About Me

Midway into my second decade of a successful career in TV production, I found myself working in a field I loved but feeling professionally stagnant.  I felt as though my ambition to learn and grow in my field exceeded my employer’s opportunities for professional development.  So I began to seek out ways to independently educate myself.

And that’s when I serendipitously stumbled upon an interesting statistic in an article:

“According to the U.S. Labor Department, business people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230 percent more than people who read just one book per year.”

Wow!  Obviously a person’s not going to read seven business books and instantly make a ton more money, but the takeaway here is clear: successful people read to expose themselves to new ideas, and as a result, their careers benefit in a tangible way.

Heidi Bahnck

Around the same time, the women’s affinity group at my job was looking for professional development activities we could organize fairly easily and on a limited budget. That’s when everything clicked: why not form a book club similar to the social kind, but focus specifically on books related to professional development?

And that’s how Pro Book Club was born!

I believe in lifelong learning and continuing education.  I believe this idea applies not only to business people, but to people in a wide range of fields.  And I believe one simple, inexpensive way to jump start your own growth as a professional is by reading.

This website is a compilation of what I’ve learned over the years reading for my own professional development and running my employer’s pro book club.  When I first started off, I scoured the Internet for guidance, and while I found plenty of info about how to organize your friendly neighborhood book club, I found nothing about reading groups focused on professional development. This website is intended to fill that gap.

Here you’ll find guides for how to start and run your own pro book club, suggestions for how to find professional development-related books and other reading materials, plus other general literacy and career development information.  You can also check out Pro Book Club on Twitter, a curated feed of book lists and interesting links to thought leaders and articles.

For me, the act of reading and running a pro book club was liberating.  It took away my feeling of helplessness and allowed me to take control of my own career growth.  It also opened my eyes to new ideas and subjects of interest I could never have anticipated.  And frankly, it’s been fun!  I hope reading for professional development will do the same for you.