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How to Find the Right Career: Must Read Books Your Professor Never Assigned

05/01/2015 01:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2015

My friend's nephew is out of college and tackling a big challenge: how to find the right career. College grads everywhere finish their formal education with plenty of classroom knowledge, but no practical experience of the hustle and drive needed to launch and win in your career. Ultimately, it's the stuff they don't teach you in school that can unlock the outside-the-box thinking needed to jump into your career and then thrive.

But there is a way to get you on track. These are the top books I read after I graduated and the lessons learned that continue to help me today. Here's my list of the top books that will unlock how to find the right career path.

1. I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, by Dr. Seuss.
Boost your confidence with help from the good Dr. Seuss, who goes beyond green eggs and ham to talk about how to take a punch and come back stronger than before. We all need to be a little more resilient, a little more creative, with more ingenuity and resourcefulness thrown into the mix.

2. The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino.
Hint: this book is not really about selling, but rather about creating prosperity. If you don't ever plan to read another book in your entire life, just read this one.

3. The Power of Focus, by Jack Canfield.
Get started on happiness right now, by making a list of 100 cherished goals for the entirety of your life. This is a great exercise from The Power of Focus. As Marshall Goldsmith says: first comes happiness, then comes success, not the other way around.

4. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.
This is all about sharpening the saw and six other crucial lessons. I love the story of an incredibly efficient team using machetes to make their way through the jungle. The question is, are you the one hacking out a path below in the thick jungle or are you seeking a commanding view from the treetops to see the most efficient way to go?

5. The Power of Now, by Eckhard Tolle.
This book is great to learn how to be present in the moment. Eckard asks questions of both himself and you that will provide an appreciation for being right here right now, rather than in the past or future.

6. The 90 Second Rule, by Jim Fannin.
Listen to this wonderful audio program published by Nightingale Conant and you can change your life in 90 second increments. This is the coach who put Tiger Woods and A-Rod into peak performance. The same rules apply to you.

7. Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
I wish when I graduated college I would have formed a mastermind group, as described by Napoleon Hill, who started the whole parade a hundred years ago. Think & Grow Rich is the granddaddy, the seminal first work on personal improvement. 500 interviews with the most successful people in the world at the time, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are distilled down to 16 lessons. There is no better foundational book for creating a successful life.

8. What to Do When It's Your Turn (and its always your turn), by Seth Godin.
In this wonderful new book, Godin presents a cool graphic version of what it means to pick yourself. We live in a world with more opportunity than ever before to create and build your own future.