November 6, 2015

Fifteen Must-Read Career Books for the Modern Professional

Best Career Development Books
Happy Friday!  My brother and I are very honored to be "Celebrity Spellers" in the Middle Tennessee Read to Succeed Celebrity Spelling Bee to promote literacy next week (more on that at the bottom of this post).  In honor of the Bee, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite career development books for today's post.

1. #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso 
#Girlboss review
Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal Founder and CEO, shares how she went from dumpter-diving to founding one of the most successful online retailers in the world.  #GIRLBOSS is full of wonderful, and at times unconventional career advice for the modern empowered young woman.  
"A #Girlboss is in charge of her life.  She gets what she wants because she works for it."

2. Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
Lean In book review
In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, examines why women's progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled and offers compelling solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential in the workplace. Sandberg provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship and building a satisfying career while encouraging women to lean in by taking bold risks without holding back.

3. The Trump Card, Ivanka Trump
The Trump Card book review
The Trump Card is a business book for young women on how to achieve success in any field based upon what Ivanka Trump has learned from The Donald as well as from her own personal experiences.  Ivanka also taps into the wisdom of today's leaders, including Arianna Huffington, Russell Simons and Cathie Black with "Bulletins" from her Blackberry, one of my favorite things about the book. 
"We've all been dealt a winning hand, and it is up to each of us to play it right and smart."

4. Basic Black, Cathie Black
Basic Black book review
Cathie Black, media mogul and president of Hearst Magaznines, offers invaluable career lessons that will help you land the job, promotion, or project you're aiming for.  Basic Black gives advice on how to handle interviews, which rules to break, and how to take the next step in your career.
5. If You Have to Cry Go Outside, Kelly Cutrone
If You Have to Cry Go Outside book review
In the New York Times bestseller If You Have to Cry Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, Kelly Cutrone combines personal and professional stories from her high-profile gigs on MTV's The Hills, Bravo's Kell on Earth, judge on America's Next Top Model, and CEO and founder of the fashion PR firm People's Revolution to offer young professional women no-nonsense, brutally honest career advice.  FYI: some bad language.

6. Secrets of Six Figure Women, Barbara Stanny
Secrets of Six Figure Women book review
In Secrets of Six-Figure Women, Barbara Stanny, journalist, motivational speaker, and financial educator, identifies the seven key strategies of female high earners. Based on extensive research and hundreds of interviews from women in a wide range of professions, Stanny turns each of the six-figure traits into a specific strategy for increasing earnings.

7. The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives, Katie Couric
The Best Advice I Ever Got book review
The Best Advice I Ever Got is a collection of 100 easy-to-digest essays from a diverse group of professionals in a myriad of fields: CEOs, entrepreneurs, journalists, celebrities and athletes, to name a few.  Each essay is introduced with a brief description of its author's professional achievements, followed by a firsthand account of the best career advice s/he has ever received.  This makes for a great graduation gift!

8. The Glitter Plan, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor
The Glitter Plan book review
The Glitter Plan is part memoir and part business manual on the inside story of Juicy Couture, one of the most iconic brands of our time.  Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor reveal the secrets of Juicy's success: how they learned to find and stick with the right colleagues and trust their instincts, and when it was time to move on to their next project.  The Glitter Plan shows readers how to transform passion and ideas into business success.

9. Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle, Victoria Collegian and Beth Schoenfeldt
Ladies Who Launch book review
The nationally acclaimed Ladies Who Launch program has enabled thousands of women to break out of the traditional career path and thrive in entrepreneurial enterprises that reflect their true passions and skills. Colligan and Schoenfeldt offer the support and encouragement to make your dreams a reality, inspiring readers to start businesses, grow existing companies, but most importantly, living life on your terms.

The Woman I Wanted to Be book review
One of the most influential, admired and fashionable women of our time: fashion designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg tells the most personal stories of her life, about family, love, beauty and business.  DVF writes about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting her life to empowering other women.

11. I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know, Kate White
I Shouldn't Be Telling You This book review
In I Shouldn’t Be Telling You ThisKate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitanshares her secrets to success.  I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This is the perfect book and career guide for women whether you’re just starting out, re-entering the workforce, or simply looking for a career change.

12. Start, Jon Acuff
John Acuff Start book review
Start gives readers practical, actionable insights to be more awesome in their careers, more often.  Acuff argues that there are only two paths in life: average and awesome. The average path is easy because all you have to do is nothing. The awesome path is more challenging, because things like fear only bother you when you do work that matters.  He shares personal stories of life in a meaningless cubicle and how he managed to follow his dreams and live life on his on terms in a very easy-to-read narrative.  I also love Quitter and cannot wait to read his newest book Do Over.  Acuff is awesome and lives in Nashville!
13. The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey
The Total Money Makeover book review
The Total Money Makeover is the simplest, most straight-forward financial game plan for completely making over your money habits, based off of Dave's advice similar to "advice your grandmother would give you."  If you live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else.  Dave offers so many wonderful and practical tidbits of advice for paying off debt, saving for retirement, and financial traps to avoid.  This is an excellent book (super easy to understand- not much financial mumbo jumbo) and I am convinced that everyone, especially young people need to read this book.  Dave is also from Nashville and has a local radio show on 1500AM.  If you are local, give it a listen- you will learn a ton!

14. Tribes, Seth Godin
Tribes book review
A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea.  In Tribes, Seth Godin argues that the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time and is enabling countless new tribes to be born and asks the million-dollar question: Who is going to lead?  The Web can do amazing things, but it can't provide leadership, and anyone who wants to make a difference can now do so at the touch of an iPhone.  Tribes will make you think about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, friends or readers, as well as choosing your company wisely.  I also love his book Linchpin and plan to read Purple Cow soon.

15. Leave Your Mark, Aliza Licht
Leave Your Mark book review
I have not read this book yet, but have heard so many amazing things about it, so it makes the list and it is on my queue!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  What are your favorite career development books??  I love to read career development books, so feel free to leave a comment with any must-reads!  Have a great weekend! 


  1. Wow! I can't wait to read some of these!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I've been dying to read The Glitter Plan and several of these books! Thanks for the inspiration! I'm definitely reading these!

  3. Love these books and I've read several of them! I'd also add Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzeznski

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I will have to check it out!

  4. Great selection, B! I haven't read GirlBoss yet but it's on my list! I am currently reading "Brida" by Paulo Coehlo. Did I tell you that I am a fanatic reader?! So glad you shared this post! Gives me new inspiration on what to read next!
    Happy weekend, love!
    xoxo, Vanessa

    1. Thanks for sharing, I will have to check it out! Have a great weekend!

  5. Oh I only read the Girl Boss one (of course )))), thanks for sharing I'll definitely check out other books!


    1. You're welcome! I loved #Girlboss!

  6. Girl Boss has been on my list forever. I really need to just get on with it and read it already! Have a great weekend!! :)


    1. You will love #Girlboss! I devoured it on my flight to L.A. last year! Have a great weekend!

  7. Great books written by great people, and some powerful women. Already read some, never heard of others but they just got on my must read list.

  8. I'm putting these on my list. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Thanks for sharing these! I am definitely bookmarking and coming back to it! Thanks for stopping by SLS, have a wonderful weekend :)


  10. I hope the Spelling Bee went well:) This is such a great round-up of books. There's several I've now put on my TBR list.


  11. Such a great collection! I have read #Girlboss! Such a great read! Currently, I am reading Mindy Kaling's book! It is really good!
    Stylin In St. Louis

  12. Anything to help you achieve your goals or motivate you in a plus. Nice selection of books!
    $200 Gift Card Giveaway on my blog

  13. I need to check out some of these books!

    God bless,
    XO, Claire

  14. SO many of these books are on my list to read & some I have never heard of. Can't wait to read them all!