Personal Development Books to Help You Thrive During Your Job Search

Posted on 10-15-2020
woman reading personal development books

Spending time reading personal development books might not be the top of your “to do” list when you’re starting a job search. While it’s totally understandable to focus your energy on tasks directly related to your search, you’ll be well served to also invest some time reading.

Here’s why. Unfortunately, most job searches don’t go as quickly as we’d like.  Many of the people we work with tell us that at times their job search feels lonely and completely demoralizing.

The candidates that are most successful at landing a new job quickly recognize that a successful search requires lots of mental energy and stamina.  They treat their job search like an important athletic event, making sure that they’re looking after both their body and mind.

Personal development books our team recommends:

personal development books for job seekers

Indistractable

One of the key ideas of this book is that “You can’t call something a distraction, if you don’t know what it’s distracting you from.” Anyone who has ever decided to quickly google something and then found themselves with twenty tabs open 45 minutes later will appreciate this books’ practical advice for prioritizing, scheduling, and focusing on what’s most important.

best new personal development books

The Stress Solution

Let’s face it, 2020 has introduced a whole new level of stress for many of us.  This book is full of easy to follow, practical, science-based advice on how to take better care of yourself both physically and mentally.   As a practicing GP, Dr. Chatterjee sees first-hand how stress affects people, and more importantly, he has found simple, effective methods to help.

personal development book

Willpower Instinct

If you’ve ever thought to yourself “tomorrow I will tackle this project” or “I will visit the gym tomorrow” only to find yourself making the exact same commitment the next day because you haven’t actually followed through yet, this book is for you. It provides just enough science to help you understand why you behave the way you do, balanced with practical techniques for changing your behavior. Whether you’re looking to stop bad habits getting in the way of your success or incorporate new habits into your life so you can achieve your goals more quickly, this book is a “must-read.”

self development book for 2020

The Charisma Myth

This book dispels the perception that charisma is something you’re born with. The author indicates charisma is in fact a learnable skill—she breaks it down into three elements (power, warmth, and presence) and provides actionable steps for improving the way people perceive you in these areas. Since people tend to hire those they like, improving your charisma can be a great way to stand out in your job search.

professional development books

How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

From Bestselling author Jack Canfield, this book is a must read for anyone questioning where their life is headed and what to do next.  This book not only helps you establish your passion and purpose, but also helps you achieve your ambitions.  It’s filled with stories of successful people and spells out 64 principles you can use to live your best life.

personal growth book cover

How to Win Friends & Influence People

This is THE classic book for success in business. Though it needs to be read with an appreciation for the incredible changes that have occurred in communication since it was originally published, it still provides a framework for forming productive relationships. Carnegie’s methods are often referenced in many other business and personal development books, yet few convey the basics of creating relationships as effectively as this book. Most of the tips are intuitive, but regardless, the book serves as a great reminder not to overlook the impact of little things, like addressing someone by name and considering someone else’s point of view.

books to read for job seekers

Influence

If you’ve ever agreed to do something and then wondered how on earth the other person got you to say “yes”, you’ll find this book fascinating. It explains six principles of applied psychology used to persuade and you’ll walk away with not only a sense of how to use the techniques but also the ability to identify when someone is using them on you. One of the most interesting takeaways is how easily we can be manipulated using our desire to appear consistent with our past actions and statements—someone can prime their way to a “yes” on a big request by getting our agreement on a smaller request. While this is more of a business book than personal development book, it’s fascinating and has insights applicable to both your job search and everyday life.

inspiring books to read

Tiny Habits

Most people bite off more than they can chew when trying to make changes in their life.  If you want to make positive changes stick, BJ Fogg provides a simple framework:  make it easy, make it fit your life, and make it rewarding. Instead of setting the lofty goal of “getting in shape”, the author suggests that you start simple with something like two push-ups a day right after your morning coffee.  The quick-read helps you easily develop new habits that you’ll stick with.


We’re facing an unprecedented job market at the moment, but we are still seeing candidates land career enhancing jobs. 

Your career goals are still important and your leadership skills are still needed. 

It’s more important than ever that you stand out from the competition and convey to employers the value you’d bring if hired.

For help with your job search, check out the Kirby Partners’ job search guides:


The Ultimate Executive Resume Guide
A 50-page roadmap for easily creating a resume that works. Includes eight professionally designed resume templates.

The Ultimate Executive Interviewing Guide
A 40-page “playbook” covering everything you need to know to ace an interview, from the best ways to prepare to how to follow-up.

For 1-on-1 job search support, we offer executive career coaching.

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