I was recently invited to join a Women in Tech group that meets monthly to discuss industry trends, books, and any other up and coming innovative topics. Before my first meeting, we were asked to read the book I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know by Kate White (one of Cosmopolitan magazines former editor-in-chiefs).
During our meeting, we were able to video chat in the author for a Q & A session. Though I felt that parts of the book were too materialistic and pretentious (ahem, telling you that you HAVE to have a designer work bag and that a Coach one is only sub par), there was a good deal of very useful career advice for women, no matter what stage in your career you’re in. One of the main messages that seemed to be a theme throughout the book was — you have to ask for what you want. No one is going to just give it to you, BUT this means that you must have already earned what you are asking for. Kate provides an example of this in her book about a young girl who was asked to take on a big, new project at her job. Instead of waiting until she has proven herself by completing the project successfully, the girl asked for a promotion and raise before she had even started the work. Her bosses, of course, did not give her what she wanted and potentially now saw her as a person that just wants to climb the ladder without doing the hard work.
With Kate, we discussed friendships at work and how it can be great to be close with your boss, but it is important to keep some of your personal life private. I’ve successfully had a close friendship with my manager in the past and it had made my job more enjoyable, but I can certainly see that there is a fine line to walk.
Another interesting topic we addressed with Kate was dress codes at work. Being Women in Tech, most of us work at offices that are extremely casual. Kate made the point that just because you dress casual, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look put together. I whole-heartedly agree with this. I wear jeans or sundresses everyday to work, but I try to still look polished. Honestly, it isn’t really for the other people’s benefit at work, but for me. I just feel more organized and on point when I have taken a little time to think about what I am going to wear and how I’ll do my make-up and hair that day. It can even help put me in a better mood if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed.
I would recommend this book to other women looking for good career advice without a lot of sugar coating (though it should be taken with a grain of salt.) I found many aspects of it to be very relatable to my life and I have already started to use Kate’s advice as a way to think differently about particular situations in my career. I also found her drive to continually evolve her career to be inspiring and something to strive for.
Have you read Kate’s book? What did you think?
Do you have any good recommendations for business or career books?