Career Advice

9 Best Career Change Books for a Successful Career Transition

Changing a career can seem like a daunting experience. However, as long as you have a plan in place and a good idea of what you want to do, you should be able to get through the experience with a positive outcome. You can start off by reading some career change books.

These books for career changers can help you prepare for a successful career transition while also guiding you forward along with a boost of confidence so that you know what to expect.

A good place to start can be by going through the following list of some of the best career change books that I’m sure will help you out. Let’s take a look!

The Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore

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The Pathfinder by Nicholas Lore contains several useful techniques that you can make use of to figure out which career can work best for you. The techniques are professionally developed by the author’s own organization, Rockport Institute, which provides career-related coaching.

Through this book, you can take a bunch of tests to understand which career can work for you based on your skills, personality and experience.

Further, its detailed guide can take you through the steps involved in designing your career, tips you can use to establish yourself and other practical advice.


  • Pages: 448
  • Publication Date: January 2012
  • Format: Paperback, Kindle


  • Over 50 tests and diagnostic tools to give you clarity
  • Marketing and networking advice
  • Step-by-step career design process
  • Suitable for both choosing and changing careers


  • Can seem a bit wordy

Career Change by Joanna Penn

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This book by Joanna Penn can be just the right push for you if you are unhappy with your current job and want to do something that can give you a sense of happiness and satisfaction.

The book is divided into three parts so that you can follow an organized path when it comes to figuring out the transition period in your career.

The first part asks you to identify the issue with your current job, the second part provides tips and strategies to improve your situation and the third part deals with how you can work on your skills and look for a new job or career.


  • Pages: 176
  • Publication Date: February 2013
  • Format: Paperback, Kindle


  • Contains tips, case studies, personal stories and strategies
  • Three-part guide to get you through a successful transition
  • Realistic and reliable advice
  • Based on the author’s personal success


  • Can sound non-specific at times

Roadmap by Roadtrip Nation

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This book can offer valuable insight into what it means to have a fulfilling and successful career whether you are a freshman or simply looking for a change in your career.

It includes a range of tips and advice, interviews, personal stories, prompts, guides and resources. You can even go through the experiences of people from all walks of life to see if something resonates with you or provides motivation.

As the name of the book suggests, you can create your own roadmap using the guides and charts in the book to figure out how to move forward in your new career.


  • Pages: 368
  • Publication Date: April 2020
  • Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook


  • Audiobook option to prevent reading
  • Practical tips and advice that you can apply
  • Stories from successful people across various fields
  • Mapping guide with prompts for custom advice


  • Might not be as helpful in the absence of capital

Switchers by Dawn Graham


Switchers is authored by Dr. Dawn Graham, a career coach as well as a psychologist. It offers tips, exercises and strategies to help you prepare for your career change so that you can stand out in your application.

Through it, you can get a better idea about the mindset of hiring managers, what they look for in a resume, how you can brand yourself, what strategies you can use to network, how to prepare for interviews and how to secure a good enough salary.


  • Pages: 288
  • Publication Date: June 2018
  • Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook


  • Teaches you how to exceed expectations
  • Helps you understand what hiring managers look for
  • Practical exercises to help you prepare
  • Useful networking advice


  • Mapping issues with the Audiobook

Do What You Are by Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger

Do What You Are is a book that is equipped with modern tips and advice that can work well not only for the youth but also for those looking for a mid-life career change.

It includes several workbook exercises, case studies, tips and strategies to obtain good results. Most importantly, it relies on the model of personality types to determine which career can work best for you.

Through multiple steps and tests, you can determine your own personality type and see career profiles based on your type.


  • Pages: 384
  • Publication Date: April 2021
  • Format: Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle


  • Personality type diagnosis with strengths and weaknesses
  • Case studies for realistic experiences
  • Suitable for the modern workforce
  • Practical exercises to help you prepare for the transition


  • Complaints of poor quality in the Kindle version

What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles and Katharine Brooks

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This book can offer valuable perspectives into the nature of the modern workforce and how you can deal with lay-offs and voluntary career changes. It offers practical and universal advice that you can make good use of.

It offers tips and strategies that include building your resume, marketing yourself successfully, preparing for interviews, getting a good salary package, networking in the field and more.

It also includes a practical Flower Exercise that can help you design your career based on detailed instructions, a diagram and self-inventory using your skills and traits.


  • Pages: 352
  • Publication Date: December 2020
  • Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook


  • Modern and custom tips and strategies
  • Diagram-based exercise to design your career
  • Advice, perspectives and resources on the current state of the workforce
  • Tips for various personality types


  • Might seem repetitive at times

Mid-Life Career Rescue by Cassandra Gaisford


This book focuses particularly on mid-life career changes, making it one of the best books for a mid-life career change. By giving useful tips to expand your passion and look for more fulfilling yet practical careers, this book can help you navigate the process of transitioning from a mundane career.

Alongside tips, this book also offers job-hunting advice, motivational boosters, a push to open your mind, spiritual guidance and a way to improve your self-awareness to figure out your next few steps.

It also delves into the results of surveys so that you can get a more practical idea of what to expect.


  • Pages: 224
  • Publication Date: December 2015
  • Format: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle


  • Practical tips and strategies
  • Self-awareness exercises and advice
  • Ways to improve your skills and creativity
  • Motivational boosters to increase your confidence levels


  • Can seem a bit too brief

You Turn by Ashley Stahl

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This book by a professional career coach can give you a good look into what you can expect when it comes to changing your career. It comes with useful tips and strategies that you can make use of while transitioning in your career.

It includes an 11-step plan that can allow you to understand yourself and your career goals better, using which you can then design your career roadmap. You can also learn how to figure out and develop your core skills and passions, understand your financial requirements and become self-sufficient.

You can also use this book to understand what potential employers might expect so that you can prepare accordingly and stand out.


  • Pages: 320
  • Publication Date: January 2021
  • Format: Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle


  • Detailed and organized 11-step roadmap
  • Ways to understand your core skills and interests
  • Practical tips to navigate financial expectations
  • Clarity on preparing for a new career


  • Might seem a bit too broad

Pivot by Adam Markel

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Pivot by Adam Markel seeks to offer insight into what you should keep in mind when it comes to changing your profession or career. Using these important and practical tips, you can get a realistic look into the workforce and what it expects from you.

You can also learn how to tailor yourself to fit the requirements of your new career while also preparing yourself for interviews, figuring out your strengths and weaknesses and more.

This book also stems from a successful career advice company that has helped people across the world.


  • Pages: 288
  • Publication Date: April 2016
  • Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook


  • Can apply universally to all career stages
  • Practical and realistic advice and expectations
  • Strategies and exercises to rebrand yourself for the workforce
  • Step-by-step detailed guide to designing your career


  • Might get a bit repetitive as the book proceeds

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Concluding Remarks

Now that you know about the best books for career changers, you can go ahead and pick one or more that you think will be able to help you out. If anything, these career change books can certainly provide some clarity.

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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