Full disclosure: all books mentioned below were purchased by me in 2009…
2009 was another year of career transition for me. I spent considerable time on my job hunt including time spent revising my resume, dabbling in different social media tools and attending networking events. However, one of the most important things I did this year was to embark on some intense career exploration.
This exploration included the reading of many career-related books. As part of a 2009 recap, I wanted to share with you my three favorite career books that I read and studied this year (they were not necessarily published in 2009):
Wake Up Inspired by Marian Baker
I had a chance to see Marian Baker speak at the my local career center during the spring and I was very impressed. I enjoyed her ability to combine information about finding our right work with an eye on big-picture spirituality.
Her book emphasizes the importance of not just finding a job, but also a career filled with inspiration and passion. What I liked the most about this book: its numerous exercises designed to help us to tune into what we are looking for. It contains some of the best writing prompts and exercises that I’ve seen and used in any career-related book. Reading WUI felt a lot like going through a coaching experience. Through the exercises, I felt like I discovered a lot more about myself.
While this book seems to be geared toward women, I know that its lessons can be applied by anyone seeking something more in their careers.
To learn more about Marian, including her book and coaching information, check out her website here.
Escape From Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
I’ve been a fan of Pamela Slim’s blog for some time now, but was very intrigued to learn that she released a book earlier in the year. So when I found out she was coming to Chicago to give a day-long seminar based on her book Escape From Cubicle Nation, I signed up quickly. It turned out to be one of the highlights of my summer.
Escape from Cubicle Nation covers everything you need to know about going into business for yourself including all of the fears and realities of being an entrepreneur. The book also includes some powerful exercises to get ideas flowing.
In the book, Pam talks about the importance of having and finding our “tribe.” Attending her seminar, I came to the realization that Pam’s tribe of seminar attendees had some amazing business ideas and were incredibly talented and creative people. Included in this group is Colleen Wainwright, aka the Communicatrix, who also presented during an afternoon session.
This book continues to be a source of great information and a valuable reference as I continue on my career journey. Whether I go into business for myself sooner or later, I know that EFCN will figure prominently.
For more information about Pam Slim, including a free chapter from the book, check out her Escape From Cubicle Nation blog here.
Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
Earlier in the month, I took a class at my career center based on this book and Marcus Buckingham’s Go Put Your Strengths to Work.
Central to Strengthsfinder 2.0 is Gallup’s online assessment which gives its readers five key strengths. The whole premise of both the Tom Rath and Marcus Buckingham books is that our greatest priority should be building upon our greatest strengths rather than improving our biggest weaknesses. I found the assessment to be very interesting and enlightening.
I also feel fortunate to be part of a class that discusses these strengths and examines them in greater detail. The book includes some great ideas for action that are based on your strengths and the website offers more resources.
One note of caution: do not buy this book used or use a library copy. Each copy of the book contains an access code that can be used for the online assessment just once. This annoyed me at first, but I think the information is valuable enough that it is worth the cost of the book.
To learn more about Tom Rath’s book, click here.
So how about you…what are your favorite career books and why?