The right book has the power to spark inspiration, teach you something new or shift your perspective.
Ask Susan Peppercorn: Throughout her 12 years as a career coach, she has continually sought the guidance of a few non-fiction books. "I absolutely love reading," she tells CNBC Make It. "But there are three titles that have really changed my life."
If reading more books is one of your resolutions for the new year, consider adding Peppercorn's top recommendations to your list:
'The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World'
By Dorie Clark
"The Long Game" challenges traditional notions of career success and offers a new path instead: one that isn't defined by quarterly goals or yearly promotions but instead becoming a "long-term thinker" by practicing patience, developing meaningful relationships with your colleagues and other strategies.
"Clark's book is a needed antidote in a world subject to short-term thinking and instant gratification," Peppercorn says. "It provides the tools to be able to not only stop and think but also to look ahead."
It's a great read if you're not sure of your next career move, she adds, or feel disconnected from your current job as it is "full of helpful frameworks" that can help you re-shape your current and future career plans.
'Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life'
By Laura Gassner Otting
What are the secrets to living your best life? In "Limitless," Gassner Otting teaches readers a masterclass in how to better align their dreams and values with their work.
"This book is not your typical career book – Laura is a rule breaker!" Peppercorn says. Gassner Otting doesn't focus just on defining what brings you purpose or happiness, but what she calls your "consonance": the "what" you do daily at work or home aligning deeply with "who" you are when you feel your best.
"This harmony between our 'what' and 'who' is often fleeting because we're not actively building a life aligned to it," Peppercorn explains. "'Limitless' is a road map for figuring out your consonance and living in alignment with it."
'Designing Your New Work Life: How to Thrive and Change and Find Happiness – and a New Freedom – at Work'
By Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has upended how and where we work – but Burnett and Evans explain how to use "design thinking" to navigate these tumultuous times.
Peppercorn says she found the "practical, thought-provoking" exercises the authors suggest to be really helpful for "re-designing the job you're in now" to better fit your wants and needs or "transitioning out into your next opportunity."
Some of their tips include finding new reasons to motivate yourself at work, learning new skills and considering a different role within your organization. "This is a must-read for people who feel stuck in their careers," Peppercorn adds. "It offers great tips for reframing your problems and springing into action."
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