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10 Empowering Books That Every Woman Should Read for Valuable Career Advice

It was not all that long ago that women did not have a place in the business world. Many of us have heard from our mothers and grandmothers about their secretarial positions. But now things have shifted and you could work for a female CEO and even become one. Granted, women only make up about 7% of the number of CEOs right now, but it’s certainly more than in our grandmothers’ days.[1]

While the opportunities are there, the know-how can sometimes be difficult to learn. How do we climb the corporate ladder and reach our business goals? While there isn’t necessarily a hand-book, there are plenty of books written by successful women who offer valuable insight as to accomplishing our professional dreams.

Recommended Reading for Willful Women

For each of these books, we’ll dive into what the book is about and what career advice can be learned from reading it. Don’t worry, no one expects a book report.

The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This New York Times Bestseller tackles the biggest issue faced and feared in the workplace: Gender Inequality. Kay and Shipman give inspiration and practical advice needed to confidently bridge the gender gap experienced in the day-to-day lives of women.[2]

This is a recommended read because it teaches the thing we all want to be masters of: Confidence. Rather than adopting a “fake it ’til you make it” attitude, The Confidence Code teaches you how to truly believe in yourself and be successful in the workplace.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill it in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht

Licht has done PR for some of the most notable designers out there, so she knows a thing or two about being a successful female. The best advice comes from experience, and boy, does she have it! Licht uses the things she has experienced first-hand to give advice, inspiration and a little bit of tough love.

Leave Your Mark is great for someone just starting off in their career and also for those who feel they are doing pretty well for themselves. It also sheds light on successfully marketing on Social Media which, in this modern world, is vital to success in business.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is hilarious, talented and by all accounts super down to earth. But she’s also a remarkable business-woman. Fey was never handed anything, especially her success in comedy. She had to work hard every day to get to where she is not. Her book details the uphill battle she fought but also empowers the women readers.

This #1 National Bestseller is a must-read because it proves, page after page, that no matter how many times people tell you that you can’t do something, or they doubt your talent, you can achieve anything. Fey especially highlights how we should laugh all the way to the bank when it comes to people putting us down.

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

via Amazon.com

If you ask a female entrepreneur what book she would recommend, it would most likely be this one. Lean In has been the entrepreneur’s bible since it was released. Sandberg shares advice on getting the salary you deserve and how to believe in yourself.[3]

This book covers all of the important basics and is definitely a must for the female employee who wants to do more. Sandberg helps you drop that self-doubt and really lean in to your potential.

Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

via Amazon.com

These authors spent years in the U.S. Marine Corps, instantly breaking any stereotype you may have had about women writers and entrepreneurs. The tough duo learned a lot about leadership in their time serving and are sharing it with their readers.

This book is a must for women who want to know how to take action and be successful without any fluff. With a foreword by Paula Zahn, a successful woman herself, Leading from the Front is chocked full of helpful info that will have you at the top in no time.

Women in Tech: Take your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories by Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack

via GeekWire.com

Accomplishing your career goals as a woman is filled with setbacks. Accomplishing those career goals in the tech industry as a woman is even harder. With only 5% of leadership positions in tech being held by women, it can seem discouraging to pursue much of anything.

If you’re a woman in tech, this book offers advice from female professionals on how to succeed. Yes, this is a male-dominated work field, but there are women out there trying to change that. Wouldn’t you like to be one of them?

Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting what You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski

via MSNBC.com

This book, like the other books on this list, really delves into how to ask for the right salary and feel you’re valued as an individual and employee. The unique thing about Brzezinski’s book is that it discusses how to do it no matter where you are in your career.[4]

Many women are afraid to ask for a raise. Whether they’ve been a great employee for one year or ten, that request is always overshadowed by excuses and self-doubt. Brzezinski asked for more late in her career, and she explains how you can, too.

Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus

via Amazon.com

Do you freeze up in a job interview when asked what you’re good at? Do you feel bad bragging about your strengths? Or maybe you’re great in the interview, but when it comes time to ask for that promotion, you feel cocky listing out all you’ve accomplished. If any of these sound familiar, you need to read Klaus’ book.

Klaus discusses self-promotion and how awkward it can be. She teaches you how to brag in a way that doesn’t make you uncomfortable. It’s highly recommended reading if you often don’t feel like you’re allowed to boast about the things you’re proud of.

Getting from College to Career Rev Ed: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World by Lindsey Pollak

via Amazon.com

I remember how vague and ominous it always sounded to me when people would talk about “The Real World.” Those three words were tossed about frequently while I was in college and seemed to be there to instill fear about getting a job, let alone a career, once I graduated. Now that I’m in “The Real World,” I can tell you it’s not always as scary as it sounded…but sometimes it is!

Pollack’s book addresses the harsh transition from school to salary and helps you tackle the changes. With her suggestions, you’ll be accepting job offers in no time.

How Remarkable Women Lead: The Breakthrough Model for Work and Life by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston

via Amazon.com

If it’s true that leading by example is the best way to lead, then the women discussed in this book will make you a phenomenal leader. This book uses real-life examples of some of the most successful women in the world and touches on how they became successful and stay successful every day.

This book is ideal for the woman who wants to be inspired by the stories of other women and appreciates finding common ties between herself and those she idolizes.

Think of me while you’re sitting in your corner office!

No matter what success looks like to you, know that you can achieve it. Make it easier by grabbing a few of these books. Don’t be afraid to jot notes on the pages and put bookmarks in all the chapters that really speak to you. This is your journey to success, no matter how you define that. You’ve so got this!

Reference

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