How to Use Books & Video Interviews to Zero In On Your Dream Job: A Guide for Teens
Let's cut to the chase. You've got a dream job in mind but aren't quite sure if it's the real deal for you. Or maybe you're still floating in the "What do I want to be when I grow up?" zone. No worries. This guide's here to help you get closer to that dream job—or find out if it's even the dream you thought it was. How? Books and video interviews, my friends. Yeah, you heard that right. Stick around to find out why this strategy is a game-changer.
Why Books and Video Interviews?
Get the Inside Scoop
Ever wonder what a typical day looks like for a video game designer or a marine biologist? Books and video interviews give you that golden ticket—a behind-the-scenes look at your dream career. You get the real talk, no sugar-coating. That's way better than just imagining what the job could be like, don't you think?
Mistakes happen, but why make 'em if you don't have to? Professionals in your chosen field have already made some and learned from them. When you read their books or listen to their interviews, you get the cheat codes. This means you can avoid some of the obstacles and climb the career ladder smarter.
Light That Fire Within
Nothing stokes the flames of inspiration like seeing someone live out what you aim to do. These success stories can serve as your personal cheerleaders, egging you on when things seem tough.
Get Answers to Your Questions
Work-life balance. Job security. Career growth. You've got questions, and these resources have answers. Want to know if your dream job lets you have a life outside of work? There's probably a chapter or an interview segment on that.
The Time Investment
The best part? You decide how much time you're going to invest. Feel like binge-watching interviews this weekend? Go for it. Prefer reading a chapter before bedtime? That works too. Make absorbing these insights a regular habit; it's like nourishment for your career brain.
How to Do It: Videos
YouTube: A go-to place for video interviews on nearly any career. Navigating YouTube to find the right career-related content can be an art form. Here are some tips:
Use Specific Keywords: Start by typing specific job titles, industries, or career paths you're interested in. For example, "software engineer interview" or "day in the life of a nurse."
Add Modifiers: Use words like "interview," "career path," "day in the life," or "behind the scenes" to get different perspectives on the same career.
Check the Video's Date: Make sure the content is relatively current to get the most relevant information.
Read Descriptions: Often, the video description will give you a good idea of what the video covers, so you know if it's what you're looking for.
Use Filters: After your initial search, use YouTube’s filters to sort by upload date, view count, rating, etc. You can also filter by video length if you’re looking for more in-depth information.
Look for Credible Sources: Try to find videos created by professional organizations, educational institutions, or industry experts for reliable information.
- LinkedIn Learning: Offers video interviews with professionals, usually within larger courses about specific industries.
- TED Talks: Features professionals discussing their work, although not always tied to a single career path.
- Vimeo: Another option for finding interviews and "day in the life" videos for various careers.
- Podcast Websites: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts all host career-related interviews that you can listen to for free.
Tech and Software Development
"The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" by Walter Isaacson
- What It Is: A narrative about the people who created the computer and the Internet.
- Career Insight: Understand the diverse career paths and breakthroughs that shaped the tech industry.
"Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration" by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
- What It Is: A book by the co-founder of Pixar about creativity in business.
- Career Insight: Learn how tech and creativity intersect, as well as what it's like to work at a groundbreaking company.
"Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future" by Ashlee Vance
- What It Is: A look at the life of Elon Musk, one of the most ambitious tech entrepreneurs.
- Career Insight: Gain perspective on what it's like to push technological boundaries and venture into unexplored markets.
"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson
- What It Is: A biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, based on numerous interviews with him.
- Career Insight: Get to know how Jobs' career path shaped the tech industry, including both his successes and failures.
"The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon" by Brad Stone
- What It Is: An in-depth look at Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos.
- Career Insight: Understand the entrepreneurship, vision, and technology behind one of the world’s most influential online stores.
Video Game Design and Development
"Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made" by Jason Schreier
- What It Is: Chronicles the making of popular video games, diving into the behind-the-scenes challenges and triumphs.
- Career Insight: Get an intimate look at the hurdles and rewards of a career in game development.
"The Ultimate History of Video Games" by Steven L. Kent
- What It Is: A historical account tracing the roots of video games, from the arcade era to contemporary gaming.
- Career Insight: Learn how the industry evolved and what career opportunities have emerged over time.
"Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture" by David Kushner
- What It Is: Tells the story of John Carmack and John Romero, creators of the game Doom.
- Career Insight: Understand the creativity, technical skill, and entrepreneurship required to make a hit game.
"Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto" by David Kushner
- What It Is: A deep dive into the making of the iconic game series Grand Theft Auto.
- Career Insight: Provides insight into the creative and business decisions that shape a career in game development.
"Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation" by Blake J. Harris
- What It Is: Chronicles the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo in the 90s.
- Career Insight: Understand the business strategies and competitive nature of the video game industry.
Renewable Energy and Sustainability
"The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World" by Jeremy Rifkin
- What It Is: Discusses how renewable energy and smart grids are changing the world.
- Career Insight: Learn about the shifts in this industry and what kinds of career opportunities are arising.
"Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution" by Thomas L. Friedman
- What It Is: Explores how global warming and population growth demand a move toward renewable energy.
- Career Insight: Gain a sense of the global urgency and opportunities for careers in sustainability.
"Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air" by David JC MacKay
- What It Is: A look at the numbers and realities of transitioning to sustainable energy.
- Career Insight: Get a clear picture of the challenges and innovations driving careers in this industry.
"Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming" edited by Paul Hawken
- What It Is: Outlines solutions to reverse climate change, including renewable energy technologies.
- Career Insight: Learn about the many different fields and specialties within renewable energy and sustainability.
"Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough & Michael Braungart
- What It Is: A manifesto for a new, sustainable approach to design and manufacturing.
- Career Insight: Understand how design thinking and sustainable practices are converging into new career paths.
Healthcare and Medicine
"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi
- What It Is: A neurosurgeon facing terminal cancer reflects on the nature of life and death.
- Career Insight: Understand the emotional and ethical complexities of healthcare from a doctor's perspective.
"The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer" by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- What It Is: A history of cancer treatment.
- Career Insight: Gain insights into oncology and medical research.
"Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science" by Atul Gawande
- What It Is: A surgeon’s view on the complexities and challenges in modern medicine.
- Career Insight: Get an inside look at the daily life of a surgeon and the ethical questions they face.
"Becoming a Doctor: A Journey of Initiation in Medical School" by Melvin Konner
- What It Is: Chronicles the life of medical students.
- Career Insight: Provides a glimpse of what medical school is like and how doctors are trained.
"The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right" by Atul Gawande
- What It Is: Discusses the importance of checklists in medical procedures.
- Career Insight: Learn about the process and organizational aspects of healthcare.
Mental Health and Counseling
"The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon
- What It Is: A comprehensive look at depression.
- Career Insight: Understand the complexities of mental illness and the role of mental health professionals.
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed" by Lori Gottlieb
- What It Is: A therapist discusses her own therapy sessions.
- Career Insight: Gain a dual perspective on the practice and experience of therapy.
"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl
- What It Is: A psychiatrist's memoir of life and survival in Nazi death camps.
- Career Insight: Learn about existential therapy and the quest for meaning.
"An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness" by Kay Redfield Jamison
- What It Is: A clinical psychologist's personal journey with bipolar disorder.
- Career Insight: Get firsthand knowledge of bipolar disorder and its treatment options.
"Dibs in Search of Self" by Virginia M. Axline
- What It Is: The story of a child participating in play therapy.
- Career Insight: Gain an understanding of child psychology and therapeutic practices.
Film and Entertainment
"Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" by Peter Biskind
- What It Is: Chronicles the rise of independent filmmakers in Hollywood.
- Career Insight: Learn about the shifts in the film industry and the role of filmmakers in shaping culture.
"The Kid Stays in the Picture" by Robert Evans
- What It Is: An autobiography from a legendary Hollywood producer.
- Career Insight: Get an insider look at film production and navigating the complexities of the industry.
"Adventures in the Screen Trade" by William Goldman
- What It Is: Covers the life and career of a successful screenwriter.
- Career Insight: Understand the screenwriting process and what it takes to succeed.
"In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch
- What It Is: A look at the art and craft of editing films.
- Career Insight: Learn about an essential but less discussed aspect of filmmaking—editing.
"Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System" by Sharon Waxman
- What It Is: Profiles six directors who changed modern cinema.
- Career Insight: Understand how these directors navigated and succeeded in a difficult industry.
Fashion and Textile Design
"The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris" by Alicia Drake
- What It Is: Chronicles the fashion world in 1970s Paris.
- Career Insight: Get a taste of the creative and business challenges in fashion design.
"The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever" by Teri Agins
- What It Is: Discusses the evolution of the fashion industry.
- Career Insight: Learn about marketing, brand-building, and career paths in fashion.
"D.V." by Diana Vreeland
- What It Is: The autobiography of Diana Vreeland, a noted fashion editor.
- Career Insight: Gain insights into the editorial side of fashion and its influence.
"Grace: A Memoir" by Grace Coddington
- What It Is: The life of Vogue's creative director.
- Career Insight: Understand the creative process and decision-making in high-end fashion.
"Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History" by Rhonda K. Garelick
- What It Is: A biography of fashion icon Coco Chanel.
- Career Insight: Learn about the challenges and triumphs of a career in fashion design.
Journalism and Media
"All the President's Men" by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
- What It Is: Investigative reporters unravel the Watergate scandal.
- Career Insight: Gain a strong sense of the power and responsibilities of investigative journalism.
"The Boys on the Bus" by Timothy Crouse
- What It Is: Chronicles journalists covering the 1972 U.S. presidential campaign.
- Career Insight: Understand the fast-paced world of political reporting.
"Personal History" by Katharine Graham
- What It Is: The autobiography of the publisher of The Washington Post.
- Career Insight: Learn about the role of media executives and the challenges they face.
"Night" by Elie Wiesel
- What It Is: A memoir by a Holocaust survivor and later a journalist.
- Career Insight: Gain insights into how personal experience can influence reporting and storytelling.
"Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72" by Hunter S. Thompson
- What It Is: An unorthodox view of the 1972 presidential campaign.
- Career Insight: See how journalism can cross into commentary and advocacy.
Performing Arts (Theater, Music, Dance)
"Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina" by Misty Copeland
- What It Is: The autobiography of the first African American woman to become a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.
- Career Insight: Get inspired by the perseverance and talent required in the world of professional dance.
"Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life" by Steve Martin
- What It Is: The comedian talks about his career and the art of comedy.
- Career Insight: Learn about the career path of a comedian and the intricacies of comedic performance.
"Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway" by Michael Riedel
- What It Is: The history and inner workings of Broadway.
- Career Insight: Gain a deep understanding of the theater industry, from production to performance.
"Not Dead Yet" by Phil Collins
- What It Is: The musician's autobiography.
- Career Insight: See the highs and lows of a career in music, from writing to performance and fame.
"The Rules of the Game" by Andrew Gordon
- What It Is: Chronicles the life and career of a leading British stage actor.
- Career Insight: Learn what life is like behind the curtain, from rehearsal to opening night.
Sports and Athletics
"Open" by Andre Agassi
- What It Is: The tennis legend discusses his career highs and lows.
- Career Insight: See the dedication required to excel in professional sports.
"Friday Night Lights" by H.G. Bissinger
- What It Is: Chronicles a year in the life of a high school football team.
- Career Insight: Get a grassroots look at the path to becoming a professional athlete.
"Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight
- What It Is: The Nike founder talks about building a sports empire.
- Career Insight: Understand the business side of sports.
"Rafa" by Rafael Nadal and John Carlin
- What It Is: Rafael Nadal talks about his tennis journey.
- Career Insight: Learn the mental and physical prep needed for individual sports.
"Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable" by Tim S. Grover
- What It Is: The trainer of top athletes like Michael Jordan shares insights.
- Career Insight: Understand the mindsets of elite athletes and how they train for greatness.
Graphic Design and Animation
"Make It Bigger" by Paula Scher
- What It Is: A famous graphic designer talks about her career.
- Career Insight: Gain insights into the world of graphic design and branding.
"Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer" by Michael Fleishman
- What It Is: A guide for aspiring freelancers in the industry.
- Career Insight: Learn the business aspect of a design career.
"My Years with Ayn Rand" by Nathaniel Branden
- What It Is: Chronicles the life of a graphic designer who was influenced by philosopher Ayn Rand.
- Career Insight: Understand how philosophical ideas can impact creativity and career.
"The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams
- What It Is: A career animator offers his wisdom.
- Career Insight: Get a comprehensive view of the animation industry, from drawing to storytelling.
"Creativity, Inc." by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
- What It Is: The co-founder of Pixar talks about fostering creativity.
- Career Insight: Learn how creativity is managed and nurtured in a large animation studio.
Environmental Science and Conservation
"The Man Who Planted Trees" by Jean Giono
- What It Is: The story of a man who transformed a desolate area by planting trees.
- Career Insight: Learn the impact one person can have in environmental conservation.
"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson
- What It Is: One of the first books to highlight environmental issues.
- Career Insight: Understand the power of environmental advocacy and science.
"The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World" by Andrea Wulf
- What It Is: Chronicles the life of the man who invented modern environmentalism.
- Career Insight: Discover how environmental science became a thing.
"Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner
- What It Is: Focuses on the water crisis in the American West.
- Career Insight: Dive into the challenges and solutions in managing natural resources.
"Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet" by Bill McKibben
- What It Is: Discusses how to sustain life under environmental strain.
- Career Insight: Learn about the future challenges and roles in environmental science.
Social Media and Influencer Marketing
"Crushing It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk
- What It Is: GaryVee explains how to excel in the world of personal branding and social media.
- Career Insight: Get tips on making it big in the digital age.
"Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age" by Jonah Berger
- What It Is: How things go viral and how to use that knowledge.
- Career Insight: Gain an understanding of digital marketing principles.
"Influencer" by Brittany Hennessy
- What It Is: A guide to building your personal brand.
- Career Insight: Learn how influencers start and grow their careers.
"Made to Stick" by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- What It Is: Why some ideas survive and others die.
- Career Insight: Understand the elements that make content shareable and memorable.
"One Million Followers" by Brendan Kane
- What It Is: How he gained one million Facebook followers in 30 days.
- Career Insight: Get a crash course on rapid audience growth strategies.
Travel and Tourism
"A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle
- What It Is: Chronicles the author's first year running a hotel in Provence, France.
- Career Insight: Get a taste of the tourism industry, from managing a property to serving guests.
"Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer
- What It Is: Follows the journey of a man who leaves it all to travel and live in Alaska.
- Career Insight: Understand the allure and dangers of adventure tourism.
"Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert
- What It Is: Gilbert travels the world seeking personal enlightenment.
- Career Insight: Learn how tourism can impact well-being and explore career possibilities in wellness travel.
"In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson
- What It Is: Bryson explores Australia, making keen observations about the culture and land.
- Career Insight: Understand the role of travel writing and how it can influence the tourism industry.
"The Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner
- What It Is: Weiner travels the world to understand what makes people happy.
- Career Insight: Learn about various cultures and how they can impact the travel and tourism sector.
Animal Care and Veterinary Services
"All Creatures Great and Small" by James Herriot
- What It Is: An autobiography of a country veterinarian.
- Career Insight: Gain a heartfelt view of life as a vet in rural England.
"The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes" by Lucy H. Spelman and Ted Y. Mashima
- What It Is: A collection of stories from exotic animal vets.
- Career Insight: Understand the unique challenges and rewards of working with exotic animals.
"Tell Me Where It Hurts" by Nick Trout
- What It Is: A day in the life of a surgeon for pets.
- Career Insight: Get a deep dive into the responsibilities and emotional rollercoasters of veterinary surgery.
"Vet Confidential" by Louise Murray
- What It Is: An insider’s guide to protecting your pet's health.
- Career Insight: Gain insights into veterinary practice and animal care.
"Love Is the Best Medicine" by Dr. Nick Trout
- What It Is: Two dogs with life-threatening illnesses bring out the best in their caregivers.
- Career Insight: See the emotional and ethical dimensions of veterinary care.
Culinary Arts and Food Industry
"Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain
- What It Is: An insider's tour of the culinary industry.
- Career Insight: Learn what life in a professional kitchen is really like.
"Yes, Chef" by Marcus Samuelsson
- What It Is: A memoir that covers Samuelsson’s career from Ethiopia to a Michelin-starred restaurant.
- Career Insight: Understand the grit and creativity required to excel in the culinary world.
"Blood, Bones & Butter" by Gabrielle Hamilton
- What It Is: Chronicles Hamilton's 25-year journey in the food industry.
- Career Insight: Gain perspective on the ups and downs of running a restaurant.
"The Soul of a Chef" by Michael Ruhlman
- What It Is: Goes behind-the-scenes of culinary schools and kitchens.
- Career Insight: Learn what training and skills are valued in the food industry.
"Heat" by Bill Buford
- What It Is: A writer takes a deep dive into the world of professional cooking.
- Career Insight: Understand what it's like to start from the bottom in a busy kitchen.
Aerospace and Aviation
"Skunk Works" by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos
- What It Is: Story of America's most secret and successful aerospace operation.
- Career Insight: See how cutting-edge aviation technology is developed.
"The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough
- What It Is: Chronicles the life and times of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
- Career Insight: Learn about the inception of aviation and its evolution.
"Flying Without a Net" by Thomas J. Reid
- What It Is: Discusses the risks and thrills of being a fighter pilot.
- Career Insight: Understand the skill and bravery required for a career in aviation.
"West with the Night" by Beryl Markham
- What It Is: A memoir of the first person to fly non-stop from Europe to America.
- Career Insight: Get a glimpse into the life of a pioneer in aviation.
"First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong" by James R. Hansen
- What It Is: A detailed biography of the first man on the moon.
- Career Insight: Explore the ultimate aviation career—becoming an astronaut.
Architecture and Urban Planning
"Walkable City" by Jeff Speck
- What It Is: A dive into what makes a city walkable and why that’s good for all.
- Career Insight: Learn how urban planning impacts the well-being of its residents.
"The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs
- What It Is: A look at how urban planning and design impact community.
- Career Insight: Understand the fundamentals of planning and how it affects the people living in that space.
"A Place of My Own" by Michael Pollan
- What It Is: Pollan builds a dream cabin, taking us through every architectural decision.
- Career Insight: Gain an appreciation for the architectural process from idea to final construct.
"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
- What It Is: A novel revolving around a young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his vision.
- Career Insight: Though fictional, it offers a view into the life and moral dilemmas of architects.
"The Architecture of Happiness" by Alain de Botton
- What It Is: Explores the emotional impact of buildings and spaces.
- Career Insight: Understand the emotional and psychological effects of good architecture.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
"Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence" by Max Tegmark
- What It Is: An overview of the future of artificial intelligence.
- Career Insight: Learn how AI will shape careers, economies, and entire societies.
"Superminds" by Thomas W. Malone
- What It Is: How humans and computers can collaborate.
- Career Insight: Gain insight into how to work alongside AI in the workplace.
"Machines of Loving Grace" by John Markoff
- What It Is: Explores the divide between AI as a replacement for human labor and AI that enhances human capabilities.
- Career Insight: Understand the ethical considerations and career implications in AI.
"The Second Machine Age" by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
- What It Is: Discusses how digital technologies and AI are driving the reinvention of our lives and economy.
- Career Insight: Know what skills will be valued in an AI-driven world.
"Automate This" by Christopher Steiner
- What It Is: How algorithms are taking over various professions.
- Career Insight: Explore the breadth of careers in AI and robotics from healthcare to the arts.
Law and Legal Services
"My Own Words" by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- What It Is: A collection of writings and speeches from the late Supreme Court Justice.
- Career Insight: Understand the role and impact of a career in the highest courts.
"Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson
- What It Is: A personal account of a lawyer dedicated to helping those most in need.
- Career Insight: Gain a deep understanding of the complexities and moral challenges of criminal law.
"The Nine" by Jeffrey Toobin
- What It Is: A look at the Supreme Court justices and their roles.
- Career Insight: See the inner workings and influence of the Supreme Court.
"Anatomy of a Murder" by Robert Traver
- What It Is: A prosecutor writes a gripping account of a real murder case.
- Career Insight: Understand the stakes and drama inherent in criminal law.
"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell
- What It Is: Includes the story of Joe Flom, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer.
- Career Insight: Shows how timing, hard work, and culture play a role in a successful legal career.
Financial Services and Investment
"The Big Short" by Michael Lewis
- What It Is: Focuses on the real characters who predicted the financial crisis.
- Career Insight: Get an up-close look at the risks and rewards in the world of finance.
"Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" by Edwin Lefèvre
- What It Is: A first-person account of stock trading and investing in the early 20th century.
- Career Insight: Understand the mindset needed for a career in trading or investment.
"The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham
- What It Is: Though not a biography, it’s framed around Graham’s career and investment philosophy.
- Career Insight: Learn about long-term investment strategies.
"More Money Than God" by Sebastian Mallaby
- What It Is: Tells the true stories of hedge fund managers.
- Career Insight: Understand what it takes to succeed in the high-stakes world of hedge funds.
"When Genius Failed" by Roger Lowenstein
- What It Is: The rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management, a hedge fund.
- Career Insight: Learn about the downside risks in finance.
Scientific Research and Development
"The Double Helix" by James D. Watson
- What It Is: A firsthand account of the discovery of DNA.
- Career Insight: Understand the excitement and challenges of groundbreaking research.
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" by Richard P. Feynman
- What It Is: A Nobel physicist’s autobiography filled with his unique insights.
- Career Insight: Get a feel for the unconventional paths a career in science can take.
"Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren
- What It Is: A geobiologist shares her passion for plants, science, and research.
- Career Insight: Gives an inside look at academic research and the joy of scientific discovery.
"Cosmos" by Carl Sagan
- What It Is: Explores the universe and our place in it.
- Career Insight: Shows the vast scope and societal impact of a career in astronomy.
"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot
- What It Is: A deep dive into the world of cellular research.
- Career Insight: Understand the ethical considerations in biological research.
Nonprofit and Social Work
- "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder
- What It Is: Chronicles the life of Dr. Paul Farmer and his work in Haiti.
- Career Insight: See how passion and commitment can drive humanitarian efforts.
- "Half the Sky" by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
- What It Is: Features various activists and their work in empowering women.
- Career Insight: Understand the potential impact of advocacy and nonprofit work.
- "When Helping Hurts" by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
- What It Is: Discusses the ethics and effectiveness of aid and charity.
- Career Insight: Learn how to approach social work in a meaningful way.
- "Decoded" by Jay-Z
- What It Is: Besides being a rapper, Jay-Z is known for his philanthropy.
- Career Insight: Shows how one can balance a career with social initiatives.
- "The Promise of a Pencil" by Adam Braun
- What It Is: The story of starting a global education nonprofit from scratch.
- Career Insight: Learn the steps and challenges in creating a nonprofit organization.
E-commerce and Retail
- "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight
- What It Is: A memoir by the founder of Nike.
- Career Insight: See how a small startup evolves into a global brand.
- "Made in America" by Sam Walton
- What It Is: The autobiography of Walmart's founder.
- Career Insight: Understand what it takes to disrupt the retail industry.
- "The Everything Store" by Brad Stone
- What It Is: A deep dive into the rise of Amazon and Jeff Bezos.
- Career Insight: Gain insight into the rapidly evolving world of e-commerce.
- "Pour Your Heart Into It" by Howard Schultz
- What It Is: The journey of Starbucks from one store to a global chain.
- Career Insight: Learn about customer service, branding, and corporate culture.
- "Hatching Twitter" by Nick Bilton
- What It Is: An account of the power struggles and drama behind Twitter.
- Career Insight: Understand the challenges and risks of a tech startup in retail.
Transportation and Logistics
- "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough
- What It Is: How two brothers invented the airplane.
- Career Insight: See the determination required to bring an innovative idea to life.
- "The Box" by Marc Levinson
- What It Is: The history of the shipping container and its impact.
- Career Insight: Learn how one invention can revolutionize an entire industry.
- "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
- What It Is: A novel, but based on the author’s experiences as a cross-country trucker.
- Career Insight: Get a taste of the freedom and challenges in transportation.
- "Endurance" by Alfred Lansing
- What It Is: The voyage of explorer Ernest Shackleton.
- Career Insight: Understand the logistics and planning in extreme conditions.
- "Ghost Fleet" by P.W. Singer and August Cole
- What It Is: A novel based on extensive research about future warfare logistics.
- Career Insight: See the future possibilities and complexities of logistics.
Education and Teaching
- "Educated" by Tara Westover
- What It Is: An autobiography about overcoming a tough upbringing through education.
- Career Insight: The transformative power of education on both student and teacher.
- "Teacher Man" by Frank McCourt
- What It Is: A memoir by a teacher who brought unique methods to the classroom.
- Career Insight: Understand the impact one teacher can have on students' lives.
- "The Water Is Wide" by Pat Conroy
- What It Is: A teacher’s year on an isolated Southern island.
- Career Insight: Grasp the challenges and rewards of teaching in a remote area.
- "Freedom Writers Diary" by Erin Gruwell
- What It Is: How one teacher transformed her class of "unteachable" students.
- Career Insight: The need for adaptability and innovative methods in teaching.
- "Up the Down Staircase" by Bel Kaufman
- What It Is: An inside look at the complexities of a New York City public school.
- Career Insight: Get the scoop on bureaucracy, but also the wins in teaching.
Cosmetology and Beauty Industry
- "Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual" by Bobbi Brown
- What It Is: While not strictly biographical, it provides insight into Brown's career.
- Career Insight: Learn about the artistry and entrepreneurship in makeup.
- "Making Faces" by Kevyn Aucoin
- What It Is: Beauty secrets from a makeup artist.
- Career Insight: Gain professional tips and get a sense of the creativity involved.
- "Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow" by Detmar Blow
- What It Is: The life of a fashion icon and magazine editor.
- Career Insight: Understand the intersection of beauty, fashion, and media.
- "The Vidal Sassoon Story" by Vidal Sassoon
- What It Is: Autobiography of the hairstylist who changed the industry.
- Career Insight: Explore how one person can innovate and set new trends.
- "Pretty Honest" by Sali Hughes
- What It Is: A straightforward guide to beauty by a beauty journalist.
- Career Insight: Learn about the writing and analytical side of the beauty industry.
Real Estate and Property Management
- "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller
- What It Is: The journey of a top-performing real estate agent.
- Career Insight: The hustle and strategy behind succeeding in real estate.
- "The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone" by Fredrik Eklund
- What It Is: A real estate broker spills the beans on making big sales.
- Career Insight: Master the art of selling not just property, but also yourself.
- "The Book on Managing Rental Properties" by Brandon and Heather Turner
- What It Is: A couple's experience in property management.
- Career Insight: Get the low-down on what it takes to manage various properties.
- "Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur" by James Randel
- What It Is: A real look at the life of a real estate entrepreneur.
- Career Insight: The risks, rewards, and realities of real estate investment.
- "Becoming a Property Manager" by Angie Mohr
- What It Is: Though not biographical, this book offers industry insights.
- Career Insight: Understand the day-to-day tasks of property management.
Public Relations and Communications
- "Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management" by Gini Dietrich
- What It Is: A PR pro talks about modern communication methods.
- Career Insight: How to maintain a good reputation in the digital age.
- "Reputation Management" by John Doorley and Helio Fred Garcia
- What It Is: Stories and strategies from two PR veterans.
- Career Insight: Tackle complex issues like crisis management.
- "Made to Stick" by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
- What It Is: How to make your ideas survive in the PR world.
- Career Insight: A critical look at why some ideas succeed and others don't.
- "Pitch, Tweet, or Engage on the Street" by Kara Alaimo
- What It Is: An insider’s guide to practicing public relations.
- Career Insight: How to adapt communication strategies for different cultures and markets.
- "Feeding Frenzy" by Larry Sabato
- What It Is: A political analyst dissects the role of media in politics.
- Career Insight: Understand the interplay between PR and politics.
Agriculture and Farming
"The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love" by Kristin Kimball
- What It Is: A city girl turns into a farmer and shares her journey.
- Career Insight: Learn about the transition from city life to farming and the joys and struggles along the way.
"The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape" by James Rebanks
- What It Is: A memoir from a shepherd in the Lake District of England.
- Career Insight: Get into the boots of a shepherd and understand the deep-rooted traditions of farming.
"The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" by Ree Drummond
- What It Is: A love story that also delves into the life of a rancher's wife.
- Career Insight: Understand the family and lifestyle aspects of agriculture.
"This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm" by Ted Genoways
- What It Is: Follows a family through a year of farming.
- Career Insight: Get a look at modern challenges in traditional farming.
"Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future" by Martha Hodgkins
- What It Is: Letters from experienced farmers to the next generation.
- Career Insight: Wisdom and career advice from people who've been in the trenches.