We asked our recruiters and colleagues what books, podcasts, and videos they love to recommend to job seekers. Specifically, if they could have read one book, listened to one podcast, watched one YouTube video, etc., a long time ago to boost their career, what would it be? The result is this fantastic list of classic and current resources for both life and career growth. Enjoy!
Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results
Having trouble getting motivated? James Clear can help. Several people recommended his book, which addresses ways to get 1% better at life and work every day. That may not sound like much, but “every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity,” Clear writes. Check out a condensed talk he gave on the “compound interest” of self-improvement here. A runner-up book in this category is Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World, but William H. McRaven.
Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job
Ready to quit your way to the top? What even IS the top for you? John Acuff’s book came recommended to us as a way to help you decide. “I know sometimes it’s scary to think that you might do the wrong thing. It’s terrifying to imagine wasting your ‘one shot.’ But let me assure you, nothing you do will be wasted. Every decision you make, every path you take, has the ability to contribute something you need to succeed at your dream,” Acuff writes. Despite the name, his advice isn’t about quitting early and often (you won’t get far doing that), but more about making strategic choices as your progress through your life and career.
Ted Talk by Simon Sinek on “Start With Why”
Yes, it’s also a book, but we’ve been told that that 18-minute Ted Talk recorded in 2009 is a great synopsis of the now-classic business concept of what Sinek calls The Golden Circle. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” is his mantra. Why do you act on your gut feeling? What do we buy so many Apple products? How did the Wright brothers become known as the fathers of flight when others with more money were building flying machines? Find out in the video.
Turn the Ship Around! (A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders)
Ready for a gripping story? Navy captain David Marquet uses the fascinating true tale of his time leading the Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, to frame a new way to lead in this book. The flipped leadership model he created was born from a dangerous experience during some of his first moments leading the ship. “Almost immediately, Marquet ran into trouble when he unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. When he asked why, the answer was: ‘Because you told me to,’” the book’s synopsis reveals. Stephen R. Covey—the well-known business leadership author—spent time aboard the Santa Fe and referred to it as the most empowering organization he’d ever seen.
There’s no doubt dozens of online business publication subscriptions you’d love to sign up for if you had the budget. One you might consider putting at the top of that list is the Harvard Business Review. To get a taste of what’s available, a free account allows you to access a few free articles each month. We’ve been told that the Weekly Hotlist, the Management Tip of the Day, and HBR Women at Work email newsletters are excellent places to start. Subscribe to those emails and more through “Email Preferences” in your free (or paid) account settings.
Never Eat Alone (And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time)
Consider this the How to Win Friends & Influence People of the last 20 years. Author Keith Ferrazzi believes that no one succeeds alone. It’s the power of your relationships that moves you ahead. “I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same,” he writes.
Ted Talk by Brene Brown on “The Power of Vulnerability”: Austin regular Brene Brown has catapulted in popularity since, but her 2010 Ted Talk remains one of the most consumed self-help videos on YouTube. This talk is the keystone for vulnerable leadership and emotional intelligence. She dives into the things that drive most of us (but we don’t want to talk about): shame and fear. And once you dip into it, you’ll want to hear more from Brene, like her more recent Daring Greatly series with tips like, “when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”
Another Austin, Texas, emotional intelligence resource is Sonya Stattmann’s podcast The Feminine Lens. Women have been spending centuries trying to fit within the masculine way of working. But now that vulnerable leadership is taking hold, perhaps we (no matter our gender) can start embracing the strength and wisdom our more vulnerable traits give us? The podcast often touches on how shame, trauma, and self-worth affect our work and our lives.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results: Continuing on the theme of Austin career resources, we can’t forget Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing. In the book, Keller and Jay Papasan unpack the secret Keller learned that led to his amazing real estate success (yes, he’s the namesake behind Keller Williams Realty, Inc.). It comes down to this: Focus on one thing at a time (of course, that’s easier said than done, hence the book). Along with the book, The ONE Thing provides training, podcasts, webinars and more.
The E Myth Revisited: This one is for budding entrepreneurs and small business executives. It’s easy to get in the weeds and in your own way when leading a small business, but Michael E. Gerber explains that “if your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!” This book is for anyone who feels that being indispensable to their business is the key to success. (Hint: It’s not. Put your ego aside and strive to make yourself replaceable.)
Career Coaching with Jessness Podcast: The HT Group Account Executive Chandler Davis has high praises for “Jessness” (Jessica Smith) and her podcast. A particular episode featuring how to interview and even including a mock interview with examples helped Davis gain confidence in her most recent job search. And, yes, the job she landed is her current position with HT! If you’re currently job hunting, check out episode 78 on navigating a job hunt during COVID-19 and episode 76 on how to mentally and emotionally prep for a job interview.
Now we want to know: What resources do YOU recommend? Find this post on our LinkedIn page and tell us all about it!
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