13 Books for the Recent College Grad & Young Professionals this Holiday Season

As the colder weather approaches and we all start to feel more inclined to curl up with Netflix, fight the urge to re-watch Stranger Things - I know...it’s hard - and let's instead consider one of these seriously inspirational and motivational books by members of The Niche Movement community and our members’ favorites.

Not surprisingly, common themes include unconventional career exploration, entrepreneurship, and all-around just doing cool sh*t. So fill your cup with your beverage of choice, grab a blanket, and indulge yourself into the books that may just spark a change in your personal or professional life.

Be sure to add them to your wishlist or even gift them to friend or colleague this holiday season. And if you just can’t wait, #TreatYoSelf and order today!

1. GenTwenty's Guide To College Success 

Author: Niche Movement Contributing Editor and  Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, Nicole Booz

“When I was your age, I walked to school, uphill both ways!” Don’t worry, this text won’t feel like that all-too-familiar phrase muttered from so many baby boomers. Think more like, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Our contributing editor Nicole Booz is a “what I know now-er” sharing solid advice and knowledge for current college students.

2. The I's Have It: Reflections on Introversion in Student Affairs

Author: Niche Movement Contributing Editor, Entrepreneur, and Higher Ed. Professional, Amma Marfo

Here’s an illustrated approach to providing strategies and advice on how to navigate introversion in a number of professional and paraprofessional environments. Through the student affairs lense, Amma uses research and the stories of higher education professionals to share how to best manage introversion in a variety of roles that one may encounter. The subject matter can be applied to many different professions, which makes it an invaluable tool as a young pro!

3. Talk Nerdy To Me: Connections Between Work and Geekdom

Author: Friend and supporter of The Niche Movement and NicheCon Speaker, Dustin Ramsdell

Calling all geeks! If you spent more time watching Doctor Who than preparing for graduation, this is the text for you. Talk Nerdy To Me is a fun, engaging way to connect “geekdom” with real life lessons. It features a collection of posts from Dustin’s blog, "Higher Ed Geek,” as well as exclusive content not yet available anywhere else. If you’re most likely to marathon Spiderman films instead of mingle with your family this holiday season, consider this quick read.

4. Shark Tank Jump Start Your Business

Author: Thought Leader, Long-time friend and supporter of The Niche Movement, NicheCon Speaker, Michael Parrish DuDell

While it’s incredibly entertaining to sit around and bash contestants on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, like those guys who pitched a motorcycle thriller “Track Days” on season 4, why not challenge your own entrepreneurial instincts? This text is loaded with advice, stories and even some fun where-are-they-now updates. 

5. The Torn Duology

Author: Niche Movement Contributing Editor and Writer/Author, Rachael Tulipano

In between hours spent scanning your inbox flooded with emails from retailers, a calendar full of holiday gatherings you’d probably rather skip, and trying to stay focused at work, Rachael’s Torn Duology is the perfect way to unwind from a tough few weeks. Escape your own relationship status (#single #foreveralone) and immerse yourself in this provocative love triangle with charismatic characters.

6. BOLD: Get Noticed Get Hired

Author: Melanie Feldman & Joshua Siva - Melanie and Josh were early supporters and collaborators with The Niche Movement and were featured as one of our Tell Us Your Story Google Hangouts

If you’re still submitting your resume via corporate websites and generic emails, please read on. Joshua recognizes that unemployment and underemployment is growing worldwide yet job application trends haven’t budged. Whether you’re a student, recent grad or re-entering the workforce after a 15-year hiatus, this text offers concrete techniques on how to approach the job search and stand out.

7. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

Author: well-known researcher and speaker Brene Brown - recommended by Kevin O'Connell, The Niche Movement Founder. 

The title says it all! This text is the perfect gift for someone needing a little push or dose of courage. Brene takes the cultural myth that vulnerability equals weakness and flips it on it’s head by writing, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” What a great motto. Definitely a great read.

8. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

Author: Tim Ferriss, famous podcaster and author of the 4 Hour Work Week - recommended by Kevin

From celebrities to military legends to black-market scientists, this book answers questions like What do you do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What does your workout routine look like, and why? What books have you gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in your field? If you’re not interested in that...who are you? This book is set to release on December 6th.

9. #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

Author: Gary Vaynerchuk - Gary was featured on our “Tell Us Your Story” series where he did a 15-minute phone interview and provided many gems and practical career advice to 20 somethings. 

If going the unconventional route is your M.O., you might want to check out this text. It’s message is the epitome of one of our mottos: HUSTLE. It presents practical and timeless advice on marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, and everything else aspiring entrepreneurs are dying to know. And for you #basic girls out there, he even references some tips for buying wine.

10. What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube

Author: Erik Qualman

Erik has multiple intelligent and engaging books, including a Pulitzer Prize-nominated text. For this audience, I’d first suggest What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube for obvious reasons - we’ve grown up with social media and include that presence in our own identities and personal brands. Erik delivers the powerful message that privacy is dead and we need to check and re-check our digital reputations in all aspects of our lives.

11. Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After

Author: Miki Agrawal

With plenty of energy and enthusiasm, Miki offers her ideas on networking, making an investment pitch and raising capital. This quick read makes business talk fun and approachable; you’ll feel like you met the author herself. Though it seems more geared toward women in their twenties, wouldn’t we ALL like to say, “I get paid to do cool sh*t”?

12. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter--And How to Make the Most of Them Now

Author: Meg Jay - recommended by NicheCon team member, Amy

Ideas and inspiration to combat stereotypes against millennials will come from reading this text. Meg doesn’t offer a step by step guide but instead interweaves research, stories, and counseling sessions with her patients to provide a wake up call for those stuck in what some consider “pre-adulthood”. It encourages twenty-somethings to take themselves and their careers seriously and to be the ones in charge of their lives.  

13. The Niche Movement: The New Rules to Finding the Career You Love

Author: Founder of The Niche Movement, Kevin O’Connell

Last but certainly not least is The Niche Movement’s own, “The New Rules to Finding the Career You Love.” Obviously, we couldn’t leave our own book off the list! It serves as a platform to help people in their career exploration in an age of limitless social connection. Too often, college graduates and young professionals either assume their dream job doesn't exist or their resume is not good enough to land it. This book shows them that the problem lies within the conventional approach to career development.

Career fairs and online job boards simply aren’t always reliable sources. It also expresses that your online presence is paramount and gives tips on crafting and developing your digital reputation. The book curates personal stories from author and entrepreneur Kevin O’Connell, outlines the new rules to finding the career you love, and includes advice from experts and influencers from around the world who chose not to take the conventional approach.

Are there any other books you would recommend?