2018 Professional and Personal Development Book List

Books written by driven and successful people are amazing resources for personal and professional development. Those authors have already experienced the feelings and trials we’re going through, and they not only got through it — they excelled.

I started Hello, Professional Girl! in December, and decided to read one professional or personal development book every month and write about how we can apply the guidance in our own lives. As the months go by, I will add links from my posts to this list.

I have chosen these books through recommendations from other blogs that I follow, and I am always accepting recommendations! Feel free to contact me if you have a book that I have to read!

2018: 12 Months of Personal Development Books (+1)


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Carnegie talks about the secrets to success through the experiences of people who’ve been there. His techniques can be applied to business, relationships, and every day communication. A great read no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. Check out my post on this book here.


The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter – and how to make the most of them now by Meg Jay, PhD. This book is a fast, informative read. The stories that Jay tells come from her experience as a psychologist working with millennials who are going through the same things we are. She is totally honest and doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear.


Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps by Allan and Barbara Pease. Ever wonder why your significant other acts the way they do? From a biological standpoint, the authors break it down for you. If you want a better understanding of the biological reasons behind your actions, this book is worth the read.


Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. As a gerontology student, this book was a dream come true! The author recounts his final visits with his mentor, Morrie. What we’re left with are amazing life lessons from a man who lived a life worth living. Quick and easy read with plenty of stories you can visualize.


The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young. This book addresses the “Imposter Syndrome” that many feel as they become successful. Do I really deserve the success I’ve achieved? Was I just in the right place at the right time? If you’ve ever had similar thoughts, this book is for you.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. This book focuses on personal changes you can make to become more effective in your life, including problem-solving skills related to business and relationships. Covey also emphasizes the opportunities that open up because of these positive changes.


I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This by Kate White. White aims to empower women to take chances and go after what they want. She uses stories from other people to give practical ways to achieve your own success and learn how to be happy once you achieve it.


The Power of Starting Something Stupid by Richie Norton. This sounds like a great book for people just starting out in pursuit of their dreams. It is said to instill courage and give tools to overcome obstacles even with limited time, money, and other resources (which is certainly common for people in their twenties!)


What the heck am I going to do with my life? by Margaret Feinberg. This is a book that gets right to the heart of your dreams, goals, and abilities. No idea what you’re doing? You’re not alone. If you feel stuck in your current situation, Feinberg will take you on a journey to discover what you really want.


The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Have you ever wondered why you have certain habits? Through information and stories from interesting people, Duhigg explains why you have habits, how to change them, and how they can be used to your advantage.


Grit by Angela Duckworth. According to Duckworth, grit is a blend of passion and persistence that anyone can obtain. There is power in the thoughts that go through your head when you fail, and talent has very little to do with it.


Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want by Jenny Blake. This book is intended for twenty-somethings that want to take action and achieve what they want through actionable advice. This book hits just about every area of life for young people (click the link or picture for details).


The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. Although the Internet has some amazing advantages, have you ever thought about the potential downsides? Carr voices his concerns that the Internet is diminishing our ability to think deeply. What do you think?

Please feel free to join me this year as I read these books! I’ll be posting on Twitter each month what book I’ll be reading as a reminder (so make sure to follow!).

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23 thoughts on “2018 Professional and Personal Development Book List

  1. I’ve read a few of the books that are on your list, but Tuesdays with Morrie has been one of the most impactful books I have read. Its one that my class has particularly enjoyed as well. Keep up the great work!

    1. Marcus! I’m so glad we could connect on WordPress haha Tuesdays with Morrie is one of my absolute favorite books. What grade level do you teach? Just so you know, my post about the book went live today if you want to read it. I would love to hear more of your thoughts 😀

  2. Hey Makayla! I want to thank you for following my blog quite recently. I’m glad you’re now a part of the blog family. Thanks so much! Best wishes for your blog and a great new year!

    xx, Shreya

  3. I have read How to Win friends and influence people and can’t recommend it enough! I’m saying that, I’m saving this post and I will defiantly be reading some if not all of these. Let me know how you find HTWFAIP, hope it’s a great read for you as well!

    1. I absolutely LOVED How To Win Friends and Influence People. I think the Carnegie has an awesome way of putting things bluntly and sharing stories that are engaging. I certainly hope you’ll be able to read all of these with me!

    1. Good question! My plan is to read one book a month for 2018, so I haven’t read everything on the list. The one I’m looking forward to the most is The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women.

  4. Here are a couple of recommendations: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (that’s a classic) and The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz.

    Great list btw and look forward to getting my hands on the books you mentioned. 😊

    1. Thanks so much for the suggestions! I hope you’ll be able to read these with me this year, I’d love to have a reading group!

  5. An interesting list. I’ve read some, never heard of a few. I would also suggest The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s an excellent way to learn about yourself, how others treat you and how you treat others.

    1. I’ve heard of The Five Love Languages before, but I didn’t know it was a book! Thanks so much for sharing.

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