We love reading – especially self-help books. Some have been pivotal in helping us in our careers. Others were interesting but life changing. Here are our top picks – each one has fundamentally influenced us in our careers and we highly recommend them.
Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck
‘Own it…’ is our go-to book when we’re looking for that extra motivational boost at work. This book is filled with practical tips and motivating messages on how to revitalise your career. Author Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform which helps women reach their financial goals. Sallie writes from the heart, interspersing her practical advice with real-life anecdotesfrom her varied career. Key chapters include tips on networking and how to negotiate a raise. Sallie also discusses how to deal with difficult colleagues (termed ‘Queen Bees’) in the workplace – something which happens to us all at some point in our career! If you’re looking for a motivational boost, or just want to read some great career stories told with powerful emotion, check out this book.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published! It was first published in 1936 but its advice is as relevant as ever. It has four major sections: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People; Six Ways to Make People Like You; Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking; and Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment. It’s full of practical, easily implementable advice that works! Our favourite is using somebody’s name. “The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together” says Dale. We’ve embedded Dale’s advice into our daily work and it’s very impactful. Trust us – go buy it, put it into practice, and watch the magic happen
What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles
Another classic, this book is more of a workbook than a book and is updated every year. It is worth getting the latest version and to take the time to go through all of the exercises. Although this book is useful for those job-hunting and career-changing, it’s also brilliant at helping you figure out who you are as a person and what you want out of life – useful for any stage of your career! This book has helped us when we’ve been at a crossroads in our careers and were struggling with indecision.
The Wealth Chef: Recipes to Make Your Money Work Hard, So You Don’t Have To by Ann Wilson
Nature conservation can be a tough career with one of the key challenges being poor pay. It is super important, therefore, that we are fantastic money managers. We find it incredible that personal finance isn’t taught in every school. It is an essential skill for everybody. Luckily, Ann Wilson has come to the rescue and has developed a whole suite of resources (mainly online) that take us step-by-step through money management. Her resources are specifically focused on women and can be applied by anybody to help them reach financial freedom. Key pieces of advice from Ann include “Squeeze the juice” (ensure that you are getting the best value from all of your expenses), “Know your figures” (know your inflows, outflows, assets, and liabilities), and “Be clear on your big why” (What do you want from life? What are your goals, aspirations, etc.?). This is an essential book for taking care of yourself and your finances and providing the foundation for living a juicy life.
Finding Your Own North Star: How to claim the life you were meant to live by Martha Beck
An inspiring book on finding your own North Star, fulfilling your potential, and living more joyfully. Martha teaches you how to read your internal compasses, articulate your core desires, identify and repair the unconscious beliefs that may be blocking your progress, nurture your intuition, and cultivate your dreams She includes real-life case studies throughout the book that are fascinating and insightful. Like ‘What Color is Your Parachute’, she also includes questionnaires and exercises to help you in your journey. As scientists, we found this a little “woo woo” but incredibly effective. A must read!
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
This is an eye-opening book that explains the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply these understandings. We think it’s a must read for those working in nature conservation and other sectors where we are trying to persuade people to make a change. While we’ve been trained as scientists, our jobs turn out to be mainly about working with people. So any help with how to work better with people is very welcome The book shows how much of human behaviour is automatic and that as we go through life we develop shortcuts to decision-making. Cialdini shows us how we can use these shortcuts to influence others and gives some practical examples. As we read through this book, we were able to continually relate the principles and examples to experiences in our own lives – a sign of a good book.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo
As it says in the title, this seemingly simple book is life changing Start putting its principles into practice and enjoy allowing the process to refocus you on the important things in life. Not only does the process transform your house but it creates the space for new and exciting things to come into it. For example, a friend cleared out her office to discover a whiteboard hiding behind the clutter. This blank board inspired her to write the outline for her next book! Don’t underestimate the power of simple tidying.
We Are All Wonder Women is an international movement for female conservation professionals to be inspired, connected, and empowered to create an authentic, fulfilling and happy career.