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.
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
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
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
What Your Resume Should Look Like, by Kristen Bahler
A Resume Makeover for Mid-Career Professionals, by Rachel Gillett and Anaele Pellsson
How to Beat Applicant Tracking Systems, By James Hu--Great advice on how to get past the robots that many companies use to screen applicants.
What Your Linked In Profile Should Look Like, by Kristen Bahler
How to Write a Narrative for Your Atypical Career, by Jaclyn Schiff
Do You Need a Cover Letter? by Heidi Scott Giusto, Ph.D.
How to Write a Cover Letter, including examples, from the folks at Career Blog
The 7 biggest mistakes applicants make in cover letters, by Robin Schwartz
Networking and Informational Interviewing
Networking and Informational Interviewing, by Alexandra Sastre
How to Get the Most Out of An Informational Interview, by Rebecca Knight
How to network and conduct an informational interview, by Daniel Hallak
The right way to ask “can I pick your brain?" by Anna Goldfarb
How to ask friends in your network for help with your job search, by Adrian Granzella Larssen
How to write a cold email to a big kahuna, from Alex Banayan via Daniel Pink.
How to nurture your career network, by Joseph Barber
How to Acknowledge Weaknesses in a Job Interview, by Adam Grant
How to Follow Up After An Interview: A Four-Step Strategy, The Career Experts
What is Your Current Salary? How to Answer, by Marc Miller
How to Negotiate Your Compensation Package, by Heidi Scott Giusto, Ph.D.
Salary Negotiation Success Stories, by Stacey Lastoe
You Need a Raise; How to Get It, by Kristin Wong
A Woman’s Guide to Salary Negotiation, by Kristin Wong
AAUW Work Smart, an online course in salary negotiation from the American Association for University Women, a leading force in the fight for gender equity in the workplace.
Especially for Ph.D.s
Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius, "So What Are You Going to Do with That?" Finding Careers Outside Academia—Maybe you're a graduate student, and you're thinking that the traditional academic career path is not for you. Or maybe you're a professor feeling like it's time to make a change. Basalla and Debelius offer a helpful guide to exploring careers outside academia. They offer practical exercises to figure out what skills you bring to the workforce, how those skills can apply to a wide range of jobs outside academia, and how to enter the non-academic job market. Whether it's converting your curriculum vita to a resume or figuring out how to put your best foot forward in a non-academic interview, you'll find great advice in this book.
Succeeding Outside the Academy: Career Paths Beyond the Humanities, Social Sciences, and STEM, edited by Joseph Fruscione and Kelly J. Baker—A collection of essays from people who have created a successful careers beyond the traditional faculty path. Part inspiration and part how-to, this is an essential resource for Ph.D.s or grad students who are exploring various career options.
Non-traditional careers for Ph.D.s: stories from people who have made the switch—conversations with dozens of PhDs who have transitioned to careers outside the academy.
PhDs at Work: more stories from PhDs pursuing careers off the faculty track from the folks at Beyond the PhD
Professional development resources from the Southern Association for Women Historians. —Excellent advice from historians to historians and other Ph.D.s and grad students on careers for historians inside and outside the academy. A lot of this advice is broadly applicable to many academic disciplines.
How to Save Yourself from Overpreparing for Class, by Christine Tulley
Semester Rhythms and Recurring Burnout, by Beth Godbee
Beating the Summer Writing Blues, by Anthony Ocampo and Joy Gaston Gayles
Why I Said No to a Tenure Track Offer, by Chantari Patel, Inside Higher Ed
What an Adjunct Learned from Taking a Year Off from the Academy, by Darcy Patel, Inside Higher Ed
How To Thrive Beyond the Ph.D., by Laura Schram
A Road Map for Successful Career Exploration, by Jennie Dorman and Bill Lindstaedt
Using LinkedIn for Your Alt-Academic Job Search, by Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood
Preparing for a Non-Faculty Job, by Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood
Advice for Discerning Whether It’s Time to Leave Academia, by Beth Godbee
Why I Collapsed on the Job, by Katerina Bodovski
Re-entering the workforce after a break
How to get back to work after a career break, a TED talk by Carol Fisher Cohen, founder of iRelaunch.
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
Reinvention at Any Age:
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way and It's Never Too Late to Begin Again—Writer and director Julia Cameron has pioneered the development of strategies to unlock your creative self. These books are great handbooks to rediscovering and reactivating the creative side that you were born with.
Five Step Plan to a Successful Career Change After Age 50, by Wendy Braitman
Tips for Seasoned Professionals Who Want to Re-Invent Themselves, by Dorie Clark
50 Signs You Need to Start Your Own Business, by John Rampton.