Looking for a few new reads for 2013? These books will help you learn new ideas and tactics that are sure to help you succeed.

Have you joined our Facebook community? It’s a fun place to connect with other ambitious young professionals!

Whether you’re looking for your first job, searching for your dream job or happy in your present career, you should always be looking to invest in your knowledge and skills. Learning new ideas and tactics will both increase your value at your company and make you more marketable when you’re ready to take that next step.

Not sure where to start? Here are 15 books that are sure to propel you up the career ladder:

1. The Start-Up of You

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha show you you don’t need to start a business to be an entrepreneur. Think of your career path as your own startup! They also suggest some LinkedIn strategies, as well as excellent networking advice.

2. Enchantment

Guy Kawasaki’s book demonstrates how you can enchant the people around you—not to mention your boss—in the same way you fell in love with your favorite product. Become more likeable and trustworthy right away! His writing will keep you both amused and intrigued.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

This classic book by self-improvement expert Dale Carnegie teaches you just what the title says: you can relate to and persuade anyone in a civil and even friendly way. This is a must-read for any networker.

4. Never Eat Alone

Keith Ferrazzi is a master networker and consultant. If you’re trying to build an inner circle, client base or dinner group, Keith gives you the exact methods he uses to expand his social circle.

5. The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons

Another timeless book, this one by the late Napoleon Hill hammers home that if you have the right mindset, you can build great wealth. The author includes a host of great stories from the lives of the most successful, including Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.

6. The Personal MBA

Josh Kaufman successfully packs everything you need to know about business into this gem, basically throwing out the idea that you need to spend thousands more on that advanced MBA degree. Go beyond your major and discover how a successful business makes money.

7. Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Dream Job

Jon Acuff writes a no-excuse call-out to the traditional path of just finding a job. He gives personal stories that motivate you not to settle, but to push yourself to find what you deserve: a dream job you’re proud to have.

8. What Color is Your Parachute?

Richard Bolles’s guide to job-hunting and networking has been updated every year since 1970 and still sells millions! His practical advice focuses on networking for a job as well as figuring out what you love to do and excelling at that.

9. The No A**-Hole Rule

Robert Sutton lays it all out in this book showing you how to survive in the workplace. There’s always that one coworker who rubs you the wrong way, and Robert guides you through how to put up with those jerks.

10. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

Harvey Mackay has written what many call “the only networking book you’ll need.” His point is to always be building connections and networking, not to wait until you need a job. This is a great book for those looking to make a career transition, as well as college students who will face the job market in a couple of years.

11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s excellent read targets the change within. You must make a conscious effort to change your attitude and thoughts, he says, or you won’t be able to form new, effective habits.

12. Biography of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s instant bestseller is a must-read for any businessman or entrepreneur. Jobs’s life was a roller coaster, and you get an inside look through Jobs’s own words at how he dealt with his success and failures. The book holds nothing back, painting Jobs as both a visionary genius and a neurotic perfectionist. Everyone can learn something from this biography.

13. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

A short but insightful look into the mind of one of America’s most brilliant. Although only covering half his life, Franklin makes up for that by giving precise examples of how he improved himself and built a thriving network, as well as lived with a purpose. An added perk: you can find this one for free online.

14. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini’s book is an excellent resource for taking control of negotiations, as well as sales and marketing tactics. It’s easy to follow, and he backs up his claims with research he’s done or read. Your mindset on persuasion will change after finishing this excellent read.

15. Escape from Cubicle Nation

Perhaps the 9 to 5 isn’t for you, so here we provide you with Pamela Slim’s fascinating book on breaking out of “corporate prison.” She understands that at every level, there are employees itching to do their own thing. She shows you exactly how she made the transition from the cubicle to starting her own gig. If you’re unhappy, don’t be afraid to take the leap!

There are countless others that deserve to be on this list. Which books did we miss? Which ones should Brazenites pick up NOW?

Joe Cassandra, a personal brand equity strategist, is the Founder of the 7Minute Entrepreneur, where he shows you how to attack your life with the mindset of an entrepreneur in the areas of personal finance, careers, entrepreneurship and more. You can follow him on Twitter.


  1. Alison Elissa Coaching

    Thanks for sharing these resources.

    One of the more readable and relevant books I read this year was ‘The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter- and How To Make the Most of Them Now’, by Meg Jay. I’d also recommend ‘Finding Your Own North Star’, by Martha Beck. It is a funny and engaging look at finding your path in the world.

    • Joe Cassandra

      Thanks Alison! Got amazon gift cards for Christmas, so thanks for the food for thought where I can spend those bad boys!

  2. Jim Blake

    Don’t miss Jenny Blake’s great book “Life After College” now available in Korean!

  3. Becky Castle Miller

    Quitter is excellent…glad you included it. Jon Acuff is working on his next book, Start.

    I would also recommend Michael Hyatt’s book Platform. We’re all building our personal brands to carry us from job to job and form a cohesive career, so Platform is really helpful.

  4. CellCharge24

    You should read Biography of Steve Jobs. Don’t miss it.

  5. Dani Owens-Gilbert

    I am adding these to my goodreads acct for 2013!

  6. Mina Grace Drake

    Wow, my amazon shopping cart is going to be full. I love tapping into these resources though so thanks so much for sharing. I also enjoy Tama Kieves’ work. ‘This Time I Dance’ is a classic- comforting poetry to anyone at a career crossroads.

  7. Andrew Ferrara

    Can’t wait to read these this year!

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  13. UFO

    Next time I will go to the library I will definitely pick one of your choices.

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  17. Sebastian Daniels

    I’ve only read How to Win Friends and Influence People and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They were very useful. I will have to pick up the other ones on this list. By having it on this list, you just sold me on Steve Jobs autobiography. Time to get the audiobook of it!


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  20. Cortes de pelo

    Love your post, i like those books, my favourite Biography os Steve Jobs
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