This holiday season, treat yourself to something sweeter than chocolate, yet even more practical than a new professional wardrobe from Banana Republic. Our holiday season career book recommendations make pursuing a career year in 2020 a confidence and skill-boosting adventure! There’s something for everyone in this short list, no matter your field or how far along you are toward achieving your ambitions:
The number-one New York Times best seller as seen andheard on Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Rich Roll, and more makes a startling discovery. David Epstein examined the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, and scientists. He discovered that in most fields – especially those that are complex and unpredictable – generalists, rather than specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see. So dabble in different pursuits, then read this book and make your broad experiences work for you.
Do you find that it’s hard to delve deeply into a cognitively demanding project at work, due to distractions? You’re not alone; many people are struggling to balance the demands in a constant barrage of emails, DMs, and voice mails with work that requires intense concentration. Author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on making an impact at work in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of focus. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules”, for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
Long before the “Most Interesting Man in the World” Dos Equis guy ever captured imaginations, Bill Sands was that man – a successful businessman, pilot, diamond miner, boxer, and motivational speaker. What makes his life story so remarkable, and such a career inspiration, is that he was doing three consecutive life sentences in San Quentin by his 19th birthday! If you’re feeling stuck in place or limited by circumstances beyond your control, you’ll find inspiration in this classic. Opt for the Kindle version at $14.98, because the out-of-print paperback is $869!
If you are transitioning to a new management or leadership role, or you have recently made the transition, this book is indispensable. Author Michael D. Watkins, Co-founder of Genesis Advisers, a leadership development consultancy, walks you through the first 90 days of your transition. He identifies the pitfalls new leaders commonly encounter and provides tools and strategies to avoid them, while working toward securing early victories that can make the difference in your new role and in your career. Each chapter also includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation. How you manage transitions will go a long way toward determining your future, and this book addresses leadership transitions with pragmatic strategies.
In competitive job interview scenarios, canned interview answers won’t work, nor will winging it. You need to be both authentic and strategic to convince the employer you’re “the one.” This book provides the strategies for communicating your unique strengths. It will help you to build an arsenal of “success stories” on which to base your candidacy, and to ace every step of the process, from the first screening to video interviews, behavioral interviews and panels, through to the final offer.
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