It’s no question that life has dramatically shifted for so many of us in the past few weeks. Employees are working from home (like me!), and there is a lack of normal activities to do with many restaurants and other entertainment spots shut down for the foreseeable future.
One thing that I have dived into a lot more in these past few weeks is reading! What a great time to get lost in a good book.
I’ve put together my top 4 book recommendations that will not only entertain you, but will also help you with your career moving forward.
1) Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht
Photo Credit: Aliza Licht
If you are in the world of communications, marketing or PR, this book is just the one for you. I read this book almost two years ago, and I continue to actively follow Aliza Licht on Instagram, and listen to her podcast! She was the voice behind the famous @DKNYPRGIRL on Twitter, and truly revolutionized how brands can connect to audiences online.
Licht gives actionable tips that relate to building your career in a world you might not have a lot of experience in. Licht actually has a degree in sciences, and had no formal education in communications or PR. This gal was truly a hustler when you think about the fact that she worked her way up to be a Global Fashion Communications Executive.
This book gives you some great perspective in terms of networking, resume building, and building your own personal brand (which, is super important these days). Although it’s a “Career Development” book, it truly is entertaining and motivating, with a ton of relatable, personal stories throughout.
This book will allow you to dive a bit deeper into your own career goals and aspirations. Now is a great time to pull up your LinkedIn profile, or whip our your resume, and give it a fresh new polish.
“I can’t think of a better mentor to help get you going at work and in life. Read it, be inspired- then go out and own your passion.”
– From the foreword by Donna Karan
2) #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
Photo Credit: Penguin Random House
Sophia Amoruso is the OG when it comes to popularizing “vintage” fashion. At 22-years-old, she was broke with no education, and working a job only to get healthcare. Fact of the matter was, she didn’t care about a whole lot, until she found her niche and passion; selling vintage clothes on eBay.
The amazing thing about Amoruso was that she had a knack for selling things online, simply because she started developing a brand before she even knew what a “brand” was. She ensured her photos were high-quality when posting, and that the description of the item was crafted so carefully that it became irresistible to eager buyers.
This book will inspire you to follow your gut, and give you an inside look at how Amoruso created one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world from the ground up.
“#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.”
3) Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
Photo Credit: goodreads
If you know the show Greys Anatomy, you know who Shonda Rhimes is – or do you? Sure, her name appears at the beginning and end of every episode, but do any of us really know the woman behind some of televisions most iconic characters?
As an introvert, she found it easier to say “no” to media appearances, public speaking engagements and more. She waned to stick to what she knew best: writing for television. But, she soon realized that wasn’t always the right decision.
Sure, she was beyond nervous at being on camera, and speaking in public (we’ve all been there, am I right?), but was that a valid enough excuse? In this book, Rhimes details her year of saying “yes” to everything and anything that came her way.
Saying “yes” was super transformative for Rhimes (she went on to appear on the Oprah show, and give an iconic commencements speech at Dartmouth) and we can all learn important lessons here on when we should take the leap, and say “yes” ourselves, even if we might be scared to. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is so important for career and personal growth!
“[Rhimes] can help motivate even the most determined homebody to get out and try something new” – Chicago Tribune.
4) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Photo Credit: goodreads
To date, this book is one of my all-time favorites. While it’s not directly a career development book, my theory is that if you improve your life outside of work, your career will almost always follow.
Manson takes a unique perspective in this self-help book, where instead of telling readers to “just be happy” and “stay positive!”, he states the opposite: it’s not natural to be positive all the time and that’s completely okay and normal. In fact, constantly yearning for positive experiences and outcomes in life is inherently a negative experience, because you’re always stuck in your own head, wishing for something different.
Why not simply learn to accept things for the way they are? Why not accept that sometimes life sucks, and that’s okay too?
We are constantly told that a positive mindset is the key to a positive life, but what’s really the benefit of being positive and happy all the time? Surely we must know that all emotions are good, and necessary to experience (demonstrated famously Pixar’s Inside Out).
This read is entertaining, educational, and eye-opening. Give it a try, and you’ll find yourself asking this question: what do I actually give a f*ck about?
“This book hits you like a much-needed slap in the face from your best friend: hilarious, vulgar, and immensely thought-provoking. Only read if you’re willing to set aside all excuses and take an active role in living a f***ing better life.” – Steve Kamb