Inspiring books that will help you improve your career

If you’re looking for inspiring ways to help you improve your career, you simply have to turn to the bookshelf.

There are thousands of superb books on every subject imaginable, so we’ve put together a list of 12 inspiring books that may help you in your career.

Thinking, fast and slow – by Daniel Kahneman

Nobel prize-winning author Daniel Kahneman’s international bestseller aims to change the way that you make decisions, both at work and at home.

Is there more chance we’ll believe something if it’s in a bold typeface? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? And why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent?

Kahneman’s book looks at the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. It reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking.

Excellence every day – by Lior Arussy

Addressing all levels of the corporate ladder, from customer service to the CEO, this business-savvy handbook explores ‘the Excellence Myth’ and reveals a new philosophy of excellence to help you to reach your performance potential.

Including both personal anecdotes as well as the results of a 23,000-participant study, Lior Arussy details the keys to expanding leadership skills, improving employee satisfaction and job performance, and securing customer loyalty.

Give and take – by Adam Grant

For generations, we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others.

In Give and Take, Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher, examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom.
He argues that the best way to get to the top is to focus on bringing others with you. Give and Take changes your fundamental understanding of why we succeed, offering a new model for your relationships with colleagues, clients and competitors.

The 7 habits of highly effective people – by Stephen Covey

For almost 30 years, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been a part of the cultural lexicon. More than 25 million copies of Stephen Covey’s book have been sold worldwide, and the book continues to help millions of readers become more effective in both their personal and professional lives.

As well as influencing presidents, CEOs, educators, and individuals all over the world to improve their businesses and careers, it also shares how to live with integrity, service, dignity, and success in all areas of life.

The art of work – by Jeff Goins

In this book, subtitled A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do, Jeff Goins explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose.

As Jeff explains, the search begins with passion but does not end there. Only when our interests connect with the needs of the world, do we start living for a larger purpose. Though it is rare, Jeff Goins argues that such a life is attainable by anyone brave enough to try.

The new rules of work – by Kathryn Minshew/Alexandra Cavoulacos

People in previous generations tended to pick one professional path and stick to it. Switching companies every few years wasn’t the norm, and changing careers was even rarer.

Today’s career trajectories are different, and technology has given rise to new positions that never before existed. This means that we are choosing from a much broader set of career options and have even more opportunities to find work that inspires us.

Kathryn Minshew and Alexandra Cavoulacos, founders of the popular career website, offer the definitive guide to the modern workplace. Through quick exercises and structured tips, you will learn the new rules for finding the right job and growing and advancing in your career.

Designing your life – by Bill Burnett

One of the hardest things to master is a right balance between your working and personal life. This book teaches you how to design a way of thinking that will help you build the life you want.

Focused on building a life that is fulfilled and joyful, rather than just successful, it will help you look at some of life’s troubles and biggest questions from a fresh perspective.

Using lots of real-life stories and proven techniques like reframing, prototyping and mind-mapping you will learn how to build your way forwards, step-by-positive-step, to a life that’s better by design of your own making.

How to win friends and influence people – by Dale Carnegie

In the age of social media, having the ability to network and get on with people is more valuable than ever before.

Although written 80 years ago, this book remains as relevant today as it did in the 1930s. Cited by many of the most successful people in the world as a source of inspiration, this is the ultimate book to help you improve your social skills.

A master of self-improvement, Carnegie will teach you to perfect the art of communication and improve relationships in every area of your life – including at work.

So good they can’t ignore you – by Cal Newport

Cal Newport’s clearly-written manifesto flies in the face of conventional wisdom by suggesting that it should be your talent and skill – and not necessarily your passion – that determines your career path.

Newport contends that trying to find what drives us, instead of focusing on areas in which we naturally excel, is ultimately harmful and frustrating to job seekers.

Newport presents compelling scientific and contemporary case study evidence that the key to your career success is to find out what you do well, where you have built up your ‘career capital’, and then to put all of your efforts into that direction.

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us – by Daniel H Pink

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink, in this provocative and persuasive book.

Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction at work is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does, and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation – autonomy, mastery, and purpose – and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how you think and transforms how you live.

The power of moments – by Chip Heath

The Power of Moments asks us to think about the experiences and memories that stick with us as well as those that fade away and explains why certain moments rise above the rest. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest moments can change our lives.

By structuring the book around stories from companies, organisations, and teachers who have set out to give their customers, clients, and students more memorable moments, The Power of Moments challenges the assumption that things simply happen to us, asserting that we have more control over crafting these moments than we think.

We also have a list of best children’s books that teach important life lessons, to help you to inspire and ignite your little one’s imagination. You can read it here.