Books to boost your career development

As a woman (or man, for that matter) in business, there are always certain areas where you can improve to help you achieve your career goals, nobody is perfect! Whether it’s networking, time-management or the art of prioritisation, we all have something to learn, no matter what role you play in the company. Take the next step to boosting your career by reading our pick of career books.

 

Managing the Matrix: The Secret to Surviving and Thriving in Your Organisation ~ Dawn Metcalfe

  • Debra was not in a good mood as she entered Johann’s office for their third meeting. One of her colleagues had just been promoted and, although the guy who got it was good, she didn’t think he was any better than her. Well, except at one thing, he was always playing politics – sucking up to the more senior guys and volunteering to be on any committee going.
  • Debra knew the type – went to the same school, belonged to the same club – she didn’t have a hope against the kind of connections he had so she might as well give up. It seemed to do a good job just wasn’t enough around here.

Debra and Johann work in an environment with multiple and complex reporting lines – in other words, a matrix. There’s room to “slip between the cracks” – if a person wants to take advantage of confusion over who is managing performance; or if they can’t make the necessary transition to self-management. Communication can be difficult even when there is an apparently shared language.

Read how Johann and Debra work together to identify the skills needed to succeed in a matrix, and how using Emotional Intelligence (EI) can develop specific behaviours you can incorporate in your daily job.  The result will help reduce stress and increase your chances of success.

Dawn Metcalfe, Managing Director of PDS, based in Dubai, uses her experience as a coach and trainer to give us a behind the curtain look at how mentoring can help an individual develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in today’s complex work environments.

The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win ~ Jeff Haden

Success isn’t for the uniquely-qualified; it’s possible for any person who understands the true nature of motivation. According to author Jeff Haden, motivation is a result of process rather than a cause. In Motivation Myth, Haden shows readers how to reframe thinking about the relationship of motivation to success and can help you transcend average and make lasting positive change in your life.

“Jeff Haden is one of the biggest writers working online today not because he’s a genius but because he follows the advice in this book. It’s not about motivation, it’s about process–and hard work.” —Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected ~ Devora Zack

Are you the kind of person who would rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase “working a room” make you want to retreat to yours? Does traditional networking advice seem like it’s in a foreign language?

Networking enables you to accomplish the goals that are most important to you. But you can’t adopt a style that isn’t true to who you are. “I have never met a person who did not benefit tremendously from learning how to network—on his or her own terms,” Zack writes. “You do not succeed by denying your natural temperament; you succeed by working with your strengths.”

The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done ~ Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker looks to the most influential position in management—the executive. The measure of the executive is the ability to “get the right things done.” This usually involves doing what other people have overlooked as well as avoiding what is unproductive. Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge may all be wasted in an executive job without the acquired habits of mind that mould them into results.

Drucker identifies five practices essential to business effectiveness that can—and must—be mastered:

  • Managing time;
  • Choosing what to contribute to the organization;
  • Knowing where and how to mobilize strength for best effect;
  • Setting the right priorities;
  • Knitting all of them together with effective decision-making
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less ~ Greg McKeown

Are you the kind of person who would rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase “working a room” make you want to retreat to yours? Does traditional networking advice seem like it’s in a foreign language?

Networking enables you to accomplish the goals that are most important to you. But you can’t adopt a style that isn’t true to who you are. “I have never met a person who did not benefit tremendously from learning how to network—on his or her own terms,” Zack writes. “You do not succeed by denying your natural temperament; you succeed by working with your strengths.”

Workplace Poker: Are You Playing the Game, or Just Getting Played? ~ Dan Rust

Almost nothing is more frustrating than seeing other people’s careers advance more rapidly than your own, especially when you know in your bones that you are more capable and more committed than many of the “golden ones.”

  • If you are talented and hardworking, but feel your career just isn’t accelerating as rapidly as it should, or as fast as you would like it to – this book is for you.
  • If you’ve been frustrated to see others achieve more rapid professional progress – this book is for you.
  • If you aren’t sure why your career has stalled, or not sure what to do about it – this book is for you.

“Brilliant and insightful, a ‘must read’ for every ambitious career professional.” — Steve Groves, President, Due North Outdoors

Keep an eye out for our Women@Work training events and online training courses to help your career development.