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Six books to read if you’re job searching and why

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Job hunting is tough and often it can feel as though you’re a hamster in a wheel, stuck in an endless cycle of applying, interviewing and receiving disappointing results. Does this sound familiar?

Well, keep your chin up – even the most successful leaders face difficulties in business and when you’re actively working to change your circumstances, you’re likely to meet with success sooner rather than later. If you’re looking for advice, sometimes there’s nothing better than settling down with a good book. Here are a few suggestions:

Realising your aims and goals

Read: The Life Plan by Shannah Kennedy
A change in job is a new opportunity. If you’re heading in a new direction with your career, life coach Shannah has written a step-by-step practical guide on how to achieve the things that are most important to you. Published in the style of a workbook, this title includes questionnaires, charts and exercises to help you put your thoughts down on paper – creating a record you’ll be able to look back on in the future. Open this book for tips on simplifying life, improving your time management and working towards your goals and visions.

Adopt good working patterns

Read: The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Over time, we all develop habits, and this also applies to the way we work. For job seekers, it’s important to get into a good routine in order to make sure you’re using time well. This book takes a look at the science behind repetitive behaviour. It argues that people who want to improve are more successful if they’re aware of the pressure points and plan how they’ll respond to these. Read this book to build your self-awareness and further your professional development - you’ll find out how to create cues that trigger good habits and avoid cues that trigger bad, or unhelpful practices.

Tackle change effectively

Read: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Change can be stressful and uncomfortable, but often, it’s a fact of life. In Johnson’s publication, cheese is a metaphor for the things you desire in life, from relationships to money and a good job. The message is simple: When our cheese moves, through unexpected circumstances, we can find it again if we’re willing to adapt to new situations. Try this book to find new motivation when you’re dealing with uncertainty.

Learn how to impress

Read: Mind Flip by Zena Everett
This book will help you to think outside the box when it comes to applying and interviewing for jobs. We’re often told to ‘sell’ ourselves as we apply for new roles – to think long and hard about the skills and qualities that make us unique, and therefore attractive, to Employers. Zena Everett challenges readers to shift their focus, to stop thinking about themselves and think about the business they want to work for. Can you identify the problems companies need to solve and come up with a solution? If you’re able to demonstrate this in interview, you’ll increase your chances of securing a new role that’s both satisfying and rewarding.

Seek inspiration

Read: Creativity Inc by Ed Catmul
Who better to write about creativity in business than the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios? As a jobseeker, it’s important to stay inspired and learn from role models. This title tells the personal story of Ed, and also includes his insights into how you can create a culture that promotes and encourages creativity. Read this book to remind yourself that failures can lead to triumphs and the importance of taking risks.

Pause to reflect

Read: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Chances are that if you’re looking for a new job, you’re unhappy with your current situation and want it to change. Author Greg McKeown claims to have the answer for Employees who feel that they are overworked, under-utilised and unable to control their own agenda. In fact, he thinks that by focusing on the right things, and devoting our energy to these, it’s possible to succeed and climb up the career ladder. Consider reading this book in order to reflect on your experience of the workplace so far and how this could radically change.

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