In today's fast-paced world, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and insights to advance your career.
Whether you're just starting out or looking to make a change, career books can provide valuable knowledge and guidance.
That's why we've compiled a list of 15 must-read career books for 2023!
These books cover a wide range of topics, from resume and job interview tips to career advice for graduates and working moms.
Reading them will help you gain insights into how to navigate the job-hunt process and land the job of your dreams, regardless of your age or career level.
Let’s dive in!
15 Must-Read Career Books in 2023
#1. Job Search Masterclass
Novorésumé’s “Job Search Masterclass” has everything you need to know to take your career to the next level, from creating an impeccable resume and matching it with a cover letter to acing any job interview you attend.
Whether you're a recent university graduate looking for your first job in your chosen field, or a senior professional planning to take the next step in your career, this quick but valuable read will prove to be an exceptional guide for your career.
“Job Search Masterclass” is divided into five chapters, namely:
- How to create a resume. Here, you can find any information you need about resume creation, such as picking the right format, fixing your resume’s layout, listing your contact information, nailing your resume summary, making your work experience stand out, showing off your skills, and much more.
- Match your resume with a cover letter. If you ever wondered what goes into a great cover letter, now’s your chance to find out. From greeting the hiring manager to wrapping up with a memorable call to action, this chapter teaches you how to create a cover letter that’s on par with your resume.
- How to ace your interview. Interviews are arguably the most stressful part of any job application process. That’s why, this chapter outlines how to prepare for them, shows you how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and provides invaluable job interview tips.
- Remote work. Since remote work is increasingly becoming part of the status quo, this chapter shows you how to find and land one, lists the most remote-friendly roles, and shows you how to ace a remote work interview.
- How to hack your job search. This bonus chapter has some crazy job-search hacks that’ll make you wish you’d encountered them sooner. We won’t give any spoilers here, but we guarantee that you’ve never even heard of most of them.
#2. Job Interview Masterclass
Knowing how to ace a job interview is one of the most important career skills out there. No matter how good of a professional you are, you’re not going to be able to work at a company you deserve without strong interviewing skills.
This book covers job interviews from A to Z, exploring any topic you can think of - from why interviewers ask specific questions to how to dress for the big day and negotiate your salary.
“Job Interview Masterclass” is divided into four chapters:
- The first chapter covers topics such as how to dress during your job interview, how to research employers, and what to do the day before the interview.
- The second chapter deep dives into the most important interview questions and what you need to know to answer them effectively.
- In the third chapter, Novorésumé experts tell you all about behavioral interview questions and how to nail each and every one of them.
- The fourth chapter goes beyond the job interview to teach you what to do when you get the job or how to handle rejection gracefully.
"Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" is a book written by Daniel H. Pink, a former speechwriter for US Vice President Al Gore.
The book explores the science of motivation and challenges the traditional views on what motivates people in their personal and professional lives. Pink argues that the old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach to motivation, which relies on rewards and punishments, is no longer effective in today's world. Instead, he proposes a new framework for intrinsic motivation that centers around autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
The book is based on extensive research from various fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and economics. In this context, Pink also provides practical advice for individuals and organizations on how to tap into intrinsic motivation and create environments that foster it.
Overall, "Drive" is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges readers to rethink their approach to motivation and strive for more fulfilling lives and work.
#4. Moms For Hire
Award-winning journalist and working mom Karyn McCoy wrote "Moms For Hire: 8 Steps to Kickstart Your Career" as a comprehensive guide for mothers who are looking to jumpstart their careers after taking a break to raise their children.
McCoy draws on her personal experiences, anecdotes from well-known working moms, as well as extensive research and interviews with other working moms to provide practical advice and actionable steps for women seeking to re-enter the workforce.
The book is divided into eight steps, each one designed to help working moms overcome the challenges and obstacles they may face when trying to return to work.
McCoy covers a range of topics, from assessing skills and setting goals to building a network and negotiating salary. She also provides tips for overcoming common fears and insecurities that may hold women back from pursuing their career goals.
All in all, “Moms for Hire” is an excellent book for women actively looking to re-enter the job market and for stay-at-home moms who might be looking for a little push to take that step.
#5. Expect to Win
"Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace" is a book written by Carla A. Harris, a successful investment banker and motivational speaker.
Drawing from her own experiences as one of the most successful and respected women in business, Harris shares her personal "Carla's Pearls" - a collection of ten strategies that have helped her navigate and thrive in her career.
The book covers a range of topics, including authenticity, perception, mentorship, balance, and the importance of showing up with your best self every day. With inspiring insights and practical guidance, this must-read book provides readers with battle-tested tools to help fulfill their true potential and achieve success in the workplace.
In "Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One," author Jenny Blake offers readers a practical and inspiring guide to navigating career changes and making successful transitions.
As the average job tenure gets shorter and roles evolve rapidly, the ability to pivot becomes crucial for professionals looking to stay competitive and fulfilled. Drawing from her experience as a former training and career development specialist at Google, Blake introduces the Pivot Method - a framework for taking small, smart steps to move in a new direction.
With valuable insights and actionable advice, this book empowers readers to evaluate their options, overcome obstacles, and achieve career success and satisfaction in a constantly changing world. A must-read for anyone looking to make the most of their career.
#7. Designing Your Life
“Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life” is a book that offers guidance on how to create a life that is fulfilling and satisfying no matter what stage of life you are in.
Using the principles of design thinking, the authors show readers how to solve problems and create worlds that reflect their values and goals. From the tablet or smartphone, you use every day to the chair you sit in, everything in our lives was designed by someone. And the same design thinking that is used to create these products can be applied to designing a life that is joyful and full of purpose.
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans demonstrate how anyone can use design thinking to create a fulfilling life, regardless of age, background, or profession. By using design thinking to solve problems and create solutions, readers can build a life that is constantly evolving, creative, and productive.
All in all, "Designing Your Life" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to live a more intentional and fulfilling life, whether you are just starting out in your career or looking to make a professional change.
#8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
"What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful" is a book written by Marshall Goldsmith, a renowned coach who helps top leaders around the world to identify and overcome their unconscious bad habits and achieve even greater success.
While his one-on-one coaching services are expensive, readers can access his valuable insights in this book without the hefty price tag. The book offers practical advice and strategies for successful people who are looking to take their careers to the next level by addressing the behaviors and habits that may be holding them back.
"What Got You Here Won't Get You There" is a great book if you’re seeking to overcome your own limitations and reach even greater levels of success.
#9. Designing Your Work Life
"Designing Your Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness at Work" is a book written by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, authors of the best-selling book "Designing Your Life" and design professors at Stanford University.
The authors believe that designers build their way forward instead of analyzing or worrying about their way forward. This book utilizes design thinking to help readers transform their current job and general professional experience using mindsets such as curiosity, reframing, awareness, radical collaboration, bias to action, and storytelling.
The book offers tools, tips, and ideas to help readers find happiness and fulfillment at work by accepting the idea of "good enough, for now" and using the power of quitting to reframe their current job and find a better one.
#10. So Good They Can’t Ignore You
"So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love" is a book written by Cal Newport, a computer science professor, and productivity expert.
The book challenges the conventional wisdom that one should follow their passion for finding a fulfilling career. Instead, Newport argues that the key to finding work that one loves is to develop rare and valuable skills, which in turn will lead to greater autonomy and satisfaction.
The book is organized into four parts, each one focused on a different aspect of the "craftsman mindset" that Newport believes is necessary for building a fulfilling career. These include developing career capital by acquiring rare and valuable skills, cultivating creativity and innovation, adopting a "little bets" approach to taking career risks, and embracing a mission-driven mindset.
Throughout the book, Newport provides examples of individuals who have achieved success and fulfillment in their careers by following these principles.
#11. The New Rules of Work
"The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career" is a book by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew, founders of the career website TheMuse.com.
In the past, career paths were scripted and linear, but today's job market is different. Technology has given rise to new positions, and there are more career options available than ever before. This book offers a definitive guide to navigating the modern workplace, with exercises and structured tips to help readers find the right career path, land the perfect job, and grow and advance in their careers.
From mastering first impressions to networking and managing up, this book offers practical advice for anyone starting out in their career, navigating a mid-career shift, or looking to advance in their current job.
#12. The Unspoken Rules
"The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right" is a book by Gorick Ng, a career advisor and former admissions officer at Harvard University, that focuses on the basic workplace skills necessary for success, particularly for those starting their first job or taking a job in a new company.
The author draws on over 500 interviews with interns, early-career professionals, managers, and executives to explore the most common mistakes made by early-career professionals, what separates top performers from mediocre ones, and what successful people would do differently if they could relive their first years on the job.
The book provides a step-by-step guide to navigating the unspoken rules of the workplace, including taking ownership, managing expectations, navigating people dynamics, and communicating professionally. This book is a valuable resource for anyone starting out in their career and looking to succeed in the workplace.
#13. You Majored in What?
"You Majored in What?: Designing Your Path from College to Career" is a book by Katharine Brooks that provides a guide for students to navigate the innocent but haunting question of what they will do with their major.
The book offers a creative, fun, and intelligent approach to figuring out what students want to do and how to achieve it, regardless of what they studied in college. Brooks shows readers how to map their experiences for insights into their strengths and passions, design possible lives, and create goals to achieve their desired career paths.
Using techniques and ideas that have helped thousands of college students succeed in their careers, the book offers a practical and successful approach to finding career fulfillment. Regardless of what career students aspire to, "You Majored in What?" offers a valuable guide to help them achieve their goals.
#14. The Common Path to Uncommon Success
"The Common Path to Uncommon Success: A Roadmap to Financial Freedom and Fulfillment" is a book written by John Lee Dumas, the host of the popular podcast "Entrepreneur on Fire." The book offers a step-by-step guide for building a successful and fulfilling business based on Dumas' own experience as an entrepreneur.
Dumas argues that success and fulfillment are achievable for anyone who follows a proven path and focuses on providing value to others.
The book is organized into 17 steps, each one focused on a different aspect of building a successful business. These include identifying one's niche and ideal customer, creating a product or service that solves a problem, building a strong brand and marketing strategy, and having a strong team to support the business, among others.
"The Common Path to Uncommon Success" is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to build a successful business.
#15. The Squiggly Career
"The Squiggly Career: Ditch the Ladder, Embrace Opportunity and Carve Your Own Path Through the Squiggly World of Work" by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis is a book that explores the new world of squiggly careers, where moving between roles, industries, locations, and careers is becoming increasingly common.
The book acknowledges that squiggly careers can feel stressful and overwhelming, but with the right approach, they can offer freedom, opportunity, and purpose. The authors provide exercises to help readers identify their strengths, values, and future possibilities, and offer tips and inspiration from successful people to help readers be happier and more successful in their careers.
The book recognizes the changing shape of work and encourages readers to embrace their squiggly careers, making it a go-to book for anyone seeking to navigate the modern world of work.
9 Benefits of Reading Career Books
Wondering how reading a career book can help you professionally?
Here are some potential benefits of reading career books:
- Gaining new insights and perspectives on career development and advancement.
- Learning practical tips and strategies for building a successful and fulfilling career.
- Discovering new resources and tools for exploring career options and finding job opportunities.
- Finding inspiration and motivation to pursue your goals and passions.
- Learning from the experiences of successful professionals in various fields and industries.
- Developing skills and knowledge that can be applied to one's current or future career.
- Building confidence and self-awareness in one's career journey.
- Staying up-to-date on trends and changes in the job market and world of work.
- Expanding one's professional network and connecting with like-minded individuals in the field.
FAQs About Career Books
Do you still have some questions about career books? Check out the most frequently asked questions below.
#1. What is a career book?
A career book is a non-fiction book that provides advice, tips, strategies, and insights on career development and advancement.
These books are intended to help readers build successful and fulfilling careers by providing practical tips, tools, and inspiration.
#2. What are some good books for when you’re changing careers?
Some of our top book suggestions for when you’re changing careers include Novorésumé’s “Job Interview Masterclass,” Cal Newborn’s “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” and Jenny Blake’s “Pivot.”
The first book is an invaluable resource full of tips and strategies to ace any job interview you attend while you’re changing careers. The second book is perfect for anyone looking to take their career to the next level, whether they are just starting out or looking to make a change later in life. “Pivot” is a great choice for anyone looking to make a change in their career, whether they are seeking a new job, starting a business, or pursuing a passion project.
#3. What are the best career books for students?
Our top career books for students include Novorésumé’s “Job Search Masterclass” and Katharine Brooks’ “You Majored in What?”.
The first is the ultimate guide for any job-seeker out there, whether you’re a student, a recent graduate, or a seasoned professional. It can help you navigate through the entire job-search process, including making the perfect resume, matching it with a great cover letter, and acing your job interview.
#4. What’s the purpose of career books?
The purpose of career books is to provide guidance and support for individuals seeking to build successful and fulfilling careers. These books offer practical advice, strategies, and inspiration to help readers navigate the job market, build skills, and advance in their careers.
And that’s a wrap on career books!
We hope that you found what you were looking for and that you go on to navigate the job search process with even more tools and wisdom than before.
Remember - the right career book can provide you with great tips, strategies, and motivation to build and nurture the career you’ve always dreamed of, so make sure to give this list its due attention.