Leaving school and entering the workforce can feel overwhelming.
Chances are, your college didn't offer classes on how to negotiate your salary, deal with a micromanaging boss, or confront annoying coworkers.
But there's still something you can do to prepare yourself for the tricky world of work: read.
Here are 28 books we think every young professional should read before starting their first job:
'What Color is Your Parachute?' by Richard N. Bolles
If you're only going to read one book on the list, you may want to choose this one. Why? It covers a little about everything.
Bolles writes in the first chapter, "In today's world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get hired."
The first half of the book talks about how to create an eye-catching résumé and cover letter, as well as how to improve your networking, interviewing, and negotiating skills — while the second half focuses on how to find your ideal career.
'Never Eat Alone' by Keith Ferrazzi
"Never Eat Alone" is about using relationships to reach success. In other words, it's about who you know, not what you know.
Ferrazzi, a master networker, talks about how he used connections to get into Yale for his undergraduate degree, Harvard for his MBA, and later, to land a number of top executive positions.
Based on his experiences and additional research, Ferrazzi claims that networking is the difference between average and super successful people. To help others achieve their dream life, he lays out his exact steps for reaching out to people in his network, as well as networking tips from the most well-connected individuals in the modern business and political world.
These tips have helped him connect with Washington power players and Hollywood A-listers, so they should definitely be able to help you.
'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion' by Robert B. Cialdini
This book will teach you how to make people say "yes."
No matter what field you're in, you need to know how to get others to agree with you and help you out.
Cialdini explains the science behind doing just that based on his 35 years of research, as well as his three-year study on what makes people change their behavior.
Not only does this book teach you how to become a powerful negotiator, it also teaches you how to resist one.
'Lean In' by Sheryl Sandberg
"I can't count the number of times I've heard the phrase 'lean in' in the past six months, as if everyone finally got around to reading the Facebook COO's 2013 book," Adrian Liang, a senior editor at Amazon, tells Business Insider.
Sheryl Sandberg's manifesto encourages women to push past professional challenges — external and self-imposed — and topped the New York Times and Amazon bestseller lists. The book covers everything to balancing family and career to dealing with sexism in the workplace.
"Smart, honest, and perspective-changing, this book makes it onto everyone's business-book lists for a very good reason," Liang says.
'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen R. Covey
As the title states, Covey has condensed the behaviors of effective people into seven habits that everyone should develop to be more successful, such as being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and always trying to reach a win/win agreement.
Everyone should read this bestseller, but if you're swamped, you can check out the book's summary on Business Insider.
'Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything' by Ulrich Boser
"Boser's smart and approachable writing style engaged me at once as he laid out six methods for becoming an expert at whatever you like, whether it's basketball or quantum physics," Liang says.
The author uses clear, accessible language and backs up all of his examples with anecdotes, data, and experiments.
"There's a lot to absorb here, but happily you have an expert teacher guiding you now on your own path toward effective learning," Liang says.
'Outliers: The Story of Success' by Malcolm Gladwell
Ever wonder how the best, brightest, or most successful people got to where they are today? Gladwell did, and he set out to find answers.
In the Canadian journalist and bestselling author's book "Outliers," he explains that in order to learn why some people reach the highest levels of success in sports, academia, or other pursuits, we have to look at their backgrounds, including their culture, family, generation, and individual experiences growing up.
'You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life' by Jen Sincero
This book includes a range of suggestions on how to up your game and start living a fantastic life.
"If you think that self-confidence isn't the ultimate goal but simply a large stepping stone on the path to being an awesome person, 'You Are a Badass' is the book for you," Liang says.
'The Start-up of You' by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
"The Startup of You" teaches us how to advance our careers by following lessons from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Hoffman, LinkedIn's cofounder and chairman, and Casnocha claim that each professional should see themselves as a startup business that they are in charge of managing.
In order to best grow your own brand, you will have to network, invest in yourself, and take risks — just like the famed Silicon Valley startup founders have.
'Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach' by Lisa Quast
Quast argues that her simple job searching tactics have worked 100% of the time with her clients.
It's supposed to be like having your own personal career coach — without the expense.
This book can help everyone from young professionals looking for their first job, to mid-level professionals looking to switch careers, to senior executives.
'Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience' by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
"Yes, you will need to set time aside to immerse yourself in Csikszentmihalyi's thesis on how to make your work and thinking better by getting into the 'flow' as opposed to jumping from task to task, but that's pretty much the point," Liang says.
"Flow" is perfect for anyone looking to get in the zone and achieve a state of energized focus in their work and life.
"Reading the book itself is an example how devoting time to an important idea is well worth the effort," Liang says.
'A Whole New Mind' by Daniel H. Pink
If you're an artist, inventor, storyteller, or any other kind of "right-brain" thinker, good news: Pink says the future belongs to people like you.
To help set you up for a long and stable career in a world that is beginning to have an abundance of "knowledge workers" like doctors, lawyers, and accountants, Pink lays out the abilities he thinks are essential to success and fulfillment — and tips for how you can develop them in yourself.
'Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time' by Brian Tracy
"I worked with a manager who gave this book to all her incoming hires, and it was especially helpful for those who were new to the industry and had a lot to learn," Liang says.
The title comes from Mark Twain's famous tip: eat a frog first thing in the morning. In other words, instead of putting of difficult or unpleasant tasks, it's better to tackle them straight away.
"Tracy explains in his accessible text that if you're anxious about a task or don't know how to do it, make it the first thing you tackle on your to-do list," Liang says. "With the worst task out of the way, the rest of your day will be much sunnier."
'Finding Your Own North Star' by Martha Beck
Beck claims that everyone's ideal life should be like the North Star, guiding them through tough decisions.
"I believe that a knowledge of that perfect life sits inside you just as the North Star sits in its unaltering spot," the author writes.
This book will teach you how to identify what you want your life to look like, and what steps to take to get there.
'Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time' by Susan Scott
Communication can be tricky — especially when you're the bearer of bad news.
"It's no secret that communication is key to working with other people, but one of the hardest things to do is have a tough conversation with a coworker, a boss, or a direct report," Liang says.
Scott provides readers with valuable advice on how to go about tackling some of life's hardest conversations.
'The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World' by Brad Stone
Stone covers the meteoric rise of disruptive companies like Uber and Airbnb.
"Filled with rich anecdotes, this is a must for readers seeking insight into how ideas and eventually businesses can succeed or fail in a technology-rich landscape," Liang says.
'Find Your Perfect Job: The Inside Guide for Young Professionals' by Scott Smith
The author, who has experience with Wall Street, Washington, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley, as well as an MBA and law degree, uses this book to share the career secrets he's learned while navigating the working world as a young professional.
The book touches on how to pick a career and how to find a job, as well as résumé and interviewing tips.
'How Will You Measure Your Life?' by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon
Apple cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs once said this book "deeply influenced" him.
Its purpose is to help readers find which path will lead to their personal fulfillment. It's also intended to challenge you to spend your time and money on things that are important to you.
'The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism' by Olivia Fox Cabane
"Cabane breaks down of the science behind charisma to bust the myth that personal magnetism is something you're born with instead of developed through practice and perseverance," Liang says.
There are so many popular myths out their about charisma and charismatic people, it's heartening to see some of those misperceptions broken down. After all, who doesn't want to become more charismatic?
"Whether you're trying to win over new coworkers or want to make friends in a new city, the uncommon advice and specific methods in this book will fast-track you toward more meaningful personal relationships," Liang says.
'The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke' by Suze Orman
Orman, the author of seven New York Times bestsellers and a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, wrote this book to teach recent graduates about the basics of financial literacy.
It's essential reading for young professionals who are part of "Generation Broke," but who still have a chance to be financially stable if they manage their paychecks the right way.
'The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph' by Ryan Holiday
"Those new to a job or industry know that they are going to hit obstacles," Liang says. "Many, many obstacles."
This book looks to the ancient past in order to provide reader with some timeless insight on facing obstacles.
"Holiday offers the Stoic philosophy as one way to handle and even thrive on these challenges, enriching your life well beyond the cubicle or office walls."
'Thinking, Fast and Slow' by Daniel Kahneman
"Thinking, Fast and Slow," a New York Times bestseller and winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012, is another must-read for young professionals.
In the book, Kahneman, a psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, explains how our minds function. With that knowledge, he says people can figure out how to make better decisions in both their professional and personal lives.
'Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High' by Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
The authors of this book define crucial conversations as those where the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong.
Examples of these conversations include when you have to confront a boss who is breaking a law, when you have to correct a coworker, or when you think you deserve a raise.
These are situations almost everyone will deal with over the course of their career, and every young professional should prepare for them ahead of time.
'How to Win Friends & Influence People' by Dale Carnegie
This classic is known to have inspired a young Warren Buffett when he found it on his grandfather's bookshelf at age 15, during a time when he was having trouble fitting in at his high school.
Carnegie claims that the lessons he shares in the book from the lives of people like Abraham Lincoln and from modern psychology will help you be more likeable and persuasive.
If you don't have time to read the whole book, check on Business Insider's summary.
'The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage' by Mel Robbins
What if you could change your life in five seconds?
"Inspired by her TED talk on the same subject, Robbins' new book gives you a way to jump-start yourself when fear or uncertainty has you by the throat," Liang says.
At the start of your career, it can be especially easy for fear and uncertainty to take over. Learning to cope and even dispel those feelings is a crucial skill.
"It's a fairly basic idea — but in this case simplicity equals effectiveness."
'Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?' by Seth Godin
Godin is the author of 18 international bestsellers, but this 2008 classic is the fastest selling book of his career.
In "Linchpin" he argues that each company has three groups: management, labor, and linchpins. The last group may not get much recognition, but its members form the building blocks of the organization because they love their work and pour themselves into it.
"Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back," Godin writes. "It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."
'So Good They Can't Ignore You' by Cal Newport
In "So Good They Can't Ignore You," Newport argues that "follow your passion" is a flawed cliché and bad career advice.
To back his opinion up, the Georgetown professor spent time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and other workers to find out how they landed in a career that they loved.
What did he find? Aligning your job with a preexisting passion doesn't affect your job satisfaction. Instead, people become passionate about jobs that they work hard at and become excellent at over time.
'Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World' by Mitch Prinstein
"While it would be nice to think that your popularity has no effect on how your work is judged, that's not quite the case," Liang says.
However, as the book reveals, popularity in the adult world is markedly different than popularity in high school.
"Prinstein makes the case that being friendly and open instead of a status-seeking blowhard is the key to embedding yourself in your coworkers' (and boss's) hearts," Liang says. "This book flies against the conventional wisdom that being hard-driving and risk-taking is the master key to career success, but there are enough real-life examples in here — and in your own life — to make you consider adding 'be nice' to your career toolbox."