Top 5 Summer Reads for Your Career by the People Who Matter

By Michelle Hendelman, Editor-in-Chief

One of the best ways to gain tips and advice for advancing your career is to pick up a few tried and true career strategy books. While it is helpful to keep your bookshelf stocked with business related reading material year-round, the summer months are a great time of year to catch up on those books you keep meaning to pick up, but simply haven’t had the time to.

Choosing the right books that will actually provide you with solid and actionable takeaways can be tough. Your time is precious, and if you are using valuable hours out of your day to read a career book, it better be worth it. This is why we have compiled a list of the top five career coaching books by the people who matter to fully immerse yourself in this summer. These books have all been recognized by thought leaders and influential business people as top notch advice books from which anyone can benefit.

Top Five Summer Reads for Your Career:

1. To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Don’t be misled by the title of this book. You don’t need to be a salesperson to benefit from a book about how to sell. If you think about it, you spend the majority of your day selling in some capacity. You sell ideas, thoughts, courses of action, and even yourself to some degree. The author, Daniel Pink, provides readers with a selling toolkit to apply in all situations where you need to influence others. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one out of every nine members of the American workforce is in sales, but knowing how to sell is a universal skill that will help you get ahead.

2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard
One of the most difficult things to learn when you are working your way up the corporate ladder is how to accept change and be flexible without compromising yourself. Having strong convictions is an admirable trait, but when you let those convictions dominate, you run the risk of clinging on to your current practices, processes, and strategies that might benefit from an update. The key to driving change is flexibility and acceptance. In this book, Chip and Dan Heath explain how to unite your rational and emotional mind to achieve true lasting change that will positively impact your life.

3. Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity (Columbia Business School Publishing)
Sometimes the best career advice can come from the most unexpected sources, and August Turak certainly proves this is true in his new book. Trappist monks are known for their contemplative way of life that relies on silence as a primary tenet. The Trappists are governed by a simple lifestyle and a strict observance of their rule. At first, you may not see the connection between the Trappist lifestyle and your personal career path, but take a closer look how a little reflection can go a long way in the world of business.

4. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
The principle sounds simple, right? Getting things done is sometimes easier said than practiced as each day brings new challenges that can impede productivity. David Allen, a productivity expert, helps you tap into your full potential by teaching you how to relax and clear your mind. It is easy to get swept up in the rat race, but Allen gives you tips on how to maximizing efficiency while simultaneously minimizing your stress level. Embracing this process for getting things done will definitely make you stand out as you work hard to get the attention of senior level executives.

5. You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential
One of the most commonly noted obstacles to women’s career advancement is the lack of confidence many women feel as a result of working in a male-dominated corporate culture. In this book, Alan Fine shows you how to look inward to the knowledge, skills, and confidence you already possess in order to get ahead at work. If you need to learn how to block out the noise and focus on the job you need to get done, this book is a must read. Being aware of your own potential is perhaps the greatest business tool you have.

These five books will get you through the summer, but remember that your career development is an ongoing process, so try to make time for career advice and coaching whenever you can. Happy reading!