Career Change Books and Resources

Here are my recommendations

 Image of a hand selecting a red book from a bookshelfAs you can imagine, I have read quite a lot of career change books and similar career resources in nearly 25 years as a careers professional.

As always, there are some really excellent ones which I am only too pleased to recommend, some that are quite helpful but maybe don’t have a lot new to offer and some that are really not worth wasting time and money on at all.

I’d like to help you to make informed choices about the career change books and other related resources you turn to as you work on moving to your new career. I realise that we are all different and that some things will appeal more to one person than another, so I have made an effort to include some variety here.

Some resources are very specifically on the career change process, some focus more on the job search that may be the last part of the career changing journey and some are broader personal development materials which I have found very useful and which I think are still relevant to career changers.

Alongside each one, I have added a few notes to give you a flavour of what you will be getting.

I know a website is not quite as much fun as browsing round a bookstore, but I hope you will get some ideas and inspiration to help you as you travel the career change path.

And if there are any career change books or resources that you would like to recommend, please let me know by filling in the form at the end of this page.

Career Change & Job Search

The Work We Were Born To Do

Nick Williams

 Nick Williams A brilliant guide to finding more meaning and purpose in your work.

Nick takes you through his 12 principles of the work you were born to do and will leave you feeling inspired and motivated.

Be A Free Range Human
Escape the 9-5, Create A Life You Love And Still Pay The Bills

Marianne Cantwell

 Free Range Human If you love the idea of getting paid to do something that brings you alive then this book is for you.  Marianne Cantwell’s guide shows you how to break out of the career-cage and put yourself in control of your life. It is straight-talking and packed with inspiring case studies to show that it really is possible.

The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention: Essential Survival Skills for Any Economy

Pamela Mitchell

10 laws of career reinvention
Very down to earth approach to self motivation and building a network for career changers underpinned by useful examples. There are a couple of twists in the plot in terms of the author’s own career experience, which she generously shares with us. Requires a transatlantic culture filter – akin to sunglasses. I bought a spare copy to share! (Review by John from Ireland)

How To Get A Job You’ll Love

John Lees

 Get A Job You Love Rapidly becoming a career change classic.

Lots of tips and exercises on clarifying your career change plus help with cvs and interviews too.

Go To Work On Your Career

Andy Gilbert, Nicky Frisby & Kathryn Roberts

Your Career
A very practical career workbook.

The authors ask you lots of challenging questions to help you sort out your priorities in relation to your work.

Wishcraft or How To Get What Your Really Want

Barbara Sher

Barbara Sher
One of my favourite career change books. Barbara shows you that it is possible to turn your life and career around.

With case studies and strategies, Barbara’s practical programme shows you how to make your dreams happen.

Screw Work, Let’s Play

John Williams

John Williams
John Williams shows you that work does not have to be drudgery and that it is possible to make a living doing the things you love.

Screw Work, Let’s Play is your blueprint to create a work life full of fun, freedom and creativity.

Strengthsfinder 2.0

Tom Rath

Discover Your Strengths 2.0
The Number 1 New York Times Bestseller which helps us to recognise and use our natural talents. All too often, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.

To help people uncover their top 5 talents, Gallup has developed an online assessment, StrengthsFinder. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself – and the world around you – forever.

Making A Living Without A Job

Barbara Winter

Making A Living
Turn your dreams into profits. This book offers step-by-step guidance on making a living by working when, where and how you want.

Barbara Winters shows you how to break through the mental barriers to being your own boss and choose the entrepreneurial endeavour that is right for you.

Career Renegade

Jonathan Fields

Career Renegade
Jonathan Fields shows you how you can pay the bills while pursuing your passion. If you are the kind of person who wants to do things your way then this book is for you.ccczi

Find out how to use simple technologies to access a world-wide market, test for demand and then grow your idea on the side till you are ready to go solo.

Finding Square Holes

Anita Houghton

Finding Square Holes
Are you in a fix in your career, either trying to decide what to do or disgruntled with your current job?

In this book, Anita Houghton uses interesting and practical exercises to show you how to discover who you really are to find the perfect career.

And What Do You Do?

Barrie Hopson & Katie Ledger

And What Do You Do?
Do you think a portfolio career is for you? This book will help you to find out if it is – and then make it happen.

The authors take you through the 10 steps to creating a portfolio career which will allow you to use all your skills and passions and create a perfect work/life balance.

Get Hired Now!

C J Hayden & Frank Traditi

Get Hired Now!
If you have decided what your new career is to be, then it is time to get practical. This book is all about getting to grips with the job search.

Hayden & Traditi offer you a focused 28 day programme taking you through the core components of a successful job search. The book will ensure that you know exactly what to do and when and will keep you motivated as you move forwards.

Working 5-9

Emma Jones

Working 5-9
Are you yearning to set up your own business but feel you can’t risk ditching the day job just yet? Emma Jones’ book is just what you need as it shows you how to start your business on a part-time basis while you are still working.

The book profiles 60 people who are doing just that – running successful businesses in their spare time. And if you are feeling short of ideas, there are also 50 business ideas you could try. A great combination of inspiration and practical help.

What Color Is Your Parachute

Richard Nelson Bolles

What Color Is Your Parachute
This one really is a career change classic which has been around for some time – but that doesn’t make it out of date. It is updated every year so it stays fresh.

It offers you a series of exercises to help you define what skills you love using and where and how you want to use them. It then provides practical and down-to-earth tips for successful job hunting.

The 4 Hour Work Week

Tim Ferriss

4 Hour Work Week
This book is about reconstructing your life so that it’s not all about work.

Ferriss offers a step by step action plan for eliminating non-essential work, outsourcing a lot of the remaining work, and gives a detailed blueprint for designing, test-running and developing an ‘automated’ on-line business.

Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better

Tessa Souter

Anything I Can Do
If you are a creative struggling to find a way to express your creativity and to earn a living while doing it, then this book is for you.

It doesn’t pretend that it will be an easy ride but does show you that it is still possible with the help of Tessa’s practical advice and inspirational examples. She has travelled this road before you so she knows her stuff!

Whack Around The Head: Passion & Purpose At Work

Sharon Eden

Whack Around The Head
‘Whack Around The Head’ helps you to challenge yourself to be more, to really find what’s important in your life and take a stand for who you want to be. Sharon shares a number of personal anecdotes in order to encourage you to be honest about your own life and to show you how to be more effective at work and enjoy your job.

If you think there has to be more to life or you are living the wrong life, this is your book.

Personal Development

The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People

Steven Covey

Steven Covey
A personal development classic.

If you can apply Covey’s 7 Habits in your life it will impact positively on your work – whether it is your current job or a new one you move into.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Dan Pink

Forget everything you thought you knew about how to motivate people – it is wrong.

As Dan Pink explains, the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply felt human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world. And this applies not just at work but in all spheres of our lives

Drive Dan Pink

The Happiness Advantage: The 7 Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work

Shawn Achor

Happiness Advantage
Achor introduces seven principles that serve as the foundation of “the happiness advantage”. He argues that positive brains have a significant biological advantage over brains that are neutral or negative.

He provides lots of helpful exercises as well as academic research to back his ideas and to help you apply them in your own life and work.

Do One Thing

Bill O’Hanlon

Do One Thing Different
The ideas in this book are based on solution focused coaching and therapy.

Bill shows you how to approach your challenges in a new and positive way that will help you break unhelpful patterns and find solutions that work.

Your Best
Year Yet

Jinny Ditzler

Your Best Year Yet
A great book for the turn of the year – or any other time you decide you need to undertake a fundamental review of where your life is going.

Jinny takes you through a 10 step process that helps you clarify your goals to make sure the year ahead is the best it can be.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese
Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective.

In this modern day parable, the way we manage (or fail to manage) change is explored through the metaphor of four mice living off the cheese they find in a maze. Through the story we learn that we have to be alert to change and prepared to go running off in search of new ideas and answers when the old ones no longer serve us.

The Chimp Paradox Mind Management

Dr Steve Peters

The Chimp Paradox
If you have a tendency to sabotage your own happiness and success, the Chimp Paradox is for you. It is a powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person.

The Chimp Mind Management Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into a workable model for easy use with exercises for you to work through in each chapter.

Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill

Think And Grow Rich
Another classic of the personal development genre. Although dated in style, it still contains many valuable truths about how your mental attitude will influence your ability to achieve wealth.

This updated edition provides examples of men and women who, in recent times,
exemplify the principles that Hill advocated.

Willpower: Rediscovering our Greatest

Roy Baumeister

In this book, Baumeister helps us to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control. Baumeister has discovered that willpower actually operates like a muscle: it can be strengthened with practice and fatigued by overuse.

Using lessons from the lives of entrepreneurs, parents, entertainers, and artists, the book shows you how to build willpower and how to conserve it for crucial moments using the best new techniques. Once you master these, finding the willpower you need gets easier. However we define happiness – a close-knit family, a satisfying career, financial security – we won’t reach it without mastering self-control.

What would you recommend?

However avid a reader I am, I can’t review all the resources that are out there. And in any case, it is always useful to get different perspectives.

So what career change books and resources have inspired you?

Do share your own thoughts and recommendations with others and I will add your suggestions to this page.

Just fill in the brief form below and click the send button.

I will review everything that you send me and include useful and appropriate ones on the site.

I hope you find these recommendations for career change books and other resources useful.


With best wishes for your career change success