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5 books to read to make work suck less

Read up on the most pressing problems of work, and what our best thinkers suggest for solutions.

5 books to read to make work suck less
[Source photo: Fast Company]

When it comes to our jobs, we find ourselves in a bit of a bind. On the one hand, we’re taught that a career should be a calling, a source of not just financial security but also purpose, meaning, and joy. On the other hand, we’re faced with the harsh reality of work in 2022: rampant stress, bias, and burnout.

So what can we do about this? Before we take action, we have to read up on the most pressing problems of work, and what our best thinkers suggest for solutions. With that goal in mind, we recommend checking out the five eye-opening, sobering, but ultimately inspiring books below.

Download the Next Big Idea App for “Book Bite” summaries of hundreds of new nonfiction books like these—all prepared and read by the authors themselves.

HOW TO MAKE WORK NOT SUCK: HONEST ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WITH JOBS

By Carina Maggar

In this straight-talking guide to the real world of work, discover genuinely useful advice that will help you find the confidence to go for that promotion, quit your job, break into that industry, nail that pitch, or climb over a creative brick wall. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Carina Maggar, in the Next Big Idea App

PAY UP: THE FUTURE OF WOMEN AND WORK (AND WHY IT’S DIFFERENT THAN YOU THINK)

By Reshma Saujani

The founder of Girls Who Code and bestselling author of Brave, Not Perfect confronts the “big lie” of corporate feminism and presents a bold plan to address the burnout and inequity harming America’s working women today. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Reshma Saujani, in the Next Big Idea App

THE CULTURE PLAYBOOK: 60 HIGHLY EFFECTIVE ACTIONS TO HELP YOUR GROUP SUCCEED

By Daniel Coyle

With reflections, exercises, and practical tips that will prove invaluable to companies, athletes, and families alike, The Culture Playbook is an indispensable guide to ensuring that your team performs at its best. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Daniel Coyle, in the Next Big Idea App

WELLBEING AT WORK: HOW TO BUILD RESILIENT AND THRIVING TEAMS

By Jim Clifton and Jim Harter

Wellbeing at Work explores the five key elements of wellbeing—career, social, financial, physical, and community—and how organizations can help employees and teams thrive in those elements. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-authors Jim Clifton and Jim Harter, in the Next Big Idea App

OUT OF OFFICE: THE BIG PROBLEM AND BIGGER PROMISE OF WORKING FROM HOME

By Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen

Based on groundbreaking reporting and interviews with workers and managers around the world, Out of Office illuminates the key values and questions that should be driving the conversation about remote work: trust, fairness, flexibility, inclusive workplaces, equity, and work-life balance. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by co-author Charlie Warzel, in the Next Big Idea App.


This article originally appeared in Next Big Idea Club magazine and is reprinted with permission.

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