The Best Career Articles of 2015A Curated Reading List to Start the New Year

A book open on a park bench in fall time towards the end of the year

There were a lot of great articles in 2015 worth re-visiting as you plan your career and personal goals for 2016.

What is Code

Link: What is Code by Paul Ford (Bloomberg)

In a year where technology and the startup scene continued to dominate headlines, one of the most frequent questions we received from our readers is about whether to learn programming. We don’t think everyone should learn to code, but we do think everyone should strive to get more technologically literate. This is a wonderful introduction to what software really is, and how programs work. Warning: It is a long read so think of it more as a short book.

Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?

Link: Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars? by Jennifer Lawrence (Lenny Letter)

There has been a lot of recent debate and excellent writing on the gender pay-gap, and how to resolve it. This essay by actor Jennifer Lawrence brings this issue to bear with a personal story on pay disparity, negotiation and asserting yourself in a professional setting.

This is a serious issue in many corporate environments and we are glad that it is finally getting the attention and scrutiny it deserves. We firmly believe that transparency is key in this fight and were glad to see the excellent opinion piece in the New York Times as well as the Twitter hashtag, #talkpay, where people share their salaries as a means to create transparency and drive the conversation. Even companies joined in, like the social media startup Buffer, who made their salaries and salary setting process completely transparent.

Career Resolutions Based on My Professional Failures

Link: Career Resolutions Based on My Professional Failures by Ann Friedman (NYMag)

An excellent essay by freelance writer and journalist, Ann Friedman, on building a career as an independent writer and artist, and especially the resolve it takes even after you achieve success. This is a must read for anyone pursuing a creative career and freelancers.

Why It Pays to Be a Jerk

Link: Why It Pays to Be a Jerk by Jerry Useem (The Atlantic)

For too long after the success of Steve Jobs and Apple, there was a hagiography around his leadership with the pervasive notion that it takes a ‘certain type’ to succeed in business. Jerry Useem conducted a detailed review of the research that surrounds aggression at the workplace and its effectiveness, and found that on the surface, that being a jerk does pay off. But then as you contextualize those findings, maybe the results aren’t as conclusive. This essay is a thought-provoking and important read.

9 Things I learned as a Software Engineer

Link: 9 Things I learned as a Software Engineer by Manuel Ebert (Tapwage)

One of our most popular articles this year was written with software engineers in mind but provides valuable insights across career paths. It’s about taking pride in your craft, balancing perfectionism with delivery, and making the jump from being smart to being effective.

From Engineering to Arrested Development

Link: From Engineering to Arrested Development by Varun Viswanath (Tapwage)

This is one of our favorite stories on career transition. Varun narrates his tale of going from an engineer in a stable job at a bank, to chasing his Hollywood dream and becoming an editor for a feature film, and several hit TV shows including Arrested Development. This is a story of balancing passion and pragmatism in approaching a risky and difficult career transition.

Bonus Read: How I Quit Spin in 200 Tweets

Link: How I Quit Spin in 200 Tweets by Joshua Clover (Twitter / syndicated by Slate)

This story told entirely on Twitter is a masterpiece of narrative writing on social media by poet Joshua Clover. It’s about how he quit a job as a music reviewer at Spin Magazine, but it’s so much more (we won’t spoil it).

Did we miss any great career reads? Let us know at Hope you have a great start to 2016.

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Chris the Climber is a team of Tapwage writers who write about the specific skills that are needed in rapidly evolving careers