Published by Hachette Book Group on 2010
Genres/Lists: Career, Economic, Gender-Based Books, Non-Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
Scroll down and share your experiences in the comments section!
If you’re a woman looking to completely change your outlook on career choices, then this is the book for you! I know, I know. There are a million books out there about how women should lean in and take the corporate world by storm, but none of those books tell you exactly how to do that. Not so with Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Dr. Lois Frankel. In this gem (updated for the modern work world), you don’t learn about why you should succeed, but rather how you should do it.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect to learn much when I started listening to this on audiobook from Audible. I already cleaned up my social media profiles and know to dress for success. I also know that crying in the office is counterproductive and that both men and women will belittle you. This book, however, is immensely helpful. Not only does Dr. Frankel tell us women what to do and not to do, but she offers tips for actually doing it.
What I loved most is that she tackles the mostly-ignored topic of women dragging other women down. I’ve long believed (based on experience) that one of the biggest obstacles to women in the workplace is other women. I’ve asked women who are just starting out in their careers, as well as those who are already established, and they all agree that there is an element of womanly competition that can be devastating. This part is usually glossed over or buried beneath chapters about empowerment in the mainstream books because it’s the dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about. Yet, it happens all of the time. So, if you read this book for nothing else, read it for that mini-section.
In the meantime, here are some of the biggest lessons that I learned from the book:
- Never apologize for your success. Ever.
- Being nice isn’t enough.
- Not everyone has to like you. Figure out what it is in your psyche that makes you want to be liked and get over it.
- Even though not everyone has to like you, you do have to be likable. Figure out your LQ, or likability quotient.
- Be proactive, not reactive.
- Never volunteer for “womanly” duties. This means don’t offer to clean up, do dishes, or make coffee for other people.
- Don’t ramble. Get to the point with everything you have to say and don’t qualify it.
- Dressing well and looking nice is important, even if you don’t want it to be. Recognize reality and work within it.
- Don’t groom yourself in public. This means mascara, hair-fixing, and nail-filing.
- Don’t sit on your foot! It’s unprofessional and gives off an air of indifference.
- Figure out your brand. Who are you? What’s your statement about yourself that you want to project?
- Don’t take on meaningless projects just to show that you can do the work.
- Don’t multitask. It’s actually bad for your brain.
- As you move from being a girl to a woman, recognize those who resist your empowerment and overcome it.
- Always be prepared. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” (The Girl Scout in me loves this)
- Do the ‘silhouette test’ – This means when you’re presenting, be aware of your shadow and make sure your gestures break out of it.
- Don’t hold your tongue in meetings. Chances are, if you’re thinking it, someone else is. If you don’t say it, someone else will.
- Don’t be afraid to capitalize on your relationships. Do “connect the dots” between people in your network – even if it’s your Dad.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career?