By Tanuj Kalia

Since I know a lot of you are worried about your career related queries, I thought I’d make a list of books which have helped me think of my own.

These are pure gems; books that have stood out from the rest of the 80+ books that I have ordered this year. (Relax, I don’t think I read more than 25% of those).

Note: The post contains Amazon affiliate links which earns us a small amount of money if you buy the book.

Here’s a guarantee: If you read all of these 4 books, 95% of your career related questions will be answered.

Here you go:

1. The Defining Decade

You have to have to have to read this book (this is not a typo). Please. It will relieve years of tension and give answers to 100s of your questions.

You can also watch Meg Jay’s TED talk here.

Here’s a quote from the book:

There is a certain terror that goes along with saying “My life is up to me”. It is scary to realize that there’s no magic, you can’t just wait around, no one can really rescue you, and you have to do something.

Not knowing what you want to do with your life, or not at least having some ideas about what to do next, is a defence against that terror.

It is a resistance to admitting that the possibilities are not endless. It is a way of pretending that now doesn’t matter.

Being confused about choices is nothing more than hoping that maybe there is a way to get through life without taking charge.

 

2. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

This book is amazing too. Here’s something from it:

Dysfunctional belief: My dream job is out there waiting.

Reframe: You design your dream job through a process of actively seeking and co-creating it.

Another one:

Dysfunctional belief: It’s my life, I have to design it myself.

Reframe: You life and design your life in collaboration with others.

Here’s some more:

Dysfunctional belief: I should know where I am going.

Reframe: I won’t always know where I’m going; but I can always know whether I’m going in the right direction.

3. Crossing the Unknown Sea by David Whyte

This book has impressed me so much and David Whyte has inspired me so much, that given a chance, I’d like to take a rebirth as David Whyte. This guy is a poet, philosopher and well, a corporate consultant. Cool, right?

The book is beautiful. His words are hauntingly real, his advise soothing like Coke Studio to ears.

Here’s a quote (slightly edited) from his book:

We have a strange idea: that we will finally fall in love with ourselves when we have become the totally efficient organized organism we have always wanted to be and left all of our bumbling ineptness behind.

Yet in exact the way we come to find love and intimacy with others through vulnerability, we come to those same qualities in ourselves through living out the awkwardness of not knowing, of not being in charge.

We try to construct a life in which we will be perfect, in which we will eliminate awkwardness, pass by vulnerability, ignore ineptness, only to pass through the gate of our lives and find, strangely, that the gateway is vulnerability itself.

4. Law as a Career by Tanuj Kalia

This is an utterly butterly shameless plug. And it’s not.

I wrote this book after having spent 5 years in NUJS Kolkata, after 5 years of running Lawctopus and after interviewing 45 top notch legal professionals.

The ‘Introduction’ and the section on CLAT will not be useful for law students (that’s around 50 pages), but well, most of the book (nearly 200 pages) is.

For someone who’s in the final year of law school, the section on CLAT, the section on internships and the section on life in a law school will not be useful (around 120 pages), but again, the rest of the book (around 120 pages) will be.

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Gift yourself these books for this new year!

Whatever other questions you may have, please do leave a comment on this below, and we’ll try to resolve those questions together.

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