Six books every new graduate should read

This post is written by our editorial assistant, Bethan James.

You’ve just jumped the final hurdle, you’ve finally completed your degree, and you feel like you never want to read a book again. I’m telling you now that that is the worst thing you could possibly do for your brain. Reading is, without a doubt, the most powerful tool in enriching your learning. And although you may feel that the ‘learning stage’ of your life is over, I’m going to tell you (again) that you are wrong: you will never truly stop learning. Well, not if you want to get ahead, anyway.

This brings me onto my list of the six books every graduate should read. Each book has a different, but equally important, message that I believe you will carry with you throughout your working life – and beyond. You will learn at least one valuable life-lesson from every one of them. Business books are not just for budding entrepreneurs and struggling business-owners; they are for anyone who wants to get the most out of life.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

This book is downright incredible. It’s more of a life book than a business book, and I just can’t stop raving about it. (Really, it’s getting embarrassing.) Mark Manson’s rude but terrific insight into life will open your eyes and make you think about things in an entirely different way. (I would love to say more but there isn’t room here so if you would like to find out more, I recently wrote a review which you can read here.)

The New One Minute Managerone minute manager

There’s no denying that this book is a business classic. I recommend the new edition because, although the principles of the book haven’t changed since its publication nearly 40 years ago, our world has. Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson tell the story of a young man looking for an effective manager in three parts. This struggle may be something all too familiar for you.

Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson again! Leaving the world of education for the, well, real world is frightening and life-changing. Luckily for you, change is exactly the topic this book addresses. Johnson explores why change incites fear, how we can learn to deal with it and most importantly how we can enjoy success as a result of it.

How to Win Friends & Influence People 

Another highly revered classic, this book promises to teach you how to make people like you, think like you, and change without despising you for it. Sounds great, right? This book has helped millions find higher levels of self-confidence, leaving them more successful. Even Warren Buffet is a fan.

You Are a Badass at Making Money

Jen Sincero is one sassy woman (if you couldn’t tell from the title of her book). You’ve just come out of university and you are crippled with debt. This book will teach you how to think in the financial mind-set of a successful businessperson without boring you to tears – Badassundoubtedly a key life lesson and one best learnt ASAP.

Option B

I don’t know you, but I do know that you remember a time/event you would describe as the worst of your life. I also know that whatever it is deeply affected you. And so does Sheryl Sandberg. Her book is about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy – all vital behaviours for leading an enriched life.

Create Special

Even if you don’t think you want to be an entrepreneur, Jim Duffy’s concise yet heart-warming guide to leaving a dent in the world will make you want to start thinking and acting like one. His lessons on focus, feeling comfortably uncomfortable, etc. are ones that are helpful in life in general. This isn’t a business book, it’s a handbook. (For more information, check out my review here.)

I hope I’ve convinced you that continuing to read after you’ve graduated will benefit you immensely, and that you think these books will assist you in whatever path you choose. If you know of any others that you’ve read and think other graduates should read too, please get in touch at

Good luck, and happy reading!

2 Responses

  • Sep 4, 2017

    Thanks a lot for ths post! I feel like after college you lose the trace of what’s supposed to happen with your life. It’s good that there are these types of books that can help you figure out what to do.

    Gail Sep 4, 2017
    • Sep 6, 2017

      I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Bethan and I were just talking yesterday about the fact that it might be interesting to put together a list of books worth reading if you’re interested in continuing reading around your degree too…to enable you to continue to pursue the interests you were most passionate about at university. Jen

      editor Sep 6, 2017

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