100 books like Not Your Job

By Pierce Brantley,

Here are 100 books that Not Your Job fans have personally recommended if you like Not Your Job. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Simon Court Author Of Founder's Legacy: 50 Game-Changing Leadership Lessons for Building a Great Business

From my list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the last 25 years, I have been a coach to business founders, leaders, and leadership teams. My work has taken me to every continent from my base in London. A lot of my work is done behind closed doors, but I have been instrumental in building two unicorns in the last decade. I’m a founder myself and have always been fascinated by what it takes to succeed as a founder. I have a powerful conviction that learning to lead is the heart of it. The books I love are either based on real-world research or deeply practical and based on hands-on experience. Practice trumps theory every time in my world!

Simon's book list on books for founders trying to be in the 10% of businesses that succeed

Simon Court Why did Simon love this book?

I like this book because it’s based on mining quantitative data on almost ten thousand founders, not only anecdotal experience.

There is a lot of debate about the importance of co-founders and not trying to ‘go it alone.’ According to Noam, 65 percent of startups fail because of co-founder conflict. I find that super interesting, and it emphasizes why, if you want success, you’ve got to pick your co-founder(s) wisely. The same is true of the management team as well of course. 

By Noam Wasserman,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Founder's Dilemmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often downplayed in the excitement of starting up a new business venture is one of the most important decisions entrepreneurs will face: should they go it alone, or bring in cofounders, hires, and investors to help build the business? More than just financial rewards are at stake. Friendships and relationships can suffer. Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder's Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman…


Book cover of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Michael D. Watkins Author Of The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking: Leading Your Organization Into the Future

From my list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have devoted my career to helping leaders navigate challenging transitions into new roles, build their teams, and transform their organizations. Strategic thinking is a key foundation of my work as an executive coach and advisor at Genesis Advisers and a professor at the IMD Business School. Whether executives are taking new roles or driving large-scale transformations, they must be able to rapidly analyze the context, craft good visions and strategies, and mobilize people to realize them. I try to equip the leaders I work with with the mental frameworks, tools, and skillsets to adapt and succeed in the first 90 days and beyond.

Michael's book list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers

Michael D. Watkins Why did Michael love this book?

I liked that this book highlighted how supposedly tried-and-true approaches to innovation fail to deliver results.

The book’s insights about how to drive radical innovation informed the advice I now give executives about how to approach organizational transformation, starting with an ambitious vision, communicating the “why,” and enlisting great people to go on the journey with them.

It helped me to understand that building organizations to develop disruptive technologies requires leaders to envision things that may sound crazy until they are realized. 

By Peter Thiel, Blake Masters,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Zero to One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What Valuable Company Is Nobody Building? The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won't make a search engine. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. Every new creation goes from 0 to 1. This book is about how to get there. "Peter Thiel has built multiple breakthrough companies, and Zero to One shows how". (Elon…


Book cover of The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage

Lou Lomas Author Of The Bad Habit Kicker

From my list on start your day off right.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m just an ordinary person who’s struggled with their own habits and compulsions. My fear and anxiety led me to read many self-help books over the last thirty-something years, and a lot of them helped me to firmly believe that if you start your day in the best way you can, then there’s no limit to the things that you can achieve!

Each of the books I’ve recommended has given me simple tools to help me do just that. Ultimately, I know they inspired me to create the Bad Habit Kicker system. I truly believe they can all help others optimize their lives and become the best versions of themselves!

Lou's book list on start your day off right

Lou Lomas Why did Lou love this book?

If you’ve ever felt the pull of resistance, and the frustration of knowing that there’s something that you really want to do, but then that little voice in your head steps up and stops you, then this book will 100% help you. It explains a very easy way of short-circuiting that discussion.

It’s another simple idea, which is what makes it so powerful and helpful. And if you enjoy listening to podcasts, Mel now has an excellent one, "The Mel Robbins Podcast," which you can find on all platforms.

By Mel Robbins,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 5 Second Rule as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

National Bestseller!

As seen on The Today Show!

How to enrich your life and destroy doubt in 5 seconds.

Throughout your life, you've had parents, coaches, teachers, friends and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?

Using the science of habits, riveting stories and surprising facts from some of the most famous moments in history, art and business, Mel Robbins will explain the power of a "push moment."…


Book cover of The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Kathleen Allen Author Of Entrepreneurship For Dummies

From my list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a real passion for entrepreneurship, so much so that I married an entrepreneur and produced two children who became entrepreneurs. During my 25 years as a professor in the Greif Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Southern California, one of the top programs in the U.S., I had the privilege of inspiring and mentoring hundreds of new entrepreneurs. I found my passion in technology businesses. I had the business skills needed to help scientists and engineers raise funding, bring their inventions to market, and build their companies. I managed to start and run four ventures of my own as well as write several books about entrepreneurship.

Kathleen's book list on inspiring you to get off your butt and start a business

Kathleen Allen Why did Kathleen love this book?

I absolutely love this book! It’s an easy read, reads like a novel, but it’s packed with very valuable lessons on entrepreneurship, venture capital, and leadership.

The story is told through a conversation between a venture capitalist (Komisar) and two young entrepreneurs who are planning to start a business for all the wrong reasons. It’s humorous, touching, and very entertaining. I laughed a lot.

In the end, you learn that a business needs much more than nuts and bolts. It needs heart and soul.

Equally as important as what you learn about startups, the story will teach you how to avoid the Deferred Life Plan, putting off what you want to do, and instead live your life with passion.

By Randy Komisar, Kent Lineback,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Monk and the Riddle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book describes how one Silicon Valley insider has blazed a path of professional - and personal - success playing the game by his own rules. Silicon Valley is filled with garage-to-riches stories and hot young entrepreneurs with big ideas. Yet even in this place where the exceptional is common, Randy Komisar is a breed apart. Currently a "Virtual CEO" who provides "leadership on demand" for several renowned companies, Komisar was recently described by the "Washington Post" as a "combined professional mentor, minister without portfolio, in-your-face investor, trouble-shooter and door opener." But even more interesting than what he does is…


Book cover of Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

Holly Trantham Author Of Beyond Getting By: The Financial Diet's Guide to Abundant and Intentional Living

From my list on rethinking your relationship with work and money.

Why am I passionate about this?

At The Financial Diet, I’ve written and produced videos about money, productivity, and work/life balance for the better part of a decade. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of our commonly held beliefs about money and work are incorrect: your job shouldn’t be your main purpose, and money shouldn’t be the end goal in and of itself. I’ve also been a longtime nonfiction reader, and I lead a monthly book club for our Patreon members. This list is composed of my favorite selections from those meetings (a few of which I’d read previously), and I hope they invite you to question your own relationship with work and money!

Holly's book list on rethinking your relationship with work and money

Holly Trantham Why did Holly love this book?

I am in awe of how Anne Helen Petersen was able to weave together a cathartic validation of how exhausted our generation is with a clear historical explanation of where American burnout culture actually comes from. As someone who has fallen victim to cycles of overwork despite my best efforts to inject my life with balance, I needed to read about how overworking is not my fault, but it is also not necessary.

This also gave me some great data points to cite in debates with well-meaning family members who still look upon our entire generation as lazy and entitled.

By Anne Helen Petersen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Can't Even as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An incendiary personal and cultural investigation of burnout

"Meticulously researched... astutely observed... extremely enlightening" Guardian

"Urgent and insightful book... Read this and get a much-needed perspective" Stylist

Are you tired, stressed and trying your best but somehow still not doing enough? Has the bottom half of your To Do list been locked in place for months? Is everything becoming work as your job seeps into your evenings, you monetise your hobbies and perform your leisure time on social media?

This is burnout - what increasingly like the defining feature of our lives. We are exhausted. But burnout is not a…


Book cover of The Joy of Burnout: How the End of the World Can Be a New Beginning

Harriet Griffey Author Of From Burnout to Balance: How to Reclaim Your Life & Improve Your Health

From my list on burnout and how to fight it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an internationally recognised wellbeing and health writer, accredited stress and performance coach, and originally trained, qualified, and worked as a state registered nurse in the UK. I am also the author of numerous health-related books published internationally, including I Want to Be Calm and I Want to Sleep.

Harriet's book list on burnout and how to fight it

Harriet Griffey Why did Harriet love this book?

Originally published in 2002, the author took a revolutionary approach to burnout, suggesting that burnout could be an opportunity for making overdue changes rather than a reason to panic. Ignoring the warning signs of burnout, feeling exhausted, frustrated, empty, disconnected, spent, or cynical will ultimately lead to a state of collapse, but listening to the message of burnout and exploring life alternatives will enable you to make beneficial changes. One of the founders of Skyros Holistic Holidays in Greece, psychotherapist and imagework practitioner Glouberman promotes alternative ways of living and being that actively promote psychological health.

By Dina Glouberman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Joy of Burnout as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you feeling exhausted, hollow, cynical, trapped, angry or just not there? Working harder but getting less done? Ill too often or for too long? Or do you know someone else who feels like this?These are some of the classic warning signs of burnout. More importantly they hold out the promise of a whole new life. In this ground breaking book Dr Dina Glouberman, visionary co-founder of the Skyros holistic health holidays, demonstrates that burnout happens at work or at home when the meaning goes out of what we are doing but we have too much invested to stop and…


Book cover of T A Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis

Karen Meager Author Of Rest. Practise. Perform.: What elite sport can teach leaders about sustainable wellbeing and performance

From my list on helping you banish burnout forever.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked in clinical practice as a psychotherapist, I worked with many burnt-out clients and always found it frustrating that the conventional wisdom was to take time off or stop working, which is just not practical (or desirable) for many people. I was always looking for alternative things people could do to help themselves. Then I experienced burnout myself, and whilst it was dreadful, I learnt first hand how to put all of this into practice, hence my research on the topic. I now work with people and organisations in high pressured, innovative environments where the focus is on preventing burnout rather than recovering.

Karen's book list on helping you banish burnout forever

Karen Meager Why did Karen love this book?

For me, beating burnout involves knowing yourself well, and this book helps with a critical aspect of that: understanding my interactions with others.

The book is so easy to read and understand without being oversimplified. I’ve used the material to help teach people how to create and maintain healthy boundaries in life and work.

By Ian Stewart, Vann Joines,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked T A Today as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Laziness Does Not Exist

Debbie Sorensen Author Of ACT for Burnout: Recharge, Reconnect, and Transform Burnout with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

From my list on books for lasting recovery from burnout.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard. My personal experience of burnout, when I was a psychologist on a medical team in a hospital setting, led me to specialize in burnout in my private therapy practice. I’ve been doing therapy with adults experiencing chronic stress and burnout for many years since. I’ve also interviewed thought leaders in mental health on my podcast, Psychologists Off the Clock. I understand the complexity of burnout and the reason “quick fixes,” like individual wellness interventions, are often not enough to help with burnout. To really solve the problem, we must “dig deeper” and find both personal and cultural solutions.

Debbie's book list on books for lasting recovery from burnout

Debbie Sorensen Why did Debbie love this book?

I never realized how much I was overvaluing work and productivity until I read this book. I have been very good at achieving, hustling, and grinding, and have bought into the belief that hard work is a moral virtue, unlike laziness. I believed that being unproductive was fine for other people but not for me.

This book helped me see how my culturally constructed beliefs were feeding into my overworking tendencies. As a lifelong “people pleaser” in recovery, Chapter 6 (“Your Relationships Should Not Leave You Exhausted”) was especially powerful for me! 

By Devon Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Laziness Does Not Exist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From social psychologist Dr. Devon Price, a conversational, stirring call to "a better, more human way to live" (Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author) that examines the "laziness lie"-which falsely tells us we are not working or learning hard enough.

Extra-curricular activities. Honors classes. 60-hour work weeks. Side hustles.

Like many Americans, Dr. Devon Price believed that productivity was the best way to measure self-worth. Price was an overachiever from the start, graduating from both college and graduate school early, but that success came at a cost. After Price was diagnosed with a severe case of anemia and heart…


Book cover of Breathe: Strategizing Energy in the Age of Burnout

Dan Brulé Author Of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

From my list on breath and breathing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 

Dan's book list on breath and breathing

Dan Brulé Why did Dan love this book?

This book is about a new and elegant approach to healthcare called ‘energy management’. Dr. Manga’s passion is in bringing mindfulness into medicine and in inspiring conscious living as a way of restoring and supporting health and wellbeing. She teaches high performers how to access authentic energy instead of relying on adrenalized energy. Dr. Manga offers simple yet powerful ways to integrate what she calls “recovery loops” into our everyday lives. This book is full of real-life stories about the effects of stress and is a treasure trove of practical tips for preventing and recovering from it. In fact, I believe that this book will do more to help you prevent and recover from stress and burnout than anything you have learned or that has been published to date.

By Ela Manga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Profound. Insightful. Transformative. Breathe brilliantly shines light on the basic laws of energy by weaving together neuroscience and Eastern philosophy.


Burnout has become the new cancer of our complex world. Faced with a collective global energy crisis, the fractured distractions and demands of our digitalised lives have drained us of our inherent life force. As we tumble into a vortex of disconnection, our natural energy resources are constantly being depleted.


Breathe is an illuminating user-friendly guide to help develop conscious strategies and habits to master our health and energy.

Through compelling real-life stories, the symptoms and causes of burnout are…


Book cover of Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationship with Work

Karen Meager Author Of Rest. Practise. Perform.: What elite sport can teach leaders about sustainable wellbeing and performance

From my list on helping you banish burnout forever.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I worked in clinical practice as a psychotherapist, I worked with many burnt-out clients and always found it frustrating that the conventional wisdom was to take time off or stop working, which is just not practical (or desirable) for many people. I was always looking for alternative things people could do to help themselves. Then I experienced burnout myself, and whilst it was dreadful, I learnt first hand how to put all of this into practice, hence my research on the topic. I now work with people and organisations in high pressured, innovative environments where the focus is on preventing burnout rather than recovering.

Karen's book list on helping you banish burnout forever

Karen Meager Why did Karen love this book?

A book list on burnout would not be complete without something from the key original researchers in the field.

I love this book because it not only brings to life all their important research but also puts the research into practical action. I have used it over the years as a go-to in my research and in my work as a practitioner because it brilliantly straddles both areas well and in a way my clients can process and work with.

It just doesn’t date!

By Michael P. Leiter, Christina Maslach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Banishing Burnout as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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