5 Fantastic Books to Jump Start Your Professional Life

Things are looking up for the American labor force. The economy continues to grow and a highly competitive labor market means there are plenty of great jobs for everyone. These two main factors mean now is a great year to get ahead in your professional life by learning new skills and figuring out what you really want.

Along the way to improving your career, check out these five fantastic books jump start your professional life.

“Designing Your Life”

Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life,” by professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans of Stanford University’s design department, explores how interior design principles pertain to guideposts in your life and career. The authors talk about a five-step, life-design process that challenges what you know about your life. The trick to design the life you want lies in continually testing things in small yet impactful ways until you discover what works best.


Former Google career development manager and current career coach Jenny Blake explains a four-step, incremental method to change your career in “Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One.” All you do is pivot once, then pivot three more times to make a 180-degree change in your life. Blake advocates making small changes in succession until you reach an ultimate career goal, and she uses dozens of exercises to illustrate her points.

“Reinvention Roadmap”

Liz Ryan, founder and CEO of Human Workplace, gives her tips on how to reinvent yourself as you look for new opportunities and new career paths. Ryan has more than 1 million followers on LinkedIn, so people should listen heartily to the concepts presented in her book “Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve.

“Born for This”

Born for This: How to Find the Work Your Were Meant to Do,” by bestselling author Chris Guillebeau helps you answer the question, “What next?” The first half of the book outlines lessons that determine what you desire and how to obtain it. The second half walks you through practical strategies that put those lessons into play. One of Guillebeau’s ideas includes analyzing your email inbox to determine what to prioritize in your life.

“Build Your Dream Network”

The contemporary job search is all about networking to find a way inside to your new opportunity. The book “Build Your Dream Network,” by J. Kelly Hoey, recommends adding small bits to your daily routine to make connections that support your valuable, networked assets that form the bedrock of your next career move