No matter what stage of your career you’re in, we all need some help every now and again. And even when everything seems to be going right, you’ve got to keep your skills sharp to stay on top of your game.
I’m only just starting out in my career, but already, the vast industry for career books and business guides has me feeling overwhelmed. Where do I begin? How do I keep up? Which authors are worth reading? What podcasts should I start listening to?
Seeking answers, I reached out to my co-workers here at The Muse for advice and recommendations. They didn’t disappoint, and it wasn’t long before I had a list as long as my arm!
1. Insight: Why We're Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life by Tasha Eurich
Self-awareness is the key to success in this new book by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich. Not sure you have the self-awareness required? Never fear: Eurich’s book approaches the topic from a learning standpoint, teaching readers to make dramatic gains in self-awareness that will improve your work, relationships, and lifestyle.
I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a big book, but Eurich’s writing is accessible, honest, and compelling, and you’ll really learn stuff about yourself.
2. The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything by Neil Pasricha
Written by one of the most popular TED speakers of all time, The Happiness Equation is based upon one simple sum—so simple in fact, that it fits right on the front cover as the subhead.
Confused? Pasricha promises to make everything clear with his nine secrets to happiness.
When I first started at The Muse, I picked up The Happiness Equation to get some inspiration for starting my career. I expected it to be a wishy-washy book about finding happiness, but it soon proved me wrong. I came out of it with real strategies for living a better, more fulfilling career, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t want something dense or philosophical—so, everyone!
3. The New Job Security, Revised: The 5 Best Strategies for Taking Control of Your Career by Pam Lassiter
In a world where professionals job hop between roles and companies, what does it mean to have “job security?” Pam Lassiter is an executive career consultant on a mission to teach professionals all the tools and strategies they need to navigate the modern work environment.
This book taught me why people with career insurance don’t worry too much if they lose a particular job; they’re confident that they have both the skills employers are looking for, and an abundance of respect within their industry.
4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This best-seller wasn’t just written by a Nobel Prize winner; it also won a Communication Award, and was described as “an outstanding and accessible book that brings to the public key scientific insights about how we think and make decisions.”
Built upon decades of Kahneman’s research into cognitive biases and happiness, the book was hailed as groundbreaking when published, and is still transforming lives—and careers—to this day.
This book is vital reading to understand (and challenge) how we make decisions as humans.
5. Work in Progress by Slack
This podcast was born out from one simple fact: “Behind every working human, there’s a story.”
Produced by the team behind the workplace communication app Slack, Work In Progress tells a huge range of stories, from one about escaping the underground railroad to another about leaving engineering to join the family business.
Each episode offers a fun and inspiring glimpse into other people’s daily work and career journey.
6. Startup by Lisa Chow and Alex Blumberg
Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to start a company? This podcast takes you behind the scenes with Alex Blumberg, who decided to document his journey as a startup entrepreneur through this podcast, co-hosted with Lisa Chow.
Combining storytelling with hard-earned lessons about entrepreneurship, this was bound to be a huge success.
[Co-host Alex Blumberg] set out to start his own company, something he’s never done before. The learning curve makes it exciting and inspiring to listen through his mistakes, not to mention super interesting!
7. The Tim Ferriss Show by Tim Ferriss
You may have already heard this podcast, even if you didn’t know it at the time. After all, The Tim Ferriss Show is often the #1 business podcast on iTunes. Ferriss has a knack for finding the lesson in any story, from film stars to top investors. It’s a formula which has netted him more than 100,000,000 downloads (count those zeros!).
When you listen to this podcast, you become—in Tim Ferriss’ words—the proverbial fly on the wall, spying on a dynamic conversation and getting the chance to absorb meaningful skills, universal principles, and the mindsets that have allowed the world’s best to become what they are today.
8. Happen to Your Career by Scott Barlow
Dedicated to matching people’s passions to their careers, this podcast rejects the very idea of “settling” and preaches a go-getter philosophy. What’s more, each episode features a different high-performer whose advice helps professionals progress in many different aspects of their career. Our own VP of Strategy and Operations, Lindsay Moroney, was featured on Episode 160!
It was a pleasure to contribute to one of my favorite podcasts. In the episode I was a guest on, I discussed the importance of being authentic with yourself and following your passion, and how it will lead you to opportunities that you’ll be excited to pursue.
9. Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Deep thinking abounds at this blog analyzing the latest in technology trends. The blog’s author Ben Thompson seeks to answer two central questions: “Why?” and “What’s next?” His work is considered essential reading for anyone interested in the future of tech and industry.
Ben Thompson is the best tech analyst out there in my opinion. He offers great insight into business strategy and the direction of the future of work.
10. The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan
Nobody likes to talk about money: That’s the starting point for this blog dedicated to budgeting, nutrition, and careers. It’s a dynamite combination for young professionals looking to balance their personal and professional lives, offering solid practical advice you can put into practice starting tomorrow.
This blog is great for financial advice for Millennials. I specifically love their budget food shopping lists, meal plans, and career advice. There are lots of different contributors, which gives a unique perspective.
11. Her Agenda by Rhonesha Byng
This site is dedicated to unstoppable women in the professional world. Including profiles of powerful female founders, CEO’s, actresses, teachers, and activists, it features a wealth of role models for everyone—as well as a directory of female empowerment organizations across the country. It’s perfect for some inspiration after a tough day!
It’s a fantastic site—my favorite feature is ‘Your Agenda,’ where you can filter by location and generate a calendar of great professional events happening near you .
12. We Are Social by Nathan McDonald and Robin Grant
A global social media marketing agency that runs a blog featuring client work as well as case studies of advertising campaigns that the company finds interesting. The site focuses on the social aspect of marketing—the future of the industry, if you will.
There’s always something interesting or thought-provoking to read here, whether it’s a video examining Netflix’s advertising campaign for Narcos, or an article on diversity and social media bubbles.
Has this list inspired you to make some changes in your career? Whether you want to move for a promotion, find a new direction, or even pick up a side hustle, it all comes down to one universal lesson: There’s no time like the present.
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