Books For Direction In Your Career
I have been lucky to have mentors who have been advising me during my job search. One of the pieces of advice that I have received was to read a number of books to help me frame my mind during the hunt. Here are two books that I would recommend for someone reflecting on their career path at any time during its progression.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek has gained popularity (or notoriety) for his diagnosis of the ills of our generation, the Millennials. I cannot say that I agree with everything he says, but at the root, his ideas are strong and guiding. In his book, he wants to inspire people to follow and/or create a vision around which our work should center. And so, when applying to jobs, I have trained myself to think larger than what is going to make the most money or which job is the easiest to get or which position will look good on my CV later, but rather which company/organisation/employer has a vision that matches my values. Where will I feel most fulfilled and what experience will help me reach a successful career doing what I love for what I love? In my case, I am seeking out opportunities which are environment and community driven and that challenge the status quo of our wasteful, unhealthy, and environmentally harmful lifestyles. This video explains the thesis and the main points of Sinek’s book:
My mentor has suggested that I write down my WHY, my HOW and my WHAT. However, my precise WHY is still to be hashed out. The list is flexible and I have yet to fully develop it, but it is still at my discretion to change it while I live through my experiences.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I won’t pretend to be the first to discover and recommend this book. It is a huge bestseller and it is creating a large movement of women taking their place in the workforce. It was surprising to find out that the statistics show women are stagnating when it comes to the progress of parity of the genders in the workplace. It’s important that we keep fighting to be recognized, go for the major positions and better pay and female rights in workplace policy. Sandberg gives good advice such as stating the fact that you are a woman in a salary negotiation to try to rid the employer of subconscious (or conscious) bias. Though it may seem like the book is for women only, I would recommend that men who plan to date/marry/work with/hire a woman read it too in order to gain perspective on our situation and help women stay at work, fight sexism and, ultimately, benefit from all their skills and brilliance in the workplace. Here is the TED Talk that started the author’s journey as a “working women” advocate and author. Her book touches upon the main points raised in her talk.
I would like to say I have read these books, but somehow I am unable to read without getting distracted (how I finished an Arts degree is astonishing). So, I have actually listened to them through Amazon Audible (free month trial) and Overdrive as a BANQ loan while commuting, cooking, and on down time.
I recommend after reading these books to keep a list of takeaways, then you can read them every now and then to remind yourself to stay on the right track!