It’s been a long, strange road for all of us as we learn to adapt to new realities. For office workers, that has included time spent at home, working in spare bedrooms, and taking Zoom calls from dining room tables. Now, as the world transitions back into the workplace, people everywhere are transitioning back into face-to-face interactions with colleagues, in-person meetings, and probably a whole bunch of dead cubicle plants.
So, the time is right to brush up on career-related literature. These 10 books and audiobooks — some new, some classics — are here to help, encompassing topics ranging from effective interview tactics and management strategies to asking for what you want. Settle into your reading nook or put on your headphones, and let’s make your move back into the office a little easier.
Flex: Reinventing Work for a Smarter, Happier Life by Annie Auerbach
Auerbach argues working standard hours in an office doesn’t address the realities of modern life, particularly in this pandemic-affected world. She suggests a more flexible workplace model because people are more efficient and productive when allowed the freedom of flexibility. We become more creative and strategic with our time and energy, and more engaged with our personal lives, which leads to a more sustainable work-life balance.
Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers and Seize Success by Dr. Dawn Graham
If you’re stuck in an unsatisfying job or the wrong profession, career coach and psychologist Graham shows you how to get unstuck. Switchers guides you through a career change, from crafting the perfect resume and meeting the concerns of hiring managers to rebranding yourself for your new aspirations.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
First published in 1989, this book continues to guide the principles of executives, educators, entrepreneurs, and others who want to optimize their lives. Covey’s principle-centered approach helps readers solve both personal and professional problems, while acting with fairness, integrity, and honesty. If you want to make positive changes in your career or your life, this book can help you do it.
Pivot by Jenny Blake
We know, you’re probably tired of hearing the word “pivot” at this point. But in this book, the author — a former career development program manager at Google — shares how to methodically make your next career move by doubling down on what is already working. She’ll talk you through taking smart risks, identifying opportunities, and developing new skills. Because in the workplace, the only move that matters is your next one.
The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
Heading back into the office — or back into the workforce — is a good time to ensure your worth is being recognized. “The Confidence Code” notes that working women today are better educated and more well-qualified than ever before, yet men are still a dominant force in the corporate world. The authors offer inspiration and practical advice to help women close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This classic tome is chock full of time-tested advice on navigating career development. The book covers topics on making people like you, winning people over to your way of thinking, and achieving your maximum potential. It’s a bestseller for a reason, and even after all these years, its lessons still apply to daily life in and out of the office.
Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything by Alexandra Carter
Negotiation is a skill that extends from your career to your relationships to everyday life. And, like all skills, you can get better at it with practice. Columbia law professor and mediation expert Carter gives you the tools you need to succeed in negotiations — it’s not about being the loudest voice, it’s about asking the right questions. Her 10-question framework helps you navigate your next negotiation to ensure you get what you want.
Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
If you don’t love your job, you’re not alone. But rather than resigning yourself to your fate, author and marketing expert Vaynerchuk says now is the time to cash in on your passion. Do you have a hobby you want to make your full-time job, or an obsession that keeps you up at night? Vaynerchuk shows you how to harness the power of the internet to make a living doing what you love.
The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger
Changing minds is a vital skill in and outside the office. Berger, a University of Pennsylvania marketing professor, shows you how to do it more effectively. It’s not about pushing harder or arguing better; instead, true change occurs when catalysts produce a spark of inspiration. He shines a spotlight on barriers to change and gives practical advice on how to remove them.
Radical Candor by Kim Scott
A former manager at Google and Apple, Scott has earned a following over the years for her “radical candor” management approach. Her book breaks down this approach to help bosses and employees achieve greater success. She provides anecdotes from her own experience and distills lessons into actionable steps, so managers can find meaning in their jobs and create the best environment for their colleagues.