Work ﹘ it can be a real pill.
On some days, we feel like we’re indispensable and invincible and all the other adjectives that imply feeling powerful. On other days, nothing makes sense and even less matters.
It’s a myth that one must always love their job; this is, in fact, the root cause of why most millennials and GenZ feel unhappy and dissatisfied in their careers. It’s okay to have ugh and wtf days. You can even have ugh and wtf weeks. But because the show must go on and quitting isn’t always an option, it’s nice to get by with a little help from your friends (read: books).
If you’re stuck in a rut, hating on your colleagues or your work, or simply unsure of your place in the world, here are some books you can count on to make you feel better.
If you’re stuck in a professional rut
1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
Navigating a successful career as a comedian isn’t easy ﹘ it surely hasn’t been for one of the most iconic writers of our times, Tina Fey. In her autobiography, Tina Fey talks about the ups and downs in her career and what it took for her to be where she is today. Needless to say, the book is as funny as she is.
2. Mistakes I Made At Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect On What They Got Out Of Getting It Wrong, edited by Jessica Bacal
The title explains it all. Read personal essays from high-achieving women such as Cheryl Strayed (author of the wildly popular book, Wild), Anna Holmes (founding editor of feminist website, Jezebel), and Kim Gordon (founding member of Sonic Youth) if you’ve been feeling like you don’t belong or that you’re going nowhere. Mistakes are bound to happen; what matters is that you learn from them.
3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
There’s nothing better than a funny, relatable memoir to get you out of that professional rut. Written by another important voice of our generation, comedian and writer Amy Poehler talks about her life ﹘ the mishaps; the weird situations; the funny, ridiculous moments that come with being a woman. Yes Please is here to tell you not to take life too seriously.
4. Driven To Distraction At Work: How To Focus And Be More Productive by Dr. Edward M Hallowell
The world’s leading expert on ADD and ADHD, Dr. Edward Hallowell is here to tell you that you can feel more in control of your productivity.
In this book, Dr. Hallowell identifies the reasons why people lose their ability to focus and get work done by going beyond ‘making to-do lists’ and ‘managing time better’. He provides practical tips stemming from years of experience helping clients with attention deficit disorders. We’re sure these will help you too.
If you’re struggling to be seen or heard at work
1. Pushback: How Smart Women Stand Up And Ask For What They Want by Selena Rezvani
Women ﹘ unintentionally or otherwise ﹘ tend to settle for what is given to them, from the fear that they might be asking for ‘too much’. Pushback, a book written by top leadership consultant Selena Rezvani, talks about how women must practice self-advocacy in order to be successful. This book is a wonderful guide for women who wish to learn not to settle and to ask for what’s rightfully theirs in the cold, hard corporate world.
2. More Than Enough: Claiming Space For Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
As a young (and often only Black woman) in the room, Elaine Welteroth has shattered glass ceilings in the media industry in more ways than one. The current editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue ﹘ the second African-American woman to ever hold the title in Conde Nast’s 107-year history ﹘ has stories to tell about race, identity, and belonging in an industry that would often tell her that she wasn’t enough. If you’re in the mood to shatter some glass ceilings and walls and embrace your capabilities, this book is for you.
3. Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Attention, introverts: Your power is boundless and yet to be tapped into.
In this book, author Susan Cain explains how our culture continually undervalues introverts ﹘ the ‘quiet ones’ ﹘ and how we have lost so much by doing so. The book delves into the history behind extroversion and how it became the norm in the 20th century, leading us to believe that one has to be outgoing in order to be important.
If you’re an introvert struggling to make yourself seen and heard at work, this book is for you.
If you’re trying to be more independent
1. Women & Money by Suze Orman
Women and financial independence go hand and in hand, and it’s essential that we take charge of our own finances.
In this bestseller, Suze Orman gives insights, tips, and practical advice on how to overcome blocks that make you feel like handling money isn’t your problem. No matter your age or relationship status, knowing your money and being in charge of it is the best thing you can do for yourself. The book has been updated to include new chapters around investing and how it can help you reach your destiny.
2. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Sophia Amoruso’s story is interesting. She started off as a college drop-out ﹘ broke, directionless, and penniless, scrounging for leftover food in dumpsters. It was when she decided to take up a petty job at an art school for health insurance that she discovered a hobby that would make her a millionaire.
The founder of Nasty Gal and CEO and founder of Girl Boss, Sophia Amoruso’s is a story that will resonate with the misfits; the outsiders who wish to have an unusual and unconventional path to success. Her book reminds us that it doesn’t matter that you don’t have a fancy degree or a college education ﹘ what matters is knowing what rules to break and what to follow.
Read this book if you want a clever, funny, and interesting account that empowers you.
3. A Woman’s Guide To Successful Negotiating by Lee E Miller and Jessica Miller
Are you afraid to ask for a raise or a well-deserved promotion? Do you fear settling for a low salary because you’re too afraid to say ‘no’ and push for more money?
A book with insightful and actionable advice, A Woman’s Guide To Successful Negotiating will help you understand what holds women back during the negotiation process and how you can break free from these barriers to earn the money you’re worth.
If you want better work-life balance
1. Beyond Happy: Women, Work, & Well-Being by Beth Cabrera
Through 1000+ interviews, author Beth Cabrera examines the challenges women face with maintaining a balance between their work and home lives and presents simple solutions that can enhance their well-being. This book will teach you how to reduce stress and enjoy your life based on your philosophies and values.
And that’s it! These 11 books will inspire you, engage you, entertain you, and make you think about all the ways you can make the most out of your love-hate relationship with your job.
Have you read any of these books before? Did they help you? Tell us in the comments.
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