professional satisfaction

A Summer Reading List to Help You Gain More Professional Satisfaction

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It’s the start of my favorite season, summertime! Although I love spending the summer outdoors paddle boarding, hiking, and more, I also like to spend it reading. Actually, I prefer to read year-round. But at the start of each summer, I enjoy providing book lovers with some reading suggestions based on the books I’ve read the past twelve months.

You’ll notice a pattern with my book lists. All of them are non-fiction, which usually isn’t most people’s first choice for summer reading. But for those who prefer non-fiction and like books to enhance their personal and professional life, here you go!

Books to help you gain more personal and professional satisfaction

1. Life Matters: Creating a Dynamic Balance of Work, Family, Time, & Money

by A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca R. Merrill

This book doesn’t pretend you can balance all of the areas of your life at the same time, but instead gives creative suggestions for ways to make the most important things in life and work your top priority, as opposed to just the most urgent things.

What I love most is this book shows how to include your family in your goals for both your professional and personal life. This helps them see the vision for your family, have some ownership in certain areas, and therefore feel more involved and cared for.

2. Off-Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction

by Matthew Kelly

Speaking of balance, Matthew dispels the myth that we want work-life balance, when what we’re truly seeking is satisfaction. He provides suggestions for how to gain more satisfaction in both life and work, even during those times when it’s impossible to achieve balance between the two.

While some of the insights in this book aren’t new, I did enjoy Matthew’s take on energy management versus time management. If you’re one who’s not good at managing your time, you’ll be relieved to know satisfaction and success are less about time management, and more about coordinating your goals and tasks with your various energy levels throughout the day. This helps you focus better on your key priorities and achieve your goals sooner.

3. Designing Your New Work Life

by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

You may remember from previous reading lists I suggested Bill and Dave’s book Designing Your Life. They’ve since written a follow-up book entitled Designing Your Work Life, published not long before the pandemic. Now, they’ve updated their second book to address some of the changes the pandemic brought to our work lives. Thus the title, Designing Your New Work Life.

Each book is great for helping you discover new passions and possible career paths you hadn’t previously considered. I recommend reading the first one which covers strategies for designing your life, prior to reading the latest one, because you’ll better understand their references to the concepts introduced in the first book.

All of Bill and Dave’s books contain some great exercises to assist you in designing a more satisfying life and work experience.

4. How to Land the Job of Your Dreams

by Chip Ingram

Landing your dream job may seem impossible. You may think it doesn’t even exist. But it’s important not to confuse this concept with the perfect job. There’s no such thing as a perfect job, but there can be such a thing as a dream career. And it can be within reach.

Chip talks about how to gain professional satisfaction and fulfill the calling in your life, whether this means finding a new job, starting a new career, or just gaining a new perspective on your current work situation.

I listened to this book on audio instead of reading it, and I’m glad I did so. It’s a recording of the author sharing the information to a live audience, so I got to hear the audience’s reactions to it, in addition to the inflection from the author. If you choose this book, I suggest you also listen to it on audio.

5. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life

by Os Guinness

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the details for this book because I had read it earlier in the year. But immediately upon reading it, I added it to my list of recommendations. So obviously there was something about it I thought was profound.

This book discusses the professional satisfaction we experience when working in our calling and our unique life purpose. While it doesn’t provide any formulas, steps, or programs guaranteeing you’ll discover your calling, it provides principles necessary to grasp while seeking your central life purpose.

I know I’m not providing a good sell for this book, but because I’m including it in this list, I ask you to trust me and to give it a chance!

Bonus suggestions

If those books aren’t enough to keep you busy during the summer, here is an honorable mention on an unrelated topic from my past year’s reading history:

Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future

by Michael R. Drew

This is another book I listened to on audio, but I plan to go back and re-read a hard copy. I don’t recommend listening to it because it gets a little confusing with the terms they use in defining certain time periods.

Having said this, I highly recommend this book in light of everything going on in the world today. It was written about ten years ago, but it reveals patterns from history which explain much of what we’re currently experiencing. I find the topic very fascinating, yet the book also includes so much good common sense.

Please note: the above items and the items listed in the related posts below are not paid product placements, sponsorships or endorsements.

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