Inspirational Books Every New Graduate Should Read

inspirational booksGraduation is a time full of hope and ambition. A moment in our lives where we feel like anything and everything is possible. I was there not too long ago, so I remember feeling like my life was about to start. And armed with a few truly inspirational books, I remember thinking that I had everything I needed in order to be a freaking rock star at life.

A few months later, I realized: yea, I was wrong.

A million failures later, here I am writing this, and let me tell you, I wish I had been A LOT more prepared for the real world.

So here are some of my favorite inspirational books that I’ve read since graduating that I think every graduate needs in their life.

LinchPin, Seth Godin

“The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.”

I read this a couple years ago, and it’s one of my favorite inspirational books. Because in today’s super competitive world, the only way you’re gunna stand out at work is by being a mother f-ing rockstar. That’s the truth. Good isn’t enough anymore. Anyone can be good at their job. So it’s important to learn how to stand out and really add value. Seth Godin is pretty much a genius, so I recommend all his inspirational books, but this one in particular.

Thrive, Arianna Huffington

“It’s not ‘What do I want to do?’, it’s ‘What kind of life do I want to have?’ ”

Arianna has a new book about sleep that I want to check out, but I recently read Thrive, and it truly changed my life. Thrive is one of those inspirational books about redefining success. It’s about realizing that your life shouldn’t be 100% about work. It’s about realizing that if you’re on the bathroom floor having a panic attack because your life is so crazy hectic, it doesn’t matter if you’re a senior VP at your company… at that point, you’re not doing so good. I just can’t say enough about this book.

All I CAN say is that every graduate should read it.ob. Our career counselors help us put together pretty resumes, and they help us with our interview skills. The goal is always to help us FIND jobs. But what about once we DO? What then? What comes after? Well, that’s what Corporate Survival Guide For Your Twenties is about, so I recommend it to anyone who’s looking to kick-ass in their job during the first few years.

All I CAN say is that every graduate should read it.ob. Our career counselors help us put together pretty resumes, and they help us with our interview skills. The goal is always to help us FIND jobs. But what about once we DO? What then? What comes after? Well, that’s what Corporate Survival Guide For Your Twenties is about, so I recommend it to anyone who’s looking to kick-ass in their job during the first few years.

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

I was at the airport one day and I picked up The Power of Habit in one of those amazing little bookstores that they have in the terminals. I’m really glad that I bought this book because it’s pretty much changed the way I go about living my life. Adulting is hard. Being an adult and having to make a million decisions every day isn’t something that we always enjoy doing. But lucky for us, this book teaches us that if learn to form healthy habits, we don’t have to make so many decisions. And ultimately, life becomes a whole lot easier. Must-read, for sure.

Brokenomics, Dina Gachman

“Who doesn’t want beautiful clothes, a great home, and fabulous bath products from France? Sign me up. The problem is that this phenomenon known as keeping up with the Joneses is no longer just about envying your neighbor’s awesome butter churn or badass weathervane. Thanks to tabloid news, the Internet, and social media, we can peer into the fifteen-bedroom homes of celebs or see a $16,000 bar tab on Rich Kids of Instagram.”

I get a lot of e-mails asking me to review new books on my blog, and although most of them aren’t really a good fit for my audience, I was really interested when they asked me to review Brokenomics. Over the past 4 years that I’ve been blogging and interacting with millennials, it seems that one of the biggest problems most of us young people have is that we don’t know how to manage our money. We just don’t.

We spend money on things that aren’t important, don’t know how to budget, and we think credit cards can just be paid “eventually.” Because of that, I’m always interested in books that can help us financially. So I finally got around to reading Brokenomics and I LOVED IT! Dina shares amazing advice in her book, but it’s also FREAKING HILARIOUS! It’s written in a way that us young people can totally relate to, and again, it’s HILARIOUS. So definitely pick this one up!

Life After College, Jenny Blake

“There is no manual for the real world. In high school and college we have teachers, guidance counselors, and course requirements. But the minute we graduate it seems we are immediately expected to understand where to go, what to do, and how to get wherever we’re going next- even when we have no clue where next is.”

This was one of the very first inspirational books I read post-college and I think I picked it up after seeing it at Urban Outfitters. The title caught my eye since it said, “Life After College: The Complete Guide To Getting What You Want,” and yea…I wanted to know how to get everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m a go-getter like that. Jenny’s book is awesome, because it’s about EVERYTHING. Advice about work, money, home, organization, dealing friends and family, making time for fun and relaxation, pretty much everything we need to know to have happy lives in our twenties. Plus, the book has journaling exercises where you can answer questions and write down the important stuff, so it’s interactive, easy to understand, and something I think every graduate needs in their life.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter, Meg Jay

“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20. Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”

Isn’t that quote powerful? Maybe a little scary? Maybe both?

This is one of my all-time favorite inspirational books because I pretty much agree with everything Meg says here. I grew up around a lot of people who would downplay the importance of our twenties. What I found was that people really WERE putting things off and instead of going after the things we wanted, too many of us were just doing NOTHING. Our twenties are important. Our twenties matter. So we certainly shouldn’t waste them.

Our twenties are important. Our twenties matter. So we certainly shouldn’t waste them.

 

For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Gen Y Girl.

 

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Kayla-Author

About the Author: Kayla Buell graduated college at the age of 20 with a degree in Health Services Administration. She is currently working as a Regulatory Coordinator in Clinical Research while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration specializing in Human Resources. She has found she’s most passionate about helping young professionals navigate through their first few years as GenYers in the workforce. Follow Kayla on Twitter!

 

 

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