I recently read a great book on crafting your purpose (more on this below) and it got me thinking about some of my favorite books that are focused on career development.
As someone who often engages in prospection (the concept of thinking about or reflecting on possible futures), I love books that talk about different elements of career growth and development.
Since I spend so much time at my job, I try to read and reflect on my own career on a regular basis.
Here are some of my favorite books on the topic:
HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose by John Coleman. This is the book that I mentioned above and it’s packed with reflective questions and guidance for how to find your purpose(s) and make sure they are front and center for big career decisions and setting your priorities.
Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change by April Rinne. I first encountered this book when I stumbled upon an essay the author wrote about career portfolios, which I found fascinating. This is a great book if you are trying to remain resilient while lots of things around you are changing.
How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up by Emilie Wapnick. In this book, the author explores the concept of being a multipotentialite, or someone who has many interests and pursuits. I often recommend this book to clients who struggle to balance multiple pathways that they want to pursue in work and life.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith. I re-read this book every few years or so to remind myself that I’m never done learning and growing as a professional. It’s a great guide for how to identify your next area of growth and development.
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges. I have never experienced more transition in my life than the transitions I have seen in my career. Whether that’s changing jobs, shifting career trajectories, or even just taking on new projects, I love the framework that this author offers on how we can make transitions work for us in healthy ways.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. This was a book that I was able to immediately implement in my work so it’s always stood out in my mind. I often recommend it to leaders who are facilitating difficult conversations.
The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry. I loved this book about how to discover your personal ways of being creative so that you can make unique contributions in the workplace. It’s practical and simple, which I always appreciate.
What other books on career growth and development have you found helpful?