Five books to bring back the career inspiration this weekend | Women's Agenda

Five books to bring back the career inspiration this weekend

Feeling stuck for great ideas? A little short of that inspiration you need to get down and serious about your career?

It may be time to get off the internet (but come back Monday!) and get reading a good old fashioned book.

We’ve received a stack of new releases in recent weeks ranging from Mark Bouris on what it means to seriously work hard, to Rose Herceg on wielding power nicely and Norah Breekveldt on how to take a ‘sideways’ approach to managing your career.

Check out how these five books could work for you.

What It Takes
An attitude of hard work, commitment and purpose
Author: Mark Bouris
Publisher Allen & Unwin
Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management founder and Apprentice star Mark Bouris has a ‘work seriously hard’ mentality that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. He puts in the long hours, never backs away from a challenge and believes a relentless attitude is a must for getting the most out of your professional life.

While this book’s pitched at all those looking to get committed to a purpose at work, those keen on starting a new business – or building on an existing business – will get the most out of it, given the advice offered on hiring employees, writing a business plan and preparing an exit strategy. So if you’re looking for a good kick into action that’ll see you making plenty of sacrifices along the way, this book’s for you.

The Power Book
200 ways to make power work for you
Author: Rose Herceg
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Rose Herceg is an entrepreneur and strategist who achieved some remarkable success at a young age, then dealt with the trappings of it, only to get her career and purpose back on track with the help of some great mentors and friends. Now dividing her time between writing, advisory work, sitting on boards and working with start-ups, she’s observed enough about how others wield their power to offer some insight into how the rest of us can successfully – and benevolently – wield such power too.

In this book Herceg offers 200 power plays for work and life that she’s collected everywhere from family dinners to business meetings and airport lounges. The result is a book of ‘dip in and out’ advice telling you to do everything from ‘act like a small biz even in a big biz’, to ‘set the tone’, ‘resist the bandwagon’, ‘give it the sleepover test’, ‘get some charisma’ and know that ‘true power doesn’t rely on PowerPoint’. No ‘power play’ is more than a page, so it’s direct and simple to consume no matter what your mood.

Stop Playing Safe
Rethink risk. Unlock the power of Courage. Achieve Outstanding Success.
Author: Margie Warrell
Publisher: Wiley

Fear: they’re four letters that could be holding you back. Forbes columnist and author Margie Warrell wants more of us to address the culture of fear we’re surrounded by and to quit playing it safe. If you’re chasing success, then you need to be willing to stand out – and that means having the courage to take a risk for the sake of your career.

Warrell uses neuro-research to highlight her too-much-fear argument throughout the book while also offering plenty of stories on courage and success from well-known businessmen and women in Australia and the US. It’s a book for those who want more from the career, who’re looking to determine their greater purpose and seeking permission to take a risk or two to get what they want. As Warrell recently told Women’s Agenda: “The core thing holding smart, capable people back from success is a lack of clarity and purpose – and then a willingness to take risks, to step outside of their comfort zone.” Are you up for the challenge?

Lean In
Women, work and the will to lead
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Publisher: Knopf

Sure, enough has been written about this book already (including plenty on Women’s Agenda) but if you haven’t yet had a chance to read the Facebook COO’s manifesto on how women can better take control of their own careers than you really should – if only to know what the conversation’s about.

There’s some serious inspiration in there for what you can do for handling that next pay rise review, making yourself known for promotion, encouraging your partner to help out more at home and getting heard in a meeting. Best of all you realise Sandberg is hugely successful but has had to grapple with much of this stuff herself – and offers plenty of personal stories, anecdotes and tearful moments she’s experienced along the way (including the hug she received from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg).

Sideways To The Top
10 stories of successful women that will change you thinking about careers forever
Author: Norah Breekveldt
Publisjer: Melbourne Books
Career coach Norah Breekveldt has interviewed 10 women to find out how they got to where they are today asking if women lead differently to men, are more nurturing, rely too much on a ‘women’s network’ and really do need to smash through a glass ceiling.

By exploring the stories of women who’ve pursued alternative pathways to the top, the book shares the perspectives of those who have challenged existing structures and ideas regarding the way women can and should work. The women profiled are living proof that we can all have interesting and fulfilling careers without following a ‘traditional’ path to the top.

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