8 Books That Will Nurture Your Career Aspirations
Updated: Sep 3
Reading is good for the soul and rumor has it getting lost in a good book is the cheapest vacation you can take. If you're looking for the next read to inspire your career aspirations, check out this list. The books featured here aren't just about business basics. Each one features life-altering lessons that will shift your perspective and help you do the inner work necessary to find the success you seek.
Excerpts from Amazon.
1. Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf
According to researchers, the vast majority--a whopping 75-98 percent--of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.
Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shares with readers the "switch" in our brains that enables us to live happier, healthier, more enjoyable lives where we achieve our goals, maintain our weight, and even become more intelligent. She shows us how to choose life, get our minds under control, and reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life.
2. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity.
With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
3. Resonate by Alex Wolf
Nobody understands how Alex Wolf built a cult following of over half a million millennials for her first brand in less than a year. Nobody understands why she left it all to become a writer either. RESONATE is Wolf's informative and occasionally hilarious look at the intersection of human nature, technology, and how understanding both can help anyone creative build a following of their own.
4. More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.
Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.
5. Don't Keep Your Day Job by Cathy Heller
From the creator of the number one podcast Don't Keep Your Day Job, an inspiring book about turning your passion into profit.
The pursuit of happiness is all about finding our purpose. We don't want to just go to work and build someone else’s dream, we want to do our life's work. But how do we find out what we’re supposed to contribute? What are those key ingredients that push those who succeed to launch their ideas high into the sky, while the rest of us remain stuck on the ground?
Don’t Keep Your Day Job will get you fired up, ready to rip it open, and use your zone of genius to add a little more sparkle to this world. Cathy Heller, host of the popular podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, shares wisdom, anecdotes, and practical suggestions from successful creative entrepreneurs and experts, including actress Jenna Fischer on rejection, Gretchen Rubin on the keys to happiness, Jen Sincero on having your best badass life, and so much more. You’ll learn essential steps like how to build your side hustle, how to find your tribe, how to reach for what you truly deserve, and how to ultimately turn your passion into profit and build a life you love.
6. Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington's personal wakeup call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye - the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. The co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, one of the fastest growing media companies in the world, celebrated as one of the world's most influential women, gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she found herself wondering, is this really what success feels like?
In Thrive, she has written a passionate call to arms, looking to redefine what it means to be successful in today's world. In a commencement address she gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, Arianna likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. It may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we're going to topple over. We need a third leg - a Third Metric for defining success. In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and two daughters - of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse - and to her "aha moment".
Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplaces, and our lives.
7. The High Achiever's Guide by Maki Moussavi
Readers of books such as You Are a Badass, Limitless, The Big Leap, Designing Your Life or Who Says You Can't? You Do will love The High Achiever’s Guide.
Decide what success means for you: Are you trapped in a gilded cage of your own making? Conventionally successful, but not necessarily fulfilled? You’re making money, have a career and lifestyle that you thought you always wanted. But now you’re there and it’s not all you expected it to be. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. A dismal one out of three people report feeling happy with their lives, so what do you do about it?
You Do You: Maki Moussavi knows firsthand how it feels to be stuck in the rut of conventional success. A former corporate career professional, Moussavi's early life was filled with messages of working hard, chasing the dream, getting degrees, and making money. After creating the “success” that she’d been taught to value, she found herself questioning how the hell she ended up feeling stuck, restless and unfulfilled. But through a journey of self-examination, she learned how to raise the bar of self-expectation and thrive. And now, The High Achiever’s Guide shares her best tools and processes to determine what fulfillment means to you, so you can thrive with empowered confidence.
The High Achiever’s Guide pilots you through four major themes of personal development:
Clarifying your limiting beliefs and the outdated mindset that has been holding you back
Identifying the external or internal factors that drive you
Making space for the new, updated mindset that will take you to the next level
Showing you how to take inspired action and commit to the vision you have created for your life
8. Becoming by Michelle Obama
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As first lady of the United States of America - the first African American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the US and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites listeners into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.