The 5 Best Business Books for Millennial Women Right Now

Get ahead at work with these smart reads that can help advance your career.

A good book can be a secret weapon, especially when you’re navigating the workplace… and who doesn’t need a little help these days? It’s not everyone who can just drop out and join the ranks of those in the Great Resignation. “Quiet Quitting,” aka just doing the bare minimum to earn your paycheck, is hardly satisfying.

So, if you’re looking to play the corporate game and win, you’ll want to read one of these business books for millennial women.

Here’s what should be on your nightstand if you’re a millennial woman trying to get ahead in your career (or if you just want to do business better). And next, don’t miss The #1 Book Everyone Will Be Talking About This Fall (So You Better Read It).

1. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts by Brene Brown, Ph.D., MSW

Brown dispels myths about today’s workplace culture and shows you that the key to true leadership is vulnerability, values, trust, and resilience.

Brooke English, founder and CEO of Goodly calls this read a game-changer; a guidebook for leadership that brings self-awareness and leading with your heart into the spotlight. “It put into words for me the way I’ve naturally led my team and encouraged me to keep showing up as my authentic self at work.”

One of the book’s big truths is that vulnerability in the workplace can be used as a superpower and an opportunity to inspire others.

Brown shows you a mirror where you can see yourself as a leader, warts at all, but also a healthy dose of your wonderfulness too.

2. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Psychologist Duckworth’s main message is that passion plus perseverance equals the kind of grit that brings success.

Within the book’s pages you’ll discover why some people succeed and others fail. The gospel according to Duckworth, is that what’s most important is grit. When it comes to success, it’s not about where you went to school or inherent luck. Duckworth concludes that the most successful people in the world got where they did because of their ability to push themselves and to withstand adversity.

Ann McFerran, CEO of cosmetic company Glamnetic, calls the book empowering. What’s the takeaway? Says McFerran,  “It reveals how much you are in control than you think.  If you can build up your grit and not let things knock you down you can achieve things beyond your wildest dreams.”

3. PowerUp: How Smart Women Win in the New Economy by Magdalena Yesil with Sara Grace

Yesil a Silicon Valley legend and founding board member of Salesforce, a company that birthed the era of cloud-based computing, shares not only her stories of Silicon Valley, but top women entrepreneurs.

Madison Campbell, millennial entrepreneur and founder of Leda Health, a telehealth company, says the book was helpful to her as she got her startup off the ground because it was full of valuable tips and information that goes beyond typical advice. She was empowered by the journey Yesil takes readers on with her tale of a strong woman who was able to overcome the challenges of becoming a respected leader in the male-dominated tech industry.

Says Campbell, “As women, we have these societal expectations about how we should look, act, and talk that often prevent us from growing in our careers. Power Up not only prepares us for these challenges, it provides a plan on how to deal with them.”

4. Girl, Stop Apologizing–A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis

In a word, girl, get out of your head. Stop talking yourself out of your dreams, put weak excuses out to pasture and adopt winning behaviors.

You need to flip these pages to learn how to eliminate the negative internal chatter that can paralyze you and to instead make room for what’s possible.  Susan  Shaffer, president of cosmetic company Pneuma Nitric Oxide, explains why this the book for you. “Millennial women grew up in an era where there were really not a lot of women in positions of power, and unlike Gen Z, they didn’t get the self-importance and empowerment that social media provided, so millennial women’s biggest hurdle is themselves.”

Girl, Stop Apologizing is an antidote for killing that negative self-talk and finding your confidence, voice, and power.

5. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg 

Almost a decade ago, The New York Times hailed the book as a “landmark manifesto” that’s a revelatory, inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth that will empower women around the world to achieve their full potential.”

Don’t dismiss it as old school. It’s still very relevant; the workplace is still complex for women and much navigation is required for what can be rocky terrain.

Bianca Hanson, a senior social media and creative specialist with marketing and public relations firm Issues Management Group, has read Lean In several times.  That tells you much right there. Workplace battles are ever present and you can’t hold your own without the right weapons. Hanson says Sheryl’s got you covered with encouragement to push you forward in your career.  What does Hanson remember most the book? “Never be afraid to take on the unknown, and to be confident in what you do–even if you think you’re not good enough. The book will lift you up and help you to (you guessed it) lean in.”

Sheryl Nance-Nash
Sheryl Nance-Nash is a freelance writer specializing in travel, personal finance and business. She loves writing about the intersection of travel, history, wellness, art and culture. Read more
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