Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nice Girls don't get the Corner Office by Louis Frankel, Phd

This book was fast to read, yet really useful, at least for me. First, let me tell you, I don’t usually read this kind of books, self-help books are not my thing, nor “the power is in your head and you will cure cancer if you smile…” I just can’t. But I found references to this book in this article ( and if like me you are a woman working in a men’s world…well you might enjoy the article plus the TED talk at the end. However, this doesn’t mean that because you are a woman you can’t be successful at work, but you can always do better regardless of your sex. 
Anyway, they mentioned the book, and I thought, why not give it a chance; if it doesn’t appeal me I will just change books. 
The book starts with a self assessment test, just to see your strong and weak points. Now, I’m happy to say that I got strong points in the way I brand myself, the way I look and the way I “play the game”…not surprisingly my weakest point is the way I sound. Why this is not a surprise comes from the fact that I KNOW that I have the voice of a little girl and when I switch languages this is even worst…that mixed with the fact that I am a petit 5’1 (barely) woman and the fact that you will still see me in jeans and t-shirt (regardless how cute the t-shirt might be) makes people see me as a kid still.
So…I read the book, read the mistakes that apply to me and took some (not all) coaching tips. But I have to admit this book is way more oriented to just business, 9-5 type of girls…sorry, women ;). 
You see, in science dressing the part is not necessarily having a power suit, except of course when you have a presentation. But in spite of what my grandma would like, running in the lab in heels and dresses…not a great idea. Plus is always covered by your lab coat, or at least it should. Still as I mentioned before I do dress the part, you will not see me in ill fitted jeans or saggy t-shirts. Also…well we do not get a corner office…a corner bench would be inconvenient if you ask me…but I do have a room in the lab all for myself.
Bottom line I read this book because in my institute only almost a quarter of the labs are directed by women…barely a 25%...I guess we do better than some institutions…but still. And I want to be there, be one of them eventually…well not in the same institute, we will see about that, but…I want our equivalent of a corner office. 


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