4 Must-Read Career Books of 2020

Need a little help with your job hunt or career? Get advice from the (best-selling) pros.

These four best-selling career books have topped the charts for their practical, insightful and sometimes unconventional advice.

What Color is Your Parachute? 

By Richard N. Bolles

Richard Bolles offers practical job-hunting advice for all career levels in this best-selling book. What Color is Your Parachute helps readers identify their personal goals and interests, then explains how best to apply that information toward getting a satisfactory job. The book also includes tips on interviews, salary negotiation techniques, and career searching online. The most recent editions have been updated to include more modern approaches to job hunting, like using social media. 

With over 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, What Color is Your Parachute remains a great option for those seeking practical career advice. 

This book is not for the faint of heart but if you take finding the right place for you at the right time in your life seriously, this book will really get you there if you work hard at the exercises that you need most. I even made my own online spreadsheets so I can refer back to it anywhere any time using Google Drive. I plan to revisit every year to see how I grow.

L. White (Read full Amazon review)

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love 

By Cal Newport

So Good They Can’t Ignore You is an unconventional career strategy book that takes common advice like ‘follow your passion’ and throws it out the window. 

The book centers around four main points; that following your passion is terrible advice (known as ‘the passion hypothesis’). Instead, readers should seek to gain rare and valuable skills. Thirdly, readers should place autonomy above all else when seeking a role. Lastly, that higher purpose is ideal when looking for a career – it’s nice if you can get it. 

I’ve been following Cal Newport’s ideas for a while now, so when I learned that he was coming out with a book, I pre-ordered it from Amazon. I was not disappointed. If you have a child or know someone in college who is trying to figure out what to do with their life, or even if you’re north of fifty and still wonder what you’ll be when you grow up, then this book is for you. So Good They Can’t Ignore You, is so good that you shouldn’t ignore it.

J. F. Malcolm (Read Amazon review)

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges 

By Amy Cuddy

Harvard Business School Professor Amy Cuddy draws upon her popular TED Talk to encourage readers to see the transformative power in small ‘nudges’ in behaviour, body language and mindset. Together, these actions can generate a better sense of ‘presence’ in our everyday lives. 

Presence is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller. It has also appeared on the Forbes “15 Best Business Books of the Year” list, and People Magazine’s “Book of the Week”. 

One of the most important books I’ve ever read. Any Cuddy is a remarkable author and researcher who has opened a world of insights in this powerful book. I’ve just finished my first reading, and instead of beginning the next book on my list, I’m going to read this one again. Highly recommended!!!!

— Jim Huling (Read Amazon Reviews)

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

For over 25 years The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers from all walks of life – CEOs, presidents, teachers and employees. 

The best-selling self-help book centers around Covey’s belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change our world and situation within it, we must change ourselves. In order to change ourselves, we must change our perceptions. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is simple but powerful – there’s a reason why it remains an Amazon Top Seller despite being originally published in 1989. 

“This is, hands down, one of the best and most powerful books I’ve ever read in my life. I have recommended it to countless people. The fact that you’re seeking it out says volumes about your level of self-awareness as it is and this book builds on that. Very seldom do books really make me get involved when I read them, but this book made me break out my highlighter and notepad. There was so much good stuff I just had to take notes I could quickly reference.

— LA (Read Amazon review)
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