Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

15 September 2008

'Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office'

I'm at a Starbucks near Cornell University, listening to a college-age girl make employment calls at a table nearby. Some of her responses make me wince, mainly because I remember saying them myself: "My weaknesses? I think I work too hard ... Well, in five years I hope to be working at a firm much like yours..."

As a co-ed looking for white collar work, my rejection count was way higher than the job offers I received. At first I thought I was just unlikeable (in fact, I still kinda think that), but then I came across the book above.

If you're the kind of woman I am, you'd feel really lame getting caught holding a book called Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, but it's direct, pragmatic and damn useful -- well worth the minor nick to your dignity. (Don't take my word for it; check out the table of contents.)

After a few minutes' perusal, I became conscious of three really dumb things I do in professional settings:
  1. I tilt my head and giggle.
  2. I turn nurturing execs into father figures.
  3. I position hard statements as questions, not facts, as if I'm seeking approval for having an opinion.
Learning the above facts about myself was pretty humiliating -- an emotion I think is crucial to feel if you're serious about changing your game. Once I became aware of this behavior, I could start making the necessary changes. (It was hard. You wouldn't think so, but it was.) 

After a month or two, I got a job that eventually became an executive position. It was a first for a woman in that company, and the department I headed -- marketing! -- never formally existed before.

Not bad for five minutes, a little embarrassment, and the willingness to make a tectonic mental shift.


MissMoll said...

Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll check it out and add it to my bookshelf of business/ self help books. I'm hoping "A Million Bucks by 30" and "Millionaire Mind" will pay off.

Candace said...