“I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” by Kate White
In high school and college, I took classes that I enjoyed in subjects that I thought were interesting. But those classes didn’t prepare me for getting a job or even knowing what kind of job I wanted. It didn’t occur to me to ask for help or get advice from friends.
If I could talk to my just-graduated self, I would tell myself that Kate White’s “I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know” (2012) is a great place to start. White, an author, magazine editor-in-chief, and motivational speaker, offers advice and strategies for career women to succeed at a career they love – whether they are just starting out or are looking to advance.
“I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This” is engaging, frank, and matter-of-fact, written for ambitious career women. White doesn’t sugar-coat things, and is willing to talk about her own mistakes too. Her book is packed with tips and information, anecdotes and personal stories. It’s a lot to get through in one sitting and I’d recommend either reading it slowly or starting with where you are in your career, so that you can make changes in your life and work in small steps.
White warns that women tend to down-play their accomplishments, are hesitant to ask for what they want (assignments, raises, promotions) and need to learn put themselves forward – without being bitchy. She also offers practical advice, such as interviewing, finding mentors, and paying attention to your body language.
The book is organized into three parts: how to succeed, how to go big with it, and how to savor it:
* How to get it: go big or go home. Find a career you love, ask for more responsibilities, and take credit their successes.
* How to go big with it: define your goal and focus fiercely on it. Create your personal brand of core values and core specialties, and communicate them; learn what you need to know; and polish your people skills.
* How to savor it: figure out what gives you great pleasure and make time to do it. Prioritize what you need to do and delegate what you can
What do you wish someone had told you? What advice would you give to someone working at their first job? What does “success” mean to you?