10 Insightful Books for Career Changers

As the economy continues to improve, many people are beginning to consider changing careers, or at least exploring that possibility. If you are thinking about testing the waters, or even starting your own business, here are 10 books that Entrepreneur magazine suggests to help make your decision. Some of the books offer practical step-by-step advice, while others just help you discover your options and provide motivation to explore possibilities beyond your current circumstances.

  • The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nick Lore
    The longtime career coach recently released an updated version of the 1998 bestseller, which directs people to assess their talents, personalities and what’s important to them to determine work that would be the best fit.
  • Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type  by Paul D. Teiger
    Built around the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI), this book helps job seekers analyze what jobs might suit them based on 16 personality types.
  • What Color is Your Parachute? 2012 by Richard N. Bolles
    This is the 40th year for this classic career-seeker’s book. It has been extensively rewritten to include modern job-hunting strategies, including how to use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in a job search. What Color is My Parachute? still covers familiar territory, though, sharing basics on resumes, networking, interviewing, salary negotiation and starting a business, as well as pointers on finding your passion and identifying transferable skills.
  • The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Mid-Life by Marc Freedman
    The author offers a road map for people who want to move to a second career, start a business or follow a long-delayed dream to serve their community. Directed toward the post-middle-age, pre-old-age generation.
  • Boundless Potential: Transform Your Brain, Unleash Your Talents, Reinvent Your Work in Midlife and Beyond by Mark S. Walton
    Old dogs can learn new tricks. Walton’s new book connects brain research with successful midlife transitions. In the book, the former CNN correspondent turned leadership consultant explains that brains are wired for constant reinvention, and that adults in midlife can tap into amazing creative and intellectual powers to build new careers.
  • One Person/Multiple Careers: The Original Guide to the Slash Career by Marci Alboher
    Recently re-released as an e-book, Alboher’s 2008 book popularized the term “slasher”  to describe people who cobble together livelihoods from multiple occupations. Advises people how to adopt slasher careers out of necessity.
  • Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Timeby Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
    Inside secrets from the master networkers, including build a network before you need it, find mentors, cultivate a unique style, and use lunch and other social settings to connect with colleagues and future contacts. Above all, be sincere and generous; networking doesn’t work if you keep score.
  • Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success by Penelope Trunk
    An expert on Gen Y and the new world of work, Trunk uses her book to explain how to get ahead by breaking traditional job-hunting rules.
  • Me 2.0, Revised and Updated: 4 Steps to Building Your Future by Dan Schawbel
    Like Brazen Careerist, the target demographic for Me 2.0 is Gen Y. But this version, updated in 2010, includes a new chapter on job hunting that could benefit anyone who wants to stand out in the age of online job boards, Facebook recruiting, and Twitter job chats.
  • Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
    The founder of TOMS Shoes, Mycoskie created a company that makes philanthropy one of its operating principles, pioneering a buy-one, donate-one-to-charity business model. He chronicles his unlikely foray into the shoe business, and the book is a blueprint for others seeking to start a business that accomplishes good. Read an excerpt at SecondAct.com.


Terry is the business librarian. You can email her (tmiller@tscpl.org) your questions or schedule a one-on-one session to discuss business needs, from market research to competitor analysis. She also coordinates with community partners to host small business and personal finance events at the library. Terry has an MBA and an MLS.