So, new year, new you… new job? Even if you didn’t kick off 2019 with a new year’s resolution to jump-start your career and make more money, these goals are well worth pursuing right now. Unemployment is at record lows, and wages are rising, plus, historical trends show that people who voluntarily switch jobs tend to see the highest pay increases: It’s often a more effective way to making more money than asking your boss for a raise.
MONEY asked career and HR experts for the best ways to get a new job or kick a career into the next gear, and for the best resources to take yourself up a rung — or a few — on the corporate ladder. Here are some of the top-recommended books if you’re focusing on how to make more money in 2019.
The Four Pillars of Employable Talent by David C. Miles
“I often prescribe an annual professional review for folks who want to take their careers to the next level,” says Mel Hennigan, vice president of people at technology company Symplicity Corporation. “Sitting down once a year to review the prior year and set goals for the next year can be a powerful springboard for the driven professional.”
This act of reflection will help you better define not only what you’ve accomplished in the past, but where you see yourself going in the future, she says, and The Four Pillars of Employable Talent will help you get there. “Miles does an excellent job of helping employees see themselves the way hiring and promoting managers do, which can often be the missing key when an individual is looking to change positions,” Hennigan says.
“For those ready to start looking for something new, this book gives structure for organizing and executing a search plan as well as techniques for successful networking outreach,” says Dave Deiters, executive director at the Jones MBA Career Center at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.
Yes, The 2-Hour Job Search promises a more efficient job hunt. But Deiters says the book’s insights are strategic as well as practical. “The concepts and thought behind the process are practical and relevant for today’s job search,” he says.
“I find this is a great time of year to self-reflect in order to validate or re-arrange priorities and goals,” says Megan Murdock, executive board member of mentoring and networking program CBIZ Women’s Advantage.
Since the challenge many people face is not knowing where to start to pursue a new job, Murdock says Atomic Habits is a valuable resource for getting you pointed in the right direction to move forward in your career path. “The most important thing is to take an attitude of ownership in your goals and the activities that will get you there,” she says.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
Fortune favors the bold, as they say. “You should be trying to find ways to challenge yourself. If it scares you, you should probably do it,” says HR consultant Art Glover.
Glover says Daniel Pink’s “very thoughtful” book will help set you up for success. “He bases his talks and his research on real scientific research but he’s also fun to read,” Glover says.
When takes a deep dive into how timing is everything — and how awareness of this can help you be more productive, tackle a new challenge or even launch a new phase of your career. “This book really helps you with those challenges,” Glover says.
Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock and Tahl Raz
“January is one of the hottest months for hiring, so if you’re looking for a new role now is a great time to apply,” says Blair Decembrele, career expert at LinkedIn. While Decembrele of course urges you to update your LinkedIn profile (and get on the platform if you’re not already using it!), she also says Imagine It Forward can be a catalyst for setting off on a new path.
“No matter what your focus, there’s a company out there looking for someone just like you,” she says. And since the start of a new year is a great time to recommit to networking, the lessons you can glean from Imagine It Forward will put you in a great position to jump into something new. “Reconnect with your professional community to uncover new opportunities and advice,” Decembrele says.