An Evolving List to help you reach your "heyday" of life

Navigating Transitions of All Types:

  • William Bridges, Transitions:  Making Sense of Life's Changes and The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments—Go-to guides for anyone struggling to navigate the disorientation that accompanies the chosen and unchosen transitions we all face at some point--career changes, retirements, job loss, marriage, having a child, losing a loved one, getting divorced. Bridges' background as a lit professor stands him in good stead as he uses compelling stories from literature to illustrate the complex and protracted process of transition. He offers concrete strategies to help reader plot a course through their own transitions.  Bridges’ book is a practical guide for anyone facing the bewildering terrain of life’s transitions.

  • How to Make Hard Choices, by Ruth Chang—In this TED Talk, philosopher Ruth Chang explains why hard choices are hard but also why they are precious opportunities to take control of our own lives.

  • The Robcast, by Rob Bell, "Seasons"—A lovely, helpful reflection on how to navigate the seasons of life including thoughts on the need to grieve the ending of one season and the liminal space in between seasons.

  • The Mid-Life Unraveling, by Brene Brown—a beautiful essay on the way we begin to overcome pretenses and ditch coping mechanisms that prevent us from living as our authentic selves at midlife.

Living a Happier Life

  • Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness—Seligman translate the latest research on happiness into layman's terms and offers a guide for cultivating happiness by focusing on your personal strengths to build a fulfilled life. 

  • Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Designing a Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life—Burnett and Evans are professors in Stanford's School of Design, and they apply the principles of design thinking to building a life. Start with where you are, then brainstorm, experiment, improvise, experiment some more and build your way forward to a life that works better for you. I use many of the exercises in this book with clients.

  • Jennifer Porter, "Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)"—Great Harvard Business Review piece summarizes research about how self-reflection is necessary to our success in our careers and our lives.

  • Adam Grant and Reb Rebele, "Beating Generosity Burnout"—Psychologists Grant and Rebele provide convincing evidence that an excess of selfless behavior can sometimes end up hurting those we want to help.  

  • Erik Vance, “Unlocking the Healing Power of You”—Science reveals that what we believe can be as important to our health as what we eat and do.

  • Will Rothschild, “2020 Is Around the Corner: Jumpstart Your Resolutions”—read my interview with writer Will Rothschild about how to make meaningful change in your life.

Overcoming Obstacles

  • Jim Loehr, The Power of Story:  Change Your Story, Change Your Destiny in Business and Life—Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves and those we tell others about ourselves have a way of limiting us and holding us back.  We may tell stories that reinforce our sense of powerlessness instead of stories that are self-empowering, for example.  The stories we tell ourselves can provide us with direction and structure. Loehr offers dozens of case studies and some concrete strategies for crafting stories that revitalize and empower us. 

  • Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Everyday LifeHabits are the key to making changes in our lives, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to habit formation. Rubin offers advice on learning about how our own tendencies shape our approach to forming habits and how to harness our tendencies in order to make effective change.  

  • The Science of Making Bold Decisions and Avoiding Regrets in Life, by Benjamin Hardy

Career Advice:

  • Kevin Granville, "How To Manage Your Career"—A helpful "quick and dirty" guide to building a career. 

  • Richard N. Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career Changers—I first used this book in the late 1980s/early 1990s when I was mulling my first career change.  It gets updated every year, and it's still the single best career and job hunting manual out there.  It' full of practical advice and exercises to help you identify new career paths. This is your go-to guide for all things career and job-related.

  • Katharine Brooks, You Majored in What?  Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career—If you're finishing college or a new grad looking for that first or second job, particularly if you are a liberal arts major, this book is for you. Many liberal arts grads struggle to articulate how their academic preparation and their varied experiences translate into skills valuable to employers. Brooks' guide helps you connect the dots between your "wandering path" and learn how to sell yourself to employers. Although this book is written for new grads, there's a lot of advice here for people of any age.  

  • Mika Brzezinski, Know Your Value: Women Money and Getting What You're Worth and Grow Your Value: Living and Working to Your Full Potential—The co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Brzezinski's first book helps women assess their value—financial and otherwise—to their employers and provides them with a blueprint for gaining recognition of that value. Her second book focuses on helping women discern their own inner values and offers strategies for achieving professional success without shortchanging your personal life.

  • How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back From Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith—This book explores the behaviors that prevent women from advancing in their careers and offers concrete strategies for ditching those behaviors.

  • Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead, by Tara Mohr—a terrific, practical guide to letting go of the things that hold us back from achieving our dreams.

  • Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotion, by Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde, and Lisa Versterlund

  • Tara Jaye Frank, "Ten Killer Leadership Skills"—Frank, a Hallmark executive, discusses ten traits that good leaders possess: empathy, vision, agility, the ability to tell a compelling story, strategy, inspiration, creative problem solving, presence, authenticity, and courage.  Thought-provoking for anyone who aspires to be a leader. 

  • How Managers Become Leaders, by Michael Watkins

  • Managing Yourself: Turning the Job You Have Into the Job You Love, by Amy Wrzesniewski, Justin M. Berg, and Jane E. Dutton

  • Why a Body of Work Has Greater Long-Term Value Than a Resume, by Srinivas Ras

  • Should You Take That Promotion? Well, Maybe, by Anna Goldfarb

  • How to Pick a Career that Actually Fits You, by Tim Urban

  • Dealing with Criticism at Work, by Tara Mohr

Resumes and LinkedIn

Cover Letters

Networking and Informational Interviewing

Job Interviews

Salary Negotiation

Especially for Ph.D.s

Re-entering the workforce after a break

Coping with Stress and Achieving a Life of Balance

  • Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.—Sometimes we stress ourselves out by expecting to reach an unrealistic standard of perfection. Brown offers up ten guideposts to help us let go of our perfectionism and cultivate what she calls a more "wholehearted way of living."

  • Brigid Schulte, Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time—Schulte explores the reasons so many of us feel overwhelmed with demands on our time, and she offers strategies for carving out time for the things we value most.

  • Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy, "Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time."—Great Harvard Business Review story on how managing your energy can increase your productivity and allow you to work less.

  • Coping with stress at work, tips from the American Psychological Association

  • Twelve ways to eliminate stress at work, Forbes

Reinvention at Any Age: