Not all of us have a clear-cut career path in mind after graduation. Many recent graduates find themselves leaving education wondering what their next steps should be. Entering the world of work for the first time can be daunting, but millions of people all over the world have faced (and overcome) the exact same issue. Some have written about their experiences. If you’re in need of some inspiration post-university, book printing specialists Where The Trade Buys share their top five must-read books for graduates.

1.   So What Are You Going to Do With That?

careersThe title of Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius’ self-help style script is something to get used to hearing over the next few months. This is a favourite question of adults who have their life ‘sorted’. You may well be debating staying on in education towards the end of your final academic year and throughout that first post-university year. As the authors explain, remaining with academia is in no means a negative. However, don’t feel you have to stay or just to fill time. The book responds to the question with a solid answer, giving you greater clarity about what your post-graduate life will entail.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People

Must-read books - InfluencingOkay, so once you’ve managed to land a job, even though it may only be a stop-gap, you need to make friends, otherwise, your journey will be an incredibly tedious one. Unlike university, this isn’t going to be an easy experience. The first day in a new job isn’t like the first day walking into university, because frankly, at this stage, not everyone will be in the same boat. You might be the most likeable person going but that doesn’t mean everyone will warm to you.

In 2018, Warren Buffet was ranked as the third richest person in the world and he credits this 1936 book with transforming his life. The American businessman and philanthropist found a copy of Dale Carnegie’s guide on his grandfather’s bookshelf and says he has applied it throughout his career. Having shifted over 15 million copies worldwide, the book is ranked within the top 100 best-sellers ever and is certainly one of those must-read books, regardless of your situation.

3. Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life

disciplineA speech by Admiral William McRaven, a retired US Navy SEAL, to the University of Texas has received more than ten million views on YouTube. In training, he found the task of making a perfect bed every morning fairly mundane and pointless as he was going to become a fighter. Now, however, the author of Make Your Bed sees carrying out that simple task at the start of each and every day as the most important thing. It’s the first challenge of the day achieved. The book talks the reader through the ten ‘life-changing principles’ which Admiral McRaven picked up during his time in service. It explains how these steps will help create a better you and give you a better relationship with the world.

4. The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster

Must-read books - job searchSteve Dalton’s 2012 manual will prove a trusted companion to graduates as well as anyone currently seeking work. Although the Internet gives us the opportunity to access a much wider range of jobs than before, actually managing to find the one for us is still a challenge. Organisation is the key focus of Dalton’s piece of work, as he points to the different ways in which technology can help us to whittle down the search.


5. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Must-read books - declutteringNot all the successes in your graduate life will hinge upon your ability to develop a killer CV. At university, you come to realise that unnecessary stress of being unable to find the book you were looking for. As opposed to tidying on a daily basis, Marie Kondo walks us through her guide in how cleaning up once and for all will have one of the most significant impacts on our day to day lives. The author suggests how a thorough decluttering will massively increase your productivity.

Life is not something to fear, it is something to embrace. These must-read books will help you better yourself and prepare for the challenges ahead.

Thanks for this post go to our friend, Natasha Christou of mediaworksuk. (Plus, a shameless reminder that my own book, Learning to Leap, is also a great help for graduates!)