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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Bullock

Books on Ops Careers (link)

Updated: Dec 8, 2023



Like me you probably like shortening things. Books become reviews. Reports become one page summaries. Paragraphs morph into bullets. And of course there are TLAs. :-)


Watch out though, as sometimes shortening things changes the meaning or misses the point. You have all heard the expression "Jack of all trades". Many of you will have had your boss share it with you in your review as a compliment. However you all know the full phrase... "Jack of all trades, master of none." So does your boss. And that doesn't sound quite as good.


But did you know that is not the full quote. The full quote is "A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one". And that puts a whole new spin on things.


As a generalist rather than a specialist you are versatile, flexible and adept -- and in a rapidly changing business environment where the answers and questions are not necessarily clear that is invaluable.


So next time somebody shares that compliment with you, feel free to share with them the full quote. I bet they don't know it.


 

THE TOP 10 BOOKS ON CAREERS FOR OPS GENERALISTS

This list is under constant review and refinement, please share your feedback and any other books you think should be included here.

 

1️⃣

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein - Oct 2020 - 366 Pages - 8 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.4 out of 5 -- 8,340 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 4.14 out of 5 -- 55k Ratings -- 5,400 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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9.5out of 10

"A MUST READ FOR MENTAL STRENGTH OF ALL COO & CoS -- GENERALISTS EXCEL IN DIVERSE FIELDS"

⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

Despite the prevailing notion that specialization is the path to success, Range argues that excellence and innovation can be achieved by developing a range of interests and taking the time to discover one's focus in life. By drawing on examples from various fields such as business, sports, science, and human psychology, Range encourages individuals to cultivate an open-minded and curious approach to life.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

💡 TOP TAKEAWAYS:

😎 BEST QUOTES:

⭐ JBs REVIEW:

👉 READ IF:

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2️⃣

The Squiggly Career: Ditch the ladder discover opportunity, design your career

Helen Tupper - Jan 2020 - 240 Pages - 4.5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.4 out of 5 -- 660 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.96 out of 5 -- 1k Ratings -- 80 Reviews

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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9out of 10

"ITS OK TO EXPERIENCE LOTS OF DIFFERENT ROLES ON YOUR PATH TO SELF-DISCOVERY - FIND FULFILMENT BY EMBRACING UNCERTAINTY"

⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"The Squiggly Career" explores the challenges of navigating a career that is characterized by frequent transitions and modern-day obstacles. The book provides research-based advice and practical tips on how to identify one's strengths, values, goals, and motivations in order to apply them effectively in the workplace, and to recognize when they are being overlooked.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

💡 TOP TAKEAWAYS:

😎 BEST QUOTES:

⭐ JBs REVIEW:

👉 READ IF:

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3️⃣

Pivot

Jenny Blake - Sep 2017 - 286 Pages - 6.5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.4 out of 5 -- 350 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.76 out of 5 -- 2k Ratings -- 200 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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8out of 10

"PIVOTING IS NOT JUST FOR STARTUPS - LEARN TO CHANGE YOUR CAREER DIRECTION WITH PURPOSE & STRATEGY"

⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"Pivot" is a self-help book that provides a step-by-step guide for individuals looking to make a significant change in their careers. The book emphasizes the importance of embracing a "pivot mindset," which involves adopting a proactive approach to managing one's career and developing the skills necessary to navigate periods of uncertainty and change. Throughout the book, Blake offers practical advice on how to identify one's strengths, values, and interests, and how to leverage them to pivot into a fulfilling and sustainable career.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

💡 TOP TAKEAWAYS:

😎 BEST QUOTES:

⭐ JBs REVIEW:

👉 READ IF:

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4️⃣

You Coach You: How to overcome challenges and take control of your career

Helen Tupper - Jan 2022 - 318 Pages - 5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.5 out of 5 -- 120 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.96 out of 5 -- 80 Ratings -- 10 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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8out of 10

"PRACTICAL BOOK TO HELP INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE -- COACH YOURSELF TO SUCCESS"


⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"You Coach You" is a practical guide to achieving career success and happiness by becoming your own coach. Through the use of helpful guides, thoughtful questions, and engaging exercises, the book provides readers with the tools to better understand themselves in the workplace and to take an active role in their own career development. By becoming their own best advocate, the authors show readers how to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

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😎 BEST QUOTES:

⭐ JBs REVIEW:

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5️⃣

Switchers: How smart professionals change careers -- and seize success

Dawn Graham - Jun 2018 - 288 Pages - 7 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.5 out of 5 -- 160 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.84 out of 5 -- 360 Ratings -- 50 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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7.5out of 10

"PSYCHOLOGICAL INSIGHTS, PRACTICAL EXERCISES & SUCCESS STORIES"


⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"Switchers" is a career guide that offers advice and strategies for individuals looking to make a career change. The book emphasizes the importance of identifying and leveraging one's transferable skills, building a strong personal brand, and networking effectively to make a successful transition. Throughout the book, Graham draws on her experience as a career coach to provide practical insights and real-world examples that can help readers navigate the challenges of switching careers.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

😎 BEST QUOTES:

⭐ JBs REVIEW:

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6️⃣

Designing your life: Build the perfect career step-by-step

Bill Burnett - Dec 2017 - 238 Pages - 5.5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.4 out of 5 -- 570 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.90 out of 5 -- 18k Ratings -- 1,600 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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7out of 10

"TOOLS & TIPS TO ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE TO GET THE JOB YOU WANT"


⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"Designing Your Life" is a book that empowers readers to take control of their lives by developing a plan to break free from an uninspiring nine-to-five job and create a fulfilling career. The book offers a variety of practical exercises and useful tips to help readers discover their true calling and overcome the limitations of traditional career counseling. With progressive ideas and fresh perspectives, the book provides a roadmap for individuals looking to find a career that fills them with passion, purpose, and fulfillment.

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⭐ JBs REVIEW:

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7️⃣

Designing your work life: How to thrive and change and find happiness at work

Bill Burnett - Jul 2020 - 302 Pages - 5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.7 out of 5 -- 570 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.81 out of 5 -- 18k Ratings -- 1,600 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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7out of 10


⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"Designing Your Work Life" is a practical guidebook that helps individuals create a work environment that is both fulfilling and productive. Instead of constantly changing jobs in search of the perfect fit, this book teaches readers how to work with what they already have. By identifying strengths and values, establishing clear goals, and leveraging newfound control over their careers, readers can design a work life that is both satisfying and successful. These books from Stanford professors show how design thinking can transform your present job and experience of work in general by utilizing the designer mindsets: Curiosity. Reframing. Radical collaboration. Awareness. Bias to action. Storytelling.


💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

😎 BEST QUOTES:

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8️⃣

What color is your parachute?

Richard Bolles - Dec 2021 - 350 Pages - 4 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.6 out of 5 -- 620 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.87 out of 5 -- 225 Ratings -- 30 Reviews

🎬 Summary | Author



JB's BOOK REVIEW

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6.5out of 10

"ANOTHER CLASSIC THAT HAS BEEN UPDATED RECENTLY"

⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

The 2021 edition of "What Color Is Your Parachute?" is a revised and updated version of the classic job-hunting guide that provides readers with essential tools, tips, and strategies to quickly find the right job in today's fast-paced market. The book contains classic exercises and time-tested strategies that empower job seekers to secure the role they want. With new essential updates that address the contemporary job market, this book remains an indispensable resource for anyone looking to find their ideal job.

💛 KEY LEARNINGS:

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9️⃣

The Career Playbook

James Citrin - Apr 2025 - 254 Pages - 4.5 Hour Read


🔘 Amazon 4.2 out of 5 -- 50 Ratings

💬 GoodReads 3.81 out of 5 -- 190 Ratings -- 30 Reviews

🎧 Audible

🎬 Summary | Author


JB's BOOK REVIEW

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6.5out of 10


⚡ HEADLINE INTRO:

"The Career Playbook" is a comprehensive career guide that provides readers with valuable advice on how to launch and build a successful career. The book draws on insights from interviews with top professionals, as well as a survey of thousands of graduates and young professionals, to offer practical strategies for acquiring the necessary skills, building a strong network, and presenting oneself effectively. By following the guidance in this book, readers will be equipped to pursue their career goals with confidence and achieve long-term success.

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