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I read: “Souvenir” — by Salam Khan

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Top Five Easy Reads for Career Inspiration

Photo Credit Suzy Hazelwood — on

Okay, so the quar has likely squashed many of the plans you had this summer. Are you going to see the latest blockbuster? Not likely. Headed to a baseball game? Nope. I’m guessing at some point during your summer you are going to be bouncing off the walls, bored out of your skull and obsessively checking your phone. Well, between all of that screen time, you can give yourself some career inspiration with some books that have inspired me. Most of which can be read in one sitting and they’re really enjoyable. So what do you have to lose?

Photo Credit Michele Eckert

5. Getting to Yes

By Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

I took an MBA class called “Negotiation and Conflict Management” and my professor, Dr. Roger Mayer, recommended this book as a supplement to our text. It is great and you don’t have to be in sales to appreciate and apply the concepts in your everyday life. Everyone has people that they negotiate with on a daily basis. You negotiate with your spouse on dinner plans. You negotiate with your kids on when to go to bed. You negotiate with a vendor on pricing. This isn’t necessarily about how to negotiate the best deal on a car (but it will help you spot the tactics — immediately), but more so how to work together with others in your life to come to a mutual benefit.

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4. The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is not your typical career or business book. I’m not really sure you could call it a business book at all. Some people may think this book is a little “woo-woo”, but there are some really great principles to ponder throughout the twists and turns of the hero’s journey. Part self-help, part fairy tale, all fable, The Alchemist has something for everyone. It also helps that the book is so quotable, like “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”, and “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it”. These quotes and more make it highly memorable and useful for all types of readers.

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3. The End of Marketing as We Know It

By Sergio Zyman

Sergio Zyman is best known as the architect of the “New Coke”. Sure, we all either experienced this, *ahem* “experiment”, or have read about it in academic texts about branding flops, but somehow Zyman tells a compelling story about how this launch actually made Coca-Cola more successful. Although some readers may feel it’s a bit of a stretch, from a consumer behavior standpoint, it actually makes logical sense. This book is a bit dated, it’s an excellent read to cover the fundamentals of marketing that many modern marketers miss, like why marketing is pointless unless it results in sales, why making a strategy is more important than the advertising, and why marketing is more of a science than an art.

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2. Made to Stick

By Chip and Dan Heath

This is a great book for anyone who has ever struggled to make their ideas stick. It changed the way I write, however it’s not a writing book. It changed me as a marketer, but it’s not really a marketing book. It’s an idea book. No matter your profession, the principles of how to succeed with your ideas follow the same fundamentals. Their concept that reducing the amount of information to make an idea stickier is a something that I use to this day.

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  1. Zag

By Marty Neumeier

It’s been nearly 15 years since I first read this book and it literally changed my life. At the time, I was in the music industry and I really wanted to work for a marketing agency. I applied these concepts and successfully pivoted careers. The way that the author simply and brilliantly examines how to outpace the competition and stretch your thinking are concepts that I still try to adhere to today. Sure, it’s technically a marketing book, but it’s really more a decision book. It challenges the decisions that you make. Do you fall into the trap of doing things a certain way at your job because they have always been done that way? If so, this book could give you the boost you need to make better decisions, think more creatively, and break the monotony of your day-to-day routine.

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Book Summary: Creativity Inc.

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