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Published on November 6, 2019

10 Best Career Books To Help You Do Work You Love

10 Best Career Books To Help You Do Work You Love

Whether you’re new to the job market, or happen to be looking for a new path professionally, the following 10 career books will help you make that happen. These are the books you need to read in order to find and do work you love or take your career to the next level.

1. Find Your Why by Simon Sinek

    Do you know your WHY? Here’s mine: ”To inspire, empower, and educate people everywhere so that they can improve their lives and achieve their goals.” Every single thing I do in my career–my motivational speaking work, my writing, my podcast, and every one of my business ventures–revolves around my WHY.

    And this first book on our list will teach you how to find your own WHY, and how to draft your own WHY statement so that you can articulate your purpose to the world effectively and elegantly.

    Check out the book here.

    2. Deep Work by Cal Newport

      The author of this book, Cal Newport, told me on my podcast[1] that being able to sustain your focus for long periods of time is like a super-power. And I believe it. Especially these days–when people are more distracted than ever–it’s crucial to be capable of focusing on your work without succumbing to distraction.

      This book will teach you how to do that, which is why it’s one of the best career books out there.

      Check out the book here.

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      3. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans

        Designing Your Life teaches you how to take a design-based approach towards your life in order to live better and optimize the life you lead in every way, and in every area.

        The book was co-authored by Bill Burnett, one of Apple’s original designers; and Dave Evans, a mechanical engineer, and previous VP of Talent for Electronic Arts. Bill and Dave also teach a popular class together at Stanford that teaches students how to leverage design-thinking to customize a personal and professional lifestyle optimized for maximum fulfillment. This career book is based on their Stanford life-design class.

        Check out the book here.

        4. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

          This is one of my personal favorite books. It’s powerful and practical, especially if you’re looking to find and do work you love.

          And, if you’re already doing meaningful work, Scott will teach you how to put the proper systems in place to make the most impact with the work you do. In this book, you’ll also learn–as the title entails–why failure is never a sign you won’t eventually succeed.

          Check out the book here.

          5. Mastery by Robert Greene

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            It doesn’t matter how old you are or how successful you are in your career, there’s always room for improvement. And that’s what this book is all about: becoming a student of your craft.

            Mastery is about falling in love with what you do, even when it gets hard. This book taught me about how important it is to choose a career that you’re willing to work on becoming better and better at for the rest of your life… Because if you can find that, as the old saying goes, “you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

            Check out the book here.

            6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

              Influencing others is an art. Do it wrong and you come off as sleazy. But if you do it right, you can win the admiration of others and advance your career.

              Learning how to deal with people is one of those skills you won’t learn about in most classrooms. You won’t find it in any business training manuals, either. But if you can learn how to do it, it’ll pay off more than any other specialized skill you can learn–regardless of what industry you’re in. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a crucial career book no matter who you are.

              Check out the book here.

              7. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

                After you read How to Win Friends and Influence People, do yourself a favor and go get this book. Why? Because it’ll teach you how to create powerful professional networks that you can tap into throughout your career.

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                Your network may not be the only thing that determines your net worth, but it sure plays a big role in doing so.

                Check out the book here.

                8. Drive by Daniel Pink

                  Motivation — sometimes it can be tough to muster up. But what if you could create “on-demand” motivation for yourself? How cool would that be, right?

                  Well, this book teaches you how to do that, not only for yourself, but for others as well. In Drive, you’ll learn about the components of human motivation, and how to effectively motivate yourself and others… Both of which are essential elements of succeeding in almost every career.

                  Check out the book here.

                  9. Give and Take by Adam Grant

                    Give and Take is essential reading because it focuses on how strategically giving to others and adding value to the lives of others can ultimately benefit you. It’s a guidebook for creating a thriving and fulfilling career, while helping others in the process. In this career book, you’ll learn how helping others can propel your professional life forward.

                    Check out the book here.

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                    10. What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles

                      If you’re on the hunt for a new job, or happen to be looking for a new career, then this book is for you. The book is updated yearly, but the core concepts remain the same:

                      Finding a career you love is more than possible if you can navigate interviews, have a marketable skill-set, and are willing to be flexible and creative.

                      This book will teach you how to do that.

                      Check out the book here.

                      Which Book Will You Read First?

                      Now that you’ve got this list of career books, there’s only one question left… Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once?

                      So many options. So little time. Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career.

                      But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

                      If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book. And then commit to reading it from start to finish.

                      If you’re in a rush, try Audible audiobooks, or book summary apps such as Blinkist or InstaRead.

                      More Books to Help Advance Your Career

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Dean Bokhari

                      Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                      Last Updated on September 23, 2020

                      Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

                      Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

                      Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

                      In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

                      Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

                      Most People Already Know Their Passion

                      So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

                      Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

                      For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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                      No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

                      Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

                      Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

                      Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

                      Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

                      Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

                      Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

                      What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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                      If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

                      How to Do What You Love

                      There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

                      1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

                      Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

                      We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

                      If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

                      Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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                      Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

                      If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

                      2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

                      As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

                      Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

                      Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

                      Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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                      If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

                      3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

                      If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

                      Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

                      For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

                      Final Thoughts

                      If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

                      Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

                      More on How to Do What You Love

                      Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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