17 Career Books for Black Women to Help Them Level Up Professionally

17 Career Books for Black Women to Help Them Level Up Professionally

We are halfway through the calendar year…and if you’re anything like us, you are already planning for 2020. As you aspire to level up financially and professionally—we’ve put together a list of career propelling books for black women written by black women. Whether you’re trying to find more balance in your life, explore your purpose, combat bias in the workplace, or work your way to the C-suite—this list is for you. After all, the best way to prepare for your future is to plan for it.

Each of these authors has the experience of navigating the world and the workplace as black women who have had to get to the core of who they are in order to experience success as defined by themselves.

If you are ready to begin a new chapter in your career and life, take a look at these reads!

17 Career Books for Black Women

1. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

Organized by theme—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power—these essays offer a rare and powerful glimpse into the mind one of the world’s most extraordinary women. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting, and dynamic, the words Oprah shares in What I Know for Sure shimmer with the sort of wisdom and truth that listeners will turn to again and again.


2. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

In Year of YesShonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life—and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.


3. The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women by Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsha Haygood, Rhonda Joy McLean

Each chapter in the WORKBOOK correlates to a chapter in THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF SUCCESS and contains a number of questions and quizzes to help you tailor each lesson to your individual needs.


4. Strategize to WIN: The New Way to Start out, Step up, or Start Over in Your Career by Carla Harris

In Strategize to Win, Carla Harris gives listeners the tools they need to get started; get “unstuck” from bad situations, redirect momentum, and position themselves to manage their careers no matter the environment.


5. Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace by Carla Harris

While climbing the corporate ladder, Harris had her own personal missteps and celebrated numerous victories. She vowed that when she reached senior management, and people came to her for advice, she would provide them with the tools and strategies honed by her experience.


6. Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward by Valarie Jarrett

Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the 21st century, inspiring listeners to lift their own voices.


7. Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Success on Your Terms by Antoinette M. Clarke and Tricia Clarke-Stone

If you’re tired of getting second-class rewards for first-class work and you’re ready to be respected for who you are, Double Down will give you the tools and tactics to go all-in on your dreams.


8. The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance.


9. More Than Pretty: Doing The Soul Work That Uncovers Your True Beauty by Erica Campbell

This book explores issues of self-esteem, identity, and God’s design for love and intimacy. She is candid about her own struggles, sharing honestly about her battle to feel “good enough” in an industry that fixates on outward appearances.


10. Believe Bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels

Believe Bigger is about resilience, reclaiming your life, and how God uses rejection, hardship, and unexpected circumstances to awaken something greater within…if you’re willing to embrace disruption. You’ll see her go from heartbroken and hitting rock bottom financially to building a multimillion-dollar faith-centered enterprise and finding something super sweet along the way.


11. More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth

Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections.


12. Swimming with Sharks in Dark Waters by Athene Brinson

This book is designed to help you identify, and cope, and achieve success in those corporate environments that are not well.


13. FutureProofed: How to Navigate Disruptive Change, Find Calm in Chaos, and Succeed in Work & Life by Natalia Peart

Drawing from her own research and consulting practice and the latest in business, neuroscience, psychology, and design thinking, Dr. Natalia Peart presents a new paradigm and step-by-step pathway for thriving in fast-moving times.


14. It’s About Time: The Art of Choosing by Valorie Burton

It’s About Time helps you re-imagine a life that is meaningful—at a pace that is natural—with a load that is doable and equips you with the tools to make it happen.


15. Own Your Phenomenal Self by Rita P. Mitchell

No matter your background, experience, education, or credentials, you can have what you want out of life, and you can have it on your terms.


16. Werk 101 by Koereyelle DuBose

WERK 101: Get-Your-Life-Together Guide” is the ultimate handbook sharing health, wealth, and lifestyle lessons for the modern-day woman.


17. Boss Bride by Charreah K. Jackson

This book is a bridge to create a love life and career that fulfills you: it’s time to go hard or go home.