I’m right there with you. This book is for all of us.

In Mistakes I Made At Work successful women like Cheryl Strayed, Anna Holmes, Kim Gordon, and more share mistakes that they have made in their careers and the lessons that they have learned from them. 

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by: Brené Brown

If you believe the next step in your career is to become a leader, this book is a great one to read. It’s not going to just teach you leadership skills like most other books on the skill would.

Dare To Lead is going to teach you daring leadership. In classic Brené Brown style, she brings research, stories, and examples to drive her points across and inspire readers. 

How Successful People Grow: 15 Ways to Get Ahead in Life by: John Maxwell

This isn’t directly a career development book, but I believe that it can be one indirectly. Part of career development is about growth, and this book is all about that subject.

In How Successful People Grow you’ll learn different ways you can keep growth an important area in your life.

What I love about John Maxwell’s books is that they are short, you can basically finish them in a day or two if you read straight through. They are also books that you can keep coming back to to gain insight and wisdom from.

Quiet Voice Fearless Leader: 10 Principles For Introverts To Awaken The Leader Inside by: Terrance Daryl Lee

Not all leaders have to be outgoing extroverts that fill the room with their presence as soon as they walk in.

If you are an introvert with a passion for leading, don’t count yourself out just yet, chance are you have the emotional intelligence that will lead you to great things.

This book is going to show you that introverts can make great leaders too.

In Quiet Voice Fearless Leader author Terrance Daryl Lee shares how to add value to any room, public speaking tips, how to be an effective leader as an introvert, and more.

The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Aspiring Young Professional by: James M. Citrin

This is another great pick for the soon-to-be college graduate ready to start your career.

This book combines research from in-depth surveys from graduates and young professionals, interviews with the world’s top business and nonprofit leaders, and insight from the author to give the reader the ultimate career resource.

The Career Playbook will help you in all phases of the job search process. It also gives you tips you’ll need for when you have the job. 

Getting Hired: How To Prepare To Compete And Win The Job You Want, Now And In The Future by: Paul McBlaine

This book focuses on one main area, the job search process, more specifically how to excel in this process. The author has developed the Getting Hired Program.

It includes over 160 specific actions that when applied, can lead to landing that job interview, getting job offers, and launching your career.

Getting Hired is the book for you if you are tired of the endless Indeed and LinkedIn applications that lead nowhere. It’s time you get that career.

Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence by: Fran Hauser

The last book on our list of the 15 best books for career development is actually a workbook. It’s been praised by PopSugar, People, goop, and more.

In Embrace the Work, Love Your Career author Fran Hauser gives guidance on how to design a dream career action plan, learn to love your career, and more. It’s filled with advice, practical strategies, creative prompts, and space to reflect and answer to your true self.

In Summary: Best Books For Career Development

These 15 books are the best books for career development currently published on the market today.

Which of these books will you be reading first? Is there a book that has helped you in your career? Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog (budding-joy.com) where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.

Website: budding-joy.com


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