Must-Read Business Books for Women

business books Which are the best books for women to read before they begin their careers? Which business books have been essential to you in the middle of yours? Are there any articles or general blogs that are essential reading as well? Reader E recently asked:

Been a regular reader for many years. I was wondering if you could do a round up of the working women books you recommend. I know NGDGTCO is often mentioned, but is there a certain set of books that you think women should read for work?

Very interesting! We’ve talked about some of the best books for becoming a better manager, as well as the best resources for becoming a leader, and I’ve even rounded up my favorite articles for working women — but we haven’t had a good open thread on point in a while. Here is my list of business books for women, but I’m curious what readers say:

[Read more…]

Morning Routines for Successful People

morning routines for successful peopleI’ve seen a TON of posts and articles lately on morning routines for successful people. But a lot of times I come away from these articles frustrated because they set such ridiculous standards. Send 10 networking emails every morning! Read four newspapers! Get 90 minutes of exercise in! So I thought we’d discuss. I’ll admit I’m not always the greatest in the morning (this is such an understatement that my husband is dying laughing as I write this), but even I’ve found a few useful ways to hack my mornings and make them better. So let’s discuss: what do YOU do? What is your morning routine, and do you attribute it to your success at work or in life? (#Winning, right?)

A few notes from me:

[Read more…]

What to Do if a Colleague Takes Credit for Your Work

How to Deal When a Colleague Takes Credit For Your Work | CorporetteHow should you respond when a coworker takes credit for your work? Reader N writes in with this great question:

Surprised I can’t find this in the archives: How do you deal with a colleague (usually male) stealing your ideas, passing them off as his own in meetings with clients and/or repeating what you’ve said as though its his original idea? The phrase “I just said that” comes to mind, but it seems unprofessional to bicker in front of colleagues. What’s a gal to do?

Great question, N — I can’t wait to hear what the readers say. It’s worth noting that this sort of thing has become more recognized in recent years, almost to the point of being a punchline: woman in meeting says, “Hey, how about we do X?” and is ignored; two seconds later a man is called on who says “Hey, how about we do X?” and is lauded for his great, original idea. (Readers who can remember actual instances of this, please share — Pantene commercials? SNL? I feel like I’ve seen it all over the place.) A few notes about the different ways this can occur:

[Read more…]

Do You Still Apply When You Don’t Meet the Job Requirements?

Do You Still Apply When You Don't Meet the Job Requirements?Here’s a question, ladies: do you apply for a job if you don’t meet the listed job requirements? For those of you who do, is there a general number of percentage that you use as a goal (“if I meet at least 50% of the requirements, I’ll apply!”)? For those of you who’ve already gone ahead and gotten the job that you weren’t qualified for — share your success! How’d it go? Was there a learning curve, or did you hit the ground running?

I think often about The Confidence Code and their conclusion that “[u]nderqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. . . . Women applied for a promotion only when they met 100 percent of the qualifications. Men applied when they met 50 percent.”  I mean, yow. I just recently passed a job listing along to a friend that, we both agreed, was a bit of a stretch for her — she joked that she’d like to work for whoever was hired for the position, and decided not to apply for other reasons.  But the job posting itself seemed a bit absurd to me — like someone just wrote down The Perfect Candidate — and I wondered, really, how many of the listed requirements, the ultimately-hired candidate would meet. Alison at Ask a Manager even notes that “[t]hose qualifications are a composite of someone’s idea of the ideal candidate. Believe me, they will look at people who don’t perfectly match it.” I agree with her that you have to do a bit of extra prep before applying, such as rewording your resume to better match some of the skill sets, or even signing up to take other courses or certifications so you can at least show that forward movement is planned.

Ladies, what are your thoughts — do you apply to jobs where you don’t meet the job requirements? Do you think imposter syndrome is behind this, or something else?   (Fun challenge idea (maybe): let’s all apply to one job (or volunteer position) for which we’re only 50% qualified sometime in the next 6 months, and all report back on how it goes.)

  [Read more…]

Planning Your Career for Babies

Planning Your Career for BabiesWe’ve talked about how to financially plan for babies recently-ish, but we haven’t discussed other broad aspects of planning for babies since 2010, when I was pregnant with my first but hadn’t yet announced it here. (Ah, although we did have a nice discussion about when to get pregnant, which I’d forgotten about.) So what does planning your career for babies look like? I just got this related question from Reader K:

I am a 33 yo associate attorney at a small firm. I was pregnant with my first and then had a miscarriage in October. It was going to be perfect timing work-wise — due at the end of April. So here I am, possibly ready to try again. I have a big trial in a case that’s solely my case in February 2017. I doubt it will settle. Is it irresponsible of me to just try for a baby again regardless of timing? Work is very important but I also feel timing babies around work may be a fool’s errand.

I’m curious to hear what other readers have to say, but of course I have some thoughts. As a mother of two kids under 5, my advice to those of you trying to plan your career around eventually having a baby: Don’t. Some notes:

[Read more…]

Performance Reviews: Running With Feedback

Performance Review Feedback: Run With ItPerformance reviews can be a bit intimidating, but they can also be great learning experiences, particularly when you get critical feedback.  For today’s open thread, I thought we’d discuss: What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received in a performance review?  I don’t necessarily mean the best compliment (but ladies, please share those too!), but rather the best note that helped you learn and grow in your job or career.  Was it a direct message (“you must do X to get to Y”), or a general personality observation?  How did you take the feedback initially, and what did you do with it? (If you’re far enough away from it — what do you wish you’d done?)

For my own $.02, one of the things that my favorite editors told me, long ago, was that I was very introspective, and I seemed to be constantly assessing how I was doing.  It hadn’t occurred to me before that point that this was an unusual trait or anything worth mentioning — didn’t everybody do that? It was helpful feedback in that it stopped me from tripping over myself too much (although I’ve always suffered from Imposter Syndrome!) and even became something that I touted in later interviews.

How about you, ladies? What performance review feedback has been the most helpful in your career thus far?  What changed the way you looked at yourself or your job? (On a related note, do you have any tips or tricks for how to “get more” from your performance review, such as how to elicit better feedback, or to lay the groundwork for a promotion or better opportunities?  

Further reading:

 

Pictured: Shutterstock/aslysun.