5 Books to Boost Your Career

You’re not going to be able to learn everything you need at your cubicle, from your manager, or even from Google.

One of our biggest goals at Happy Spectacular is to help you reach your goals by providing you with resources here as well as through coaching, so as summer winds down and we all start to get serious again (goodbye summer Fridays!), hopefully the books that have made a difference in our careers can be helpful in yours too.

JODI WELLMAN recommends

The Little Engine that Could

The “I think I can, I think I can” train from this classic children’s book might be the most motivational locomotive around, teaching important lessons in hard work and optimism. And for the adults without children to groom, the Little Blue Engine shares lessons we (unfortunately sometimes) relate to as adults in our supposedly grown-up jobs, sitting at desks in windowless offices, working on never-ending and thankless task. (Some days it’s all about positivity and perseverance, kids.)

How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees

This is an invaluable resource for new managers, and the short chapter format provides insights that are easy to return to as you climb the rungs of your career.

MEGAN WHEELER recommends

Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader and Liking Your Life

Rise is another guide to success with practicality at its heart. Patty Azzarello shares advice on making it to the top without having to sacrifice your life, helping you to manage the tradeoffs between life and work so they both work for you.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

This book is for every person who can’t stop reading those “Habits of Successful People” articles. Psychologist Angela Duckworth breaks it down for any kind of success you’re looking for. It’s not talent, passion or early mornings. It’s grit. If you’re not sure about this one, check out Duckworth’s TED talk first, and it will definitely convince you.

JOHN PHILBIN recommends

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Flow teaches us to not just hope and wait for that optimal experience, but how to control it and through that control, find more happiness and improved quality of life.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

It’s not surprising that John’s second book is also grounded in social science. Daniel Pink explains that for many of us it’s not really the paycheck that motivates us. We’re much too emotional for that. Drive is based on research that shows us how our human desires can drive businesses too. More importantly, you can learn how to use what really motivates you to unlock to key to satisfaction at life and work.


If you’ve read any of these books, please share your thoughts in the comments. And more importantly, share the books that have been influential to you. We’re always looking for new recommendations!

The Happy Spectacular Team

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