Inspiring reads with your career in mind

Sometimes, a longer-term development plan can take a back seat to our to-do list, and the bigger picture might fall short of the here and now. There is no escaping the recent propensity for ‘living in the moment’.

And whilst this is an important feature of a happy, fulfilling life, when it comes to our careers we do need to set future goals and targets if only to keep ourselves engaged and interested in the day-to-day - especially at the early stages of a career when things can feel rather perfunctory.

Remembering why you are doing something can often be enough. As Simon Sinek says in his Ted Talk ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ “We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with ‘why’ that have the ability to inspire those around them”. Basically, we all know very well what we do, but do we know why we do it?

Whether you’re looking to define your own ‘why’, build a useful network or learn how to negotiate and persuade our reading suggestions below should take a place at the top of your reading pile:

1.      The Start Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

This book by the co-founder of Linkedin (Reid Hoffman) and author Ben Casnocha suggests our careers should be approached with the same tactics as an entrepreneur launching a new start-up in Silicon Valley. With traditional job-security now a distant memory, the world of employment has never been more competitive, and so Hoffman and Casnocha suggest that agility, networking and risk-taking (in a nutshell) will give an edge over the competition.

2.      48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal by Dan Miller

Dan Miller, a professional career counsellor, explains in his book that finding what our true vocation is should form the shape of our career to avoid ending up in a job and/or company we simply don’t like.

3.      How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This classic, originally published in 1936, has provided invaluable advice to millions. Put simply, Carnegie provides a blueprint for making people like you, persuading people of your ideas, and changing people without them ultimately resenting you for it. Key abilities for all, but particularly for those hoping to carve a career in leadership.

4.      Never Eat Alone by Keith Farrazzi

Here, Farrazzi outlines the ‘secrets to success’ including ‘never eat alone’, ‘Ping constantly’ and ‘don’t keep score’. Intrigued? You should be!

Farrazzi was named as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the Davos World Economic Forum and is extremely well connected. The book provides insight into how he’s built up those relationships with generosity and connecting others.

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