The best books for managing your career and finances after college

Who am I?

Many degree holders experience career and financial challenges they aren't prepared to handle. I know this first hand because after completing my Ph.D., I faced joblessness and massive student loan debt, and after becoming a professor, I saw my students encounter similar situations. This prompted me to write, Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom. My mission is to provide tangible solutions to students and early career professionals so that they stop solely relying on their degrees but instead learn how to use the sum of their knowledge, skills, and talents in unique ways to create meaningful, viable careers.


I wrote...

Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom

By Zakiya Akerele,

Book cover of Dump Your Degree: How to Repurpose Your Education, Control Your Career, and Gain Financial Freedom

What is my book about?

Not all degrees offer the same return on investment. Unemployment and underemployment are real issues for recent grads, creating uncertainty about their future. One factor holding many of them back is degree tunnel vision, which causes them to solely focus on their academic background instead of the sum of their knowledge, skills, and talents to better approach their career.

That's why Dump Your Degree gives practical advice on avoiding common pitfalls and how to create a rewarding career. You'll learn how to: correctly set educational and professional goals; get the right advice about making career decisions; explore viable options outside of your degree field; build beneficial and meaningful professional connections; and make and manage money. The result: A sense of fulfillment, stability, and freedom!

The books I picked & why

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Career Development For New College Students: How to Find the Right Career Path and Get the Job that Makes You Happy

By Mike Sun,

Book cover of Career Development For New College Students: How to Find the Right Career Path and Get the Job that Makes You Happy

Why this book?

For many, choosing a career path feels like the sole reason for going to college. The pressure is high, and you think you have to have it all figured out immediately. What do you do to help you make those tough decisions? Mike Sun's book offers a step-by-step guide on choosing the right career path while in school and, more importantly, making it a career you enjoy. Career Development for New College Students walks you through job exploration, self-discovery, and career goal setting so that you are well-prepared for the road ahead. 

Career Development For New College Students: How to Find the Right Career Path and Get the Job that Makes You Happy

By Mike Sun,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Career Development For New College Students as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Worried about your professional future? Feeling lost or intimidated by your options? You’re not alone…

When you were a child, people probably asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

As a kid, you may have had all sorts of answers to that question.

An astronaut, a ballerina, a veterinarian – the possibilities are endless. But as you get older, it becomes clearer that deciding what you want to do with your life isn’t as simple as it seems.

Sure, there are many career pathways open to you. In fact, there are so many options that…

Get Your Career in Shape: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve

By Candace Steele Flippin,

Book cover of Get Your Career in Shape: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve

Why this book?

This insightful guide gives readers relatable, practical advice on developing their careers. Its message is empowering and rooted in proven methods that lead to success. Dr. Steele Flippin's SHAPE framework presents the importance of having solid finances, the true meaning of hard work, how to be your own advocate in the workplace, perseverance, and continued learning. Get Your Career in Shape is an invaluable resource for career success. 

Get Your Career in Shape: A Five-Step Guide to Achieve the Success You Need, Want, and Deserve

By Candace Steele Flippin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Get Your Career in Shape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Instead of holding our careers down or back, women can rise―on our terms. Are you ready to own your power and take the next step in your career?

With groundbreaking research on women's leadership, Dr. Candace Steele Flippin's guidebook empowers women to "challenge the glass ceiling system within their own minds" (Tyree C. Daniels, executive chairman at Memphis College Preparatory).

Women's careers are held back by cultural norms, gender bias, sexism, and self-policing.

And too often, their self-efficacy―the belief in their ability to be successful―is at risk.

TEDx speaker Dr. Candace Steele Flippin has been recognized as one of the…


Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future

By Andy Storch,

Book cover of Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future

Why this book?

If you want to create a career that is entirely in your hands, then Own Your Career Own Your Life is an excellent resource in helping you have complete control. I like how this book enables readers to develop a career vision that positions them for success in any industry. It causes you to reflect on the challenges holding you back, how you make decisions, and discover your purpose. Readers will come out on the other side feeling more confident about having a career that makes sense for their life and knowing how to evolve it when necessary. 

Own Your Career Own Your Life: Stop Drifting and Take Control of Your Future

By Andy Storch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Own Your Career Own Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you searching for a fulfilling career and a life that feels meaningful?

Do you want to wake up every morning feeling excited to start the day and confident that you are truly reaching your potential?

Own Your Career Own Your Life was written for you.

Andy Storch spent years stuck in the wrong career and drifting aimlessly through life. Now, he is a professional coach, consultant, speaker, and author whose life mission is to equip others to live intentionally, love the life they live, and fulfill their true potential.

In his eagerly-anticipated book Own Your Career Own Your Life,…

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

By Jen Sincero,

Book cover of You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

Why this book?

It's one thing to learn how to manage money; it's another to understand your mindset around money. Many of us have an unhealthy relationship with money due to what we saw, heard, and experienced while growing up. Did you see wealth as something unattainable? Were you taught that all rich people were bad? Maybe you often hear the words "we can't afford that." If so, your mental mindset around money needs a shift so that you can begin to allow it to flow into your life. I love how Jen Sincero humorously shares her experiences with shifting her financial reality from negative to positive and offers readers tangible methods to do the same in their lives. 

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

By Jen Sincero,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked You Are a Badass at Making Money as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of You Are A Badass, the New Your Times bestselling book everyone is talking about.

YOU ARE A BADASS AT MAKING MONEY is the book you need if you've spent too much time watching money land in your bank account and then roll through your fingers. Jen Sincero went from living in a converted garage to traveling the world in 5-star luxury in a matter of years, and knows all too well the layers of BS one can get wrapped up in around money, as well as what it takes to dig your way out.

In this…


Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together

By Erin Lowry,

Book cover of Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together

Why this book?

Broke Millennial is a practical guide to preparing for life after college. I appreciate that it provides readers with helpful tools and resources for understanding debt, investing, and establishing credit so individuals can develop healthy financial routines. Although written for a millennial audience, I think this book is an essential resource for current college students and recent graduates as well.

Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together

By Erin Lowry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Broke Millennial as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WASHINGTON POST “COLOR OF MONEY” BOOK CLUB PICK

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Get Your Financial Life Together (#GYFLT)!
 
If you’re a cash-strapped 20- or 30-something, it’s easy to get freaked out by finances. But you’re not doomed to spend your life drowning in debt or mystified by money. It’s time to stop scraping by and take control of your money and your life with this savvy and smart guide.

Broke Millennial shows step-by-step how to go from flat-broke to financial badass. Unlike most personal finance books out there, it doesn’t just cover boring stuff like credit card debt,…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in success in life, self-actualization, and personal finance?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about success in life, self-actualization, and personal finance.

Success In Life Explore 140 books about success in life
Self-Actualization Explore 116 books about self-actualization
Personal Finance Explore 34 books about personal finance

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Four Agreements, When, and Money Honey if you like this list.