10 Great Career Books for Young Professionals | Lindsey Pollak's Blog

10 Great Career Books for Young Professionals

I was recently invited to attend a volunteer event for which the host asked everyone to bring books to donate to a domestic violence shelter. Donating books is a wonderful thing to do, and I enjoyed going through my shelves deciding what to give away.

The process also reminded me which books I couldn’t bear to part with.  While many favorite novels and memoirs top this list (A Farewell to Arms, Bird by Bird, Netherland), it won’t surprise you that my career books are very important to me. As I went through my collection, I came up with this list of my 10 favorite career books for young professionals. Here they are, in alphabetical order by title:

  1. A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink
    Essential reading about the skills that will dominate in the new economy
  2. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
    My favorite book on figuring out what to do with your life
  3. Getting from College to Career by *me*
    Of course I had to include my own book! I wrote the guide I wish I’d had when I was in your shoes. It includes everything I’ve learned along my professional path so far.
  4. Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty
    How you write is how you are perceived. This book is the best modern writing primer I’ve seen.
  5. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
    The best book on networking at any age, in any profession
  6. Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel
    Like having your own personal career coach
  7. Roadtrip Nation by Mike Marriner and Nathan Gebhard with Joanne Gordon
    A fun, insightful look into a wide variety of career paths
  8. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
    An absolute must-read for anyone who wants a creative career
  9. They Don’t Teach Corporate In College by Alexandra Levit
    The best book on thriving as a young professional in the corporate world
  10. Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler
    The ultimate guide to setting and reaching your goals over the next 12 months

What are your favorite career books? Please share in the comments!

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  1. Joy Schwartz says:

    Lindsey, This is a great list and appropriately timed given that summer is about to start. I’m planning to share these in my weekly career email and bulletin board for students at SMU.

  2. Paige says:

    Fabulous list, Lindsey. I just finished teaching a Career Exploration course at a local college and this list will so be shared with my students. Actually, I already shared two of them with my students, one being yours! Thanks.

  3. Great list. Another good one for the list: The Four Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferris.

    • @Patricia – Thanks for the suggestion. I enjoyed The Four Hour Work Week as well!

  4. Nat says:

    I would add another good book to the list: “Do What You Are.” It helped me to figure out what career is best for me.

    P.S. If you like a good laugh, check out my blog http://dontstoplaughing.wordpress.com/

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you for the list. I can’t wait to get some of these books at the local library!

  6. DC Jobs says:

    I have grammar “issues”, so I’m always happy to hear about books on the subject that present the information in a manner that is not dull or dry.

    • @DC Jobs – Then you will really like Grammar Girl — definitely check out her book and podcasts!

  7. Lindsey, great list! I’m definitely going to share this with my audiences. Here’s another great one to add to your list: From Day One, by Bill White, a CEO’s advice to launching an extraordinary career

    • @Jodi – thanks! I haven’t heard of Bill White’s book – will definitely check it out!

  8. Jason says:

    Love the book Never Eat Alone. Great read.

  9. Katie says:

    Great list. I loved the Lois Frankel book,and I think that I found something similar for networking, which is another one of my personal failings. Its called Fast Track Networking and I’m ordering it when it comes out.

  10. Sarah Fowler says:

    I can’t believe Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist isn’t on this list! It’s the book I would have wanted to write in a couple years I’d it hadn’t already been written!

  11. Career Outlook says:

    Good list, I willl try to find them on amazon now 🙂

  12. […] Redefine “Beach Reading.” Instead of reading the latest romance novel, gossip magazine or legal thriller by the pool, pack your tote bag with a book that will advance your career knowledge. Check out the biography of a successful business owner, a productivity guide or a job hunting manual. If you’d rather keep your eyes shut and avoid weird sunglasses tan lines, load some books onto your iPod and listen instead. Consider these 10 great career books for young professionals. […]

  13. Tyler says:

    Great list! I wish I’d discover it sooner. I’d like to also recommend this book by Nancy Schuman https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Resume-Book-Create-winning/dp/1598696378 on resume writing for young professionals. It was once very useful to me. It should help, but there’s also this amazing service https://bestcvwriting.com if you still feel like struggling.