Career goals in need of a definite spring clean? These must-read books are here to help.
Whether you’ve been working from home, furloughed or made redundant over the last year, it’s safe to say that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the way we feel about our careers and businesses.
From whole industries put on pause to interactions with colleagues and clients limited to screen-only, there has been a seismic shift in terms of how many of us work. After all: this time a year ago, none of us would have imagined that we’d find ourselves daydreaming about the inane small talk that can only be found in an office kitchen, or lusting after those suspect canapes that are seemingly exclusive to networking events...
Desperate times, ladies - but happily enough, the measures that could help you begin to reignite your career mojo couldn’t be more straightforward. We’ve rounded up our pick of the books that will help you find your business-bounce once more. Feeling ignited with passion for your business or career can feel a tad overwhelming at the best of times, let alone when there’s a global pandemic to factor in (who knew?). But whether you’re an employee keen to climb up the ladder, a budding founder who’s ready to take the leap, or are simply looking to give yourself a much-deserved professional confidence boost over the coming months, these inspiring tomes are by equally inspiring women, who are all rooting for your success.
Love It Or Leave It: How To Be Happy At Work
by Samantha Clarke
Find yourself plagued by the Sunday night fear - even though you’ve been WFH? With the average person spending an estimated 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime, it doesn’t have to be impossible to ensure your job is something you love rather than loathe. Whether you adore your role or are planning to exit-stage ASAP, Samantha Clarke's straight-talking book can help you decide on your next steps. From strengthening relationships with colleagues to ascertaining which skills could help you move into a new industry, it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to develop their career in the right direction, rather than any direction.
Women & Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons
by Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Women & Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons opens by crunching some numbers: and there are a lot of zeros involved. Setting the scene by listing just some of the important global leadership roles that have never been held by a woman, this book is guaranteed to spur you on to strive for greater things. Sharing the stories and insights of its two authors, it also deep-dives into the learnings and experiences of a whole host of incredible women (including Hillary Clinton), who share what they’re learned during their careers and leadership roles. Prepare to be outraged by what they’ve come up against and inspired in equal measure by what they’ve observed and how they’re handled it.
She Made It: The Toolkit for Female Founders In The Digital Age
by Angelica Malin
Via a blend of personal experience, real-life case studies and try-it-today exercises, Angelica Malin serves up the ultimate call-to-action for women who are thinking about launching their own businesses. Whether you’re at the very beginnings of your entrepreneurial journey or are looking for an insight into problem-solving with tricky clients, this bible-esque tome combines the expertise of a mentor with the support of a HR department. Whether you’re struggling with imposter syndrome or impossible to-do lists, Malin's savvy advice and insights from a range of pros in She Made It: The Toolkit For Female Founders in the Digital Age make it all feel a lot more achievable.
How To Work Without Losing Your Mind: A Realistic Guide To The Hell Of Modern Work
by Cate Sevilla
How can you develop your career when you keep finding yourself quietly sobbing in an office toilet cubicle, or trying to out-manoeuvre a micromanaging boss? Cate Sevilla has been there, done that - and happily enough for us, she’s written all about it. Whilst her career to-date is the stuff of envy on paper, she candidly reveals that the reality behind the gloss could not be more different. Equal parts practical and hilarious, How To Work Without Losing Your Mind: A Realistic Guide To The Hell Of Modern Work is the guide you’ve been waiting for if you want to turn your working life from a daily nightmare to the stuff dreams are made of. From dealing with redundancy and furlough to navigating office relationships and maternity leave, it’s a must-read for employees and employers alike.
Believe. Build. Become: How To Supercharge Your Career
by Debbie Wosskow OBE & Anna Jones
Ready to start tackling leadership and responsibility in your organisation, and take the next big step in your career? You need this book by your side. Arming you with the confidence and insight you need to level-up professionally, Believe. Build. Become: How To Supercharge Your Career is based on our very own AllBright Academy courses, with founders Debbie Wosskow OBE and Anna Jones sharing their fascinating career journeys along with their expert tips and advice for progressing your own. Learn how to develop your confidence and fine-tune your focus, with the ultimate end-goal of developing the outlook of a leader and sitting at the top of your field.
You're The Business: How To Build A Successful Career When You Strike Out Alone
by Anna Codrea Rado
You’re The Business is the ultimate hand-hold for anyone who is considering striking out on their own. Whether you’re at the square one stage, want to know your self-employed rights or are looking for tips on future-proofing your business, the book is packed with expertise and real-life ‘how I did it…’ insight to help you firmly on your way. As a journalist, podcaster and campaigner for freelancer rights, Anna Codrea-Rado has her finger on the pulse of everything a woman needs to know when it comes to going it alone with her business, and serves it up neatly with a generous sprinkling of kick-ass attitude to boot. If anyone can make you believe you can do it, she can. Out March 25th.
I Am My Brand: How To Build Your Brand Without Apology
by Kubi Springer
This book is for the women who - in the author’s own words - are ready to own their greatness. Interspersing female branding expert Kubi Springer’s own story with practical exercises and advice, the book challenges you to understand and develop your professional identity, helping you get to the core of who you are, what your brand can offer and where you want to be. As well as offering a fascinating insight into the branding stories of both huge corporations and astonishing women alike, the book also delves into all the nitty-gritty of establishing ‘brand you’, covering everything from the typography to content calendars.
Burnt Out: The Exhausted Person's Six-Step Guide To Thriving In A Fast-Paced World
by Selina Barker
With around 40% of Brits reportedly considering themselves to be on the verge of burn-out prior to Covid, it’s safe to assume that things are feeling pretty intense for a lot of us right now. With burnout an issue for many professionals, Selina Baker’s six-step guide is here to help you feel reignited and better in yourself, in all aspects of life - including at work. From the three-tab rule (genius, btw) to getting better at switching off, the book will also help you to establish what your dream working day really looks like, from the moment you wake up to the second you put your head down on the pillow. Baker’s wisdom will help extinguish those feelings of overwhelm and allow you to feel excited about your career again. Out April 15th.
The Confidence Solution
by Chloe Brotheridge
Anyone in need of a confidence boost...? Hypnotherapist and coach Chloe Brotheridge is here to help you feel happier, calmer and all in all, more self-assured of what you can offer. Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up after an extended period of feeling isolated whilst WFH or need your esteem rebuilding after redundancy or furlough, The Confidence Solution could be just what the proverbial doctor ordered. From cutting out people-pleasing and tackling imposter syndrome to learning to say ‘no’ and setting boundaries, Chloe’s seven simple steps will help you tackle it all.
The Disruption Mindset: Why Some Organisations Fail While Others Transform
by Charlene Li
Want to challenge safe thinking, or itching to jump out of your career comfort zone? As author Charlene Li neatly surmises: ‘status quo thinking is the greatest hurdle to breakthrough growth’ - and that mantra applies whether you’re talking about your customers or your own personal development. Whether you’re looking to take your start-up to new levels or are hungry for solutions that could revolutionise the way your organisation currently does things, this book will encourage you to think bigger, better and more outside-the-box. As well as sharing the stories of disruptive businesses, Li also makes it crystal clear what you can do to assert yourself and head-up the change within your own organisation.
Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers & Create Success On Your Own Terms
by Shellye Archambeau
Shelley Archambeau’s book is as inspiring as her own story. One of the first female African-American CEOs in high-tech, her career has seen her do everything from turn around the fortunes of a Silicon Valley start-up to sitting on the boards of some of the world’s biggest businesses. Happily enough, she’s put pen to paper and shared everything she’s learnt along the way, with a clear reminder that hard work and perseverance are crucial components in any recipe for success. As much an autobiography as a guide to creating your own success, the book spans everything from the importance of goal-setting to making your own luck, whatever starting position you begin from.
Lift As You Climb: Women & The Art Of Ambition
by Viv Groskop
If you’ve ever felt nervous before an important meeting or have wondered how you can get that much-deserved pay rise, this is the book for you. Describing itself as the ‘ultimate confidence bible’, Lift As You Climb isn’t just a guide to career progression: rather, it’s a celebration of ‘altruistic self-help’, showing that personal success can also include helping others on their journeys, too. Covering everything from meaningful networking to handling failure, it’s a graceful guidebook that demonstrates how juggling ambition with compassion can be even more rewarding than personal gain alone. Sounds great, is great - and all delivered in executive coach Groskop’s witty, expert style.
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