Powerful Women Reads for Powerful Women

Being that I’m currently on the job hunt, I’ve turned to a lot of nonfiction reads written by women in the media industry this summer. I’ve found that these kind of books keep me motivated but also provide a dose of tough love reality. Sometimes, you just get lucky and happen to be in the right place at the right time for a certain job. Most of the time, though, you have to work hard at not-quite-right jobs until you finally earn your dream position.

I wanted to share the three “career woman” books I’ve read this summer. I actually saw all of these authors in person over the course of Her Conference weekend back in July! if you ever have the chance to hear someone you admire professionally at an event, definitely jump on that chance!

1) The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be, by Ann Shoket

“It can be incredibly lonely to grow into who you’re meant to be.”

I have to be honest: I was never a Seventeen reader beyond flicking through it in waiting rooms. I’ve known of its former editor-in-chief Ann Shoket completely from her guest appearances on America’s Next Top Model, but one of the Her Campus (which I currently work for) co-founders interned for her back in the day and they kept in touch. This called for Ann’s workshop at Her Conference, where she talked to us about staying confident while climbing the professional ladder and keeping calm about stabilizing a satisfying personal life.

I read this at a low point in the summer when the e-book was being offered for 99 cents through Ann’s newsletter. It definitely played a part in calming me down and helping me refocus on what’s important. The summer after college graduation is weird, guys. If you or a loved one just graduated, I totally recommend picking this up for some feminism-fueled motivation. Ann covers all of the concerns those entering the professional field inevitably face – finding the dream job, utilizing your passion if you end up with a ‘meh’ job, and finding a partner that values equality in your relationship.

2) Power Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life, by Lisa Sugar

“Sometimes, the most random and unexpected triggers can lead to huge epiphanies, so if you find yourself getting super emotional about something, pay attention.”

POPSUGAR founder Lisa Sugar was a keynote speaker at Her Conference, and everyone received a free copy of her book in their goody bags. She totally won me over when I flipped through the book right before her speech started and it began with her personal pop culture timeline. This record of her life equated certain years with what kind of entertainment she was obsessing over at the time. I was seriously inspired to create my own pop culture timeline after seeing hers!

Although it has its bits of motivation for those just starting out, Lisa’s book is more about how she built this empire in the early days of the internet alongside maintaining a marriage and having kids. I related with her feeling that she had a brain that just retained pop culture well and that she needed to do something with that skill.

I’d recommend Power Your Happy if you’re like me and a pop culture junkie. It’s probably the quickest, easiest read of all three books, so if you’re short on time, try it out!

3) Faith in the Spotlight: Thriving in Your Career While Staying True to Your Beliefs, by Megan Alexander

“Establish a reputation of excellence and earn the respect of your coworkers and managers. It’s not always about winning or achieving. Those are worthy goals, and we should strive for excellence in all that we do. But the point is this: you are there. You are in the room.”

While working as an editorial intern for Her Campus back in the spring, I transcribed an interview that the girl whose position I now work in did with Megan Alexander. It was the first time I heard about Inside Edition and Megan, one of the show’s correspondents. I found her career journey inspiring and decided to check out her book.

In addition to exploring Megan’s progression through the broadcast journalism field, her book includes Bible quotes and inspirational advice from public figures. I haven’t read many books centered on faith-based inspiration, but there’s a fine line between the perfect amount of this motivation and a cheesy overload. I didn’t find the book’s amount too overwhelming; rather, it felt comforting.

This is perfect to read if you’re the type of person who likes to write down inspirational quotes and keep them in random spots to motivate you throughout the day. It’s also an interesting read if your primary study in college wasn’t journalism (my school only offered it as a minor) but you still feel inclined towards that kind of career.

What about you? What powerful women’s books have you read recently?

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