What You Don't Know And Your Boss Won't Tell You

Published By: Syren Book Company

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Business & Economics

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Reviewed by Celia Renteria Szelwach, DBA (ABD)

Drawing from her 30 years of business experience and personal interviews with 35 women executives, Pamela Lenehan offers a practical perspective on the "unwritten rules" for getting ahead in the corporate workplace.

Lenehan shares helpful advice for career novices by acknowledging that career management is a personal responsibility. One has to rely on more than just hard work in order to get ahead. A successful professional must also balance the sound use of self-promotion, good communication, personal leadership, relationship building, and a solid understanding of the corporate culture. Workplace hazards such as dating co-workers, emotional displays, attire, business travel and worklife balance are also covered adequately in subsequent chapters.

While the book helps readers navigate the turbulent waters of corporate politics and relationships in the workplace, the author's repetitive use of quotes and qualitative approach to the research made it difficult for me to follow the logic in her arguments. I found myself putting the book aside often, attempting to make sense of how the quotations and experiences of these unknown women Lenehan interviewed had relevance for me personally.

At times, language like "a significant minority of the women... confused me since significant minority seems like a contradiction. Although the takeaways nicely summarize the content, I found the "career-limiting moves" unnecessarily restrictive when they cautioned the reader to "never" take certain actions.

In a time where organizations are struggling to attract and retain good employees, it will be interesting to see if the same rules the author discusses in her book will apply in the future, particularly as diversity and inclusiveness rise in importance. Will multicultural employees have to change in order to "fit in" to corporate cultures, possibly losing the precious perspective they offer? Or, will companies change their cultures to truly embrace the value diversity brings rather than expecting talented employees to always "play by the rules"?

Regardless of what the future holds, this book provides valuable insights and suggestions for career management and planning in today's job market.

Armchair Interviews recommends this book for those who are just entering the workplace and desiring to fit into a corporate culture.

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