Read Your Way Out of Your Cube: 30 Books for Admins’ Continuing Education

Dec 14, 2017 | Career Development

Despite a wealth of options out there, books – both paper and digital – are still one of the greatest resources for continuing your administrative professional education. Whether you want to be a better listener, better manage your time, or learn a new skill, reading about the subject can sharpen your knowledge of it and improve your skills.

However, with millions of titles out there, it’s difficult to know which ones are worth reading and which ones are better left on the shelf.

Time is a precious thing for any admin, even when it comes to continuing education. To help you make the most of yours, we’ve compiled a list of books for admins – broken down by subject area – that are worthwhile reads.

Personal Growth & Development

1. Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler
2. Your Belief Quotient by Dr. Lisa Van Allen
3. Attitude Is Everything by Jeff Keller

Personal Effectiveness

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
5. The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen R. Covey
6. The Proactive Professional by Chrissy Scivicque

Personality Type: Understanding Your Own and Others

7. Type Talk at Work by Otto Kroeger with Janet M. Thuesen & Hile Rutledge
8. The Art of Speedreading People by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger
9. The New Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman (If you’re a firstborn like I am, then I strongly recommend The Firstborn Advantage by Dr. Leman, too.)


10. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (includes an assessment)
11. StandOut by Marcus Buckingham (includes an assessment)
12. Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

Administrative Career

13. The Innovative Admin by Julie Perrine
14. The Organized Admin by Julie Perrine
15. Become a Procedures Pro by Julie Perrine
16. Administrative Excellence by Erin O’Hara Meyer
17. SuperCompetent by Laura Stack
18. Become an Inner Circle Assistant by Joan Burge
19. Be the Ultimate Assistant by Bonnie Low-Kramen
20. Not Just an Admin by Peggy Vasquez

Personal Branding & Professional Appearance

21. Make a Name for Yourself by Robin Fisher Roffer
22. Career Distinction by William Arruda & Kirsten Dixson (includes an assessment)
23. Oh No She Didn’t by Clinton Kelly

Productivity and Time Management

24. Inbox Detox and the Habit of E-mail Excellence by Marsha Egan
25. The Exhaustion Cure by Laura Stack
26. What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do by Laura Stack

Implementing Change

27. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 by Jay Conrad Levinson & David Perry
28. 1001 Ways to Take Initiative at Work by Bob Nelson
29. Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler
30. The First 30 Days by Ariane de Bonvoisin


31. Make Your Contacts Count by Anne Baber & Lynne Waymon
32. Eat Drink and Succeed by Laura Schwartz

Reading is one of the best, fastest, easiest, and least expensive ways to grow professionally, improve your knowledge and skills, and become a better, more innovative admin. Take your pick of any of these titles, and curl up with a good book! It could just change your entire outlook, attitude, and career!

© 2017 Julie Perrine International, LLC


Want to use this article in your newsletter, ezine or website? You can — just as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at


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