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 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/in-the-workplace-where-ca_n_969842.html) 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.