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The Ultimate Unemployment Reading List for Inspiration

You may not be able to save the country from its uninspired politicians or the world from bankers gone bonkers, but you can creatively employ a period of recess like the Great Recession toward enhancing your own life. I know that is what I am doing. I’m creating writing opportunities out of these days of recession by developing the The Great Recession Blog and expanding into other areas of writing I find interesting. You, too, can create opportunity in your life if you are one of the numerous unemployed.

When you cannot change the world, the one thing you can always change is yourself. To help you turn the fallow time of life into fruitful experience, a reader of The Great Recession Blog, who works for Online College, offered the following reading list for me to share with you:


Books to help you survive unemployment:

The most obvious thing people do when unemployed is look for jobs, but what about the art of survival until the new job is found. Here are books to help you work with your family’s needs, your emotional struggle, the downscaling of finances, etc. that may need to be your game plan for getting to the other side of this time.

A reading list for those struggling with the life changes that come with unemployment:

Many of us don’t like unexpected change. Seeing that change as an opportunity and easing the stress of change is a skill you can acquire if not born with it. In doing so, your own soul grows through times of change like a recession. Let this time become an education for life and not just a period of retraining for job skills.

  • Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson: Change can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it. This book will teach you how to see the good side of change and learn how to roll with the punches and come out on top.
  • 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler: Motivational speaker Steve Chandler offers some actions plans in this book that are ideal for making big changes in your life.
  • Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt: If you’re an older man or woman out of work, perhaps you could consider semi-retirement as an option? This book offers up some ideas that could have you working less and actually enjoying it.
  • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield and Ron McMillan: Unemployment is a big change in itself, but one that may also necessitate making a lot of other changes in your life. Get advice on changing anything standing in your way of success with this great motivational book.
  • Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life by Alan Deutschman: While you might not die if you don’t make changes during unemployment, you might suffer some serious difficulties getting back into the workforce. Use this book to help you make changes that can affect yourself in both your work life and your personal life.
  • Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions by John Kotter and Holger Rathgerber: Change can be hard under any circumstances, but especially so when you’re dealing with the trauma of unemployment. This great read will help you to navigate change even in the worst of times.
  • Peaks and Valleys: Making Good And Bad Times Work For You–At Work And In Life by Spencer Johnson: Another great read by Spencer, this book offers up a parable that you can apply to your own life, helping you to better understand both the good and bad times in your life.

Anyone caught in the net of national unemployment can use some uplifting and inspiring reads:

Still having a hard time seeing the silver lining in unemployment when there is no silver in your pocket. These books can help adjust the way you think so that you come out of this transition capable of even greater success than when the Great Recession began.

A reading list to improve your odds of finding a job via networking:

Here is an area that bridges self-improvement with the practical stuff. Improving your ability to network does improve yourself, but it also greatly improves your odds of finding a job. The old “It’s not what you know but who you know” never plays stronger than in a job search. Employers much prefer to hire someone referred to them than someone who approaches them out of the blue. It reduces their risk.

Reading list for the active job hunter:

While the recession can be a time for personal growth, there is still the practical matter you are most interested in — getting another job. Here are books to guide your job hunting in ways that can help set you above the masses in terms of your odds and also increase the likeliness of finding employment you enjoy. The truly rich person is the one who loves his or her job, for 25% of your life will be given to that job.

Books to help you use your unemployment to start your own business:

If going to the jobs does not get the jobs, then bring the job to you by creating your own. Many people have done that during a time of unemployment and found themselves wealthier and happier in the end because they were doing what they wanted and realizing their own accomplishments. Here are books to help you evaluate and take steps toward meaningful and profitable self-employment. The mere thought of creating new opportunity and life change in a time of unemployment can elevate one’s feelings.

  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss: Sometimes, working harder isn’t the answer when you can simply work smarter. While your new business likely will require more than four hours a week to get off of the ground, use this book to learn some methods that can save you time that you can reinvest in other aspects of your life.
  • Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson: Give your work life a makeover by following the advice found in this book. It offers some amazing advice on entrepreneurship that can help you create a lean, mean, and ultimately profitable new business.
  • Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley: Unemployment is an end, but it’s also a beginning. Mike Dooley explains how you can control your own fate, use positive thinking, and work towards your goals to finally achieve your lifelong dreams.
  • JOBLESS by Alan De Keyrel: You’ve already got the jobless part down, so get some help with the climbing to the top part from this book. You’ll learn how to think like an entrepreneur, find customers, market your business, and more.
  • Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking by Tim Hurson: If you want to stay ahead of the competition you have to be an innovator. In this book, you’ll get some tips, tools, and advice on productive thinking that can make you a standout in your new business venture.
  • The Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business by Susan Urquhart-Brown: Starting a business sometimes comes with some unexpected adventures. Help take a little of the mystery out of it, with advice from someone who’s been there and done it before.
  • The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide by Peri Pakroo: Make sure your new business is following all the legal basics it needs to stay successful with help from this guidebook.

Books to help in dealing with depression and anger:

For some, feelings are not going to elevate by such easy means as finding a way to create a new career and a new lifestyle. Part of surviving may require emotional healing.

Books to help you turn unemployment into opportunity to build new skills:

More self-improvement books in case you just didn’t find enough above:




(The above list was provided by one of a regular reader of The Great Recession Blog and can also be found at the following site: The Ultimate Unemployment Reading List)


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