7 Books to Read When You've Just Left Your Job
These days, most people go through many different jobs throughout their career. Sometimes changing jobs means you're finally freeing yourself from a company you hated. Sometimes it means having to leave behind a place you loved or co-workers you could count on. Sometimes it means you've landed a great new opportunity. Sometimes it happens unexpectedly, and you don't know where you're going or what's coming next.
No matter the situation, leaving a job is hard. Whether you've got a new job lined up, or you're just seeing where the wind takes you, this is a huge change to make. It's easy to feel isolated and unhinged as you're making the transition. It's easy to question the decisions you've made, and to feel frustrated with how things are going. Not to mention, it can feel like the people around you don't or can't understand what's really going on in your head.
As with most things, the best way to get through the transition is through books. These books will inspire you, help you find yourself and your path, and remind you that every person goes through changes and hardships in their career. With these authors as your spirit guides, you'll triumphantly take on whatever lies ahead.
1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
"Treat your career like a bad boyfriend." The moment I read this, I scrawled it in big block letters on my whiteboard. In this book, Poehler is like the older sister you always wanted, her signature warmth shining through as she tells you about her journey and gives you golden advice as you make your own way through the world.
2. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
When Amanda Palmer was fresh out of college, she made her living by busking as a living statue called The Bride. As The Bride, Palmer learned thousands of life-altering lessons on how to connect with others and the importance of asking. Now she's a rock star and a Kickstarter queen, encouraging fans and fellow artists around the world to see their own self-worth. This memoir/manifesto is all about the thrill of trust, how to balance the struggle for independence, and the importance of giving gifts while asking for what you need as an artist and as a person. (Her must-see TED Talk on the same subject spring-boarded the book.)
3. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Not only does this book make you feel like Mindy Kaling is your best friend, but it gives you an insider look into how she arrived to her roaring success. This memoir is special because you feel so close to Kaling: You experience her successes and her not-so-successes in such an accessible way that it reminds you that even today's big stars had to work their butts off and that everyone makes their own journey.
4. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
When Anne Lamott's older brother was working last-minute on a school project about birds, he became extremely overwhelmed, and Lamott's father advised to "just take it bird by bird." Lamott has gone on to apply this guiding philosophy to writing and life. It's a beautiful reminder to take everything one step at a time, especially when it feels like everything's caving in on you.
5. Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky
This is the book that got me through my last job change. After the publication of Infinite Jest, Lipsky interviewed David Foster Wallace over several days as they travelled to his final book tour events. The interview occurred at the height of Wallace's rising literary star, and it's interesting to see where his head is as he tries to describe his own life and career path. A dive into Wallace's signature ability to explain the world and the realities of being human, this book will have you deeply pondering where satisfaction truly comes from.
6. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
The latest from the beloved author of Eat Pray Love, this book is all about how to empower your creative spirit. Elizabeth Gilbert reminds you to look fear in the eye, celebrate the genius you have, and embrace everything (even the frustration) as part of the process. This book will inspire you to believe in yourself and to keep creating. Gilbert's TED Talk on success and failure is also a must-watch.
7. My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
This book is especially great if you're a book nerd. My Salinger Year is the true story of how, for her first job as a literary agent's assistant, Joanna Rakoff answered J.D. Salinger's fan mail for a year. It's a great reminder of how wacky jobs can be, as well as an exploration of how to find satisfaction both within an odd job and beyond it. Rakoff's writing is so charming that any stress you have will simply melt away.