Books to Read Before Your First Job
Daniella Okorobie
books to read before your first job

As you prepare to start your first job, it’s important to equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the workplace. While you may have gained some of this knowledge through your education or previous work experience, certain books can provide valuable insights and advice to help you excel in your new role. 

Importance of Reading Books Before Your First Job

Reading books before your first job is a valuable way to prepare yourself for the workplace and set yourself up for success. Here are some reasons why reading books before your first job is essential:

  • Develops Essential Skills: Many books can provide practical advice on essential skills for success in the workplace. For example, books on communication, leadership, and time management can help you develop the skills you need to excel in your new role.
  • Provides Insight: Books written by experienced professionals can offer valuable insights into what it takes to succeed in your chosen field. By reading books in your industry or profession, you can better understand the skills, knowledge, and traits that employers value.
  • Builds Confidence: Starting a new job can be overwhelming, especially if entering a new industry or role. Reading books can help you feel more confident and prepared for your new job, as you’ll better understand what to expect and how to succeed.
  • Encourages Learning: By reading books, you can continue to learn and grow, even after you’ve finished your formal education. This can be especially valuable in constantly evolving industries, as it lets you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.
  • Improves Critical Thinking: Many books can challenge you to think critically about the world and your role in it. By reading books on various topics, you can expand your perspectives, improve your analytical skills, and become a more well-rounded professional.

Reading books before your first job can provide various benefits to help you succeed. Whether you want to develop essential skills, gain insights into your industry, or build confidence, many books can help you achieve your goals.

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Books To Read Before Your First Job

Here are some books to consider reading before starting your first job:

The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins 

This book is a must-read for anyone starting a new job. It provides a roadmap for navigating a new role’s critical first few months, including making a positive first impression, building relationships with colleagues, and setting priorities.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

This classic self-help book is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their effectiveness. Covey’s seven habits, such as “Be Proactive” and “Begin with the End in Mind,” can help you develop the mindset and habits necessary for success in any job.

Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler 

No matter your job, you will inevitably encounter difficult conversations with colleagues, managers, or clients. This book provides a framework for handling these conversations productively and respectfully while achieving your desired outcome.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie 

This classic self-help book is a must-read for improving interpersonal skills. It provides practical advice for building solid relationships with colleagues, clients, and others, including listening actively, showing appreciation, and resolving conflicts.

Mindset by Carol Dweck

This book explores the idea of a growth mindset and the belief that you can develop your abilities and intelligence through hard work and persistence. By adopting a growth mindset, you can approach your new job optimistically.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

This book, written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, encourages women to take charge of their careers and confidently pursue their goals. While it focuses mainly on women in the workplace, its messages about leadership, communication, and work-life balance are relevant to anyone starting a new job.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries 

This book provides a framework for launching and growing a successful business, but its principles are also relevant for anyone starting a new job. By adopting a lean mindset, you can focus on experimentation, feedback, and continuous improvement, which can help you make the most of your new role.


Reading these books before starting your first job can provide valuable insights, advice, and frameworks for success in the workplace. Whether you’re looking to improve your interpersonal skills, develop a growth mindset, or navigate the critical first few months of a new role, these books can help you achieve your goals and excel in your career.

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