At the beginning of 2015, I set a goal to read at least one book each month. I shattered my goals reading over 20 books this year, and I have learned a multitude of lessons that can be applied to both my business and my personal life.
On Mastering the 9-5
Being polite and earning respect in the office don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand for women in a corporate environment. If you want respect, as women in the workplace you can’t discount the value that you bring to the team and organization. You’ll have to work towards managing expectations and being aware of how you carry yourself to get ahead. Speaking up with authority and avoiding being labeled the “B” is a challenge for most women, but Lois walks you step-by-step on how to overcome challenges and establish your agency.
This books is ideal for a women who recently graduated. It covers tips that will aid in landing your first gig which can be a challenge even in an up-economy. This book covers practical tips from the perspective of an IT Human Resources professional. Chapter 5 starts with one of my favorite gems of career advice, “Your job search has to have some strategy behind it. if your job search has been haphazard in the past, those days are over now.” It arms you with everything you need to transition from student to young professional. From the interview to getting the best offer, Zena equips you with the inside scoop to land your first job.
Most people are so excited to get a job offer that they fail to negotiate or that they let the fear of not knowing how to negotiate hold them back from earning what they’re worth. Furthermore, new employees sign employment documents without reviewing the terms of employment. This book, written by an employment attorney, provides legal insight and teaches readers negotiation skills at the same time. Whether you’re in the midst of a career negotiation or highly satisfied with your job, this is a must read.
Have you ever had a feeling that you were destined for greatness? Have you had a nudge that you’re supposed to be doing more than what you’re doing now? This book taps into the spiritual side of understanding your full potential. It challenges you to consider your contributions on this planet and to live a full life. I really connected with this priniple: “Don’t let the odds that are against you stop you from fulfilling your potential.” This quote stuck with me because, in business as in life, we face challenges and sometimes our dreams are so ambitious that when we get in the middle of a challenge we question if we have what it takes to overcome it. Each time I reach a point where I question my ability I return to this principle.
#Inmyfeelings is a popular hashtag, but actually living “in your feelings” can lead to making emotional decisions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always make the best decisions when I’m in an emotional state. This book dives into biblical concepts about feelings and the psychology of the power of your thoughts. It’s a quick read, but I encourage you to take your time and digest the nuggets of wisdom it provides. I connected with a quote about overcoming fear: “I will be courageous and not let the emotion of fear rule me.”
On Leadership & Entrepreneurship
“A well-told story gives leaders a strong advantage in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace.” Presentation skills are critical for anyone who wants to move up the ranks in their career and land a leadership position. You have to be able to present more than a powerpoint. Think TED TALK and you automatically consider the thought-leaders of the 21st Century. How did they get so polished and deliver messages with such charisma? This book has analyzed the most viewed TED talks as well as those that never made it to the internet and gives all the secrets of a TED TALK style presentation.
Entrepreneurs seeking guidance on how to get started, look no further. Women’s Elevation Magazine Founder shares how she started two successful businesses by the age of 25. She doesn’t hold back taking readers on the journey of her ups and downs but most importantly, her lessons-learned. She writes about the characteristics of working with someone who wants to partner with you but turns out to be an opportunist. She writes, “If they’re asking for something before giving something, they are an opportunist.” As an entrepreneur you have to protect you business from opportunists but still be open to mutually beneficial partnerships. When you see the highlights of a successful entrepreneur on social media, just remember there is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Gift one (or several) of these great books to yourself or a fellow businesswoman for the holidays!