Best Books for Career Transitions & Job Satisfaction

In a lifetime, we'll spend on average 94,365 hours (or 10 years and eight months) at work. That time span might make you groan if you are one of over 70 percent of working adults who feel unsatisfied at work. According to an InHerSight study, 43 percent of women in their early careers are satisfied with their jobs, but that number shrinks to only 27 percent with senior-level career women. That's a staggeringly-low amount of women who feel "work happy." For those considering a career transition, there are countless TED Talks, articles and conferences that encourage the best ways to make a switch. But when it comes to big decisions, OMN loves a good book for some real talk and big sis advice. Here's a list of some of our favorites:

Careergasm: Find Your Way to Feel-Good Work, Sarah Vermunt

Have you heard of a “careergasm”? No? For those not actively seeking self-satisfaction, a careergasm might be as rare as an actual orgasm. In her book for aspiring career changers, Sarah Vermunt empowers you to create a positive relationship with your work or create a road map that will lead you to a meaningful job that will get you to achieve a full careergasm. This one is full of bullsh*t-free advice and real-life stories about people who stepped out of their career and into a life of fulfillment.

Rising Strong, Brene Brown

If you are going to take the advice of any stranger, Brene Brown is the one. Her TED Talks alone will make you want to purge all things in life that don’t serve you well to make space for your best life. In Rising Strong, Brown talks about the importance of bouncing back from failures. No professional is immune to mistakes or failing, but many are unequipped with the tools to rise stronger and “fail upward.”

Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One, Jenny Blake

In today’s work economy, where one’s job expectancy at a single company is only five years, the art of pivoting is not only intriguing - it’s crucial. How do I make the end of this job flow positively into the beginning of my next job? What are the best communications strategies for explaining that I’m ready to move on without offending my employers who have groomed me in my current position for years? I’m satisfied in my role right now, but how do I plan ahead for my next move when the time comes? Jenny Blake will answer all of these questions and more.

Boss Bride: The Powerful Woman’s Playbook for Love and Success, Charreah Jackson

You are obviously the most important person in the story of your life, but the supporting characters (friends, family, significant others) play a huge role in helping us clear the path to our destination of success. ESSENCE Senior Editor, Charreah K. Jackson, knows this far too well after researching and interviewing over 150 professional women about how their relationships can positively and negatively affect your career life. Boss Bride examines why your personal life choices (partner selection, parenting timing, and social life) are often the biggest influencers of career momentum. Sometimes, we need to get our personal lives in check before chasing the next professional check.

Body of Work: Finding the Thread that Ties Your Story Together, Pamela Slim

Will the real freelancers please stand up? (Please stand up, please stand up). It is so easy for freelance entrepreneurs to get stuck in a one-track-mind by staying in the lane of their expertise, but Pamela Slim wants you to see the bigger picture. Body of Work will help you connect your specialties and use your many hats to create a larger-scale brand that will turn your hair styling skills or photography job into an enterprise.

Get a Life - Not a Job, Paula Caligiuri, PhD

For those whose work becomes the focal point of life, satisfaction is KEY! Dr. Caligiuri gets straight to the point of why designing a career to fit your happiness is more important than fitting happiness into your career. This one is perfect for someone who is financially-secure with their position, but still struggling to find social and internal peace with their tasks. Or someone who wants to improve their career without leaving their employer.

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