Nice girls don’t get the corner office
Nice girls don’t get the corner office, or at least if we have to believe Lois. P. Frankel in her newly revamped book. International Women’s Day might have passed, but at CAREER LIONS HQ we believe it’s all about the other 364 to really make a difference. Therefore, I am sharing my thoughts and learnings from the pink bestseller.
How to use the book
The book consists of a large number of unconscious mistakes women make regarding their career, 133 unconscious mistakes divided over seven themes to be exact. The key message from the author is that women typically relate every common mistake to themselves. This should definitely NOT be the case, therefore at the beginning of the book a self-assessment is presented. The outcome of the self-assessment will guide you through which of the seven themes is most relevant for you.
From my self-assessment the outcome of where I should pay more attention to is my appearance. Obviously, I ignored this advice as I felt the score outcome was somewhat irrelevant (I scored badly on wearing outfits according to the job I want and not doing my hair. As I work in the construction industry, dress codes are pretty informal and I don’t do anything about my hair because I just wake up with my everyday look anyways). What I did like were the tips I will discuss below.
Unconscious mistake #1: Pretend it’s not a game
Women are known for their empathy, which is a really great skill to have. Too much empathy however, can be perceived as weakness. In this first chapter is explained how too much empathy and thinking your career isn’t a game is a pitfall. By not being competitive enough, chances are left unused and career opportunities missed.
While I personally couldn’t relate to the example used in the book, I do understand the main message. Whether it’s your career or anything else in life, it’s good to approach it like a game. It will ensure to keep it light every now and then to prevent you from getting anxiety or burning out. By approaching your career as a game, I happen to think it’s also much more fun!
Unconscious mistake #7: Work hard
In the book is described that women are giving their selves a hard time by working way too hard. They come in early, stay late, skip lunch and complain about it. Key to this is not to just work hard, but to work smart. However, it is perceived by many women that socializing on the work floor is a waste of time. My opinion? Total bullshit. Yes, you need to work hard, but socializing and taking breaks is actually a great thing for your work. First and foremost, your brain will get some rest so it can peek at the right times, instead of going into overdrive. Besides, when socializing you will get to know your co-workers and manager better. This will result into better products (if you understand what your manager is like) and preventing double work (because you know who is doing something similar, which you can use).
Unconscious mistake #27: Don’t ask questions
Ever feel like you have questions but don’t ask them because you are afraid to come across as stupid or do not want to waste somebody’s time? I know right, we’ve all been there. But think about it again, if you don’t understand something, chances are there’s more people that don’t get it. Definitely ask! Contrary to popular believe (don’t ask stupid questions), people are very welcoming and patient to explain when you are truly interested. And in those last two words, truly interested, lies the key. If you’re not interested, then people will get annoyed, if you honestly want to learn, there’s no harm in asking.
The verdict: Read this book in little chunks. Browse through the book from time to time to see if there’s a little tip you can pick up. For me, most of the unconscious mistakes felt a bit redundant, but hey, repetition is the key to remembering, right?
Now, have you read the book? It seems the internet is divided into two camps and I find myself a little bit in the middle. I am curious to know what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments!