Amazing Career Books to Give Creative College Students and Recent Grads as Holiday Gifts

A designer purse or new video game make great holiday gifts, but what real purpose will they serve in the grand scheme of things? These books, on the other hand, are sure to inspire you to be more creative, confident, and to create a meaningful career. Here’s a list of books you need to help you be an amazing young professional, hand picked by the FindSpark team:

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20

Why: Because you need to think out-side of the box in terms of your career.

What I Wish I Knew When I was 20 Tina Seelig


Why: Because you need to know how to create awesome work so you’re not just a replaceable cog in the system.


Evil Plans

Why: Because you need the confidence to do your own thing and ignore haters.

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality

Why: Because you need to know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to launching creative projects.

Save the Assistants: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace

Why: Because you need to learn how to navigate your first real work environment.

Save the Assistants by Lilit Marcus

How To Win Friends and Influence People

Why: Because you need to learn these essential people skills.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Deliver a TED Talk

Why: Because you need to know how to get your ideas across so people believe in you.


inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity

Why: Because you need to learn how to truly think creatively. 


The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

Why: Because you need to know that it’s easier than you think to create a small empire of your own.

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work

Why:  Because this fashion superstar knows how to turn glamorous stories into real life lessons.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Why: Because you need to learn what sets successful leaders apart.

Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear

Why: Because you need to understand what the magic of blogging can do for your career.

The Profitable Artist: A Handbook for All Artists in the Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts

Why: Because this book takes interviews and case-studies and turns them into actionable tips for how to tackle conflicts that span across creative fields.

The Work Revolution: Freedom and Excellence for All

Why:  Because you need to know how to turn your office space into a collaborative and inspiring environment.

Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want

Why: Because you need to know how to navigate life sans a class schedule.

The Startup of You

Why: Because you need to start thinking about your career like it’s a startup.


Without Their Permission

Why: Because there are no longer gate keepers holding you back from spreading ideas and making your ideas happen.


All of these books have been read and approved by the FindSpark team, and we can confidently say they have had an impact on our lives. Not into books? We also have a list of useful and fun gifts and toys for young creatives.

What books have inspired you? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Emily is Founder and CEO of FindSpark. Passionate about the power of social media and networking; Emily has spoken at numerous colleges, conferences, and events including The International Youth Leaders Assembly at The United Nations, SXSW Interactive, Internet Week, Mediabistro's Social Media Bootcamp, Time Inc, Columbia University, and New York University, among others. Emily is also an adjunct professor, teaching social media and career courses at multiple colleges. Learn more about having Emily speak at your next event and follow her on twitter @EmilyMiethner.

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