Dr Julie Smith


Self-help books can be a great resource when it comes to self-improvement and boosting your career. From improving your communication skills and building relationships with colleagues to nurturing your confidence and self-esteem, books can give us the tools and strategies to find success at work.

From new releases to bestsellers, here are some of the best reads about cultivating a healthy, fulfilling career in the modern workplace.

1. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith (2022)

It’s no secret that our workplaces are unhealthy. Excessive workloads, stagnant pay, job insecurity, discrimination and toxic cultures and environments have had a serious impact on our mental health. According to a survey of 30,000 people by AXA UK and Centre of Economic and Business Research, more than a fifth (21%) of UK adults are in emotional distress, defined by the study as ‘struggling’.

Although self-help books are no replacement for professional support and treatment, having a practical guide can help – something clinical psychologist Dr Julie Smith provides in her latest book. It’s an easy-to-understand therapy toolkit designed to help readers understand and manage various mental health challenges from anxiety and depression to low motivation.

Read: 14 Jobs women can do from anywhere without experience

2. If You Could Live Anywhere by Melody Warnick (2022)

Until fairly recently, your job dictated where you lived. If you wanted to work in publishing, you lived in London. Launching an app meant living in San Francisco. But now, with more people choosing to work from home either full-time or part-time, where we live is less dependent on our jobs.

If You Could Go Anywhere by Melody Warnick

Almost half of working adults were working from home at times during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ONS data, 24% of people worked from home part-time in May 2022 – and more than eight in 10 workers said they planned to do hybrid work in the future. However, the place you call home still matters and finding the right place is essential for your happiness. Melody Warnick looks at how to find the right location for you while doing the job you love.

3. How To Make Affirmations Work For You By Esther Ijewere (2023)

How To Make Affirmations Work For You helps you disrupt negative thinking habits and build a new route in your brain for positive thoughts. Eventually, positive thought patterns appear, and your good thoughts affect your actions. It could help you learn new skills, succeed at work, or improve relationships.

How to make affirmations work for you by Esther Ijewere
Esther’s book is available for order via book.estherijewere.com

This book will get you inspired by tapping into that awesome feeling of empowerment and self-belief that affirmations can create. And you start projecting the energy to the world, and the confidence to yourself, that you are ready to achieve these goals. It also helps your self-esteem to naturally boost. It helps to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. They harness the mind’s power by directing your intentions toward your best self and your happiest.

Esther’s book helps you focus on affirming your self-worth by reflecting on your core values and helping give you a broader view of yourself. It is available in E-book and paperback.

4. Be A Triangle by Lilly Singh (2022)

Research suggests self-esteem is linked to positive work outcomes, such as job satisfaction and higher income. However, a lack of self-esteem and confidence at work is something many of us struggle with. According to one 2019 study, 79% of women and 62% of men regularly feel a lack of confidence on the job. Imposter syndrome, doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud, is common.

Be a triangle by Lily Singh

Comedian Lilly Singh, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Be a Bawse, suggests that triangles are the ideal model for building self-esteem in this short book. Triangles have got a strong foundation and they are difficult to knock over – an ethos we should apply to ourselves.1,

5. Presence by Amy Cuddy (2015)

Even the most confident of us get anxious from time to time, whether it’s in a job interview or before a big presentation. Frustratingly, these jitters can stop us showcasing our skills and abilities – and can set us back when it comes to career progression.

Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy examines how to overcome anxiety in stressful situations with some helpful, practical tips. She looks at how the mind and body are connected and how body language and posture can be used to overcome nerves.