Eighty-three percent of Canadians who changed careers say they’re happier because of it, according to a survey done by Indeed.ca. This isn’t something you take lightly! The average time the majority took considering career change was 11 months.
Most people who mention they want to find a new job or career are taking the passive approach — checking job boards weekly and maybe reaching out to a couple of connections. Unfortunately, this leaves many seekers in the same situation over time, thinking, “I guess it’s not meant to be.”
The good news is that there’s a more effective approach to exploring and venturing on a new career quest as a way of fulfilling your purpose or creating a more meaningful life.
Let’s explore six books that are GOLD for the emotional health, productive mindset, and creative strategies needed for a career-search in today’s tumultuous landscape. Each of these books has been life-changing and hope-infusing for me or for someone I know.
I’ll share which one fits which stage of readiness you are in the process of considering a career change:
1 // DO OVER: Make Today the First Day of Your New Career by Jon Acuff
Laced with humour, authentic stories and practical insight, in Do Over, Jon Acuff teaches us about the four elements all great careers have in common: relationships, skills, character and hustle. These are the four main areas we need to invest in over the course of their career to be equipped to handle the inevitable career bumps and jumps.
Best stage to read this: Well in advance, when you’re considering a change in the future and want to start preparing now.
2 // DARE TO DECIDE: Discovering Peace, Clarity and Courage at Life’s Crossroads by Emily Grabatin (yours truly)
Dare to Decide is for those who long for a fresh, meaningful direction in their life, but who feel paralyzed in uncertainty. I wrote it to offer a gentle, affirming approach for cautious dreamers who freeze under the anticipation of making a big life change.
Through stories from her life, examples from everyday people, and thought-provoking questions and practical strategies, you will discover who you are, align with the calling in your heart and dare to decide once and for all.
Best stage to read this: Early in your career consideration process, when you’re still figuring out if you’re “allowed” to want what you want and gathering the clarity and courage to make the leap.
Find it on Amazon or wherever you order books.
3 // 48 DAYS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE by Dan Miller
As a leading vocational thinker, best-selling author and career coach Dan Miller helps readers better understand and organize their God-given skills, personality traits, values, dreams, and passions. In turn, they’ll see clear patterns form that point them toward successful career decisions.
48 Days to the Work You Love is packed with modern insight and timeless wisdom and provides a step-by-step process that helped me create a life plan and translate it into meaningful, satisfying daily work when I was re-evaluating my life.
What stage to read it: When you’re ready to re-evaluate your life and your work and want practical exercises to apply each day.
Find the 2020 edition on Amazon or the 48days.com website.
4 // PROJECT CAREER QUEST: Navigating the Journey to New Opportunities Waiting by Kerry Ahrend
A goldmine of resources, Project Career Quest offers a structured, practical approach to finding employment that is more purposeful, challenging, and engaging. This manual is choc-full of 50+ tools, proven best practices and lessons learned to guide you on all aspects of the job search process, including:
- preparing for the emotional management and mindset for the full journey
- getting to know yourself and what’s best for you so you can make informed, wise employment decisions
- communicating what you need from others in this employment so you have the support you need
- how to market yourself to influencers, recruiters, and hiring managers — and on social media
- exploring what could be possible for you, and discovering your passion and purpose
- creating an effective, accomplishment-based resume that gets noticed
- navigating the interviews confidently
What stage to read this: When you’re ready to go from considering a career change to ALL-IN, from discovery to fulfillment, no matter how long it takes.
5 // WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? 2020: A Practical Manual For Job-hunters And Career-changers by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Color is Your Parachute was the book my dad handed to me when I was in grade twelve, considering my life direction. Since then it’s been updated annually to include the most up-to-date resources, case studies and perspectives for today’s job markets.
At its core is Richard N. Bolles’s famed Flower Exercise, a self-inventory that helps you design your career — and your life — around your key passions, transferable skills, preferable environment and traits. This practical manual also provides essential tips for writing impressive resumes and cover letters, networking effectively, interviewing with confidence, and negotiating the best salary possible.
When to read this book: When you’re ready to go from considering a career change to ALL-IN, from discovery to fulfillment, no matter how long it takes.
Find it at: Amazon.ca, Chapters and other mainstream bookstores.
6 // DAY JOB TO DREAM JOB by Kary Oberbrunner
What if you’d rather be your own boss? What if your vision of reach and fulfillment are bursting beyond the borders of your job description?
With the right amount of action-oriented knowledge, encouragement, and gumption, there’s a way to create impact and income with the work you desire. Author Kary Oberbrunner shares a proven plan for going pro. Day Job to Dream Job will help you discover how to begin designing your dream job by:
• “Overcoming self-limiting beliefs that sabotage success.
• Building a dream team of experts committed to your cause.
• Carving out a niche and get noticed in a noisy world.
• Achieving personal clarity, competence, and confidence.”
When to read this: When you’re considering how to turn your pain into purpose, venture on your own and create additional streams of income before you go ALL-IN your custom-designed dream job.
Find this at Amazon or if you live in the U.S., you can get it for free at https://dayjobtodreamjob.com/ if you pay shipping.
There you have it — books to devour as you consider your personalized path to more meaningful work. Is there a book you recommend to friends considering a career change?