7 Best Books on Career Development

In order to find your right career path, achieve career success, master work-life balance, work less to achieve more, play to your strengths, follow your passion, bring out your best, and flourish in any arena, here I have listed the best books on career development. You will find these books are highly effective in your successful career journey.

Best Books on Career Development

Book Name & Author Image Rating Price
What Color Is Your Parachute? Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success by Richard N. Bolles 9.5 View on Amazon
The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan 9.5 View on Amazon
Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future by Andy Storch 9.5 View on Amazon
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin 9.3 View on Amazon
Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers – and Seize Success by Dr. Dawn Graham 9.2 View on Amazon
Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life by Patty Azzarello 9.4 View on Amazon

1. What Color Is Your Parachute? Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success

What Color Is Your Parachute? is the world’s most popular job-hunting guide. This completely updated edition features the latest resources, strategies, and perspectives on today’s job market, revealing surprising advice on what works and what doesn’t so you can focus your efforts on tactics that yield results.

At its core is Richard N. Bolles’s famed Flower Exercise, a unique self-inventory that helps you design your career and your life around your essential passions, transferable skills, traits, and more.

This practical manual also provides essential tips for writing impressive resumes and cover letters, networking effectively, interviewing with confidence, and negotiating the best salary possible.

Whether you’re searching for your first job, were recently laid off, or are dreaming of a career change, What Color Is Your Parachute? will guide you toward a fulfilling and prosperous life’s work.

What Color Is Your Parachute? is about job-hunting and career-changing, but it’s also about figuring out who you are as a person and what you want out of life. It remains the go-to guide for everyone from midlife-crisis boomers looking to change their careers to college students looking to start one.

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2. The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers

The larger-than-life journey of an 18-year-old college freshman who set out from his dorm room to track down Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, and dozens more of the world’s most successful people to uncover how they broke through and launched their careers.

The Third Door takes readers on an unprecedented adventure from hacking Warren Buffett’s shareholder’s meeting to chasing Larry King through a grocery store to celebrating in a nightclub with Lady Gaga as Alex Banayan travels from icon to icon, decoding their success.

After remarkable one-on-one interviews with Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Larry King, Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Tim Ferriss, Quincy Jones, and many more, Alex discovered the one key they have in common: they all took the Third Door.

Life, business, and success it’s just like a nightclub. There are always three ways in.

The First Door: the main entrance, where ninety-nine percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in.

The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always.

The Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, climb over the dumpster, crack open the window, and sneak through the kitchen there’s always a way in. Whether it’s how Bill Gates sold his first piece of software or how Steven Spielberg became the youngest studio director in Hollywood history, they all took the Third Door.

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3. Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future

Do you want to wake up every morning feeling excited to start the day and confident that you are truly reaching your potential?

Own Your Career Own Your Life was written for you.

Andy Storch spent years stuck in the wrong career and drifting aimlessly through life. Now, he is a professional coach, consultant, speaker, and author whose life mission is to equip others to live intentionally, love the life they live, and fulfill their true potential.

In his eagerly-anticipated book Own Your Career Own Your Life, you’ll learn how to direct your own career, prepare for the future, and ultimately get back in the driving seat of your own life.

In Part 1 of Own Your Career Own Your Life, you’ll learn how to set a flexible vision for your life that will make every big decision instantly easier to make, live life for yourself instead of other people, identify the habits that are holding you back and replace them with ones that propel you forward, discover your unique purpose and use it as the ultimate productivity tool, create a realistic, actionable life plan, connect with the right people to help you on your journey

In Part 2, you’ll discover how to position yourself for success and stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, commit to personal development in a totally sustainable way, build a strong and supportive community around you, network with influential and inspirational people even if you have financial or time limitations, build your personal brand, including using social media to add value whilst growing your reputation.

And in Part 3 the author reveals how to adopt a growth mindset and embrace setbacks, maximize your productivity using 3 simple strategies, and finally, achieve your goals in 6 easily-actionable steps, and stop playing the comparison game.

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4. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)

The old saying is wrong winners do quit, and quitters do win. Every new project starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets harder and less fun until it hits a low point really hard, and not much fun at all. And then you find yourself asking if the goal is even worth the hassle. Maybe you’re in a Dip a temporary setback that will get better if you keep pushing.

But maybe it’s really a Cul-de-Sac, which will never get better, no matter how hard you try. According to bestselling author Seth Godin, what really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really counts.

Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt until they commit to beating the right Dip for the right reasons. In fact, winners seek out the Dip. They realize that the bigger the barrier, the bigger the reward for getting past it. If you can become number one in your niche, you’ll get more.

What a great reminder to quit things that aren’t moving you toward your goals. This was a great book that helped me see quitting in a different light. We must quit things in order to be the best at one thing.

This book was recommended to me by a work colleague, and it’s a short, quick read. The main point of the book seems to me to circle around an idea that is common sense: when people approach a task – marketing a new product, picking up a new skill, and so on – they need to persevere through the dip. The dip is that period of time when the work involved feels difficult and overwhelming, and the temptation to quit becomes pressing. The author contends that the difference between people who succeed, and those who fail, can be traced back to whether or not they pushed through the dip. If they make it through that slump, then they are rewarded with the money or recognition or expertise that most other people never achieve.

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5. Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance

Research data show that most people do not come close to making full use of their assets at work, in fact, only seventeen percent of the workforce believe they use all of their strengths on the job. Go Put Your Strengths to Work aims to change that through a six-step, six-week experience that will reveal the hidden dimensions of your strengths. Buckingham shows you how to seize control of your assets and rewrite your job description under the nose of your boss. You will learn:

Why your strengths aren’t “what you are good at” and your weaknesses aren’t “what you are bad at. How to use the four telltale signs to identify your strengths. The simple steps you can take each week to push your time at work toward those activities that strengthen you and away from those that don’t. How to talk to your boss and your colleagues about your strengths without sounding like you’re bragging and about your weaknesses without sounding like you’re whining. The fifteen-minute weekly ritual that will keep you on your strengths path your entire career.

With structured exercises that will become part of your regular workweek and proven tactics from people who have successfully applied the book’s lessons, Go Put Your Strengths to Work will arm you with a radically different approach to your work life. As part of the book’s program, you’ll take an online Strengths Engagement Track, a focused and powerful gauge that has proven to be the best way to measure the level of engagement of your strengths or your team’s strengths.

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6. Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers – and Seize Success

Get unstuck and land a new career one you’re genuinely passionate about. Switchers helps you realize that dream. Written by celebrated career coach and psychologist Dr. Dawn Graham, the book provides proven strategies that will get you where you want to go.

The first step is to recognize that the usual rules and job search tools won’t work for you. Resumes and job boards were designed with traditional applicants in mind. As a career switcher, you have to go beyond the basics, using tactics tailor-made to ensure your candidacy stands out.

In Switchers, Dr. Graham reveals how to:

  • Understand the concerns of hiring managers.
  • Craft a resume that catches their attention within six seconds.
  • Spotlight transferable skills that companies covet.
  • Rebrand yourself—aligning your professional identity with your new aspirations.
  • Reach decision-makers by recruiting “ambassadors” from within your network.
  • Nail interviews by turning tough questions to your advantage.
  • Convince skeptical employers to shelve their assumptions and take a chance on you.
  • Negotiate a competitive salary and benefits package.

Packed with psychological insights, practical exercises, and inspiring success stories, Switchers helps you leap over obstacles and into a whole new field. This guide will help you pull off the most daring and fulfilling career move of your life.

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7. Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life

A straight-shooting Silicon Valley executive reveals insider career strategies to becoming a great leader, developing your network, succeeding without wasting time, and managing trade-offs between your work and life so your life works.

Patty Azzarello became the youngest general manager at Hewlett-Packard at age thirty-three, ran a $1 billion software business at thirty-five, and became a CEO at thirty-eight-all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk. In Rise, Azzarello shares the insider secrets to advancing your career (while having a life) in three practical steps:

Do Better: Set ruthless priorities, and work and lead more strategically to deal with frustrating obstacles. Look Better: Build your credibility with the people who can help (or blacklist) you.
Connect Better: Develop your network without being political. Get on “the List” of people who get the best opportunities.

Whether you are just starting up the corporate ladder, stuck mid-career, transitioning, or eyeing the corner office, Rise shows you the difference between getting ahead and just working hard.

If you want to become more transformative than transactional in your career, this is the book for you. Patty’s advice is efficient with poignant personal testimonies. Her statement that imagination and fearlessness combined are more important than confidence is one of the most impactful pieces of advice I’ve ever read.

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