6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Now that we’re a few days into the new year, we thought it’d be a great time to round up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career. Whether you’re aiming to get a new job, negotiate a good salary for a new job (or ask for a raise), get better at delegating to subordinates, find sponsors at work, improve your executive presence, deal with difficult coworkers effectively, or just improve your job performance, these are worth a read. If you’ve already decided on your career goals for 2018, or you’re still thinking about what you want to accomplish this year, these six books can help you figure out how to do just that.


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6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: I Know How She Does It, by Laura VanderkamI Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time (2017) by Laura Vanderkam

I Know How She Does It (not to be confused with I Don’t Know How She Does It, a novel about an overwhelmed working mom) is the product of Vanderkam’s look at the detailed time logs (1,001 days’ worth) of working moms who make at least $100,000 a year. From analyzing the women’s schedules, Vanderkam came up with several strategies to share with readers who need help in achieving more balance in their lives. KJ Dell’Antonia, former editor of the NYT‘s Motherlode/Well Family, called it “the most positive take on work and family [she’s] read in a long time,” and its Amazon reviews give it 4.2/5.0 stars. (Note that Vanderkam also wrote 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, which doesn’t focus exclusively on working mothers.)

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Never Eat Alone, by Keith FerrazziNever Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (latest edition 2014) by Keith Ferrazzi

In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi (who runs a management consulting firm) focuses on “the power of relationships” and explains how to reach out to people and make connections — not just for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those in your network as well.
Publishers Weekly‘s review noted positively that “no one will confuse this book with its competitors,” and Never Eat Alone has 4.1/5.0 stars at Amazon.

6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: The 12 Week Year, by Brian P. MoranThe 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months (2013) by Brian P. Moran

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions: In The 12 Week Year, productivity expert Moran criticizes the tradition of making annual goals and plans — “annualized thinking,” he calls it — and encourages readers to consider 12 weeks to be their “year” instead. Moran, who claims that his approach can help you get more accomplished in the time you have, explains how to structure your routines to make every day count, set goals, and increase accountability. The book currently has a 4.6 review score at Amazon.


6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Own It, by Sallie KrawcheckOwn It: The Power of Women at Work (2017) by Sallie Krawcheck

As Own It publisher Random House puts it, this book is “a new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism.” Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of the women’s investment website Ellevest, explains how women can find success by ignoring and rewriting the “old rules” — to stop trying to act like men at work and to instead rely on your own skills and strengths to advance in your career. You can read excerpts of Krawcheck’s book at the Ellevate Network and at The Globe and MailOwn It currently has a 4.3/5.0 at Amazon.


6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Ask For It, by Linda Babcock and Sara LascheverAsk For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want (2008) by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

In Ask For It, the authors of Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide teach women how to negotiate effectively by explaining their four-phase technique and using real examples of professional women who were able to negotiate successfully. They give advice on developing a strategy, dealing with the answers you end up receiving from your attempts, and more. The book blurb written by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., the author of Corporette reader favorite Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, says, “Ask for It provides the tangible tools and tips you need to get your fair share of the raises, promotions, and perks you’ve earned — and deserve.” The book has a 4.4/5.0 at Amazon.



6 Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions: Feminist Fight Club, An Office Survival Manual by Jessica BennettFeminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace (2016) by Jessica Bennett

As you can guess from the title, Feminist Fight Club, which was named to “best of” lists in 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, Refinery 29, Forbes, and others, takes a bit of a different approach than the books above. (Broad City‘s Ilana Glazer calls it “a classic, f*ck-you feminist battle guide.) The book has advice on dealing with sexism and other gender-related issues at work — including coworkers such as the Manterrupter and the Himitator (otherwise known as a He-peater) — and offers Feminist Mad Libs, a Negotiation Cheat Sheat, and more. It has a 4.6/5.0 on Amazon.

If you’ve read any of these books, would you recommend them to other women? Have you found any other career books to help achieve your New Year resolutions that you’d recommend? What are your career goals for 2018? How did you do with your career resolutions for 2017? 

Psst: In the past we’ve talked about must-read business books for women, the best books for becoming a better manager and becoming a better communicator, helpful leadership resources for women executives, the best reading for women MBA students, the best online women’s management training, the best TED Talks for working women, Kat’s and readers’ favorite podcasts, and Kat’s favorite articles for working women. (We also had a reader discussion of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, as well as a discussion of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandburg.)

Image at top and social media image via Stencil.

We rounded up six books to help you achieve your New Year resolutions for your career and beyond, including I Know How She Does It, The 12 Week Year, Never Eat Alone, Own It, Ask For It, and Feminist Fight Club! Which are your favorite books for career advice and practical self-help tips?


  1. Thanks for this list! These look great.

  2. I Know How She Does It is a well done book but my takeaway was that the women she surveyed make their overscheduled lives work by sleeping six hours a night and never having real down time.

    I read it while struggling to adjust to my first ever 50 hr/week hour job and actually found it pretty depressing rather than inspiring.

    • Frozen Peach :

      + 1 million. It left me feeling guilty for not doing more and sleeping less, but with no really good ideas as to how to make that work, other than “schedule ever d*mn minute”

    • When I follow the approach of “schedule every minute of my day/hour/week,” I end up feeling more anxious and borderline depressed. Being mindful about how you spend your time is a good thing, but I need a lot more space for just doing nothing at all.

    • Agreed. I read that book when I had a baby and was trying to figure out the work/life balance thing. I was solo parenting 90% of the time while trying to work massive amounts of overtime. It’s still sitting on my night stand unfinished because I just kept reading it thinking “some people can make this work, but it’s not me.” I actually decided to start job searching while I was reading it, since the lifestyle described in it made me feel even more panicked and stressed than I already did.

    • I really liked and identified with I Know How She Does It, but probably for the same reason many of you didn’t – that is how I run my life and I just made partner in BigLaw. Viewing my time in weekly increments instead of daily and recognizing that there is no typical week really resonated with me as I travel a lot, have different events to attend every week, etc. I highly recommend it for those who do want to work in a high-powered job and want to understand how others make it work. And if it helps others realize that that isn’t the life they want, I actually think that is a success too.

  3. Any chance anyone has had an experience with Ellevest that they care to share? I am considering Ellevest and a few other robo advisors (Betterment, Wealthfront). I’m brand new to investing and would appreciate any insight people have. It’s a little overwhelming!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a little over a year in with Ellevest and have been pleased with the experience and results. I decided to put a very small amount of my overall portfolio with them to give it a shot (because I really liked the premise) and have actually been contemplating moving a bit more into the Ellevest accounts. It’s extremely easy to use and their customer service has been great so far. They also just lowered their fees for those investing less than 50K with them, so that’s nice too. I will admit that I didn’t do a lot of comparison shopping, so I can’t speak to Betterment or Wealthfront and how they stack up to Ellevest, but I’ve been happy with Ellevest. Hope that helps.

    • I’m also about a year in with Ellevest, and took a similar approach to Anonymous at 3:51 – I moved about 1/4 of my overall portfolio into Ellevest accounts because I was interested in the concept of a robo-advisor tailored towards women’s career curves, and because I’m generally interested in supporting women-led businesses in male-dominated fields. So far I’ve been very happy. Their interface is generally great and goal-oriented, which is especially helpful if you are a bit intimidated by traditional investing platforms (totally me!). Fees are low, even above 50K, IMO, and the new lowered fee for <50K is the same as Betterment. I've only needed their customer service once, but had a truly fantastic experience – the rep I spoke to picked up on the fact that I am a relatively new investor, and proactively offered explanations of any jargon/technicalities and clearly explained the pros and cons of different strategies in an accessible way. I know some people have complained that Ellevest is the investment version of "Bic Pens for HER!," i.e. condescendingly simplified and needlessly gendered. I hear that criticism, but I think Ellevest is a great resource for any person who has felt intimidated by managing their money, and even more experienced investors might be interested in supporting women-driven investments.

    • I am using Betterment and really like it. Betterman has a number of goal-oriented savings plans which you can set and go. I transferred my 401K from my previous employer on to it and have so far been seeing a 4% ROI. I also have a joint “build wealth” account with my husband where it automatically reinvests (and other things perhaps?) to maximize your tax benefits.
      I used the customer service when I transferred my 401K to the RothIRA and had a seamless experience

      • I would be careful about moving so much money to anyone (especially when talking about so much money like 401 k) to anyone without performing a comprehensive background check. There are many website which offer useful tools (such as https://www.usarrestsearch.org/) to check a person’s background and a company’s record.
        We should be extra careful these days.

  4. Miz Swizz :

    Am I the only one who wasn’t that impressed with Feminist Fight Club? It read as a little juvenile to me and wasn’t terribly helpful.

    • Anonymous :

      Same. It was great for a chuckle here and there, but hardly “real world” advice that I’d use on a daily basis.

    • +1. It would probably have been useful to read in the first couple of years of my career, but not at this point (20 years in).

    • Shopaholic :

      Ya I felt that too, 5 years into my career as a lawyer. I thought I was the only one.

      • I did NOT read this, or any other, book. I rely on advise from Dad, the manageing partner, and my freinds. So far it has worked for me, except in the area of LOVE and finding a mate. FOOEY! If any one in the HIVE has a book I can read that will get me MARRIED, please share. I want to be MARRIED this time next year. YAY!!!!

  5. Introvert :

    All I ever want to do is eat alone!!!

  6. Frozen Peach :

    Huge recommendation for Darling, You Can’t Do Both (and other noise to ignore on the way to the top) by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk. A zillion thumbs up. Changed my life.

  7. I read “Own It” earlier this year and I loved it. Everyone in the corporate world or entrepreneurship should read that book!


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