Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I don't know why I read Brazen Careerist/Penelope Trunk, but I do.

I subscribe and unsubscribe to her RSS feed all the time [trading entertainment with time/efficiency] and just hit it again yesterday.

I'm not "Gen Y", interested in working in startups or corporate culture, or female. And when she writes about her personal life - which is kind of a train wreck - I want to look away. [But can't, of course. Hence, train wreck.]

I think it's that she makes a good case for a lot of counter-intuitive, no BS stuff. And she's got a good, crisp writing style. And corporate cultures are kind of interesting. The way zoos are.

Some recent excerpts...

Startups are still fulfilling, even though getting funding in a recession stinks | Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk:
"On 20/20... I think the interview went well. We talked about salary and I went on my usual tirades:
All salaries should be transparent. The only people who benefit from hidden salaries are incompetent managers who are either overpaying or underpaying and don't want to fix it.

There is no gender disparity. Women earn more money than men in their 20s and when they have kids, women choose to downscale and men don't, so why don't we all shut up about the pay disparity and talk about the parenting disparity?

You earn a higher salary if you are good looking. This bias runs so deep that even better looking babies get better treatment from mothers. So forget social justice and just get Botox."

The art of playing the sex-kitten card at work | Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk:
"The current issue of Psychology Today asks: Are you too sexy for your job?

This article has good information about managing your image. Here are the nuggets I liked best:

1. Wear short, low-maintenance hair.
'Both sexes perceive women with long, straight, blond hair as being sexy and those who have short, highlighted hair as smart and confident, but not sexy. More hair equals more femininity but also less intelligence. Likewise, high-maintenance hair makes others suspicious about a woman's competence.' (From Marianne LaFrance, psychologist at Yale University.)

2. Wear a little bit of makeup.
'Women who wear excessive makeup are seen as trying too hard. But both sexes rate women who forgo makeup as less committed to their jobs.' (From Sherry Myaysonave, author of Casual Power.)

3. Don't dress like the guys.
'When male executives are asked what holds top women back in the workplace, appearing too masculine is always in the top five. Most men think women should be business-like, but should not try to join the club.' (From Debra Benton, author of How to Think Like a CEO.)"

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