6 career books you should have read by now

Promotion, here you come.

The Internet is a big, beautiful place just brimming with information and resources. Want to know how to cook an egg? How a goat sounds when it’s lonely? Google has you, friend.

But you know what also works wonders? Books. We’ve heard there’s some good stuff in them too, particularly when it comes to guiding your career.

We’ve scrounged up our favourite career-based books for the sake of your hopes and dreams, work/life balance and squandered bandwidth.


Bossypants by Tina Fey

When it comes to career chops, Fey has it covered. Most know her as the creator and lead on 30 Rock, but she was also the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live. Bossypants covers Fey’s beginnings, university life and career highlights with plenty of patriarchy-smashing anecdotes and revelations. Here’s our favourite:

“I have a suspicion that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her any more.” 

We recommend Bossypants for the career gal facing a brick wall or in need of a giggle.

Bonus: Amy Poehler anecdotes feature throughout, so you’ll score two kickass ladies for the price of one.

The Life-Changing Magic of not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

Torn every which way? Feeling like everyone wants a little piece of you? It’s time to master the art of rationing your fucks. Now, this might not make sense just yet, but have a read of Knight’s ‘how-to’ and you’ll get it. Oh… you’ll get it. 

Straddling the line between guide and parody, Knight empowers the over-committed and – in a world flooded with self-help guides – encourages mental de-cluttering in refreshing, achievable ways.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace

Originally a commencement speech, This is Water covers subjects like empathy, perspective and the journey to becoming a well-adjusted adult. While this may sound like a tough pill to swallow (who wants to be lectured?), stick with us. This is Water is understated, eloquent and will help you to effortlessly carve a path through the ‘it’s all about me’ trap of life. A boost in perspective with none of those pesky, guilt-shaming tactics? Sign us up.

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

The quintessential autobiography in the bunch, #GirlBoss is equal parts humour, inspiration and The Powerpuff Girls’ Chemical X (a.k.a. badassery). #GirlBoss tells the story of Sophia Amoruso’s decision to take the alternative route.

At the ripe age of 22, Amoruso began flipping vintage clothing on eBay until she built website/business empire Nasty Gal.* Amoruso’s story of rags to riches has inspired a Netflix series written and produced by Kay Cannon (Pitch Perfect). We recommend #GirlBoss for the budding entrepreneur, frustrated 9-to-5er in search of change, or those keen to read the book before watching the series.

*Yes, Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy late last year, but when Netflix and Kay Cannon make a show about you, the story isn’t over.

Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini

Inspiring and upbeat, Mastering Your Mean Girl is for those spackled with indecision or a chronic case of the ‘I Couldn’t Do Thats’. Speaking directly to that sneaky voice inside your head saying you’re not good enough, smart enough or skinny enough, Mastering Your Mean Girl is an easy but important read. We recommend MYMG for career go-getters on the precipice of something great, but who need a little help kicking things to next gear.

Lean in by Sheryl Sandburg

It’s been around for a hot minute but Lean in is still a popular read for anyone who has their eye on the top of the pyramid. Sandburg advocates believing in yourself, your abilities and being active in the workplace (not mentally checking out). If you enjoyed Sandburg’s TED Talk, ‘Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders’ or are facing the dual pulls of career and family, this one’s for you. Here’s a little excerpt for those whose ears have perked up:

“I still face situations that I fear are beyond my capabilities. I still have days when I feel like a fraud. And I still sometimes find myself spoken over and discounted while men sitting next to me are not. But now I know how to take a deep breath and keep my hand up. I have learned to sit at the table.”

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