Top 10 Career Books Every Millennial Should Read


As someone who’s worked as a PR executive, an office manager, a college professor, and a music journalist, it’s safe to say in my 27 years, I’ve learned a few things along the way about adaptability and career moves. That being said, there are plenty of others who have even more experience, and many of them choose to encapsulate their wisdom in the form of books. Not exactly self-help, books founded on career advice are equal parts motivational and pragmatic, and the best of these books not only tell the reader what she should do to progress and grow, but also how and when to do it. So, with the new year in mind, here are the top 10 career books every millennial should read.

  1. Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work by Liz Wiseman: Ok, so this wasn’t written specifically for millennials, but all of the advice within applies. After all, we are all rookies in a new job at some point. The gist of the book is quite simple: just because you have less experience, that doesn’t mean you can’t outperform the most seasoned employees at your place of employment. The book is all about how to use your newness to your benefit, and includes such tips as focusing on short-term but effective goals that you can achieve with little time, which can help you build momentum during a time when you may feel like you’re in over your head. This makes a great gift for a recent high school or college grad, & is available for around $16.
  2. The Gen X and Millennial Guide to a Thriving Career by Al Smith III: This book is framed around the idea of baby boomers and the passing of the proverbial torch to the Generation X and Generation Y (millennials) who have been outnumbering them in the workplace for years. While each generation goes through the same growing pains of filling spots once held by others (until eventually losing those spots to yet another generation), this book takes the unique approach of arguing that Gen Xers and millennials are in a unique position to work together, thanks to things like tech savviness. Smith provides readers with 7 key pieces of behavior advice, all of which are meant to bolster your competitive edge in the workplace while simultaneously embracing the competition put forth by your Gen X cohorts. You can pick up a copy for around $17.
  3. Not Your Parents’ Workplace: Critical Lessons for Interns and Young Professionals by Nathan Tanner: This book could not be more structured for today’s emerging workforce. Like our article “This Is Not Your Grandmother’s Office: the Millennial Workplace,” this book is all about the drastic changes that have taken place in the realm of work. The way we find, do, and manage our work lives looks very different than that of our parents, and Tanner has provided a blueprint for navigating those changes, based on his own experiences as a young professional. The book can be yours for around ten bucks.
  4. When Millennials Take Over: Preparing for the Ridiculously Optimistic Future of Business by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant: Festooned with a big ol’ smiley face, this book is for those who work in or operate a business and focuses on winning strategies for appealing to and retaining millennial consumers. As many of us are now in the driver’s seat when it comes to our careers, it helps to be reminded about how to keep our own demographic aligned with our business practices. This informative guide is available for less than $25.
  5. Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune by Patrick O’Shaughnessy: This book is more career-adjacent than specific to career advice, but as we all know, money and wealth are inextricably connected to career and work, and this book is jam-packed with solid advice about the marriage of the two. For example, the book takes a look at the decreasing value of things like pensions and social security programs, and how millennials can effectively build wealth without relying on such foregone finances. This book will run you around $21.
  6. The Millennial Game Plan: Career and Money Secrets to Succeed in Today’s World by Laura Shin: According to the book’s description, this book “lays out a vital blueprint for success—no matter the economy. Through the stories of millennials thriving on their terms and the author’s tales of her own lessons learned, you’ll learn how to forge a career in an awful economy, earn more, finance your own ventures, focus in an age of distraction, make the grad school decision and manage your money.” And, in perfectly millennial fashion, it’s only available in Kindle form (but for less than 4 bucks!)
  7. Millennials@Work: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something (and Their Manager) Needs to Overcome Roadblocks and Achieve Greatness by Chip Espinoza: The title may be a doozy, but the advice is straightforward. The book sets up potential roadblocks you may face when entering the workforce, particularly as they relate to relationships with older generations and differences in viewpoints. Espinoza’s expertise in the field results in 7 very fruitful areas of advice, and he brings tons of knowledge to the table. He has also written books with titles like Millennials Who Manage: How To Overcome Workplace Perceptions And Become A Great Leader and Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce. Millennials@Work is yours for $20.
  8. Getting Promoted: Sage Advice for the Millennial Generation by Michael Ruderman and Kimberly Uecker: Anybody looking to make advancements in a particular career is strongly encouraged to pick up this manual for success. Written specifically for those who seem to unintentionally sabotage their own onwards and upwards journeys in the professional world, and as Ruderman puts it, “the goal is to help build a bridge to management and effective leadership. I want millennials to get promoted up into a very diverse team of influential peers through authentic interactions and highly-valued behaviors. I want millennials to move past a reactive job position and into a proactive career profession.” Pick up a Kindle copy for just $.99!
  9. The Millennial Woman: How to Achieve Success for the New Woman Within by Terri Liselle: This one is just for the ladies, and provides encouragement for those who have struggled to ignite their careers and professional development in meaningful ways. Rather than a list of things readers could be doing better, it’s a companion to anyone interested in learning “how to use proven business leverage techniques and strategies to catapult your purpose into a fruitful, yet automatic business.” You can own a copy for around $14.
  10. The Career Playbook: Essential Advice for Today’s Young Professional by James M. Citrin: To close out our list, here’s a book that takes a macro look at career advice while also zoning in on the specific needs and talents of the millennial generation. This book’s selling point is that the advice located within is based on thousands of graduates and young professionals who took part in a survey, which is included in conjunction with hundred of interviews with leaders in business and the nonprofit worlds. It’s a sprawling, exhaustive guide to navigating today’s career landscape and a must-have for anyone looking to begin a personal library in this genre. Grab yours for $12.99.

About Author

Amanda Mester has been writing professionally for a decade, focusing mostly on music journalism. Also a former college professor, Ms. Mester currently writes for esteemed Hip-Hop and lifestyle outlet Ambrosia for Heads and is hoping to finish her first book soon. She is also Ploymint's Assistant Editor in Chief. Find her on Twitter @CanEye_KickIt

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