If you want to make more money, you naturally might think to ask your boss for a raise. But experts say the smartest approach to boosting your income is probably to make a change and get a new job. Research shows that job-switchers see higher rates of wage increases than other workers.
It’s a great time to hit the job search too: The unemployment rate the lowest it’s been since 1969, and there are over seven million job openings in the U.S. right now.
Jumping back into the job-hunting game, especially if you’ve been working at the same job or with the same employer for a long time, can feel daunting. Even though companies are eager to snap up qualified workers, and it’s relatively easy to have your application considered and get a job interview, none of this will necessarily translate to an actual job offer.
So we gathered insights from career experts for recommendations and resources you should consult to land a high-paying job you want. These books will help you get the edge in your next job interview, and set you up for a smooth transition.
Dan Schawbel, author of Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation, says Knock ’em Dead Job Interview is a particularly good resource for people navigating not just a job, but a career transition. It’s a terrific “refresher course” for anybody who finds themselves back on the job-hunting circuit after a stretch at the same employer, says Schawbel, and it contains plenty of advice for workers before, during, and after getting a new job.
“This book helps job seekers understand what employers are looking for when evaluating them, prepare for the inevitable questions you’ll be asked during an interview and even how to negotiate a job offer,” says Schawbel. Since data today shows that most workers will go through a number of jobs — and many of us will even switch careers over the course of our working life — this book is one you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf.
Andrew Challenger, vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, acknowledges that Grit isn’t a “how-to” book for job interviewers, per se, but he maintains that it contains some eye-opening truths that will help you advance in your career.
“This book is about how effort is a more important factor in achievement than talent or skill. This is a critical lesson for the job search,” he says. Grit explores the reality that getting what you want isn’t always easy, and provides guidance for how to turn those struggles and rejections into perseverance. “Job seekers that put forth the greatest effort are rewarded with better jobs and higher compensation,” Challenger says.
What Color is Your Parachute? 2019: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Carer Changers by Richard N. Bolles
Career coach Ngoc Nguyen calls this a “seminal book for career advice” that will be a valuable guide even after you’ve cleared the hurdle of the interview process.
Updated annually, What Color Is Your Parachute? provides time-tested truisms as well as cutting-edge insights to help you advance in today’s economy. “This book provides practical tips for job hunters of any age as well as tools to help you figure out what you are good at,” Nguyen says.
Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach, says Don’t Retire, Rewire! is an especially good book for workers who are Baby Boomers like him and might be looking at a career shift or reentry into the workforce. “I like this book because it provides a roadmap for others who feel the same as I do,” he says. “For those who may have no choice but to continue to work and who may want to redirect their focus, this book provides a strategy and steps to follow to achieve that goal.”
With 14 years’ of experience as an in-house career counselor for Goldman Sachs, Cohen has seen a lot of driven, competitive professionals, and his own book has garnered accolades from academics in top business programs at Duke University, the Wharton School and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University.
“Work is essential to staying healthy and focused,” says Cohen. But it’s not always easy to appreciate the enrichment a fulfilling career provides if you focus on the day-to-day grind. No matter if you’re gearing up for a job interview or your first day at a new workplace, you’re going to need to project that enthusiasm and spirit of engagement, Cohen says. And these books can help.
We’ve included affiliate links into this article. Click here to learn what those are.