What to read before your first day of work

Featured image credit: @zaynbadurdeen

Starting a new job is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking all in one. Whether you’re going into your first official job, or jumpstarting your dream career, curling up with a book is the perfect way to curb the first day jitters. Here are some of our favorite reads that will invigorate you in the workforce and remind you that you’ve got this.


The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

Kay and Shipman appeal to women of all ages and at all stages within the workplace, preaching the key to success: confidence. In this practical guidebook, women are encouraged to close the gender gap and progress in a professional workspace, using tactics that secure their sense of self-assurance. 


Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual For A Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett

Feminist Fight Club combines anecdotes, infographics and plenty of humor to assist women in combating subtle sexism at work. Bennett provides brilliant insight into how women can identify and defend themselves against modern sexism in a biting, hilarious way that is sure to keep you engaged and help you through your work world grievances.


Swing Time by Zadie Smith

From the award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty, Swing Time is a story about the human experience of being a biracial black woman working towards career and life goals in a society that bets against minorities. The narrator focuses on her relationship with her childhood best friend, Tracey, another biracial black girl with an absent father and an unmatched talent for dancing. While they are similar in background, their home lives are entirely different which is to be reflected in their lives as adults. Swing Time is not so much about the working environment, but about coming to terms with identity, as it follows the struggles of young, bi-racial women trying to achieve success in a world that bets against them. An emotional coming-of-age story about going through life under the pressures of class and race oppression, it is a must-read for those working toward big dreams.


The Circle by Dave Eggers

For lovers of sci-fi and dystopian novels, The Circle is the thrilling tale of optimistic woman, Mae Holland, entering a position at the most prominent internet company in the world. It almost seems too good to be true, as she tours the facilities and is given a glimpse into what is soon to be her seemingly cushy, new work life. However, as she starts her new job, the facade begins to lift and there is more to be uncovered than what meets the eye. If you’re looking for a bit of fantastical suspense to relieve the tension in your current reality, The Circle is for you. 


The Art of the Idea: And How It Can Change Your Life by John Hunt and Sam Nhlengethwa

Starting a new position can be intimidating, especially when part of your role is to create pitches. The Art of the Idea inspires people to embrace their inner creativity, allowing for new ideas to breathe and flourish. Contributing to the workplace will begin to come with ease as you take these words of encouragement and apply them to your everyday life.


The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin

In a similar theme of thinking creatively, Godin urges workers to step away from the confines of your work standards, and instead step into the mindset of an artist. The thesis of The Icarus Deception is that everything you do in your work should be considered your art. Godin opens up an unexpected perspective for the common employee that may enlighten you to develop a new style in your job and help you maintain passion and a strong work ethic throughout your new journey. 


Bossypants by Tina Fey

Once upon a time, SNL star Tina Fey was an awkward, preteen girl chasing a dream just like us. Bossypants is a collection of smartly-written, witty-humored essays that explore who Fey was before she reached her current level of success. Her anecdotes put her into a more vulnerable, humbled light that makes us realize: everyone starts somewhere. Pick up this book for a raw, lighthearted read and use it as a reminder to continue reaching for your goals. 


*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, She Reads may earn an affiliate commission, but your purchase price is unaffected. We appreciate your support so that we are able to continue bringing you the latest book news, reading lists and new releases.

McKenzie Wurtz

McKenzie Wurtz graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Studio Art. She is currently a digital and social media intern for SparkPoint Studio. McKenzie enjoys writing, reading, painting and playing video games.

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