The 3 Books That Helped Me Find Career Success

I can’t say that I always had the drive for career success that I have now. I think it’s always been inside me, but the spark didn’t turn into a fire until the day that I unexpectedly won a book. Yes, I won a book. It was at the New York Women in Communications Student Conference in the fall of 2012. I received an email prior to the conference explaining that I had won the keynote speaker’s newest career book and that I could pick up my free copy of it at registration on the morning of the event. Little did I know that that book and that day would change my life forever.

“I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know”
By Kate White

This is the book I won that day at that conference and I have to honestly say that I knew very little about who Kate White was at that time. (If you are not familiar, she was Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan for years, making it the number one women’s magazine in the world, and is also a career expert, speaker and mystery writer.) But when I heard her speech that day about this new book and all of its tips and advice for career success, something inside me changed. I started reading it immediately and I was hooked. I guess this is a good time to disclose that all three books on this list are by Kate White – trust me, they’re all worth the read (maybe even twice!).

5 Awesome Tips From This Book:

  • Schedule time for the big-picture projects or you’ll get wrapped up in the day-to-day duties without ever reaching those larger goals.
  • Be clear and concise with what you want and deserve — always negotiate your salary at a new job and a raise at your current one.
  • Always arrive early to work. You’ll find it gives you an edge over everyone else.
  • Own plenty of confidence clothes. “Looking like a badass can give you badass confidence.”
  • Break the rules a little and implement new approaches and projects in fresh and daring ways.

“You On Top: Smart, Sexy Skills Every Woman Needs to Set the World on Fire”
By Kate White

After reading I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, I logged on to Amazon and immediately ordered White’s other empowering books. This one is the second one I read and it goes beyond just career advice. We may be doing everything right in the office and in our job search, but we also need to hone our personal skills and find success in our personal lives. White discusses just about everything you need to “set the world on fire” in this book – from your career, to your love life to your clothing style – and it’s a great read for anyone at any stage in their life.

5 Awesome Tips From This Book:

  • Try lots of new and different things so that you have plenty of opportunities to find your passions.
  • Trust and teach your gut – get as much information as you can to be sure your instincts are accurate.
  • Feeling sexy or confident in flat or boring shoes can be tough. Instead, wear a killer pair of pumps (in which you are comfortable) and strut your stuff to feel sophisticated and powerful.
  • Stress less by resisting the urge to “awfulize,” or assume the worst every time something comes up.
  • Being a great listener can go a long way. Train yourself to be quiet and really hear what someone else says.

“Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead… But Gutsy Girls Do”
By Kate White

This was the third advice book I read by Kate White and although it was originally published when I was in first grade (1995), its tips for getting ahead in the workplace are timeless. Technology may have changed a lot since then, but advice for gaining more confidence, getting motivated and achieving your goals is the same. White was the Editor-in-Chief of Redbook magazine at the time that she wrote this book, and it was not long after that she took over Cosmo, sky-rocketing it to the top of the charts around the world. I’m pretty positive she knows what she is talking about.

5 Awesome Tips From This Book:

  • Become a gutsy girl by doing something that’s not in your job description and wow’ing your boss.
  • Write down your vision and goals and refer back to them constantly. Literally, write them down.
  • Remove the phrase “I’ll get back to you” from your vocabulary and make decisions – don’t prolong a response if you don’t have to.
  • Stop worrying whether people like you and don’t try to please everyone – it can “impair your own vitality and ability to function well.”
  • Ask for what you want and don’t ask a coworker whether or not you should even ask; just do it.

These three books took me from a college student to an intern at Good Housekeeping to my current role now as Editorial Assistant for a national website owned by TripAdvisor. I feel successful in achieving what I have so far, but I still have a long way to go. I plan on reading these books again as I move up the latter in my career because I believe the tips they offer translate easily into the various stages of life and I want to be successful in each and every one.

For more information on Kate White, visit her website and check out her videos.

— Hilarey Wojtowicz