• Kristen

3 Non-Job Searching Books For Your Job Search

I believe job-seekers should spend time every week either reading or listening to a book that can help them in their career. It’s important to stay mentally sharp and current in your field, and a little bit of reading every day can give you content to draw on when you’re being interviewed. One question I like to ask at networking events that always seems to score points is “What have you read recently that might help me?” Books that aren’t necessarily geared toward the job search are also good to keep on your list of resources that you share at networking events. They’re outside the norm and therefore more memorable. Here are three books to get you started:

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People: This sounds dry, but Van Edwards is a very engaging writer. She’s also an introvert and researcher who wanted to get the most out of her interactions with people. A lot of the book is geared toward job seekers, but it’s also great for anyone who feels uncomfortable with social situations and wants to “hack” their time at parties to get the most out of the situation. For instance, during an interview you should keep your hands in sight of the people interviewing you because it makes you seem more trustworthy.

The War of Art: You may think this book is only geared for writers and other creatives, but if you’ve ever thought about a project you were passionate about and struggled to get any momentum, this book is for you. Pressfield speaks to the Resistance (he always capitalizes the “R”) that everyone experiences when trying to break out of their norm and try something new. He has a lot of wisdom about how to talk to yourself when you’re feeling Resistance, especially when you are feeling fear: “Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” You’re almost guaranteed to feel fear during a job search. Now you can acknowledge it and move on!

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics: This biography of the University of Washington crew team is a good reminder that the human spirit has a huge capacity to push through tough circumstances to pull off a miracle. On the days when you are feeling down, this book will remind you to tap into your inner grit and go for the gold.

If nothing else, taking the time to read a new book can help take your mind off the job search. If you read the physical book or listen to the audio version, it also gives you valuable time away from screens. Giving your brain an occasional break will only increase your productivity when you do sit down to work.

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