As you may recall I put-off reading this book because of the numerous negative reviews I'd read on-line; I thought it wouldn't be worth my time. Was I wrong. This book is the best career advice book I've read in years. Here are a few additional career lessons from the book I didn't cover in previous posts:
Don't ever ask someone if they are your mentor:
This question is a total mood killer. If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor it is obvious. (Pgs. 65-66)
Also a note from my experience, don't hand your business card to someone immediately upon meeting them with no additional conversation. I can guarantee that business card will end up in the garbage.
The goal of successful negotiation is to achieve our objective and continue to have people like us. Professor Riley Bowles believes that women can increase their chances of achieving a desired outcome by doing two things in combination. First, women must come across as being nice, concerned about others, and "appropriately female."
Sheryl advises many women to negotiate rather than accept the original offer. By doing so, women position themselves as connected to a group and not just out for themselves; in effect they are negotiating for all women. Whenever possible, women should substitute "we" for "I."
According to Bowles, the second thing women must do is provide a legitimate explanation for the negotiation. Men don't need to do this. (Pg. 47)
What can we do to change social norms:
Too many work standards remain inflexible and unfair, often penalizing women with children. Too many talented women try their hardest to reach the top and bump up against systemic barriers. So many others pull back because they do not think they have a choice. All of this brings me back to Leymah Gbowee's insistence that we need more women in power. When leadership insists that these policies change they will. Google put in pregnancy parking when I asked for it and it remains there long after I left. We must raise both the ceiling and the floor. (Pg. 169)
I think Sheryl Sandberg 's book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead would make a great graduation gift in addition to being an excellent choice for any career centered book club.
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