01/02/2013 03:55 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2013

15 Books That Will Help You Prosper and Be Happy in Your Career

Whether you're looking for your first job, searching for your dream job or happy in your present career, you should always be looking to invest in your knowledge and skills. Learning new ideas and tactics will both increase your value at your company and make you more marketable when you're ready to take that next step.

Not sure where to start? Here are 15 books that are sure to propel you up the career ladder:

1. The Start-Up of You

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha show you you don't need to start a business to be an entrepreneur. Think of your career path as your own startup! They also suggest some LinkedIn strategies, as well as excellent networking advice.

2. Enchantment

Guy Kawasaki's book demonstrates how you can enchant the people around you -- not to mention your boss -- in the same way you fell in love with your favorite product. Become more likeable and trustworthy right away! His writing will keep you both amused and intrigued.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

This classic book by self-improvement expert Dale Carnegie teaches you just what the title says: you can relate to and persuade anyone in a civil and even friendly way. This is a must-read for any networker.

4. Never Eat Alone

Keith Ferrazzi is a master networker and consultant. If you're trying to build an inner circle, client base or dinner group, Keith gives you the exact methods he uses to expand his social circle.

5. The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons

Another timeless book, this one by the late Napoleon Hill hammers home that if you have the right mindset, you can build great wealth. The author includes a host of great stories from the lives of the most successful, including Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller.

6. The Personal MBA

Josh Kaufman successfully packs everything you need to know about business into this gem, basically throwing out the idea that you need to spend thousands more on that advanced MBA degree. Go beyond your major and discover how a successful business makes money.

7. Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Dream Job

Jon Acuff writes a no-excuse call-out to the traditional path of just finding a job. He gives personal stories that motivate you not to settle, but to push yourself to find what you deserve: a dream job you're proud to have.

8. What Color is Your Parachute?

Richard Bolles's guide to job-hunting and networking has been updated every year since 1970 and still sells millions! His practical advice focuses on networking for a job as well as figuring out what you love to do and excelling at that.

9. The No A**-Hole Rule

Robert Sutton lays it all out in this book showing you how to survive in the workplace. There's always that one coworker who rubs you the wrong way, and Robert guides you through how to put up with those jerks.

10. Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty

Harvey Mackay has written what many call "the only networking book you'll need." His point is to always be building connections and networking, not to wait until you need a job. This is a great book for those looking to make a career transition, as well as college students who will face the job market in a couple of years.

11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey's excellent read targets the change within. You must make a conscious effort to change your attitude and thoughts, he says, or you won't be able to form new, effective habits.

12. Biography of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson's instant bestseller is a must-read for any businessman or entrepreneur. Jobs's life was a roller coaster, and you get an inside look through Jobs's own words at how he dealt with his success and failures. The book holds nothing back, painting Jobs as both a visionary genius and a neurotic perfectionist. Everyone can learn something from this biography.

13. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

A short but insightful look into the mind of one of America's most brilliant. Although only covering half his life, Franklin makes up for that by giving precise examples of how he improved himself and built a thriving network, as well as lived with a purpose. An added perk: you can find this one for free online.

14. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini's book is an excellent resource for taking control of negotiations, as well as sales and marketing tactics. It's easy to follow, and he backs up his claims with research he's done or read. Your mindset on persuasion will change after finishing this excellent read.

15. Escape from Cubicle Nation

Perhaps the 9 to 5 isn't for you, so here we provide you with Pamela Slim's fascinating book on breaking out of "corporate prison." She understands that at every level, there are employees itching to do their own thing. She shows you exactly how she made the transition from the cubicle to starting her own gig. If you're unhappy, don't be afraid to take the leap!

Joe Cassandra, a personal brand equity strategist, is the Founder of the 7Minute Entrepreneur, where he shows you how to attack your life with the mindset of an entrepreneur in the areas of personal finance, careers, entrepreneurship and more. You can follow him on Twitter. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work -- this isn't your parents' career-advice blog. Be Brazen.