The Best Career Books of 2020

A career is so much more than just a job. However, building a career, unlike finding a job, is a lifetime pursuit. Building a career requires dedication, both to yourself and to the work that you do. Creating a career involves persistence as it will not always be easy to find fulfilling work while moving your way up the career ladder—and these days, many career paths do not resemble a ladder at all, but rather a long and winding road.

Need some inspiration and guidance when it comes to building and navigating your own career? We put together a handy list of the best career books to read today to get you started on the right foot or back on track if you happened to stray a bit.

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#1 New York Times Bestseller

In “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, you will learn how to apply this same thinking to the choices you make in your own life and intentionally build a system that works for you. You’ll start by working backward to determine what you want out of life, then learning how to achieve that productively by thoughtfully redesigning your routines with plenty of experimentation, prototyping, and constant iteration along the way.

Learn to embrace your choices instead of anguish over them. This is huge for many people who are held back by a limited belief system. According to this book, redesigning your career and life are possible at any age. Find out how to use Mind Maps and become immune to failure. The strategies provided here will teach you to take action, and if that does not work, reset and try again.

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The bestselling guide to finding career success and satisfaction through Personality Type is now thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated.

Do What You Are — the time-honored classic that has already helped more than a million people find truly satisfying work — is now updated to include jobs in today’s hottest markets, including health services, education, and communications technology. With the global economy’s ups and downs, the advent of astonishing new technology, the migration to online work and study, and the ascendancy of mobile communication, so much has changed in the American workplace since this book’s fourth edition was published in 2007.

What hasn’t changed is the power of Personality Type to help people achieve job satisfaction. This fifth edition is especially useful for millennials and for baby boomers experiencing midlife career switches. The book leads readers step-by-step through the process of determining and verifying Personality Type. Then it identifies occupations that are popular with each Type, provides helpful case studies, and offers a rundown of each Type’s work-related strengths and weaknesses. Focusing on each Type’s strengths, Do What You Are uses workbook exercises to help readers customize their job search, ensuring the best results in the shortest period of time.

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Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.

By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s revolutionary book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.

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In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice.  Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.

After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers.

Matching your job to a preexisting passion does not matter, he reveals. Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before.
In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.

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With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries!

In today’s challenging job-market, the time-tested advice of What Color Is Your Parachute? is needed more than ever. Recent grads facing a tough economic landscape, workers laid off mid-career, and people searching for an inspiring work-life change all look to career guru Richard N. Bolles for support, encouragement, and advice on which job-hunt strategies work–and which don’t. This revised edition combines classic elements like the famed Flower Exercise with updated tips on social media and search tactics. Bolles demystifies the entire job-search process, from writing resumes to interviewing to networking, expertly guiding job-hunters toward their dream job.

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THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

The Third Door takes readers on an unprecedented adventure–from hacking Warren Buffett’s shareholders meeting to chasing Larry King through a grocery store to celebrating in a nightclub with Lady Gaga–as Alex Banayan travels from icon to icon, decoding their success. After remarkable one-on-one interviews with Bill Gates, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Larry King, Jessica Alba, Pitbull, Tim Ferriss, Quincy Jones, and many more, Alex discovered the one key they have in common: they all took the Third Door.

There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always . . . the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen–there’s always a way.

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more than 15 million copies sold!

You can go after the job you want—and get it!

You can take the job you have—and improve it!

You can take any situation—and make it work for you!

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

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New York Times Bestseller

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide an informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career.

Working women today are better educated and more well qualified than ever before. Yet men still predominate in the corporate world. In The Confidence Code, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay argue that the key reason is confidence.

Combining cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition—with examples from their own lives and those of other successful women in politics, media, and business—Kay and Shipman go beyond admonishing women to “lean in.”Instead, they offer the inspiration and practical advice women need to close the gap and achieve the careers they want and deserve.