5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your Career - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your Career

Get ahead and learn valuable skills with these enriching bestsellers.


I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 14. I was living in the woods in Canada back then — bored out of my skull. Luckily, my parents were both in television news, and so they got a crash-course on all things ‘World Wide Web’ very early on.

I remember the day my parents came home with a new Macintosh computer and hooked it up to the WWW. It was a fascinating portal to the outside world, with endless possibilities. And it was in my living room. It felt like magic.

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your Career

Me, all grown up and still glued to my computer…

A combination of very supportive parents, a limit on how many hours of TV I was allowed to watch, and an innate curiosity created the perfect storm in my life (as they say) that motivated me to learn programming and launch my first business that year. I’ve been in the same field ever since, and have never had a traditional job or a boss.

Whatever your motivation and circumstance may be, it’s always the right time to learn. As the idiom goes: knowledge is power. And that’s especially true when it comes to your career.

Whether you want to become an entrepreneur, you already are one, or you just want to get a promotion, here are five enlightening books that will help you reach your goals:

Barking up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your CareerThis is an incredibly fascinating book that will make you re-think the “rules” of success and your own career possibilities. By the author of one of my favorite blogs, this book takes a deep and scientific look at what makes certain types of people successful — and what we can do to be more like them. Packed with surprises and anecdotes, it’ll help you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can start to fulfill your full potential.

Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your CareerIf you’re thinking about launching a startup, Peter Thiel (the co-founder of PayPal and a Silicon Valley giant) has a lot of good advice for you. From how to tell if your idea might have wings, to how to deal with distribution and HR, and just generally how to conduct yourself to ensure the greatest odds of success, this book walks you through all aspects of evaluating and running a business, in an engaging and entertaining way.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your CareerFrom my own experience in observing the people I’ve worked with and my most successful friends, the lessons in this book ring true. The overall lesson is that it’s not luck or talent that make people successful (although some people are really good at pretending that’s why they’re rich and famous, ahem, Kardashians…) What really makes people succeed is a unique blend of passion and long-term perseverance, also known as grit. While not as entertaining as the other books in this list, Grit is definitely worth the listen because it provides actionable steps and examples of how to improve your career (and life!), backed up by numerous examples, data points, and decades of research.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your CareerThis is the most important book to read, and re-read. It will teach you how to be convincing, how to resolve disputes, and how to communicate effectively — all extremely useful skills for both daily life and career advancement. In fact, I can say with confidence that there’s not a person in the world that wouldn’t benefit from reading this book. Whether you’re in sales, HR, a CEO, an activist, or just want to get a raise or close a deal, this will become your indispensable guide. Just trust me on this.

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership

5 Enlightening Books That Will Help You Advance in Your CareerIf you’re in a position where you manage staff, or even where you work closely with colleagues, then this is a must-listen. Richard Branson is arguably the most prolific entrepreneur of our time, and he’s distilled his vast experience into an entertaining book that will give you insight into his leadership style, how he thinks, and why certain Virgin businesses succeed while others failed.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.


What’s your favorite business book?
Have you gotten career advice that really helped you?
Share in the discussion below!

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 83 Comments

  1. Chris Heinemeier

    We all have ideas of what we think makes people successful. Great list! But I’d like to add “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” I’m not sure if this has an audiobook version.

  2. Hayley Dane

    “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” This has helped me get through almost everything in life, not just my career. Always believe in yourself first before you ask for other people to believe you.

  3. Kathryn Gibson

    It’s amazing that even as a child we all have existing potentials already just like Hilary here. It’s also a good thing that parents nurture those existing skills that can be of so much use to the child in the future.

    • Mildred Davis

      That’s where all the success starts! Support!

  4. Monique Malick

    As young as 14 and you’re already an entrepreneur! Amazing!

  5. Osana Smith

    Thank you! My personal favorite was the Zero To One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

  6. Candis Melton

    I personally think that the “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” is the must-have. I agree that it’s a book that everyone will benefit from. If you’re looking for a book in this list that needs to be a top priority, it’s definitely this one guys! It’s everything you need in life. You can always look back to reading it if you feel like you’re lost in between.

  7. Carol Joyner

    Inspiring article. Most people fail to realize that success is not handed over on a silver platter all the time. Although like what you mentioned, there really are people out there who don’t have to work hard in order to be well-off in life. For us who need to work our asses off in order to provide everything that we possibly can for our families, we work almost around the clock for that success. It’s never easy. Life was never meant to be easy. But with all the skills and knowledge that we can learn and use, being unsuccessful is nothing but a choice. Our standards may differ at some point, but you do you. It’s always a choice whether you keep yourself in the dark or work your way to the top. All of us have talents and skills, we just have to figure out how to use them properly in order to open the doors of opportunity.

    • Patricia Montague

      Very well said!! Regardless of what stature in life we were born on to, I also believe that we are all good at something. Just got to find the right time and places to use those things with!! We all know a story or two about unfortunate people who became fortunate because they worked so hard to earn it! Let those be our inspiration as human beings!!

  8. This post is very helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to compile and share all of this. Much love 💕

  9. Carrie Bleau

    Thank you so much for this amazing list!!!

  10. Wilma Moore

    My favorite here is the power of passion and perseverance. It’s very good and I highly recommend it to those who really need a boost in their career.

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