Holiday Reading for the Career-Driven.

holiday reading books for the career driven professional

With the holidays upon us, we thought we’d dedicate some thought towards scheduled (ok: forced) downtime. In doing so we polled the office and discovered 3 books that came highly recommended as holiday reading for the career-driven amongst us. 

A Case of The Go-Getter.

For the highly career-driven types, the act of ‘not working’ can come at us with rough edges. It’s not entirely natural to just sit back and not work our game strategy. In many ways, the idea of slowing the pace can feel like losing ground.  As a potential solution, we recommend double-timing the concept of taking a ‘holiday break’ with the addition of some inspirational reading. 

These 3 books are bountiful with ah-ha moments, industry hacks and refreshing stories of challenge and triumph.

#1:  Driven by Robert Herjavec

This book has achieved legendary bookshelf cred.  Some may recognize Robert Herjavec as one of the Shark Tank hosts.  Others may know his name from the massive career wave he’s made in the tech industry.  Either way, his story is that of a classic grind from near poverty to astounding wealth and career successes.  The book is written like an approachable novel traveling through biopic storylines with powerful advice and validation. It is a captivating read and a truly inspirational business book. An absolute must-read!

#2:  The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

At 164 pages this little book is a powerhouse of gloves-off dictation.  If you are a writer, this is your book.  Creative entrepreneurs, this is your book.  If you are a visionary who is constantly seeking routes of betterment in life and in career, this is your book.

Steven Pressfield is the author of several novels including that of The Legend of Bagger Vance. (Which if you haven’t seen the movie, you haven’t fully lived.  Strong opinion but I’m sticking to it!)  The Art of War goes richly into content regarding the challenges faced when we ask too much from our creativity. 

Honestly, it’s a funny and lighthearted read even though it touches on inner battles and the psychology of creation. Go get this book. I will completely alter the quality of your work.

#3: Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson

Altogether, what’s refreshing about this book is the female perspective of corporate success. Arlene Dickinson was a single mother who literally went from newly divorced with no savings, only a high school diploma and four young children to CEO of one of the countries largest marketing firms. All within the span of a decade. In short, this woman has grit! 

The book teaches patience, it teaches how every little, tiny step forward is still worth celebrating and it teaches the depths of digging into your goals through the art of persuasion.

Gift Yourself Time.

To summarize, take a moment to yourself this holiday season. Gift yourself time to calm down.  Put the phone down, leave the to-list in the office, kiss your family and then get comfortable in your favorite chair. 

There is a great benefit to awarding yourself genuine downtime, not just for our health but also for our continued career-driven momentum. 

‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s best advice for making a career change

Ina Garten

A career change can mean different things to different people.  This inspiring article about how Ina Garten made a name for herself may get you thinking about your own career change!

Original article by Emmie Martin click here.


While career changes are common these days, few people have made as big of a jump as Ina Garten of Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa,” who used to work in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The secret to making a successful career change as she did, Garten tells CNBC, is to not hold back or hesitate too long — just do it.

“I think that people stand on the side of the pond trying to figure out what the pond’s going to be like, and you’ve just got to jump in and just be brave and make a change,” Garten said at Eat (RED) Food & Film Fest. The event was hosted by fellow chef Mario Batali as part of Eat (RED) Save Lives, an annual month-long campaign that raises money for the Global Fund, with 100 percent of proceeds going to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Before she became a television host and best-selling cookbook author, Garten started in an entry-level position and worked her way up to become the budget analyst in charge of nuclear energy under President Jimmy Carter.

But Garten, frustrated by its slow pace, grew tired of government work,The New York Times reports. Where she really thrived was in the kitchen. Garten took pride in her weekly dinner parties and Sunday brunches, which came about as she worked her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Then, in 1978, Garten and her husband Jeffrey saw a listing for a small food store called the Barefoot Contessa in Long Island, NY, and drove up to see it. Despite Garten’s lack of business experience, the couple made an offer on the spot.

Garten started sharing her homemade brownies and roasted chicken, and by the end of the first summer, the line was out the door. She hit her groove, and the store’s popularity launched her into a successful culinary career, even though she had no formal training as a chef.

Originally, she and Jeffrey had no plans to make running a specialty food shop Garten’s full-time job. “I was sure it would be a one-summer thing,” her husband told The Times.

But Garten knew what she knew, like what types of foods people wanted to bring home and how to make them taste great. And when she sold the store to a few employees in 1996, she decided to tackle another new challenge: writing a cookbook.

“It’s not the end of the road, it’s just the beginning,” she says of making a career pivot. “While you’re in the pond, you’ll flap around and find something interesting there.”

So how do you know when you should quit your job and move on to the next thing?

Suzy Welch, bestselling author and CNBC contributor, has an answer. “Are you living for the weekend?” Welch asks. “If the answer is ‘yes’ when it comes to your job, that’s a dead giveaway that it’s time to go.”

“You should never sacrifice five days of life for two,” she adds.

However, Welch advises taking a more calculated approach to switching jobs. She recommends coming up with a six-month game plan before handing in your resignation.

You can start by reaching out to people in your network, looking at companies where you’d love to work and refreshing your resume and LinkedIn page. Picking up a hobby or starting a side project are also other great ways to feel less stuck.

But once you do decide to make a move, don’t wait. Jump in.


Power Writers USA wants to know what you think of this, and other blog articles we post.  Your career change is unique and PWUSA is here to help you along the way with Resume Writing Services, Cover Letter Writing, CV’s, LinkedIn Profiles Updates, and more.  Contact us now for a free consultation and resume evaluation!