IT talent: Top 6 books for job hunters in 2023

Time for a new IT job? Get must-have advice on collaborating with clients and colleagues from different backgrounds, salary negotiation, interview tips, and more
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What Color Is Your Parachute? 

what color is your parachute_job hunters books list_2023

by Richard N. Bolles

Book description (via Amazon): "What Color Is Your Parachute features the latest resources, strategies, and perspectives on today’s job market, revealing surprising advice on what works—and what doesn’t—so you can focus your efforts on tactics that yield results.

At its core is Richard N. Bolles’s famed Flower Exercise, a unique self-inventory that helps you design your career—and your life—around your key passions, transferable skills, traits, and more.

This practical manual also provides essential tips for writing impressive resumes and cover letters, networking effectively, interviewing with confidence, and negotiating the best salary possible.

Whether you’re searching for your first job, were recently laid off, or are dreaming of a career change, What Color Is Your Parachute? will guide you toward a fulfilling and prosperous life’s work."

Why you should read it: Lead contributor Dave Egts says this book “is a must-read for anyone at a career crossroads. As many of our coworkers, and even ourselves, go through the Great Resignation, the Great Reprioritization, Quiet Quitting, Quiet Firing, and all the other tumult of the past year, we need to pause and take stock of where we are in our careers and build a roadmap of where we want to go. When changing jobs, one needs to run to something, not run away from something. What Color Is Your Parachute? provides exercises to help you map out your short and long-term career goals. It also enables you to look at yourself as more than a worker by helping you take stock of your life goals and personal values. By combining all of these, you’ll get a clear picture of whether you’re at the right job and company, and if not, find the proper role at the right company that aligns well with your professional and personal goals and values.”

The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table 

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By Minda Harts

Book description (via Amazon): "From microaggressions to the wage gap, The Memo empowers women of color with actionable advice on challenges and offers a clear path to success.

Most business books provide a one-size-fits-all approach to career advice that overlooks the unique barriers that women of color face. In The Memo, Minda Harts offers a much-needed career guide tailored specifically for women of color.

Drawing on knowledge gained from her past career as a fundraising consultant to top colleges across the country, Harts now brings her powerhouse entrepreneurial experience as CEO of The Memo to the page. With wit and candor, she acknowledges “ugly truths” that keep women of color from having a seat at the table in corporate America. Providing straight talk on how to navigate networking, office politics, and money, while showing how to make real change to the system, The Memo offers support and long-overdue advice on how women of color can succeed in their careers."

Why you should read it: You need actionable advice for how to overcome the challenges that keep women of color from having a seat at the table. Most workers need a resource for navigating office politics, salary discussions, and networking, but this book offers long-overdue advice to help women of color succeed in their careers, while also pushing for real change to the system.

Master Your Next Move 

master your next move_job hunters books list_2023

By Michael Watkins

Book description (via Amazon): "In business, especially today, you are only as successful as your next career transition. Do well, and you’ll be on the fast track to even more challenging roles. Fail, and you could irreparably harm your career – and your organization.

In his international bestseller The First 90 Days, transition guru Michael D. Watkins outlined a set of basic principles for getting up to speed quickly in new professional roles. Since that book was published Watkins has worked with thousands of leaders, helping them to accelerate their transitions. These leaders posed challenging questions on how to apply the basic principles in real-life situations. The truth that emerged: the First 90 Days framework can be applied in every transition, but the way you apply it is entirely different when you have been promoted to a higher level than it is when you are joining a new organization or taking a role in a different country."

Why you should read it: You are in a transition phase of life and need real-world examples and practical advice on how to face the unique challenges ahead of you. In business, not every journey follows the same course. This book will teach you the step by step guidance to master your next move.

Use Your Difference to Make a Difference: How to Connect and Communicate in a Cross-Cultural World 

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By Tayo Rockson

Book description (via Amazon): "Recent years have seen dramatic changes to several institutions worldwide. Our increasingly interconnected, digitized, and globalized world presents immense opportunities and unique challenges. Modern businesses and schools interact with individuals and organizations from a diverse range of cultural and national backgrounds―increasing the likelihood for miscommunication, errors in strategy, and unintended consequences in the process. This has also spilled into our daily lives and the way we consume information today. Understanding how to navigate these and other pitfalls requires adaptability, nuanced cross-cultural communication, and effective conflict resolution. Use Your Difference to Make a Difference provides readers with a skills-based, actionable plan that transforms differences into agents of inclusiveness, connection, and mutual understanding.

This innovative and timely guide illustrates how to leverage differences to move beyond unconscious biases, manage a culturally-diverse workplace, create an environment for more tolerant schooling environments, more trusted media, communicate across borders, find and retain diverse talent, and bridge the gap between working locally and expanding globally. Expert guidance on a comprehensive range of topics―teamwork, leadership styles, information sharing, delegation, supervision, giving and receiving feedback, coaching and motivation, recruiting, managing suppliers and customers, and more―helps you manage the essential aspects of international relationships and cultural awareness."

Why you should read it: You want to become more culturally competent in an increasingly diverse world. Will your new position lead to collaboration with clients and colleagues from different backgrounds? Do you want to develop content, messaging techniques, marketing plans, and business strategies that translate across cultural borders? This book will help you develop the self-awareness needed to be a cross-cultural communicator. It’s a must-have resource to understand the cultural, economic, and political factors surrounding our world.

At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor 

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By Carey Nieuwhof

Book description (via Amazon): “Overwhelmed. Overcommitted. Overworked. That’s the false script an inordinate number of people adopt to be successful. Does this sound familiar:

● Slammed is normal
● Distractions are everywhere
● Life gets reduced to going through the motions

Tired of living that way? At Your Best gives you the strategies you need to win at work and at home by living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow.

Influential podcast host and thought leader Carey Nieuwhof understands the challenges of constant pressure. After a season of burnout almost took him out, he discovered how to get time, energy, and priorities working in his favor. This approach freed up more than one thousand productive hours a year for him and can do the same for you."

Why you should read it: It’s a practical guide to help you regain control of your priorities in life – inside and outside of work. If you’re on a job search this year, you want to find a position that provides balance in both places. This book will teach you how to replace chronic exhaustion with productivity, learn how to say no without losing influence, and be the most productive (but not overworked) in your new position.

Soft skills for tough jobs 

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By Lucy Harrison

Book description (via Amazon): "Soft skills are a dark art, but one you are already using when you are at your best. With her simple NALED framework, Lucy Harrison has already helped hundreds of leaders be at their best more often. Now you too can choose to hold a different kind of conversation.

Having spent 15 years solving problems for organisations and people, one day she found a problem she couldn’t solve. Her husband, a paramedic, was demonstrating symptoms of PTSD and depression and she couldn’t fix it. Every time she tried to ‘help’, she made things worse. Over time, Lucy discovered the power of choosing how she showed up to these conversations and then listening fully; the power of soft skills. The results were astonishing. She has since identified the framework she used and taught it to others, stress-testing it with leaders in tough industry situations, from boardroom to shop floor and from nuclear engineers to emergency services. To date this simple framework has already improved connection, communication and engagement for hundreds of people, and in a recent 5-month leadership course, 70% of participants named it as one of their top three takeaways."

Why you should read it: This book will offer advice on what to look for in potential leaders (a manager who values soft skills) and will help with interview skills as it teaches how to have higher-quality conversations. With a blend of stories, hints and tips, and practical exercises, you’ll come away with an action plan for better conversations and understand why soft skills are just as important as technical know-how.

Katie Sanders
Katie Sanders is the Content and Community Manager for The Enterprisers Project, seeking contributors who have expertise that can be shared with an audience of CIOs and IT leaders. She has always been interested in building relationships and connecting people.